Opportunities in affiliate marketing – extending beyond 2016

Competition in the business world has continued to be tougher in such a manner that, if you are not are not strategic enough especially when it comes to marketing, you are likely to go out of business. One of the most effective online marketing strategies today is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is not only beneficial to businesses but it is also beneficial to the publishers.  Maturation of Affiliate Marketing Creates Significant Opportunity to Drive Sales for Advertisers and Revenue to Publishers

A recent study commissioned by Rakuten Marketing projected that, by 2020, the affiliate marketing industry in the United States will have grown to $ 6.8 Billion. This is a clear indication that the maturation of affiliate marketing can create a huge opportunity not only to the publishers but to the advertisers as well.

The survey that was conducted by Forrester Consulting was to study the effectiveness and the perception of affiliate marketing Programs. In the findings, almost 90 percent of the marketers stated that affiliate marketing is important or very important in the overall marketing strategy, on the other hand, most of the publishers said that affiliate partnerships generated over 20 percent of their annual revenue. In the recent past, affiliate marketing was regarded as a basic tool for driving the prospective buyers to the purchase event but now, it is looked at as a powerful consumer discovery tool that leads to brand awareness and increased sales at attractive Return On Investment.

From the survey, the affiliate marketing industry has gradually matured into a very significant tool for increasing sales for marketers of both small and big companies. Affiliate marketing industry in the United States will go up by a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10.1% from the year 2015 to approximately $6.8 billion by the year 2020. In most cases, the opportunities that are provided by affiliate network to both the publishers and the marketers are what generate more sales hence creating a sense of quality assurance for both.

Key findings of the survey;

The publisher and marketer investment is high

More than 84 percent of the surveyed publishers and 80 percent of surveyed marketers ran an affiliate marketing program. Of the surveyed advertisers, over 80 percent of them spent more than 10 percent of their entire marketing budget in affiliate marketing.

A full funnel marketing strategy

The affiliate marketing program is used by the advertisers at all stages of the customer’s journey. 84 percent of the marketers targeted prospective customers during the awareness and discover stages, another 70 percent targeted the consumers during the purchase or conversion phase whereas 79 percent of the advertisers also used the affiliate program to create and ongoing customer relationships.

Measurement is improving

Marketers are increasingly getting to understand how the purchase decisions are made. 80 percent of the advertisers tracked mobile and desktop sales, 66 percent also tracked the catalog driven sales and another 57 percent of them tracked the sales from the brick & mortar stores.

Relationships are important

For the marketers, the network choice is essential to connect with the publishers. 83 percent of them use affiliate program dashboards for recruiting partners & 79 percent also attend the events that are hosted by the affiliate networks.

Over 50 percent of the publishers use the network provided platforms for managing their affiliate efforts.

Small value divided

Publishers market themselves depending on the quality and traffic of their site. On the other hand, the marketers focus on vertical expertise when selecting a publisher partner.

*The respondents were given the option of choosing all that apply to their case.*

According to Adam Weiss (the General Manager & Sr. vice president of Rakuten Affiliate Network), the affiliate marketing is a low-risk, high-value strategy that has been proven to generate sales and brand awareness for the advertisers while generating revenue for the publishers. Mr. Weiss stated that, when affiliate marketing is done right, it can create mutually authentic and beneficial relationships between both the publishers and brands as well as the publishers and their audience.

Below are a few reasons why you should consider affiliate marketing for your business

1. Cost effective marketing

In affiliate marketing, no payments are made to the publisher unless he/she refers a visitor to your site and the visitor ends up becoming your customer. Note that, the marketing costs are also fixed on the cost of the sale. You set the price of your product as well as the percentage that goes to the publisher and you only pay him/her when a visitor through his/her site makes a purchase.

2. Brand exposure/awareness

When it comes to marketing, exposure is very important and what a better way to increase your brand visibility than through affiliate marketing. Through this program, the publishers display your advert on their site and every time someone visits their site, they see the advert and may in turn click on it so as to make a purchase.

Through affiliate marketing, you can be sure that your service or product can be viewed by anyone from any part of the world. Your exposure will even increase when your advert stays present on the appropriate sites targeting audience that may be interested in your product or service.

3. Outsourced marketing team

Publishers have a lot of expertise in SEO marketing .With them advertising your product on their sites, the likelihood that your product will be seen among the top ranks on Google becomes high and this will definitely increase more traffic to your site and eventually generate more sales4. Tracking is easierThrough affiliate marketing, you can easily track your sales. You can even track the views on your site resulting from a customer having visited and affiliate webpage. This is very important because it allows you to know which affiliates are working and which ones are not. You will therefore get to know how to budget on your marketing more effectively by spending your money on the adverts that are giving you the best resultSome of the effective marketing tips for publishers include;· Create valuable contents: Give your visitors informative, relevant content that enables them to make better, informed decisions when making a purchase. With great content, you can be sure that your visitors will revisit your site and even refer their friend to your site and they will possibly make a purchase through your site.· Choose your niche carefully: This is very important especially for beginner publishers. It is very important to choose a niche that you have a lot of interest in. By so doing, you will definitely come up with very useful content and comprehensively promote in-demand services or products that are within your niche.· Get to know your legal obligation: As an online publisher, it is important to closely pay attention to the legal guidelines on how to conduct your online business. The regulations are not only essential in protecting the consumer against misleading ads but it is also a great way to win the trust & support of your audience’

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