With digital media channels like social media and blogs continuing to gain popularity with consumers, online retailers can tap into more affiliate marketing opportunities by working with popular personalities or publications to reach new shoppers. But like most of marketing, not every affiliate channel will work for every type of retailer.

The affiliate subsection of digital marketing intersects with both social media and content marketing, but it uses another medium—such as influencers, bloggers, online personalities, news publications, deals and coupon websites, and more—to generate sales or promote brands. Popular affiliate channels include:

  • Blogs
  • Coupon and deals websites
  • Online news or magazine publications
  • Social media

In a May/June 2021 Digital Commerce 360 survey, 39.2% of 143 retailers said affiliate marketing is effective—either somewhat (21.7%) or very (17.5%) effective. Comparatively, retailers ranked affiliates’ effectiveness ahead of Amazon ads, other marketplace ads and SMS/text messaging ads, but said the marketing strategy is less effective than email marketing, influencer marketing, mobile ads, content marketing, paid search and social media advertising.

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