Affiliate marketing is a popular strategy used by bloggers and influencers to grow their audience and profits. It involves promoting products or services to their audience through unique affiliate links. When someone makes a purchase through the link, the affiliate receives a commission. However, there are differences between regular affiliates and affiliate partners. In this article, we will explore these differences and the benefits of turning affiliate marketing into partner marketing.

The Importance of Affiliate Marketing

In today’s digital age, consumers rely heavily on online reviews and recommendations before making a purchase. Affiliate marketing takes advantage of this by leveraging the influence and trust that bloggers and influencers have with their audience. According to statistics, 84% of bloggers use affiliate marketing to grow their audience and profits.

Affiliate marketing works by having influencers present a product or service to their audience, usually through a review or tutorial. They include a unique affiliate link that their audience can use to make a purchase. If someone buys the product through that link, the influencer receives a commission. This method of marketing has proven to be effective, with 79% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketers aim to be perceived as trusted individuals who recommend products they have tried and found to be great. They utilize their blogs or social media accounts to promote these products and earn a commission from the sales. Affiliate marketing has shown impressive results, with every £1 spent on affiliate marketing in the UK returning £15. Additionally, 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs to increase their sales or acquire new customers.

Initially, affiliate programs focused on hiring regular affiliates who would promote products or services for a commission. These affiliates were self-driven and motivated individuals who could work independently. However, as affiliate programs grow, there is a shift towards forming long-term affiliate partnerships. These partnerships go beyond a simple business relationship and aim to create two-way collaborations that benefit both parties.

What is Partner Marketing?

Partner marketing is a mutually beneficial collaboration between two parties, which can be two businesses or a business and an individual. Both parties share their experience, resources, knowledge, and customer bases to achieve a common goal. This type of marketing goes beyond the transactional nature of regular affiliates and focuses on building long-term partnerships.

Regular affiliates are often considered “plug and play” marketers who can work independently and have their own clients. They can switch their focus to other brands at any time. On the other hand, businesses can adjust the number of affiliates they hire or the requirements of their affiliate program. Affiliate partners, on the other hand, require more time and effort to find and establish a relationship with. They need to be a perfect fit for the program and building trust takes time.

Benefits of an Affiliate Partnership

While it may require more effort, forming an affiliate partnership can bring significant benefits to both parties involved. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Sharing Workload and Costs: Partners can collaborate on campaigns, sharing the workload and costs associated with them.
  2. Fresh Perspectives and Ideas: Each partner brings their own perspectives, ideas, skills, technical expertise, knowledge, resources, and contacts to the table.
  3. Exchange of Insights and Best Practices: Partners can freely exchange insights, knowledge, skills, and best practices, leading to mutual growth and improvement.
  4. Encourages Teamwork and Cooperation: Partnership encourages teamwork, cooperation, and finding a middle ground between different ideas, leading to better results.
  5. Adds Credibility: The collaboration adds credibility to both partners, enhancing their reputation and allowing them to speak more confidently.

The main goal of an affiliate partnership is to reach new clients by promoting products or services to each other’s audience. One example of a successful affiliate partnership is the collaboration between Red Bull and GoPro. Both brands target active individuals interested in sports and challenges. By working together, they were able to reach new users and find new ways to promote their products.

How to Find the Right Affiliate Partner

Finding the right affiliate partner requires research and understanding of your own company and products, as well as the goals and ideas of potential affiliate partners. Here are some steps to help you find the right partner for your program:

  1. Define Your Goals: Determine what you want to achieve with the affiliate partnership. Do you want to find a new audience, increase brand reach, or boost your brand image?
  2. Shared Interests and Vision: Ensure that you and your affiliate partner have shared interests, vision, goals, and objectives. This will require research on your part.
  3. Understand your Ideal Partner’s Audience: Research your ideal partner’s audience to determine if it aligns with your target market. Consider the channels and methods they use to reach their audience.
  4. Tie-in with Your Product or Service: Evaluate how your product or service can tie-in with your potential affiliate partner’s content. Ensure that the partnership feels natural and relevant to both audiences.
  5. Offer Mutual Benefits: Determine what you can offer your affiliate partner in exchange for their support. This could be access to your customer base, resources, or other incentives.

It’s important to find an affiliate partner that aligns with your brand’s profile and products. Avoid partnering with influencers or bloggers solely based on their audience size, as their audience may not be your ideal customers. A natural and relevant partnership will resonate better with both audiences and lead to better results.


While affiliate marketing has proven to be effective, forming affiliate partnerships can take your marketing efforts to the next level. By collaborating with the right partner, you can share the workload, gain fresh perspectives, and reach new clients. Building a relationship with an affiliate partner requires time and effort, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Research your own company and products, as well as potential affiliate partners, to find the perfect match. With the right affiliate partnership, you can achieve mutual growth and success.