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Digital Marketing Statistics That Will Shape 2021

Digital Marketing Statistics

The world of digital and affiliate marketing certainly grew and evolved this past year, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers stayed home during the lockdowns and spent more time online, digital advertising spend grew 24.7 percent. The expansion of ecommerce and consumer time spent online will continue to shift ad budgets toward digital channels, which are expected to account for over 50 percent of total advertising spend, as we move further into 2021.

Looking back at the 2020 holiday shopping season, online sales spiked 49 percent compared to the previous year, along with a 22 percent boost in digital adspend. As brands continue to invest heavily in promotions and performance marketing to reach online shoppers, digital advertising is expected to grow at a nearly 16 percent average rate from 2021 to 2024. Additionally, ad revenue for digital media companies, notably Facebook and Google, is predicted to surge 14.1 percent this year.


Digital marketing statistics to grow your business

In this post, CAKE has compiled a list of noteworthy affiliate and digital marketing statistics to help you leverage data and knowledge to guide your marketing strategy, successfully hit those 2021 KPIs, and grow your business.


Affiliate Marketing

Digital advertising revenue worldwide is predicted to jump 10.2 percent and reach $651 billion in 2021, and affiliate marketing will play a role in the expansion. Digital marketing statistics show that the multibillion dollar affiliate marketing industry has grown 10 percent each year since 2015, and is expected to reach 8.2 billion in the U.S. by 2022.

Source: Statista

With these growth rates, it’s predicted that a greater share of advertising dollars will be invested in affiliate marketing programs as people will be looking for performance-oriented advertising amid the coronavirus pandemic. With performance marketing, you only pay for what performs, so you eliminate the risk of investing large budgets without knowing your return. Many publishers will grow their affiliate revenues this year, and understandably so. Early last year, PerformanceIN’s network data revealed that around one in four shoppers were new to the brands they bought from through affiliate links. Fast forward to the peak of the UK’s lockdown in April 2020, this number jumped to 37 percent, and has consistently remained above 30 percent.

  • By 2021, affiliate marketing in the U.S is projected to reach $7.4 billion in spend. (eMarketer)
  • In July 2020, search for “affiliate marketing” hit its highest mark in 11 years. Additionally, the term’s popularity ranking increased around 300 percent during the past five years. (mediakix)
  • Affiliate marketing programs generate 15-30 percent of all sales for advertisers. (Authority Hacker)
  • The vast majority of advertisers – 83 percent – use affiliate networks to secure deals with publishers. (Forrester Group)
  • Marketers turn to the affiliate marketing industry to boost their conversion rates and improve online purchases. Additionally, 83 percent of them use it to increase brand awareness, and 79 percent of them use it to engage existing customers. (Rakuten)
  • Affiliate marketing makes up 15 percent of all digital media revenue. (Hosting Tribunal)
  • 90 percent of advertisers think affiliate programs are essential to their marketing strategy. (Forrester)



  • There are more than 3.48 billion social media users worldwide. That’s roughly 42 percent of the world’s population and 80 percent of internet users. If you’re investing in digital marketing, this means your audience is likely using social media in some respect. (Global Digital Report)
  • 4 percent of millennials report using social media, compared to 77.5 percent of Gen X, and 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers. (eMarketer)
  • 90 percent of brands use social media to increase brand awareness. (Hootsuite)
  • U.S. Facebook adspend reached $25.56 billion, a 107 percent increase from 2016. (eMarketer)
  • Social media adspend is forecasted to reach $18.4 billion in 2019. (Statista)
  • 78 percent of U.S. Facebook users have been initially influenced by this platform when discovering new products. (Kleiner Perkins)
  • 55 percent of individuals purchase products online after discovering it on social media. (Kleiner Perkins)
  • 70 percent of social media marketers leverage Facebook as the most useful platform for meeting their goals. (Sprout Social)
  • Instagram’s engagement beat Facebook’s with a median engagement rate of 1.73 percent per brand post. (Sprout Social)



