So we’ve proved online performance marketing is big, but what’s next?
The headlines attached by the IAB and PwC to the ground-breaking study into Online Performance Marketing say it all: 'The UK's "hidden" £814m online economy'.
The report has provided fantastic ammunition for everyone involved in affiliate marketing and lead generation, whether talking from the network perspective, publisher or even client side, to point to the enormous value that OPM delivers.
We can see where the 12% average growth per year over the last five years has come from and where the potential for future growth might be. Financial services accounts for 45% of total spend retail 20%, media and telecoms at around 10% and travel and leisure at 9%.
Most large brands in the UK are involved in affiliate marketing and the study also signalled continued rapid growth with an average increase in investment of 25% this year.
The ‘rise of mobile’ has been a hot topic in online for years; however, at the start of 2012 it’s beginning to feel like mobile marketing has finally arrived as a channel worth shouting about both in terms of viability and, more importantly for the bottom line, profitability.
More and more consumers are using smartphones and mobile devices to access content. A whopping 42% of the UK mobile users now operate on a smart phone and 51% have browsed the internet on their mobile devices in the past week.
While 65% of mobile owners routinely use their mobile devices to find businesses for in-store purchases (Source: Google, 2011) a significant 13% of UK consumers have actually made a purchase via a mobile, with a further 19% having used their mobile to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping.
This shift in consumer behaviour is having a dramatic impact on the affiliate sector, which has proved in the past to be a perfect testing ground for more innovative advertising models.
With advertisers increasingly investing in viable mobile commerce sites, publishers are utilising the platform as another avenue for increasing revenue.
With this in mind, what steps should advertisers and publishers be taking to increase affiliate traffic and drive revenue through a mobile platform?
It's important for advertisers to think about the long tail within their affiliate marketing strategy, and possibly even more so in 2012 as publisher models have changed dramatically.
What was once considered an industry of people 'setting up shop' on their kitchen table is now a multi-million pound market as we have seen the growth of affiliate corporations which are set to continue to dominate the market.
While is big money to be made by affiliates due to the rise of voucher code sites and cash back sites as well as the more traditional content-led sites, there is still an abundance of smaller affiliates with a niche audience that brands can tap into.
Here are some tips on making the most of these long tail sites...
Affiliate marketing is a staple line in any marketer’s budget and has been for years; but as budgets get tighter the sector is innovating and introducing more services to boost ROI and really prove its worth.
The good thing about the affiliate sector is that performance marketing is based on one principle, the conversion of traffic to leads or sales, meaning a marketer only pays for what is achieved, it’s a no-risk investment.
However, it does have its limitations. Previously all sales had to be tracked online to ensure the sale was attributed to the affiliate channel, but things are changing.
We purchase products in many ways and performance marketing has developed to reflect this. For example, a phone sale.