Advertising became difficult during the pandemic, so companies had to change their methods to continue promoting their products. Many turned to affiliate marketing, especially due to its success on YouTube and social media platforms. Now that we’ve mostly rebounded from the pandemic, this type of marketing is still thriving.
But what is affiliate marketing and why is it continuing to do so well? See the reasons advertisers are still investing.
What is affiliate marketing?
This type of marketing is when a company, retailer or brand has a product or service to sell… and they work with someone outside their company to do so (known as an affiliate or publisher). A brand might work with an individual to sell a clothing line, or a brand of bedsheets, or an app. To make the ads more authentic, it helps when an affiliate is somehow related or connected to the product/service. Maybe they’re a skincare expert who can seamlessly work content on a new moisturizer into their posts. Or maybe they genuinely use and love a product, so it makes sense to promote it to their audience and make commission.
Why has affiliate marketing become mainstream?
- It’s cost-effective for companies. Since inflation is still affecting many businesses, this is a great way to ensure your marketing is actually gaining attention. As affiliate marketing is primarily commission-based, advertisers only pay when they see the desired results.
- It works for the affiliates, too. Affiliate advertising is a largely individual effort, meaning the affiliate can work from wherever they need to on their own time. And since this marketing typically works off commission, after the initial investment of time, affiliates can make money without necessarily working throughout the entire promotion period.
- It reaches the right audience. This type of marketing helps companies be specific with whose attention they want to grab. Once a company has selected its desired audience, it can choose affiliates who fit well into that niche. Affiliate marketing has done a great job of targeting specific groups.
- It’s proven to work. Affiliate marketing is now a multibillion-dollar industry. In fact, affiliate marketing spend in the United States increased from $5.4 billion in 2017 to $8.2 billion in 2022. As affiliates work across multiple platforms to grab attention, companies are seeing more engagement with their products and online platforms. It also is shown to build retention among consumers. This tool is working so well it’s predicted advertisers will spend billions more in the coming years.
Challenges that hold affiliate marketing back
While affiliate marketing is still gaining momentum, there are some issues holding it back. This marketing is done based on success, meaning the affiliate earns money by gaining attention for the product. But it can be tricky to measure. Even with companies working to improve this issue, some have reservations on how well it can be tracked to demonstrate how well it will work. In addition, the industry remains a largely separate entity from other forms of advertising, which further creates a barrier for real and measurable success.
Affiliate marketing continues to grow with more and more advertisers recognizing the opportunities in this strategy. Despite its few setbacks, the industry is sure to boom and have our attention for years to come. Check back for more on affiliate marketing and follow along with the latest advertising trends on our Brogan blog.