Kevin Edwards, Global Client Strategy Director of AWIN, put it this way: “Data will continue to underpin the channel’s success. When one of the world’s most important marketers bemoans the state of digital marketing as opaque and lacking transparency, it sends a clear signal about the opportunity for affiliate marketing. P&G’s chief marketing officer made that statement earlier in 2017 and it should be a lightbulb moment for us about positioning the channel as the foremost, results-driven opportunity available to digital marketers. This can only be achieved if we get better at sharing significantly more data to facilitate a more three-dimensional and qualitative view of affiliate marketing beyond last click. Lifetime value holds the key to building a more rounded view of the power of affiliates to deliver quality customers.”
ClickBank aims to serve as a connection between digital content creators (also known as vendors) and affiliate marketers, who then promote them to consumers. ClickBank's technology aids in payments, tax calculations and a variety of customer service tasks. Through its affiliate network, ClickBank also assists in building visibility and revenue-generating opportunities for time-strapped entrepreneurs.
In the past, many affiliate marketers focused on a catch-all approach, offering traffic up to hundreds or thousands of sites, even if they had little authority or traffic to give. But in 2018, advertisers will laser their focus into smaller groups of highly credible, targeted, and popular influencers. To map your strategy, focus on a few key influencers in your industry. Start with them, then nail your niche before expanding outward.
The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don't have enough content about a topic, you're not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it's unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you.
As of 2014, ClickBank has more than six-million clients and distributes in 190 countries and has carved out a niche in being an easy-to-use platform for entrepreneurs and businesses, enabling powerful online and mobile commerce across a wide variety of lifestyle categories. In August 2014, ClickBank handled approximately 30,000 transactions daily.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is a set of regulations governing the use of personal data across the EU. This is forcing some affiliates to obtain user data through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even if they are not located in the European Union. This new regulation should also remind you to follow FTC guidelines and clearly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your recommendations.
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks. Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.