Is there a difference between Digital Marketing and Affiliate Marketing?
Yes, there is.
Though Affiliate marketing falls under the umbrella of Digital Marketing, it differs from digital
In short, affiliate marketing is quasi-digital marketing. We can press the Affiliate Marketing business into
action by leveraging digital channels. Apart from this, there is also the option of doing it offline.
Offline affiliate marketing differs from digital marketing, wherein one can get in on offline
as floating banners and pamphlets, printing, and dispensing business cards, displaying posters, and using
classified ads. It also includes traditional word-of-mouth marketing tactics. These ensure returns in a flash
and are easy to come by while selling physical products.
In the case of Digital Products, Online Affiliate Marketing using digital tools are up for grabs. If your
target audience is local, offline affiliate marketing will always be a good choice.
However, Affiliate Marketing practices using digital mediums go a long way in building long-term relationships
with your customers.
Scope of Digital Marketing:
Digital Marketing has shaken things up in the Marketing world. The marketing scenario has morphed into smart
marketing and has turned into a full-blown business with the advent of technology. We have radicalized it to
While we do not limit the gamut of digital marketing to one aspect, it includes an eclectic mix of approaches
like Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, blogging, Google Ads, and Search Engine Optimization. Some other
forms include Event Marketing, running a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign, Content Marketing, and influencer
What is Digital Marketing?
Using digital channels to promote your products and services is called digital
marketing. They are primarily smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, emails,
tablets, phablets, and the Internet. These channels are making a noise in the
current market and are blossoming at light speed levels.
These channels employ digital materials like blogs, social media posts, images, and videos, and are off to the
races via online advertising. In this way, they tout their platforms and earn moolah.
History of Digital Marketing:
The provenance of digital marketing dates back to the era when the Internet came
into effect. Before the Internet, we did not find digital marketing under the sun. In the 1990s, phrases like
the Internet and Web 1.0 platforms saw the light of day.
It was till 1994 that we saw the digital era in a toned-down manner. Come 1994, the use of the first clickable
banner went live, and the click-through rate of banners stood out at a whopping rate of 44%.
Soon, Yahoo emerged as a formidable search engine. With its clocking success, in a similar vein, more and more
search engines became rampant around 1996. It resulted in the optimization of websites to rank higher in
With Google entered the space in 1998, this invigorated the powers of the Internet. In 2000, social media
networking and SEO practices turned the tide in favor of digital marketing against traditional offline
marketing practices. It unleashed the power of the Internet at the outset of these social media platforms.
Internet and social media platforms joined forces and began to bigfoot the entire industry and every
Why is Digital Marketing Sine-Qua-Non?
In the present scenario, digital marketing is indispensable for expanding business, promoting brands, getting
your mitts on new customers, and retaining existing customers. Digital Marketing practices have also clipped
the marketing cost at colossal levels.
Digital marketers build up their brands by increasing their awareness across platforms and devices to top up
sales. By doubling down on online marketing efforts, brands gain better visibility and tap onto new customers
across geographies and generations. They reinforce their marketing strategy by outreaching different
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a commission-based practice wherein advertisers or brands close ranks with third-party
affiliates or publishers.
These affiliates publicize the advertiser's brands to generate leads and sales. The company can generate leads
if a user goes through the process of making a purchase, subscribing, filling out a form, signing in, or
In return for these user actions, advertisers pay a commission to affiliates. These affiliate partners latched
onto affiliate marketing programs like email marketing, coupon programs, content marketing, loyalty portals,
blogs and websites, review-site programs, and incentive programs to effect-in a sale.
Affiliates also use their social media handles and websites to promote product-related links. By this, they
earn a passive income when someone clicks on the link and purchases products through the company’s website.
Statistics surrounding Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate marketing has become a thing in eCommerce, the financial sector, iGaming, fintech companies, health
and fitness, manufacturing, big Commerce, etc.
We have appraised that affiliate marketing will accrue a global value of $12 billion by the end of 2022. An
average of 20 percent of all online sales in India happen through affiliate marketing.
One can valorize the sum in the US to $8.2 billion approximately in 2022. From only $2.5 billion in 2012, the
spending for affiliate marketing has continued to balloon year by year, which suggests that more businesses
are relying on affiliate marketing in their campaigns.
A Perfect Synergy Between Advertisers and Affiliates:
This marketing practice results in a symbiotic relationship between the company and the affiliates as they
mutually rake in an income from this collaboration. With the help of affiliates, brands, and advertisers with
something to market can accomplish their goal.
