Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? Here’s The Truth You Need to Know
Are you one of those aspiring affiliates wondering “Is Affiliate marketing dead?”. Give this blog a read to find out all about affiliate marketing and its current status in the marketing domain.
Affiliate Marketing began in 1989 and has been steadily gaining steam ever since. Today, it is a widespread revenue-sharing trend that has opened up various channels through blogs, forums, social media websites, and big associate programs like Amazon Associate.
But while many people have found success with affiliate programs over the years, things have changed significantly, and many marketers find themselves wondering if this marketing technique is dead.
Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry that is estimated to reach $12 billion in 2022. A recent study by VigLink also shows that over 77% of affiliates experienced an increase in revenue every year since 2016.
These eye-opening statistics show that the conjecture around “Is affiliate marketing dead?” is mere speculation, and affiliate marketing is, in reality, far from dead.
In this article, we are going to take a look at how the trends for this type of marketing have changed over the years. We’ll also look at how successful affiliate marketers are doing it, as well as how you, too, can capitalize on it.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business pays a commission to a third-party website for the traffic or sales earned through its referrals.
It may intersect with other internet marketing tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), email marketing, content marketing, and display advertising.
It dates back to the 1990s, but it is the emergence of the internet and analytics that has led to its expansion, and trends suggest that affiliate marketing is here to stay and will continue to expand in the coming years.
Affiliate Marketing Trends (And How They Have Evolved Over Time)
Affiliate marketing has been steadily growing since its inception over three decades ago. In recent years, as the world began to shift toward a digital era, this technique became even more popular. When looking at the trends, it’s easy to see that affiliate marketing is not dying any time soon. And to keep up with the changing trends, it is highly recommended that you learn affiliate marketing to leverage the benefits.
1. Affiliate marketing spending has an annual growth rate of 10%.
2. Over 80% of brands have affiliate programs, and 94% of publishers use several affiliate marketing networks.
3. Affiliate marketing statistics reveal a 0.5% to 1% conversion rate.
4. 40% of online marketers consider affiliate marketing a crucial skill.
Is affiliate marketing dead? – NO! But it certainly has changed!
What worked five years ago may not work today. That’s why many marketers who haven’t adapted to a better way of doing things find themselves faced with consistent failures.
Here Are 3 Ways in Which Affiliate Marketing Has Changed:
1. Increasing Competition
The idea of working from home is extremely appealing, and there are more people going into affiliate marketing than ever before. Businesses are also realizing how lucrative this form of marketing is for their bottom line. With an increase in competition, and so many people all doing the same thing, tactics that used to work may not be as effective anymore.
With more people jumping on the affiliate marketing bandwagon, big companies are becoming more selective about who they accept into their affiliate programs. They are vetting people more and putting stricter requirements like having a successful blog, website, email list, and so on.
3. Quality Over Quantity
In the early 2000s, most of affiliate marketing programs focused on the size of the campaigns. At that time, the goal was to quickly attract affiliates as the size of the program was the most crucial subject during corporate meetings. However, as affiliate marketing has evolved with changing trends throughout the years, quality now takes priority over quantity.
Today’s consumers are bombarded with advertisements and communications. But to gain the attention and confidence of consumers, your content must stand out from the crowd.
Changes to Amazon’s Affiliate Program
Amazon is the world’s leading online marketplace and eCommerce platform. This massive retailer boasts an affiliate program (Amazon Associates) with a 47.09% market share.
The associate’s program recently underwent some changes that negatively impacted a lot of marketers.
From April 21st, 2020, Amazon slashed affiliate commissions in a variety of categories, which left many people wondering whether affiliate marketing is still worth it. The reduction in commissions was upsetting for a lot of businesses and turned out to be nothing short of catastrophic for many others.
However, as with everything else in life, there are always opportunities hidden in even the toughest hardships. And this is no different if you move to learn affiliate marketing, the truth is that even with all of this going on, countless marketers are making it in the world of affiliate marketing.
In fact, there are a lot of affiliate marketers who have proved their mettle again and again!
If you want to join their ranks, I’ve listed some of the steps you need to follow to become a successful affiliate marketer in 2020.
