Top 10 Statistics to Guide Your 2021 Affiliate Marketing Efforts

Guide to affiliate assets

Amid the ever-shifting sands of digital marketing, one thing’s for sure – affiliate marketing is alive and kicking. The sector has continued to grow in 2020 through a host of challenges brought on by the global pandemic. In many ways, and given its cost-effectiveness, it is tailor-made for industry upheavals.

All business owners would be wise to include an affiliate strategy in their 2021 portfolio. The potential rewards compared with time-invested are simply too great to ignore. Affiliate marketing is also a sure-fire way to raise brand awareness without the high costs of traditional advertising techniques.

The biggest challenge presented by this type of marketing is the amount of competition. Given the ease with which an organization can jump on the affiliate bandwagon, there’s a lot of us competing for a slice of the pie. But keeping on top of industry news, consumer preferences, and statistical trends can really help a brand stay one step ahead. Combine this with using ecommerce analytics tools to keep track of performance, and you’ll be able to see what’s working as you go. In an ever-changing landscape, flexibility is all-important.

Use these top 10 statistics to help guide your affiliate marketing efforts this year and you’ll be giving your brand the very best chance of success.

  1. 85% of internet shoppers rely on Google
  2. 72% of consumers prefer video
  3. Over half of affiliate traffic is mobile
  4. Voice search is a 50-50 gamble
  5. Nearly 40% of US affiliate publisher commissions stem from content
  6. Holiday season digital sales are worth more than $700 billion
  7. B2C makes up more than 80% of the affiliate market
  8. Cause marketing matters to consumers
  9. The affiliate marketing industry is forecast to be worth $8 billion in 2022
  10. The influencer industry is forecast to be worth $15 billion by 2022

Niche bloggers google search

1. 85% of internet shoppers rely on Google

As further examples below will demonstrate, keeping an eye on general internet trends should influence your affiliate strategy.

The modern web provides a mass of opportunities, like making it easy for consumers to shop around before making an informed purchase. The vast majority of online shoppers are searching on Google before committing to a sale, instead of visiting a particular brand’s website directly.

Affiliate marketing trends change, and these days marketers need to be SEO-savvy too. Websites need to be optimized for organic searches to appear in high positions on Google’s results page. Content needs to be optimized for a range of relevant keywords and also answer potential consumers’ questions.

The more answers a page can provide, the more likely a business to convert a site visit into a sale, as opposed to the consumer continuing their search elsewhere. The right e-commerce for enterprise system can also help organize a business to sell online. Combine this with price comparisons and in-depth reviews, and you’re giving yourself the best chance of earning that magical ‘click’ from a user.

2. 72% of consumers prefer video

When customers can choose to watch a video or read about a product, the great majority are clicking on the ‘play’ button. Video is royalty in the marketing world, and Cisco believes that online videos will make up more than 80% of internet traffic by 2022. There are no certainties in marketing, but barring the end of electricity, it’s likely that video will only continue to grow in popularity with each year. Make it a priority in your affiliate budget.

3. Over half of affiliate traffic is mobile

The smartphone revolution has naturally affected the entire marketing industry, with the affiliate sector no exception. It’s safe to say that whatever is trending on mobile will have a knock-on effect on affiliate traffic too. 77% of Americans now own a phone with an internet connection, and nearly 80% have made an online purchase using one. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile and swot up on specific mobile trends, such as e-commerce instant messaging, local search, and geofencing.

Communication

4. Voice search is a 50-50 gamble

Many marketers predicted voice search to soar in popularity over 2020. But any affiliates who invested heavily in voice-optimization for their sites are unlikely to have seen many benefits. Over half of US adults never used it in 2020 or used it sparingly. There’s no evidence to suggest 2021 will be any different, so look to invest elsewhere.

5. Nearly 40% of US affiliate publisher commissions stem from content

The phrase ‘content is king’ has been promoted by SEO-salespeople for nigh on a decade now, and it remains ever-relevant to Google’s search algorithm in 2021. As with video, trends in general digital marketing are also proving a success in the affiliate field.

These days, coupon-focused affiliate marketing is taking second place to links found within content. Such a medium provides marketers with a platform to sell their product thoroughly and for consumers to buy with trust and confidence. There’s still a market for quick-wins, but a comprehensive and well-written site is likely to earn more sales in the long-run. Providing consumers with great content is no different from a business empowering its salespeople with a scripts’ handbook.

6. Holiday season digital sales are worth more than $700 billion

Seasonality has always been big in the buying-and-selling game. But the opportunities for affiliate marketing are out of this world. Take the October to December period as an example. We have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday…and that’s before we mention Christmas, Boxing Day sales, and New Year’s celebrations.

As well as reserving a serious chunk of your marketing campaign for seasonal sales, look out for chances as they arise. As many affiliates discovered in 2020, even a global pandemic can provide opportunities. Consider using an ecommerce for enterprise system to help organize your seasonal strategy – no one’s head is big enough to store all the necessary information these days!

7. B2C makes up more than 80% of the affiliate market

Affiliate marketing has always been dominated by the B2C sector, and all the signs suggest it’s going to continue that way. However, when putting together your strategy, it’s worth considering the B2B territory.

For starters, there’s less competition around for those looking to promote, say, the best business apps for Android or an IVR solution. Compare these to marketing equivalent B2C products, and you’ll be operating within a much smaller world. Secondly, the rewards for selling to businesses can be more lucrative per sale. B2B affiliate marketing is unlikely to surpass the B2C industry any time soon, but there are definitely opportunities to be had within the sector.

Customer advocacy

8. Cause marketing matters to consumers

Brands who focus on who they are as a business, rather than just their products, will come out on top. And this is important for marketing efforts, including affiliate promotions.

72% of Americans say they feel it is more important than ever that the companies they buy from reflect their values

Consumers want to buy from a brand they like, one that fits with what they believe in and active in combating social issues. This could include initiatives taken by the company, like hiring more women of color or reducing their carbon footprint — but it should be meaningful and genuine. Cause marketing should be related to the company and its core value, or else it will come off as opportunistic.

9. The affiliate marketing industry is forecast to be worth $8 billion in 2022

Given that the industry was worth a ‘mere’ $4 billion in 2015 and has thrived during a global pandemic, it’s safe to say that affiliate marketing is very much here to stay. In fact, forecasts of $8 billion may prove to be something of a conservative estimate if the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and limited travel extends across 2021.

As many as 45% of shoppers purchased internationally through the internet last year. Generations who have previously preferred the physical high street have been forced to go online for everyday essentials due to enforced lockdowns and safety concerns. The world population became more internet-savvy than ever before in 2020. And the ease with which individuals can start affiliate businesses with very little expenditure means the industry is ripe for increased competition.

10. The influencer industry is forecast to be worth $15 billion by 2022

Worth $8 billion in 2019, the influencer industry looks set to almost double in the space of just three years. And affiliate marketers can’t afford to ignore this. Of course, influencer marketing is not the same beast as traditional affiliate marketing. But they share the same intentions of brand exposure and sales.

It’s estimated that over 3 billion people will be using social media networks in 2021. It’s also likely that another great new platform is getting ready to change everything again. Any boom that follows will spread down across the digital marketing industry as a whole. Watching influencer trends is a sure-fire way of remaining competitive in the affiliate sector.