Influencer affiliate programs have become a popular way for brands and social media influencers to collaborate for the mutual benefit of all involved.
In the scope of things influencers are like extensions of a brand’s team. They are the online personalities that can market and promote products. Therefore, influencers get paid for their influence.
One way influencers get paid is via brand sponsorship deals. The other method is to become an influencer affiliate. With this marketing model, influencers with a smaller following can reap the rewards of their marketing promotions and earn commissions based on these efforts.
As an affiliate, Influencers receive unique links and promo codes that tie them back to a sale transaction. These are generally placed in a link in bio on their social media profiles with an accompanying affiliate disclosure.
All sales attributed to the influencer are paid out as a percentage of each sale or as a flat fee per sale. On the flip side, if no sales were made then no payment is made to the Influencer affiliate.
Influencers who also have a blog can additionally earn unlimited passive income with their affiliate links and promo codes. Brands with affiliate programs are always keen on rewarding all types of creators that can drive sales to their products and services.
Finding Success with Influencer Affiliate Marketing
Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing have similar goals with the purpose of ultimately converting prospects into customers. However, each marketing method offers its own unique piece of the puzzle in the bigger picture of the mutual goal.
Influencers are generally social media personalities that drive brand awareness at the top of the marketing funnel. Although, nano and micro influencers who have built credibility in one niche area have the ability to drive sales at the bottom of the funnel as well.
Social media influencers market products and services on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. Whereas affiliate marketers employ a different content marketing strategy that involves placing promotional banners and affiliate links on websites and blogs for the sole purpose of driving sales.
The benefit of being an Influencer affiliate is the ability to drive immediate sales to an active and engaged audience. Creators who are only affiliate marketers generally take a more passive approach using SEO strategies.
If you want to be successful with influencer affiliate marketing, then it’s important to sign up for programs that align with your brand and convert well. If you’re a fashion influencer, then you will find the most success working with fashion affiliate programs.
If you’re a traveler influencer, then finding affiliate marketing networks that offer partnerships in that space will be best suited for you.
Ultimately, with the right Influencer affiliate marketing strategy, an influencer can earn more with influencer affiliate programs vs. any other method.
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Best Influencer Affiliate Programs
Some brands offer influencer affiliate programs that are managed by the brand’s in-house team. Other brands partner with affiliate marketing networks to plug into its existing network of influencer affiliates. Both offer the opportunity to earn money as a creator promoting the brands you use and love!
- Amazon Influencer Program
- Amazon Associates
- QVC Affiliate Program (QCrew)
- Walmart Creator
- ShopStyle Collective
- Zulily Influencer Program
- Tailwind Create
Amazon Influencer Program
Much of the rise in popularity of influencer affiliate programs can be attributed to the launch of the Amazon Influencer program. It’s a program that I’m a part of and one that can be very lucrative for the right influencer affiliate.
The Amazon Influencer program enables social media influencers the ability to promote products found on Amazon via customized influencer storefronts. These days it’s almost impossible to not come across these Influencers flexing their Amazon finds on TikTok.
Once you become an Amazon Influencer, you can curate products for your storefront and even participate in livestreaming e-commerce to earn commissions from people already shopping on Amazon. Use your vanity Amazon URL storefront link in your social media bio to generate sales and earn Amazon affiliate income from product reviews.
Where to Apply: Amazon Influencer Application
Commission Rate: 0.50% – 5% commissions on eligible purchases
Additional Info: Amazon Influencers have the ability to earn commissions on referral sales driven from outside the Amazon platform. Additionally, eligible Influencers have the added bonus of getting paid on-site commissions from people already shopping on Amazon.
The Amazon Associates program is not to be confused with the Amazon Influencer program. They are two separate programs with the latter being more challenging to get into. The good news is that almost anyone with a small or large following can apply to be an Amazon Associate.
So you’ll still be able to promote products found on Amazon, but you won’t have the option to build an Amazon storefront with your catalog of recommended items. Therefore, many influencers use link in bio tools such as Beacons.ai or Linktree to promote individual Amazon products.
The other difference is that Associates only have the ability to earn off-site commissions and bounties, but not on-site commissions. So while you can still earn a substantial amount of money as an Amazon Associate, your monetization opportunities are fewer than if you were to be an Amazon Influencer affiliate.
Read more on the differences between Amazon Associates vs Influencer.
Where to Apply: Amazon Associate Application
Commission Rate: 1 – 20% commissions on eligible purchases, plus bounties
Additional Info: The Associates program currently only accepts the following social networks: Facebook (including open group pages and fan pages, but excluding personal pages), Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and Twitch.tv.
QVC Affiliate Program (QCrew)
The QVC shopping network is known for their lively TV personalities that lean heavily on time-sensitive promotions and real-time interactions with shoppers. TV viewers who are looking to bargain shop find themselves glued to their television sets looking for the next best deal to buy!
While it may come across as an old school way of selling, it works. This trend of stay at home shoppers has crossed over to social platforms. More often than not, you see social media influencers doing their own version of QVC-like broadcasts via Livestreaming e-commerce.
As an influencer, you can be the host of your very own shopping program and promote your favorite QVC products to your network. Apply to be a QVC ambassador through the QCrew Influencer program, also referred to as the QVC affiliate program.
