According to a survey of 500 publishers and 100 merchants by VigLink affiliate marketing is “carving out a piece of the digital advertising pie.” Publishers ranked affiliate marketing ahead of display advertising in revenue generation abilities.
Large publishers, (with over 100,000+ unique monthly views,) make the majority of their money with display advertising, though with Google AdSense is second, and affiliate marketing ranks third. However, 34% of publishers, (with fewer than 5,000 unique monthly views,) rank affiliate marketing as their number one way of generating revenue, says the report.
Managing expectations is important when new publishers are being introduced to affiliate marketing, especially for those who are used to earning sizeable revenue from their display efforts, says the report. One reason publishers’ expectations of affiliate revenue is not being met could be due, in part, to declining pageviews. Time spent online has shifted from publishers’ sites to social media.
However, of the publishers surveyed, 9% had generated more than $50,000 in 2016. Along with publishers’ increasing their revenue, merchants are reacting by increasing their budgets. 85% of merchants stated that their affiliate marketing budgets increased or stayed the same from 2015 to 2016. As of right now, 65% of merchants state that affiliate marketing accounts for 5%-20% of their revenue, most of which is incremental, says the report.
The report says that overall the survey disclosed mixed results from both publishers and merchants, but there are clear benefits to using affiliate marketing that drives continued publisher engagement and merchant budget allocation.
Concluding, the report says that, with the shifting online media and content landscape, including the proliferation of ad blockers and alternative media consumption platforms, expectations are a much heavier focus on user experience and transparency in the coming year.
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