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With the right data, you can build some pretty powerful businesses

While shopping online is convenient for some, it can also take more time than you think to shift through several pages of a retailer’s site. And if you are the type who tries to find deals and compares products, you can literally shop down the the rabbit hole. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear a review of a product or discover a product through someone you you feel like you know.

Want to learn a DIY furniture hack using IKEA? What are the newest essential camping tools?Is Kayne’s line of clothing worth trying?
Instagram Meme accounts make a tonne of cash on affiliates!

You’ll likely find more than one vlogger or blogger who has you covered and is a self-made expert in reviewing the product of your interest.

This is an effective marketing strategy for brands and retailers that sits well with consumers.

If you’re on the fence about purchasing a product, you can Google it, and find someone online who has reviewed the product. Often you’ll get more information from this individual than the brand or retailer of the product. They’ll even do the heavy lifting, and test the durability and quality of a product. Ever heard of the $90 lipstick?

Here’s something like a “DIY” on how to vlog/blog with affiliate marketing:

  1. An advertiser (brand or retailer) has a product to sell and will give you, the publisher, a commission from each sale if the buyer is coming from your site.
  2. Many advertisers work with third party affiliate networks or have their own affiliate program that provide the unique link that tracks your affiliate code. As a publisher you can join these same networks to be connected to advertisers for free.
  3. Affiliate links can be placed directly in the content or in banner ads. If a buyer clicks on your unique link and buys the product you have recommended, you earn a percentage of what buyer purchased.
  4. The advertiser can track the links the buyer used to purchase the product back to the publisher’s site.
  5. Depending on the affiliate program, the advertiser can pay per sale, per click, or per lead.

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This type of affiliate marketing is a nice break from traditional ads (read: in your face) because it feels like you’re getting an “honest” opinion from a real person, and not from the Big Corporation.

What’s emerged is a steady stream of individuals who have reached a celebrity-like status and expanded their own personality-brand with their own line of products or brand partnerships. All thanks to affiliate links.

If it’s working, don’t break it!

So while the vlogger/blogger world of affiliate marketing is nothing new, what is notable is how brands are continuing to utilize innovative ways to create a brand presence on social media.

Instagram recently announced that it was working with brands to show shoppable tags on Instagram photos of brands.

The product [shoppable photos] was built off of the emergent behavior of celebrities tagging the products they’re [sic] seen with, which often come from their sponsors.

While there are no “affiliate links” (yet) for Instagram stars when they tag the brand on their own Instagram page, viewers will be able: (1) to discover a product from an individual’s Instagram page; (2) to be directed to the brand page; and (3) to purchase the product within the Instagram app.

Similarly, Pinterest has Buyable Pins which allows viewers to buy products directly from pins, which would save time for Pinterest users (aka Pinners) who are redirected to the website linked in the pin for more information on the product.

Behind the scenes, it’s the product data feeds that powers the engines to run affiliate marketing programs. Surprisingly, improvements on product data feeds has not as advanced as quickly as affiliate marketing.

With outdated or incomplete product data feeds, a sale could be tarnished if the link to the product is not up to date with the availability, image, description,and price, or simply has a bad URL.

And this hurts both the publisher and advertiser.

In particular for advertisers, Google and Amazon will flag retailers with inaccurate product feeds.

We live in a culture where we support instant consumption, yet product data feeds lags behind. The product data from retailers is often incomplete and outdated, and simply the data cannot keep up with the fast pace of shopping online. In all fairness, gathering the most current and complete data on a product is no easy feat.

How can we help?

At Semantics3, we’ve created a scalable method that crawls and scrapes data from all the top e-commerce sites, producing fresh structured data that is accessible at your fingertips via APIs.

A dashboard display of the Semantics3 API with Merchant-level feeds

All of this information can be fetched programmatically via our industry-leading product API with full product metadata, fresh pricing, and complete URLs to enable you to quickly generate content for your affiliate publication.

An amazing feature of our API is the standardized product feeds — all product data is collated, aggregated and normalized across the database. So you don’t have to deal with non-standard data formats across different retailer feeds.

Its a breath of fresh air — most of our clients used to burn money getting help on cleaning up feeds, consolidating them and making them useful for publication — no longer!

Clean API feeds
Like what you see?Email us at, schedule a call with us or start digging on your own at!
Semantics3 operates the world’s largest eCommerce product database. We’re a trusted and reliable provider of ready-to-use structured eCommerce product pricing and metadata, with coverage on all of the top 800 internet retailers.