Where to Apply: QVC Affiliate Program
Commission Rate: 5% commission on the item price
Additional Info: Commissions are paid via direct deposit.
In October of 2022, it was announced that Walmart will pay influencers who refer products on their social media channels a commission on those sales. Not much has yet been released about the newest program, Walmart Creator, which plans to officially launch sometime in 2023.
Walmart currently offers an affiliate program to bloggers and website content creators through their Walmart affiliate program. You can think of the Walmart Creator program as the counterpart for Amazon’s Influencer program. Similarly, the Walmart Affiliate program is similar to the Amazon Associates program.
Even though the program has yet to officially open, you can get a head start by applying now to the Walmart Creator program. Walmart is actively recruiting both small and large social media influencers ahead of its launch.
Where to Apply: Walmart Creator Application
Commission Rate: Varies
Additional Information: Applications are currently open ahead of its official launch.
Another one of the great Influencer affiliate programs is the ShopStyle Collective. This affiliate network connects you with thousands of fashion-based brands to share your unique style with your audience. If you’re on Instagram, then this is mostly where you’ll see a lot of ShopStyle Collective affiliates promoting products.
The program offers Influencer affiliates two unique ways to earn. For newer influencers that are still learning the ropes of driving traffic and sales, the standard CPC (cost per click) commission model may be best suited for you. For more advanced Influencer affiliates with a larger following, the CPA (cost per acquisition) model may appeal to you more.
The CPA model is more in line with what other affiliate networks offer, which enables influencers to get paid a percentage of each sale versus pay per click. Some of the minimum requirements in order to apply include: having original shoppable content, an engaged audience and consistent posting.
Where to Apply: ShopStyle Collective Application
Commission Rate: CPC and CPA commission model
Additional Information: An instagram business or creator account with a connected Facebook business page is required to apply.
Zulily Influencer Program
The Zulily shopping site operates like a huge dropshipping ecommerce website. This means that Zulily places product orders with their distributors and partners only after a customer has placed an order on the site. Typically, these orders take longer to arrive to the customer, but in return they get the best deals possible on top name, household brands.
As a Zulily influencer, you can low-key brag about your discount finds on the daily deals website and then direct your audience to your Zulily affiliate links. Time-sensitive promotional sales generally don’t last long, so it can serve to incentive your audience to buy now versus later. Once they do, you earn a commission and they get products at well below retail prices!
Zulily offers competitive commission rates and will also work with influencers on tailored offers for your audience. The Zulily daily deals refresh everyday at 6am PST/ 9am ET, so you’ll know exactly when to start broadcasting new deals to your audience.
Where to Apply: Zulily Influencer Application
Commission Rate: Varies
Additional Information: The Zulily Influencer program is hosted on the Impact Radius affiliate network. You will be directed to create an account there first prior to applying to the program.
Oftentimes, when we think about Influencer affiliate programs the natural tendency is to think about fashion and lifestyle influencer networks. Though in reality there are all kinds of influencers including finance, grocery budgeting, and design influencers to name a few.
If you fall into this category, then here’s one affiliate program that may interest you. The Tailwind Create program is geared to design influencers who are skilled in using the software to create aesthetically appealing designs for social media.
While the Tailwind app is primarily used by Pinterest content creators to automate the pinning process, Tailwind Create users utilize the tool to whip up optimally sized creatives for use across all social media platforms. Design influencers who promote their services to online business owners may want to take a closer look at this affiliate program.
Where to Apply: Hosted on the Impact Radius Affiliate Network
Commission Rate: Earn a minimum of 15% recurring commission on every sale.
Additional Information: The Tailwind Create program is an extension of the Tailwind app. Apply to the Tailwind Affiliate program in order to access your Tailwind Create affiliate links.
If you’re an influencer that uses the word ‘wanderer’ or ‘traveler’ as part of your social media username, then this one’s for you! Hostel World is a niche travel booking platform that caters to travelers who prefer to stay at (surprise, surprise!) hostels.
They’ve gained a large almost cult-like following of enthusiast travelers who give the site rave reviews for finding the best hostel accommodations in over 179 countries. As a HostelWorld affiliate, you can share your travel experience while also paying for your excursions with your affiliate links.
Some high profile members that also affiliate for HostelWorld include LonelyPlanet and TripAdvisor. So you know you’re in good company when it comes to promoting and converting on sales that come through your influencer affiliate links!
Where to Apply: HostelWorld Affiliate Program
Commission Rate: Up to 40% of the deposit
Additional Information: 30 Day cookie window
Influencer Affiliate Programs Conclusion
Maybe it’s the looming recession, or maybe brands are simply squeezing their budgets more and looking to pay for performance these days. Either way, searches for best influencer affiliate programs are on the rise now more than ever. Influencers who have a niche following and know how to market to their audience can earn thousands of dollars in commissionable sales.
On the other end of the spectrum, brands get to see which influencers get them the best results so they know which influencers to extend brand sponsorship deals.
Influencer affiliate programs are just one way to earn on social media. Referral bonus apps that pay per action are another way to earn money online. Read how I used my social media profiles to earn $30k fast with this strategy!
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