Advertisers need not have to take pains in promoting the product by themselves, and it saves their time and
effort. This way, brands get exposure, advertisers get business, and affiliates are duly-rewarded.
Thus, advertisers are riding on the wave of affiliates in this process. Affiliates use their contact list or
their list of websites to promulgate the products for advertisers.
The commission rates are negotiated beforehand between the affiliates and advertisers for the payment made for
every action or click.
Incentives paid to affiliates motivate them to pitch the advertiser’s business, create leads, sell products,
and earn revenue.
Skill-Set Required for an Affiliate Marketer:
These affiliates can be anyone from influencers to bloggers or individual entities or businesses. In most
occurrences, these affiliates stick to their niche while doing affiliate marketing. However, one must learn
the ropes of digital marketing and blog writing.
Learning the nuts and bolts of digital marketing will lay the groundwork for your business. Digital Marketing
makes the affiliates cognizant of how to plug in their business online and how to direct quality traffic to
their website by ranking high on Google Search Engine Result Pages. To hike their business as a pro blogger,
they must invest in getting a domain name and do website hosting.
They can also enroll in online B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer) Affiliate programs.
These days social media handles spawning businesses of various niches. One can flag off with social media
channels like Facebook Marketplace and open an online store. One can also register on paid Facebook Business
pages. One may open marketplaces on e-commerce shopping portals like Shopify to be an affiliate marketer.
Entities Involved in Affiliate Marketing:
Thus, to round up, there are four entities to Affiliate Marketing which are namely:
Affiliates/Publishers/Influencers/Bloggers/Third Party Marketers:- A company or individual promoting the
advertiser’s products or services.
Advertisers/Merchants/Brands:- who sells the products that affiliates pitch in.
Customer/User:- A customer or an end user is a person who purchases a product through an affiliate.
Advertisers and affiliates collaborate to connect advertisers with the affiliate’s audience to convert
potential audiences to customers.
Affiliate Network:- An intermediary who meddles between an affiliate and an advertiser’s affiliate
program. An affiliate network is optional but has a significant role to play. They help in managing
affiliates from the ground up. It includes tracking, reporting, or managing their remuneration. Affiliate
Networks facilitate third-party checks and inspections to remove fraudulent practices in the business.
They also protect advertisers by connecting them with the right audience.
Differences Between Digital Marketing and Affiliate Marketing
While we have briefed you on the basics of Digital Marketing and Affiliate Marketing, it is time to elucidate
the differences between these marketing styles.
A. Who Does the Work?
Companies use digital channels and online marketing extensively to market their brands through digital
However, in the Affiliate Marketing scenario, there is a formal engagement of Affiliates selling the
company’s products. Here, advertisers or their companies do not participate in the promotion of business
B. What is the scope?
Digital Marketing is a sweeping concept that is a potpourri of marketing practices. However, the sole
purpose of their work has never been to earn a commission.
In contrast, Affiliate Marketing is a subset of Digital Marketing that deals with commissions/incentives
and rewards. Their main highlight centers around earning commissions by affiliates.
C. What skill sets are needed?
Digital Marketing requires sound know-how in Search Engine Optimization, Analytics, Video marketing,
Content marketing, Email marketing, and Social Media Marketing.
While as an affiliate marketer, you must be familiar with the basics of digital marketing and social
media marketing. An affiliate marketer succeeds even by writing blogs or doing persuasive copywriting. As
an Affiliate Marketer, you must be proficient in relationship building, for example, by having an
experience as a Public Relations executive or manager. You must have convincing abilities, and you need to
have a good rapport with audiences.
D. Is there a need for any tools?
Digital Marketing includes an array of tools and a wide range of strategies to reach out to customers.
Whereas Affiliate Marketing rides on the tools and practices of digital marketing to generate online sales
since it is a subset of Digital Marketing.
E. What are their intentions?
While Digital Marketing is super-dialed in inflating the headcount of customers, a surge in brand
awareness, and brand recognition aspects.
On the other end, the Affiliate Marketing business requires affiliates to earn incentives at a fast clip
from the sale of promoted products.