How to Become Successful in Affiliate Marketing
In this section, we’ll look at a step-by-step process to help you take advantage of the opportunities that are currently available to you:
Step #1: Choose a Platform to Promote Your Products.
You can either start a blog , or a youtube channel. Alternatively, you can create a Facebook or Instagram page. Basically, any platform where you can start building an audience will be apt. Grow your audience by playing to your strengths. For example, you can use a YouTube QR code generator to bring offline traffic to your channel.
This video is a prime example of how you can leverage YouTube to promote affiliate links. While it’s a little difficult to use affiliate links from there because they’re not on the video itself, but you can check out the video description for a list of affiliate links.
Step #2: Brainstorm Some Ideas for Your Niche.
What is your platform going to be about? For instance, you could start a sports blog and review different sports equipment, or you could create a youtube channel and focus on wedding photography.
Choose a niche that you are knowledgeable or passionate about. It can be anything including a subject that you want to learn more about. Furthermore, whatever niche you choose should also be one that has high-demand, with lots of people to provide value or solutions to.
For example, this blog post discusses different kitchen wine bar ideas and many of the items in the post are affiliate links. The niche is focused on everything related to homes, and wine bar ideas come under that area.
Step #3: Find Products to Promote.
Now that you have your niche, it’s time to decide on which products you’ll be promoting. It’s best to promote products that you have personally used or you’re familiar with.
After all, trust is one of the major factors in determining your success as an affiliate marketer. So, you need to be sure about your product’s benefits and its value to your audience.
Pat Flynn, from Smart Passive Income, is a champion of this method of affiliate marketing. Throughout his website, you’ll be able to see that he only recommends software and products that he personally uses or has used.
Step #4: Market Your Products and Start Earning Commissions.
The fourth step is to start promoting your products. There are several different ways to do this, including:
1. Social media marketing
2. Search engine optimization
4. Emails and newsletters
5. Helpful YouTube videos
6. Ad banners and links on your site
7. Offer promos, coupons, and loyalty rewards
However, content creation for search engines is one of the best and most effective ways of promoting products. It also allows you to provide your audience with immense value.
You can create a lot of helpful content, including product reviews, review roundups, comparisons, tutorials, and so on. Furthermore, you can also share your own personal experiences with any of the products you’re promoting in order to build trust.
For instance, Outgrow is a fantastic platform that allows you to effortlessly create different types of highly engaging, colorful, and interactive content like interactive quizzes, assessments, surveys, calculators, etc. The key to marketing your affiliate products is to create content on various platforms and convince your audience to click to purchase the items you’re discussing.
Step #5: Optimize Your Affiliate Offers
The final step is once you’ve already seen some success as an affiliate.
Oftentimes, amateur affiliate marketers will make a few bucks, get excited, and leave an article as it is in hopes that it’ll continue to bring in revenue on autopilot.
But that’s not the best way to go.
Good affiliate marketers find something that works, and then optimize the page using testing software to increase their conversions even further.
For example, a website may create a piece of content about a particular product. They notice that 10% of the people who visit that page convert into a paying customer. This is great! But what if that same brand used A/B testing tools to increase that conversion to 20% on the exact same page?
Now, with a little extra effort, they are essentially doubling their income from the page by optimizing what they’ve already written.
This is how great affiliate marketers work. They don’t stop with a few commissions, they find ways to increase their conversions (and revenue) by optimizing content to be their best versions.
This page has a ton of examples about how you can use A/B or multivariate testing to increase conversions. While we don’t think any of them are specifically related to affiliate marketing, all of them surely give some great insights into the best practices companies use.
Is affiliate marketing dead? – No, it’s simply changing, and that is great news.
Sure, Coronavirus, Amazon commission changes, and Google algorithms have affected the affiliated marketing universe, but it’s still worth pursuing for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to build a trusted brand and provide value to their audience.
We hope that we’ve been able to provide you with enough information to help you set off on this exciting journey! If you’re looking to start your journey as an affiliate marketer right away, check out Outgrow’s affiliate marketing program. What’re you waiting for? Sign up quickly!
About The Author
Ron Stefanski is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online businesses. You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com
You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.
Antara Agarwal is a full time marketing consultant at Outgrow. She can be found packing her bags for her next trip, often to the mountains. And in one of those bags you will always find a half finished book she’s been struggling with for months.