With a heading like that you’d expect this blog article to be on the side of affiliate marketing and talk up what it can do, but it’s going to go one step further – it’s going to declare that affiliate marketing is also the most risk-averse and ROI-friendly marketing venture a business can undertake.
Quite the claim, isn’t it? But it’s true. Affiliate marketing has rapidly grown in recent years, looking incredibly healthy today with a value of $4.2 billion – a figure that’s expected to grow to $6.8 billion by 2020. Its success and popularity also mean it accounts for as much as 10% of the marketing budgets of 80% of US businesses, according to a recent report from US business analysis experts Forrester Consulting.
And when it comes to the UK, a study conducted across 2015 by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) claims that £1.3 billion was spent on marketing via affiliates by around 4,500 businesses across 12,500 separate sites. That’s a 9.3% increase on the previous year. Oh, and the strength of the ROI? According to IAB/ PwC’s research, return on investment last year stood at £13 for every £1 spent in the UK. To say that these are real figures is, to put it mildly, indeed.
Moreover, when we’re talking affiliate marketing’s ROI, there’s a hugely significant thing to point out here – and arguably the reason why the revenues generated via this marketing stream are so consistently buoyant and possibly the biggest of all affiliate marketing advantages. That is, business isn’t usually required to pay an affiliate anything until after a sale is made through the advertising on an affiliate’s site.
Yes, this is where the risk-averse bit comes in – affiliate marketing is entirely commission-based, eliminating that large, fat slab of financial risk that companies are rightly and notoriously wary of when it comes to traditional marketing methods. Put simply, if an affiliate doesn’t help to shift units of your product(s) or help sell your services, you’re under no obligation to pay them – and yet, in spite of that, your brand is promoted for free on your affiliate’s site. How’s that for a good deal?
Which leads us on to our final point. With affiliate marketing, it’s far from just about the direct bottom line; it’s truly proving to be a significant contributor to boosting business’s brand awareness. The IAB/ PwC study suggests that affiliate marketing led to around 4.7 billion clicks on links in 2015, which – it’s fair to deduce – means a staggeringly high number of companies benefitted from the exposure this afforded them. Now, you can’t say fairer than that, can you?