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The state of affiliate marketing, and what it means for marketers – exclusive article

by on August 15, 2018 in Business, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Social Media

The state of affiliate marketing, and what it means for marketers – exclusive article

As a business model, affiliate marketing has been around for some time now. It offers merchants an opportunity to defer aspects of product promotion once wholly dependent on how effective their display advertising campaigns were.

For the publishers or marketers signing up to their affiliate programs, it represents a way of tapping into potentially lucrative income streams.

How successfully these marketers can promote the best affiliate offers, and therefore generate a commission, is down to how enthusiastic they are willing to be. And the more effectively the products or services are promoted in this way, the better news it is for the merchant. It is clear to see why affiliate marketing has often been referred to as a ‘win-win scenario.’

 

Market expectations

Surveys conducted about how merchants and marketers alike view the state of affiliate marketing tend to reveal it is the latter who are in the slightly more precarious state in terms of changes in the industry. Overall, affiliate programs are still performing well, with marketers ranking affiliate marketing as being a more popular and reliable income source than display advertising, especially if the marketers are at the small trading end of the scale, as opposed to larger organizations.

For merchants, the business model is clearly still an attractive proposition. When asked how they rated the effectiveness of affiliate marketing to their overall strategies, almost three-quarters revealed complete satisfaction.

 

The potential for affiliate programs

For marketers, one of the biggest hurdles has always been ad blocking software, which can seriously impinge on their activities. The nature of affiliate marketing is to rely on a seamless transition between web content and click-throughs to purchase pages. When online content is interrupted, the chain breaks.

Since site visitors are rarely alighting on a marketer’s page purely to buy, but rather to engage with reviews or articles about the items, they may well be dissuaded from returning to a particular website if it is consistently proving to be problematic.

However, marketers appreciate that in order to make the most of their promotional tools, they need to be focussing on content rather than direct advertising. This retains a sense of positivity with regard to how this business model is going to pan out in future. In fact, upwards of 90% of merchants who are ever asked about how they view their activities moving forward, state their intention to keep or even increase their affiliate marketing activities.

 

Monitoring activities

Retail organizations sometimes complain about a particular bugbear associated with this form of promotion – they are not always fully informed of how or where their products are being promoted by marketers. This has led to the introduction of software to better enable the tracking of sales activities. There are better reporting options which feed back information from affiliate networks and marketers.

Traffic can now be analyzed according to various parameters, such as by regional variations, and the method of promotion, and so on. The knock-on effect of merchants having greater control over their brands is marketers need to be more astute when it comes to their promotional activities.

Marketers will still need to focus on ensuring their web content is succinct and informative in terms of reviewing products or services, and enticing site visitors to engage with what they have to say about these. But it is no bad thing if they are also aware of these activities, not only being crucial to their potential customers, but consistently under review by the merchants themselves. By satisfying both these components of their business model they can ensure their continued success.

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