Affiliate marketing has a bright future ahead, although there is still some hesitation when to comes to its current programmes, according to a new study from VigLink.

The content monetisation platform surveyed 500 publishers and 100 merchants investigating the current state of affiliate marketing. VigLink has revealed that the channel has been performing positively, and both publishers and merchants will continue to use it as one of their key marketing strategies, keeping their affiliate marketing budgets the way they are or increasing their spend.

Growing funds

For publishers, affiliate marketing is the second best source of revenue generation, outperformed only by Google AdSense.

Over three quarters (77%) of these sites claim that funds generated from affiliate programmes from 2015 to 2016 either stayed the same or rose.

When it comes to merchants, almost all (91%) are planning to keep or increase their future budgets. This is a consistent trend for the group as for 85% of them, affiliate marketing funding stayed on the same level or increased from 2015 to 2016.

Affiliate marketing is a key channel for both groups, and although the numbers show it will remain an important part of their strategies in the future carrying a number of benefits, the research has also revealed there are some mixed feelings when it comes to current affiliate programmes.

Driving sales but lacking control

The top benefit of the channel for 76% publishers is the ease for monetising content, with the channel generating “additional revenue” for 65% of those surveyed. As a result, the vast majority (86%) of publishers will either increase their spend on affiliate or keep it constant in the future.

For merchants, it’s driving sales that attracts them to the channel; 84% confirmed it boosts their revenue, meanwhile, increased web traffic was cited as a perk among 76%. In addition, merchants generally tend to trust the insights coming from the channel and 67% confirm they believe in affiliate marketing enough to let it influence their overall marketing strategies.

However, merchants claim they often can’t control the quality of content where their products are mentioned – a key drawback of affiliate marketing programmes for 62% of respondents.

Overall, the study has revealed positive perceptions of affiliate marketing, proving that – despite certain some areas to improve upon – the channel is still a go-to solution for most publishers and merchants to drive sales and traffic.