  • Long-tail keywords make up more than 70 percent of all web searches, and typically garner a 36 percent conversion rate. (Search Engine Watch)
  • Organic and paid search proved to be a strong team in 2020, with 68 percent of all trackable website traffic coming from a combination of the two tactics. (SmartInsights)
  • Google searches doubled for small businesses in 2020. (Forbes)
  • The average cost per action (CPA) is $49 for paid search. (WordStream) 
  • The average click-through rate (CTR) is 3.17 percent for paid search. (WordStream)
  • Appearing in mobile search ad results can boost brand awareness by 46 percent. (Think with Google)
  • The first three ad spots usually garner 46 percent of clicks on the page. (Power Traffick)



  • eMarketer projects that U.S. retail ecommerce sales will reach $843.15 billion in 2021, up from $794.5B in 2020. (eMarketer)
  • U.S brands and retailers pulled in $12.8 billion in digital revenue on 2020’s Black Friday, up 23 percent compared to 2019. (SalesForce)
  • Consumer behavior has changed. One report reveals that 82 percent of shoppers will continue buying online even as stores reopen. (BusinessWire)
  • Merchants see an average of 23 percent of their revenues coming from affiliate marketing, which is on par with SEO and PPC marketing. (Authority Hacker)
  • The average online order is 31 percent higher with affiliate marketing customers. (CJ Affiliates)
  • Consumers are likely to spend 47 percent more when they have a personalized experience. (e-commerce Platforms)



  • Mobile and desktop video adspend is expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.1 percent between 2021-2025, and market volume is projected to reach $45.6 million by 2025. (Statista)
  • App developers and advertisers can’t afford to ignore video streaming, with revenue in the segment projected to reach $71.2 million in 2021. (Statista)
  • People are 1.5x more likely to watch video daily on a smartphone than on a computer. (Facebook
  • 83 percent of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads and 84 percent of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video. (Wyzowl
  • Marketers report digital budgets have increased 25 percent year over year. Approximately 86 percent of marketers are using video content in their campaign outreach efforts. (IAB’s 2019 Video Advertising Spend Report)
  • 82 percent of internet traffic will come from video by 2022. (Cisco)
  • Roughly five billion YouTube videos are viewed daily. (Omnicore Agency)



  • 31 percent of B2B marketers say email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Email marketers are sending 27 percent more emails than they did pre-pandemic. (HubSpot)
  • Affiliate marketing and email marketing account for 16 percent of all ecommerce transactions in the U.S. and Canada. (Business Insider
  • For every $1 spent in email marketing, the average campaign earns $42 in ROI. (DMA, 2019)
  • Segmented email campaigns result in a 760 percent increase in revenue. (Campaign Monitor)
  • Emails that contain personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened. (Campaign Monitor)
  • Compared to Facebook and Twitter, email marketing is 40 percent better at converting users. (Annuta Group)



  • Mobile buyers account for 60.9 percent of the U.S. population, and are expected to grow exponentially by 2024. (Statista)
  • Mobile advertising grew to $240 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $290 in 2021. (SEJ)
  • Almost 25 percent of companies invest in mobile optimization as a top SEO tactic. (HubSpot)
  • 57 percent of mobile users will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. In fact, 80 percent of users are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile sites or apps. (Think with Google)
  • 70 percent of mobile searches lead to an action or purchase within an hour. (iAcquire)
  • More than 50 percent of online U.S. traffic originates from mobile devices. (Statista)
  • On average 53 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices. (Campaign Monitor)



  • The Google Display Network reaches 90 percent of internet users worldwide. (Google, 2019
  • Worldwide display advertising is expected to grow by 18.5 percent in 2021. (eMarketer)
  • Advertisers increased spending on programmatic digital ads in the U.S. by more than 10 percent in 2020, a number that will grow to 24.1 percent growth in 2021. (eMarketer)
  • Mobile screens are now the principal place for display ads considering tablets saw a 34.5 percent drop during the first half of 2020. (Bannerflow)
  • The average cost per action (CPA) is $76 for display ads. (WordStream)
  • Display advertising revenue is projected to amount to $7.9 million by 2022. (Statista)
  • Advertisers who leverage smart display campaigns have 20 percent more conversions at the same CPA when evaluated against traditional display campaigns. (Google)


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