Contrary to a popular belief that couponing is the most effective affiliate marketing strategy, I believe otherwise (even though we are still in a recession). Judging by what I am seeing in the affiliate programs that we manage, content creation is actually significantly more effective (creates a different kind of engagement, and really adds value), has less competition, and yields impressive results.
Last month the Online Publishers Association (OPA) published a study on improving the effectiveness of online ads where they have compared the performance of content websites to portals (e.g. AOL, MSN, Yahoo) and ad networks (“aggregators and sellers of non-premium ad inventory, typically across small to medium size third-party sites”)
Some of the finding of this study were:
- Ads on content sites raise Awareness, Message Association, Brand Favorability and Purchase Intent more than portals and networks
- Video ads are most effective (“have greatest impact”) on content sites
- The most popular ad sizes are: 728×90 px leaderboard (26%), 300×250 px medium rectangle (25%), custom dimensions ad (17%), and 160×600 wide skyscraper (15%)
Full 40 page report may be downloaded in PDF here.
Additionally, last week MediaPost published some interesting data from a newer OPA study which shows “that people in 2009 on average spent 42% of their time online on content sites compared to 34% in 2003”. Between content and community sites users are currently spending a total of 55% of their online time:
The “dramatic shift” has occurred, and some affiliates are already actively monetizing on it. Are you? There must be something you’re passionate about. Build your affiliate marketing strategy (with a content and/or community website) around this topic. I expect things only to improve in favor of content websites.