Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates.
If your best friend, who has similar taste to you, recommends a product, you’re likely to try it and like it as well. Otherwise, he or she wouldn’t have recommended it in the first place. Thus, as a marketer, once you identify your most successful demographic, you’ll want to find others similar to them—like their friends. The same thing works with influencers: if you respect an influencer’s style and feel connected to them, chances are you’ll try a product they recommend (if you’re in the market for said product), and you’ll probably like it.
You may use both cash or non-cash incentives for referral marketing example, but a Chicago University study found that non-monetary incentives were more effective than cash benefits by 24%. It is also better to not confine referral to customers or employees alone, referral marketing websites can also be used to new customers and lure them into referral marketing programs.