Today, affiliate marketing is implemented across a wide range of social media. YouTubers often include affiliate links in video descriptions to highlight the products they mention or the clothes they’re wearing. Similarly, bloggers frequently place affiliate links within product reviews posted on their blog. The use of affiliate marketing strategies has become increasingly relevant as consumers demonstrate a preference for online shopping, and content creators look for new ways to generate revenue.
The growth and importance of affiliate marketing is becoming undeniable. By leveraging affiliates, marketers are able to reach untapped audiences with built-in trust. Here we’ve gathered the most relevant affiliate marketing statistics marketers must know.
A Forrester Consulting study examined U.S. affiliate marketing spend and predicted that total affiliate marketing spend will grow 10.1% each year until 2020. Total affiliate spend in 2017 is predicted to be $5.3B. By 2020, that spend may rise to $6.8B.
Affiliate marketing continues to increase in popularity among advertisers, in part due to its performance-based nature. Even more publishers than advertisers are using the marketing strategy to generate revenue. As of 2016, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage affiliate marketing.
According to Google Trends, between September 2016 and September 2017 search interest in the term “affiliate marketing” has risen by 30%. As online shopping becomes more popular and brick and mortar stores decline, affiliate marketing may become more useful than ever.
Publications have adjusted their online strategy to generate revenue through social media, such as Snapchat Discover, to compensate for falling print sales. Affiliate marketing in the form of product spotlights and reviews produces 20% of publishers’ annual revenue.
Affiliate marketing now drives the same amount of online orders as email marketing. Comparatively, paid search drives 20% of online orders and organic search accounts for 21% of online orders.
Jason Stone, better known on Instagram as Millionaire Mentor, generated $7 million in retailer sales between June 2016 and June 2017 through affiliate marketing alone. The creator has been clear in stating that he only participates in affiliate marketing campaigns that fit his audience’s interests. In his opinion, affiliate marketing is most successful when influencers promote products in line with their personal brand and particular niche.
A study analyzing 550 affiliate marketing programs found that 18.7% of affiliate campaigns promoted fashion products. Affiliate marketing for sports and outdoor products accounted for 14.6% of the 550 programs, and health/wellness and beauty accounted for 11.1%.
In March 2017, Amazon changed its affiliate marketing rates. Previously, creators could make anywhere between 4-8.5% of product revenue by generating a sale through affiliate marketing. Now creators can earn up to a 10% commission for promoting luxury items, and on the other end of the spectrum, a 1% commission for promoting video games.