Difference Between Digital and Affiliate Marketing (With Table)

Marketing is an essential practice in business that focusses study and management of exchange relationships. It is a practice dedicated to identifying, anticipating and satisfying the need of the customers, in a particular business.

The two categories of marketing popular currently can be Digital marketing and Affiliate marketing. Technically, Affiliate marketing is a part of the umbrella practices of Digital marketing. Since major businesses practices have gone digital, both affiliate and digital marketing trends have become immensely popular amongst both customers and marketers.

Digital vs Affiliate Marketing

The main difference between Digital and Affiliate marketing is that the digital marketing involves a wide range of techniques for advertising products on various digital platforms, while the affiliate marketing is a specific form of promotional service under digital marketing, where the more customers to draw the more profit you earn.

Digital marketing involves a wide range of practices that are adapted to successfully sell and advertise products on various digital platforms. Affiliate marketing is a specific form of digital marketing where the marketer gets paid on the bases of products sold by the promotions provided by him/her.


Comparison Table Between Digital and Affiliate Marketing (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison

Digital Marketing

Affiliate Marketing


It is a form of marketing that entails seeling and advertising product on a wide range of digital platforms using various techniques.

It is a specific form of marketing where products are promoted to earn a certain commission


Digital marketing is complex as several components are involved at various levels.

The three main components are- affiliate marketer, customer and product owner.


In digital marketing, you can be the owner of the product, and choose to market it at several mediums.

Affiliate marketing is usually about relationship building in order to sell products that arent’s yours but belong to the commission provider.


Digital marketing involves various techniques of marketing. It is a broad concept, that caters a wide range of platforms.

Affiliate marketing is a sub-component of digital marketing. It specifically deals with commission-based earnings.

Skills Required

To be a digital marketer, you need to know SEO, social media and analytics.

To be an affiliate marketer, you must inculcate good relationship building and convincing skills.


What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing leverages business channels provided by the internet to promote and advertise products and ideas. It is basically optimised internet marketing.

 Digital marketing entails using websites, search engines, emails and social media to connect with viable customers and advertise your product. In contemporary times digital marketing is essential for establishing brand awareness and identity.

 It is imperative for brands to have websites or at least some digital presence through social media pages to reach out to their customers. Digital marketing is characterised by using digital tactics to study and construct marketing strategies and further apply them online.

 It provides a spectrum of options that allow the disposal of ideas and campaigns on both paid and free channels of promotion. The different types and tools of digital marketing include;

  1. Search Engine Optimization- SEO or search engine optimization is done to organically increase the traffic on websites, blogs and infographics by improving rankings on search result pages. There are three types of Seo- on-page, off-page and technical SEO.
  2. Content Marketing– Th process of creating content specifically to boost brand awareness. Content marketing is done to build better relationships with the target audience to provide quality content through infographics, white books and brochures. Blogs are also effective as content marketing tools.
  3. Social Media Marketing- Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to drive traffic and improve digital presence is called social media marketing. Platforms like Hubspot enable marketers to plan content for multiple platforms and connect them.
  4. Pay-per-Click- A common method of promoting your digital content is via Google or Facebook ads. These are pay per click techniques where you can pay according to the engagement received through the advertiser.
  5. Affiliated Marketing- A form of commission-based advertisements that pay the marketer based on the product sold through their channel. Some common ways of affiliated marketing included youtube host ads and social media account promotions.
  6. Email Marketing- Companies and rands use emails to promote discounts ideas and brand content through emails. These emails also help in directing user traffic to websites and offline stores.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

It is a form of marketing in which affiliates earn profits, by engaging and promoting other peoples business products. Sales in affiliate marketing are tracked via affiliate links.

An affiliate marketer must know the right demographic he has access to and the product that would be useful for the said demographic.

Affiliate marketing is normally an assistive strategy to redirect customers to the broader channels of marketing or product sales.

The three important components of Affiliate marketing are;

  1. Customer- People who purchase products are knowingly or unknowingly influenced by affiliate marketing structures. A customer might come across a product through a blogger or an influencer. This way he becomes a part of this design. Customers usually do not have to pay extra if they buy products via affiliate marketing.
  2. Affiliate marketer- Such marketers are also known as publishers as they publish the product details on the platform where they have a monopoly or following. Affiliate marketers usually pick and choose products which are relevant to the demographic they have access to. Affiliate marketers use their personal brand identities to attach credibility and likability to the products in question.
  3. Product Owner- The product owner is the creator and the seller of the product. They might or might not directly get involved in the product marketing. They provide commissions to affiliated marketers for each product that is sold via affiliated links. Brands that choose to market through affiliations are normally small to huge brands.

The core principle behind affiliated marketing is the optimal utilisation of audience access and building profitable relationships. Such form of marketing is focussed and relatively cheap. The terms and conditions can vary and can be negotiated. Some brands pay per lead, per purchase or per click.

Main Differences Between Digital and Affiliate Marketing

  1. Digital Marketing encompasses the tool and techniques used to advertise and promote with the use of internet, while affiliate marketing is the use of relationships and associations to promote a product.
  2. The primary agenda of digital marketing is to increase traffic and digital brand awareness, which can be associated with profit-making whereas affiliated marketing is commission-based marketing where the marketer is paid in terms of the units promoted. 
  3. Digital marketing uses tools such as SEO, emails and social media marketing to achieve their goals, while in affiliated marketing the principle of audience reach of the marketer is used.
  4. Digital marketing is a broader concept while affiliated marketing is a part of digital marketing techniques.
  5. Digital marketing can be done by producers themselves, while affiliated marketers are always a third party in the design.



Marketing in the digital domain is an essential requirement for brands these days. Digital marketing designs offer holistic solutions to venture your brands into digital platforms, for both sales and brand awareness, whereas affiliated marketing is a highly focussed technique of digital marketing where marketers get a commission for promoted products.


  1. https://shop.tarjomeplus.com/UploadFileEn/TPLUS_EN_3080.pdf
  2. https://nuife.org/index.php/pnap/article/download/239/220