F. What tasks are involved?
Digital Marketing entails a deep dive into customer requirements, enabling sales and advertising
activities, launching and managing campaigns across digital channels, and aligning marketing strategies
with the organization's business goals. It involves quantifying the marketing campaigns using KPIs and
monitoring them, evaluating ROIs, and reporting on the performance of digital marketing campaigns. One
must conduct thorough market research, analyze evolving trends for new opportunities, increase the
bandwidth of their campaign, and simultaneously up their game in the competitive market. One must work
towards elevating the campaign performance to new heights. It also includes collaborating with content
writers, graphic designers, and web developers. It is advisable to stay ahead of the curve by brushing
one's skills on a timely basis on emerging trends and technologies.
Affiliate Marketing necessitates an advertiser to hire the right affiliate partner in direct or indirect
ways. The job of an affiliate is to improve the experience on their website or social media handles once
hired. It can happen by employing SEO-friendly methods on their websites /blogs or Vlogs. It also
involves utilizing a mobile-friendly platform. After this, an affiliate’s role demands them to entice
audiences through lucrative offers, coupon codes, and discounts. They must lure the audience with
delectable and click-worthy hyperlinked text, links, graphics, or buttons for them to take a desired
action. It winds up the marketing process by the affiliate earning a commission in this process. Above
and beyond, an affiliate ensures that the brand's reviews must sweep up the audience. He should be
conscious enough to write the correct brand reviews. The reviews must not be overblown.
G. What parties are involved?
Digital Marketing includes these entities: the product, the digital channel, digital marketing agents
/executives, the consumer, and the customer.
On the other hand, affiliate marketing has affiliates, an audience, advertisers, and an affiliate network.
H. Who are the key performers?
The principal performers in Digital Marketing are the agencies, company personnel, and brand owners.
Instead, affiliate marketing may involve influencer marketing. It is possible to engage celebrities,
experts, and thought leaders to promote products and services for a fee.
I. Who do they Zero-In on?
Affiliate Marketing zero-in on their attention to a selectively targeted audience.
Alternatively, digital marketing relies heavily on electronic devices like computers, smartphones, and
other online tools and technologies to generate leads.
J. When does a payment make?
An affiliate is paid for a sale, not for advertising efforts.
In place of this, Digital marketing’s centerpiece is online advertising using social media, visual ads,
and squared customer interaction.
K. What Type of Revenue Generation Mechanism Is Involved?
Digital Marketing brings in an active income that requires the market to stay in tune with the changing
Instead of this, Affiliate Marketing generates a passive income for the affiliates.
L. Is a product needed?
Digital Marketer has their product, or the company has one.
Rather, Affiliate marketing does not deal with developing a product or service.
Should your business focus on Affiliate Marketing or Digital Marketing?
If you are tight on your budget, you must focus on Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketing also generates a
passive income for you in the long run. If you want to reap the rewards of affiliate marketing in the future,
you must be patient enough. It requires you to make a consistent effort which sometimes can be frustrating.
You may deploy an affiliate network before starting your business if you focus on Affiliate Marketing. The
affiliate network will enable third-party checks and protect you against fraud. It will also make sure that
your affiliates are authentic.
Skilled Digital marketers who are blue ribbon personnel can make a quick buck as full-time or freelance
workers with their specialized skills. Digital marketing is awash with different marketing styles. If you
master the marketing styles within digital marketing, you will have a promising income potential. It also
requires a lot of patience, time, and hard work.
As a novice, digital marketing must be your go-to, as Affiliate marketing requires you to conceive a strategy,
handpick specific products for the target audience and generate hype for those with suitable digital channels.
It will require a little brain work. However, It hardly takes 1 to 3 months to learn the fundamentals of
Search Engine Optimization to jumpstart your digital marketing career.
By seeing the differences between these two strategies, one must dig that
concept-wise, no significant difference exists between these two methods. Its essence remains the same
to have quality traffic and ramp up sales. Both these marketing styles direct a visitor to a third-party site,
which records the visitor's primary information for lead generation, and the visitor purchases the product.
(Affiliate marketing sale).
The primary difference between these two strategies is that digital marketing employs a broad range of
and techniques for carpet bombing its products on various digital mediums. On the other hand, affiliate
marketing is pretty straightforward, where you draw more customers in to earn more profit.
It is important to note that these Digital and Affiliate marketing tactics set a rock-solid foundation for
your marketing campaign and determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
A surge in ROI and the efficacy of these strategies are critical for determining your organization’s long-term
growth and success. You can reap profits in the future by utilizing the arsenal of marketing techniques.
Technology will aid you in keeping a tab on your campaigns, partners, and other activities. You can leverage
high-quality marketing software to track performance statistics and generate the best ROI.