How Are People Leveraging Affiliate Marketing in 2021?

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Okay, the question itself seems like it could spawn a million others. But still, let’s start with the one. The tortoise won the race after all, didn’t it? Or maybe we were just too gullible as kids… 

There’s no doubt that affiliate marketing has taken off and poised itself—in many ways—as the future of marketing. With the low-risk Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) payment model it operates from, it’s no wonder why so many brands are on board with it. I’ve gotta say though, it hasn’t only caught their eye.

In this social and economic climate where individuals are keener on the idea of earning a passive income instead of working a 9 to 5, it’s not surprising that they’ve started flocking to affiliate marketing. So, the why is clear, but let’s talk about the how now. Well, that rhymed and this is getting a little too Dr. Suess, so let’s just get right into the top ways that we’re seeing people use affiliate marketing in 2021.

1. Blogging

No matter their niche, bloggers often flock to affiliate marketing as a way to monetize their content and grow their personal brand. 

Whether they’re nature bloggers writing about camping gear or food bloggers showing off how they make mochi cookies with stand mixers, they share products or services that they know will interest their audiences. Actually, the more niche a business is, the more beneficial the relationship between the brand and this particular type of affiliate. 

The way that bloggers leverage affiliate marketing varies, but it can be as simple as adding affiliate links to their blog posts or newsletters. Regardless of how they go about it, one thing successful bloggers do is ensure that what they’re sharing is useful, relevant, and offers value to their audiences. They don’t go dropping affiliate links haphazardly, there’s usually some tact involved. As an example, let’s say that a food blogger drops a link to one of those stand mixers in a holiday cooking gift guide. Boom. Instant value. 

2. Social media channels 

An obvious one, but I would be remiss not to include it. If you use Instagram and have peeped the feeds of even semi-well-known content creators, you’ve probably seen affiliate links somewhere. Sometimes they’re looped into Instagram Stories and oftentimes they’re integrated into the creator’s bio. 

To say that social media has exploded with affiliate marketing opportunities would be a sizable understatement. The fact is, almost everyone is on social media and the potential reach for advertisers is impressive. Whether brands choose to advertise with macro or micro-influencers on social media, their products or services will be seen in one way or another. 

While social media influencers are constantly coming up with new ways to share affiliate links, the go-to’s are promotional posts and videos. Think makeup tutorials on Instagram Stories or photo posts with products and tags to the brand. If advertisers choose not to go through influencers, though, Facebook ads are always a tried and true method for getting your goods out there. 

3. Creating videos

What do elementary school kids and grown millennials have in common? Well, besides their mutual love of pop icons like Ariana Grande and Cardi B? A short attention span. 

While written content still shines bright—especially in affiliate marketing—video content reigns supreme. I think YouTube’s 2.3 billion active monthly users can speak to that. And it’s not just YouTube, either. Social media channels like Instagram and TikTok are ideal for sharing short and sweet video content. 

So, what’s the big deal about videos anyway? Well, aside from catering to the short attention spans I think we can all attest to having, they’re easy to consume. A lot of video content created for affiliate marketing is short and aims to show people how to use products and what their benefits are. In some cases, the videos can even serve as interactive product reviews. 

Similar to bloggers, video creators often drop affiliate links under their videos on YouTube or TikTok and add them to their bios on Instagram. Sometimes they’ll even stay engaged with their communities in the comments section or through direct messages. No matter which approach they take, rest assured that these video creators are great partners when it comes to illustrating the benefits of your products or services. 


We’ve covered some of the most common uses for affiliate marketing in 2021, but believe me, the opportunities are endless. Between email lists, influencer marketing, blogging, and microsites, you’ve got a lot of options to think about when it comes to figuring out how to advertise your products. 

It may even be a little overwhelming knowing where to start, but you’ve got this in the bag. If you’re ever unsure, though, remember that Purply can help. With our Fresh Faces feature we can assist you with affiliate recruitment and serve you daily customized suggestions for new affiliate partners.

It’s just something to think about, but for now, I hope that this post helps! 

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