Is affiliate marketing dead? The short answer to the question is ‘No’. Affiliate marketing is still alive and the only reason people call it ‘dead’ because they aren’t seeing the way things are changing. Every marketing strategy needs changes. Marketing today is not what it was two decades ago. When Amazon launched affiliate marketing campaign, the things started to change for better. We don’t see the same techniques today, but the changes don’t necessarily mean that something is dead or people have started ignoring it. Businesses have started focusing on new platforms, new marketing methods, but what hasn’t changed is – businesses still sell, and they still need people to buy their products and services.
In any company, people get knocked down. In any business, strategies require significant changes over time. The need is, you have to pick the right ideas up again and innovate as much as you can. No matter if you are a seller, a publisher or someone who still dreams about setting up a business based on affiliate marketing, you have to learn and you have to build something that lasts longer than your small, one year or two-year plans. Do it and you won’t have to worry about where the industry is going, because as long as your offerings are relevant, and as long as you are bringing value to the end user, affiliate marketing can help you succeed.
Remember, you can’t just sit and rely on old tactics. Do things differently. Keep an eye on what successful companies and your competitors are doing. Check how they are innovating with the industry trends. Don’t imitate, but learn to innovate.
So, if you think that affiliate marketing is not dead, here are five signs that prove you’re absolutely right.
Rise of influencers
Consumers know the old marketing strategies very well and they are no longer interested in traditional tactics. People tend to trust influencers and consider them a credible source of information. Consumers put their trust in YouTube stars, popular social media accounts, and public speakers etc. Organizations around the world appreciate the continued rise of such people as working with them is like having your own brand ambassadors.
A couple of months ago, Amazon started influencer program which is a form of affiliate marketing. You’re wrong if you say that companies no more trust their affiliate marketing teams and deploying new programs to reach customers. It is the same thing, only their tactics are different, and the platform is different.
Arrival of the most wanted platforms
There was a time when affiliate marketing was limited to website owners and bloggers who used to publish content with affiliate links. In today’s digitally connected environment, marketers have got many ways to sell their products. Every week there’s a new platform coming for businesses. With more exposure to businesses and more customer-centric campaigns, organizations around the world are focusing more on affiliate marketing through different channels. Finding brand advocates is not as difficult as it was two decades ago. Big players such as publication houses, media companies, and personal brand developers are embracing the power of the affiliate marketing concept. It is not dying, it is growing with the arrival of new platforms.
The numbers say so
If you are still asking ‘why affiliate marketing is not dead?’ The answer can be seen in the figures and facts below.
- In India alone, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to reach US$835 million by 2025, a report by Tata Strategic Management Group suggests. In 2016, the industry’s share in the Indian market was US$96 million.
- More than 80% brands worldwide use affiliate marketing.
- In the US alone, spending on affiliate marketing is expected to reach $5.3 billion in 2017.
- Google Trends shows that the interest in affiliate marketing (according to search queries) has gone up by 30% in a year.
- The digital media industry’s 15% revenue comes from affiliate marketing.
Mainstream media publishers are using affiliate marketing to balance their revenue needs and editorial standards. By embedding product links, publishers are generating big revenue with affiliate marketing.
Companies won’t let it die
Even if affiliate marketing struggles in some areas, companies around the world will not let it die. There’s a huge investment in sales drivers, and affiliate marketing is one of the strongest among them. E-commerce and other industries agree with the fact that affiliate marketing generates 16% of their online orders. If that 16% looks small, you should know the fact that paid search accounts for 20 percent and organic search drives 21% of online orders.
Missing that 16% is not at all a smart choice for any company who is selling products, and at the same time, publishers will also not let the affiliate marketing die because, for a majority of them, affiliate marketing is the second major source of revenue after ads. The growth in the number of sellers, publishers and consumers will make it stronger and better. Many companies rely on affiliate marketing to keep their business operational.
Only those who don’t choose the right platforms, right products, and right communication channels will struggle to sell and earn through affiliate marketing. Building an affiliate marketing based business from scratch sounds like mission impossible. But there’s a solution. Choose your communication channels and platforms wisely and deliver value as much as possible. If you’re a publisher, there are many opportunities to make money through affiliate marketing and all of them still exist and even in a better form.
If you still believe that being an affiliate marketer your job will be to sell those controversial products such as weight loss pills, skin-whitening creams etc. you must think again. The mainstream businesses are now allowing people to sell their products on a commission basis. As a seller, you can now sell almost anything through affiliate marketing.
There are plenty of channels available to promote and sell products. Similarly, for publishers, there are plenty of niche-specific products and services available to promote and generate revenue. Doing so will not only give you exposure, it will also help you create a new income stream.
Photo Credits To: Geralt