Affiliate marketing is on the rise in the ad industry. The internet, the proverbial hotbed of clicks and content, is proving to be the perfect conduit for connecting companies and customers. This simple advertising strategy encompasses the digital ethos that pervades our culture, and it produces better results than almost any other approach. It seems uniquely tailored to our time, and many companies are catching on.
For instance, Business Insider reports that “15% of the digital media industry’s revenue now comes from affiliate marketing.” In conjunction, companies are increasingly looking to integrate affiliate marketing techniques into their broad advertising strategy. Affiliate marketing spending has increased in each of the past four years, and Google Trends reveals that searches for the term have increased by nearly 25% in the past several years.
According to some estimates, affiliate marketing strategies are, to some degree, employed by more than 80% of brands. Its intrigue is found in its accessibility.
Understanding Affiliate Marketing
The methodology is surprisingly simple. Companies place their ads on platforms where their customers are likely to spend time. When a customer clicks on an advertisement and buys a product, the publisher is paid a commission. This arrangement allows companies to capitalize on the audiences of digital communities, influencers, and popular platforms to further proliferate their brand. For publishers, affiliate marketing provides a critical revenue stream that allows them to produce content with autonomy and intentionality.
At first glance, affiliate marketing is a straightforward approach to advertising that benefits everyone involved.
In practice, it’s much more complicated. Currently, companies don’t connect directly with the publishers who place their advertisements. Instead, they operate through agencies that charge significant commissions – some are as high as 25% – for facilitating these rather straightforward relationships.
This arrangement is a boom for affiliate networks. They provide a simple service while attaining all of the valuable data from each platform, and they are paid handsomely for their efforts. It’s far from the most effective or efficient way to orchestrate an affiliate marketing campaign, and there is a better way.
The Future of Affiliate Marketing
When companies and publishers can communicate and collaborate directly with one another, everyone wins. Now, blockchain technology is making that relationship tenable. More specifically, new platforms can develop on top of its technology to produce fresh solutions for the advertising industry.
For example, Attrace is the first fully decentralized affiliate marketing platform that directly connects companies and publishers. Attrace has developed a custom blockchain to facilitate these interactions, and it returns all of the control, information, and financial incentive back to the two parties directly involved in the advertising venture.
Using the Attrace platform, companies can identify ad placements and can purchase those directly. As customers respond to the advertising by clicking, purchasing, or ignoring, the blockchain automatically distributes funds to the necessary parties.
Companies and publishers don’t have an obvious reason to trust or collaborate with one another. Fortunately, the blockchain functions like a digital escrow service that guarantees payment, monitors activity, and records data.
With Attrace, not only do publishers attain a more reliable income stream, but companies benefit from lower fees and higher data. Attrace limits commissions to 0.5% so that companies can maximize their return on investment. In addition, the blockchain’s audacious records provide companies with actionable data about the effectiveness of their campaign.
Ultimately, Attrace harnesses the power of the blockchain to encourage a direct relationship between companies and publishers that’s informed by data and driven by trust. As affiliate marketing continues to advance, companies can look to the blockchain to ensure that their advertising dollars are well-spent and that their core mission is being accomplished. Internet use is only increasing, so the companies that are best positioned to capitalize on that are those that are equipped with the best platforms and technology, and Attrace is striving to achieve both.