Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? Ultimate Guide for Affiliates in 2021

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead

Is affiliate marketing dead?

Is affiliate marketing worth it?

Does affiliate marketing really make me money?


These are questions that are often asked not only by newcomers to the affiliate marketing world but also by some so-called experts when you search for related articles online.


As the global economy is in recession and the COVID-19 epidemic is spreading around the world, businesses of all kinds are struggling to survive. Under these circumstances, the affiliate marketing industry seems to be going downhill.


So, is the gossip really true? Is affiliate marketing dead or going to die?


My answer is resounding NO!


In this article, we are going to talk about the current status and future trends of affiliate marketing, as well as what companies can do to stay afloat and stand out in the affiliate marketing world.




Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? Let the Data Speak


You may not believe our empty words, so why not let the data speak for itself? We have gathered the latest data about affiliate marketing from authorities such as Statista.


  • Over 77% of affiliates have experienced an increase in revenue every year since 2016.
  • Affiliate marketing accounts for 30% of sales for advertisers.
  • Revenue from affiliate marketing programs grows by 10% annually since 2015.
  • It’s responsible for 16% of eCommerce in the U.S. and Canada.
  • 81% of all brands depend on this channel to generate sales.
  • Affiliate marketing spends in the U.S. has been steadily growing.


Affiliate Marketing Spend



As you can see from the statistics and the chart above, affiliate marketing has been steadily gaining steam and more and more businesses would like to invest in this profitable industry.


It is an indisputable fact that affiliate marketing is here to stay.




Why Do People Think Affiliate marketing is Dead or Dying?


While we’ve shown that affiliate marketing is far from dead, there are still many marketers holding the opposite view. There are some reasons why they are not optimistic about the future of affiliate marketing.


1. Increasing Competition

With so many success stories in the affiliate marketing industry, more and more people are attracted to this profitable field and are flooding into the market.


As the competition intensifies, strategies that worked in the past may no longer be as effective as they once were. This leads to higher requests to the marketing personnel.


Besides, the influx of unskilled and inexperienced affiliate marketers is disrupting the market and making this promising industry face huge challenges.



2. Search Engine Changes

Search engines are a critical and highly competitive marketplace in which companies and marketers are striving to gain a foothold.


However, the overall trend is clear: it is harder to rank high on search engine result pages only through search engine optimization. As more and more companies invest in paid advertising, the top spots are usually taken by paid players rather than SEO players, which means affiliates will have to spend more money to win this game.


In addition, the ever-changing algorithms can easily affect a site overnight.



3. Stricter Content Regulations

Gone are the days when affiliate marketing could be done directly with no or fewer regulations. Rules, regulations, and bans have become more prevalent in online marketing.


With the rapid growth of digital marketing, advertisers, affiliate networks, search engines as well as other content platforms have put strict regulations on affiliate content and tightened their ad policies.


Affiliates have to make their affiliate marketing content less aggressive and more clever to obey all the rules.

Affiliate Marketing Challenges


These issues above are actually the challenges facing affiliate marketing today. It is fair to say, affiliate marketing isn’t dead or dying, it’s just changing.


This doesn’t mean everyone will go up with the rising tide. Instead, affiliates have to take much more effort to benefit from this lucrative industry, otherwise, they are more likely to lose the rat race.




Affiliate Marketing Trends in 2021

To actively respond to these changes in affiliate marketing, it’s important to know some trends of affiliate marketing to enhance your strategy.


Affiliate Marketing Trends


  • Video as a content marketing medium gains prominence


A promotional video is the most effective way to show the brand and product characteristics, and also the most effective way to influence the purchase decision of customers. Compared to text or image affiliate marketing content, more and more brands are turning to YouTube or other video platforms to connect with their potential and existing customers via videos.



  • Influencers will play a more important role


Trust remains a key factor in the customer process. Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, resulting in a large number of influencers across different social media platforms. They play the role of KOL and offer their own unique opinions and preferences on everything, which often influence the decisions of their followers. Loyal fan base and huge influence make them the most popular partner of the brand.



  • Automation tools will drive the marketing efforts


The affiliate marketing world is full of new technologies and tools. A range of automation tools is designed to help different parties involved in affiliate marketing schemes to save time and improve efficiency. For example, performance marketing software such as Offerslook can be a good solution for affiliate/ad networks to track, analyze and optimize their affiliate programs in an easy and smart way.



  • Brands tend to consider mobile marketing more


People now spend far more time each day on their phones than on desktops, and almost everyone is addicted to their phones in such an info-driven world. In this case, businesses tend to focus on mobile marketing strategies and raise the bar for affiliate marketing content. Make sure your affiliate links and contents are mobile-friendly to keep up with this marketing trend.




Final Words: Adjust Your Strategies to Get the Upper Hand


All in all, affiliate marketing isn’t dead or dying – but it has certainly changed. This industry has experienced significant changes and now become more research-based, technical, and skill-focused. This makes it much harder for affiliates to stand firm in the multi-billion dollar industry.


It is both an opportunity and a challenge. For those affiliate marketers with the knowledge, skill, willpower and patience to compete in this highly competitive field, affiliate marketing will pay them off nicely. On the other hand, affiliates who haven’t adapted to the changes will only find themselves facing failure after failure.


Keep up with the trends of affiliate marketing as we list above and adjust your strategy. Or you can get more insight about this industry on our blog.


Also, if you are looking for performance marketing solutions or if you want to join some partner programs to get extra income, don’t hesitate to join Offerslook’s referral program and easily win up to $200 commissions.