Affiliate Marketing in Kenya: A Simple Guide on how it Works

One of the best ways to make money online in Kenya is through affiliate marketing. The potential this money cow has is beyond lucrative yet it seems not many people have exploited the opportunities it offers.

Arguably, the limited number of extensive and generous affiliate programs in Kenya might be the reason behind this fact, but several people have bitten the odds and devised ways to make millions through creative online marketing strategies.

But before we could go any farther, let’s have a clear understanding of what affiliate marketing is and how it works.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is the process in which an affiliate promotes another company’s products or services and earns a commission in return whenever sales are made through their links.

The affiliate simply joins the affiliate program offered by the business, searches for products they find useful to their audience and promotes them on their platforms.

Whenever a customer directed from the affiliate’s platform makes a purchase, the business pays a certain amount to the affiliate.

This definition feels like a disservice to a complete armature in the internet world so let me break down one by one the technical terms I have highlighted above.

Who is an Affiliate?

An affiliate is a person who is affiliated with a business in the sense that he/she is helping the business to promote their products and services. Affiliates use their social platform or website with a good fan base to advertise or market these products and services.

Out of the entire audience, a small but considerable percentage will be interested and follow up to inquire and make a purchase. This means the business benefits from the new flow of customers who convert into profits.

What is a commission?

Affiliate marketing commission example
How commissions are calculated

A commission is a variable or changeable pay given for services offered. It’s that simple and it applies in or lives so often. For instance, if you’re going to town to do some shopping and your roommate requests you to buy some fries and sausages for lunch, you could charge them a commission of one sausage for the service you’re about to offer.

Similarly, that small pay you get as an affiliate for offering the service of marketing a business’s products is what we call a commission. A commission can come in three forms: a fixed amount for every lead, for instance, Ksh 100 for every sale, a percentage of the cost of the product or a percentage of the charges the business puts on its customers for services.

What is a platform?

I’ve skipped links for a reason, so flow with me. A platform is a channel through which an affiliate reaches his/her audience. Courtesy of man’s greatest invention; the internet, the world is a global village.

We are connected through platforms on the internet that enable easy interactions between people. These platforms are majorly composed of social media sites and publishing websites also referred to as blogs.

Besides being great channels of communication, they also act as tools for marketing. An affiliate marketer with a large audience for instance on Instagram or a popular blogger can promote a product on their channels and drive a large number of customers to a business.

Top platforms used by affiliate marketers include; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, WordPress Blogs and YouTube.

What are affiliate links?

Affiliate links are web addresses which direct a user to a specific page on a business’s website that contains a description of the product or service being offered. An affiliate link is powered by something referred to as a cookie which enables tracking of clicks and purchases made thereafter to determine the commission to be paid to the affiliate.

affiliate program link
Sample affiliate program link

To be more comprehensive, a cookie is a small data packet which a websites store on computer or smartphone browser so that whenever you return to the same URL/web address the computer sends back information to the server which detects your activity. This technology, therefore, enables the affiliate program within the website to confirm that indeed the customer was directed from the affiliate.

Cookies have a period in which they are viable; we call it cookie life or cookie length. A cookie’s life is the period the cookie will track your activity and thus only purchases made within this period will earn a commission for an affiliate. Most affiliate programs have cookie lengths between 24 hours and 30 days.

How affiliate marketing works

Now that we have everything into perspective, let me describe a typical process of affiliate marketing in Kenya.

A Kenyan tech blogger like Antony Amos from TechPiton.com publishes an article about the best fridges in Kenya. Besides the wonderful advice he gives in the article, he has listed several fridges available on Jumia Mall and affiliate links to each fridge’s product description page.

If you’re searching for a nice fridge and stumble upon this article, read through, choose one fridge, click the link to check price on Jumia, then go ahead and purchase it within 30 days, Amos earns a commission of 7% of the cost of the fridge.

Amos is your affiliate, 7% is his commission for using his platform (blog) to share an affiliate link that direct you to Jumia’s website (the business) to purchase the fridge(product) within 30 days (cookie life). I hope you now get it!

Types of affiliate marketing systems.

I would classify the forms of affiliate marketing systems based on the platforms or channels used which mainly constitute of blogs and social media platforms. A blog is simply a website designed for reading. This website (kampusville.com) is a blog. Learn how to build a blog for free.

Meanwhile, a social media platform is the profile and wall you create on social websites such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and the rest. With a great following in any of these social websites, you have the potential to influence purchase habits which is why this is the most effective affiliate marketing system in Kenya and the reason why many would sell a kidney to get to a million followers.

Top Social Media Platforms for affiliate marketing
Top Social Media Platforms for affiliate marketing

Now, what’s the difference between the two?

Affiliate marketing through blogging.

This type of marketing is the most popular in the industry around the globe. As explained before, it typically involves a blogger adding affiliate links on his/her website which should have a good readership. Once they publish the content, they start earning money passively whenever a reader turns into a customer.

The great thing about this kind of affiliate marketing is the passiveness. Once you publish your article, there’s nothing else you need to do as long as you have a good flow of daily readers. You could sleep and wake up Ksh 10,000 richer.

However, this system has its cons. First, you have no control of the commission. Companies will dictate their commission rates which are subject to changes and you’re left to accept them or not. For instance, Amazon slashed their commissions earlier this year and devastated affiliate marketers around the world.  Secondly, unless you have a lot of monthly readers on your blog, it would take a while to accumulate enough earnings.

Affiliate marketing through social media.

When it comes to affiliate marketing using social media, you have the opportunity to negotiate what your commission will be and the more followers you have the better. Also, you don’t only rely on affiliate links to promote products and services, you can simply ask for full payment upfront to advertise products.

Azz_iad and Xtian Dela
Influencers Azz_iad and Xtian Dela

For instance, Xtian Dela a popular influencer and founder of Toboa, a confessions app, charges between Ksh 1000 and 2000 per Instagram status per day for businesses to advertise to the over 500K followers. With at least 20 statuses daily, this guy could make a cool 30K per day.

Azz_iad, an internet sensation who rose to the top mid this year is charging at least Ksh 50,000 for a single post on any of her social media platform. This is just crazy and it explains why Kenyans would do anything to earn followers.

Looking at these two cases, I can help but feel that it becomes more of internet marketing than affiliate marketing because it’s no longer about getting a small percentage if a purchase but being paid for advertising, Yet still there is a bit of correlation.

Affiliate marketing on social media has one major con; you have to keep posting frequently to continue earning from affiliate products. Social media platforms are designed to promote recent content only. So what you post yesterday will expire by midnight and today you’ll have to post again. This explains why it naturally transforms into internet marketing.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is an effective way to make a living online and one of the most lucrative online jobs in Kenya. This article has only touched the cream of the milk; there’s so much to talk about affiliate marketing I wouldn’t cover in one article.

The best way to capitalize on this industry is to study the many forms and affiliate programs available, select one or two and focus on them fully. This way, you’ll discover the opportunities they offer and find creative ways to earn a living. Once you have mastered one, you can expand your portfolio and increase your income streams.

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