Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing: Which is Better for Focused Strategies

Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

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Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing Strategies for Growth

How you market your business determines where you’ll be in 5 days, months, or years. So, I ask you- how are you marketing?

When trying to grow your business, it’s really important to understand how digital marketing and affiliate marketing strategies can affect your bottom line. Web Strategies Inc. recently reported that Digital marketing is pacing at an 11% compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2021.

If you checked out this post, you may remember learning about affiliate marketing. Or, you might remember reading this post on network marketing. Both are great tools in an effective digital marketing strategy.

But, today, we’re going to look at a different type of marketing: digital marketing. Throughout this post, we’ll be comparing digital marketing to affiliate marketing. That way, you can determine which will work best for you and your business.

If you’re striving to turn your online hobby to a full-time business, you need to know all of your marketing options.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you earn commission by using links to other people’s products.

Normally, companies have already created your sales pitch, but they need you to pitch it. One your audience makes a purchase, you receive a percentage of any sale made through your link(s).

To become an affiliate, you can apply to sites like ShareaSale, Awin, or Clickbank. Once you get accepted, you can then choose which programs you want to apply to. After a program accepts you, you’ll be able to create links to their products to use on your site. These links will track the sale to ensure you receive the appropriate commission.

One of the downfalls of affiliate marketing, though, is that you aren’t in control over the product, nor do you set commission. Now, if you don’t have your own product yet, this is a great way to monetize your site.

But, isn’t it always better if you can create your own products, sell them for the price you choose, and make nearly 100% commission?

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Read more about the best affiliate marketing program for beginners here.

What is Digital Marketing Strategy?

If you don’t want to be an affiliate, you need to create your own products. But, you can’t sell a product people don’t know about, right?

Also known as online marketing, digital marketing is done by marketing products through digital technology (the internet). 

Think of it like a spider’s web. You have digital marketing in the center. Then, you have different networks connected to digital marketing. Branching off of those networks, you have smaller products, companies, or online sites.

Everything in that web can benefit you and it’s all done digitally. Meaning, you promote, market, and sell your brand throughout the internet by using various outlets. That, in and of itself, is digital marketing.

Examples of Digital Marketing :

  • Social Media

Did you think social media is just to keep up with your friends? Start using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok to build your brand, promote your products, and sell them. Make that money!

  • Email Lists

We’ve all heard how important an email list is, right? That’s because email lists allow you to organize your audience by groups and promote your products to the right group. It becomes so much simpler to sell niche products when you are speaking to the audience that needs your solution.

  • Search Engine Optimization

The most efficient way to market is by organic search. Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your content get found organically when your audience directly searches for it. SEO is how Google decides if your content is worth showing up on the first page of search results.

  • Affiliate Marketing

Since we are comparing digital marketing vs affiliate marketing, I felt it necessary to note that affiliate marketing is a type of digital marketing. Since you are using links within your content to promote these affiliate products, you are using digital marketing.

How are Digital Marketing Strategies and Affiliate Marketing Strategies Alike?

Well, both digital marketing and affiliate marketing are excellent ways to market. 

Affiliate marketing, being an example of digital marketing, is a way to earn commission by sharing different products from established companies. Digital marketing is how you are actually sharing these products. Seemingly, they work hand in hand if you’re correctly using both.

Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing: Which is Better for Focused Strategies
Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

3 Ways Digital Marketing and Affiliate Marketing are Different

  1. Affiliate marketing only uses other people’s products. With digital marketing, you can promote your own products to sell. 
  1. With digital marketing, nearly everything online can help you build your brand, market your products, and skyrocket your business. When joining an affiliate program, you can only market in the certain ways that the particular program agrees to.
  1. Affiliate marketing is actually a type of digital marketing. As previously mentioned, when discussing digital marketing vs affiliate marketing, you have to understand that affiliate marketing falls under digital.

5 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is Important for Your Business

  • Have you heard of going paperless? Our entire world is going digital. Meaning, you won’t have many other options, other than digital marketing, in the future. 

If you learn digital marketing now, you’ll clearly be a step ahead when this world truly is paperless.

  • Social media has already proven to be bigger than anyone thought it could be. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so many others, everyone is getting their information from social media.

Along with their information, these apps show and promote the products your audience is buying. To ensure you get seen by them, you have to learn how to use digital marketing correctly.

  • You can create, share, and sell your own products through digital marketing. Not only do you get to make the exact product you want to sell, you also get to set your own price for it. You’ll be able to sell your own products through organic searches, social media, and email lists.
  • Micro-Influencers are finally getting more exposure. Which means, even if your business is just starting out, the digital world is actually here to help you.

Micro Inflencer Digital Marketing Strategies

It used to be that the internet only prioritized content from established “famous” people. (You know, like the ones with 500,000 followers overnight.)

But now, companies are realizing that the smaller accounts have higher engagement. By having a higher engagement rate, your likelihood to sell products to your audience is greater. This means that companies will choose a small account with higher engagement over a big account with no engagement (in many cases).

This works the same way for your own products. Being “micro” gives you an engagement boost. Since social media prioritizes users with high engagement, they kind of have your back. Use this to your advantage by creating your own products (that fill a need for your targeted audience) and promote them. 

  • Having to quarantine for a national pandemic has greatly enhanced the amount of online presence. There has never been a better time to start digital marketing.

How to Strategically Use Digital Marketing to Build Your Business in 3 Steps

  1. Work on your on-page and off-page SEO. When using digital marketing, you want your targeted audience to find the products you are marketing. The best way to have this happen is by organic search. But, the only way to rank highly on search engines is by learning and using search engine optimization (SEO).
  1. Find one social media platform you want to master. Since there are so many different apps, using social media can be intimidating. So, start with one. 

I recommend beginning with Pinterest or Facebook groups because they both have higher CTR (click through rates). But there are also plenty of courses on building your Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok pages. Pick which one you want to commit to, and master it.

  1. Be patient, consistent, and productive. Building a business does not happen overnight.

Google takes 6-9 months to merely begin letting your website rank. 

Social media always rewards consistency and high engagement, but it takes a bit to show.

I assure you, though, if you are patient and productive, digital marketing will pay off.


Comparing digital marketing vs affiliate marketing isn’t necessarily easy. I just wanted you to know that affiliate marketing isn’t the only way you can make money online.

Since you can use digital marketing as a way to do affiliate marketing, they aren’t entirely different. Really, you could say they depend on one another.

Therefore, if you learn how to use them together, effectively, they can both skyrocket your business.


Is affiliate marketing effective?

Yes, affiliate marketing can be very effective for your business. You can join different affiliate networks and apply to the programs of your choice. Then, if you market correctly, you can convert your audience to buy your affiliate products. You earn commission based on the amount of sales you make.

Is affiliate marketing the same as digital marketing?

No, they are not the same. Affiliate marketing is an example of digital marketing. Check out this post if you want to learn more about affiliate marketing.

Can I do both digital marketing and affiliate marketing?

Absolutely! After you join affiliate networks and get approved for different programs, you can market your affiliate products by using digital marketing. For example, you can use email lists, social media, or even your own website to promote affiliate products. (Make sure you read your affiliate rules before sharing your links!)

Related Articles

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

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Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing: Which is Better for Focused Strategies

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5 thoughts on “Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing: Which is Better for Focused Strategies”

  1. This article is not only informative but clearly outlines the difference between these two approach.

    I all so agree 100% that Pinterest is the best starting point for new digital marketers!

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