The digital marketing landscape is always changing and evolving. Affiliate marketing is a part of that landscape and you need to keep up with its changes, to not only stay relevant but remain profitable.
The affiliate marketing industry will be worth 6.8 Billion by 2020. Many Amazon affiliate marketers think the Amazon affiliate program is dying, however, this is far from the truth. Of course, Amazon greatly reduced their commission rates in 2017, but this doesn’t mean you need to completely move away from using their affiliate program. Amazon actually made $177 Billion in revenue in 2017 which was a 31% increase from 2016. As you can see, the volume of sales on Amazon keeps on growing, which means that there is more opportunity now, than before.
So, what other affiliate marketing trends should you pay attention to?
In This Post:
- The Rise Of Affiliate Ecommerce
- Lead Generation – Not Just In The US/UK But All Around The World
- Voice Search
- Augmented Reality
- Influencer Marketing
- Content & SEO
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Improved Reporting – Deep Data Reports
- Focus On Developing Countries
- More Mobile Purchases
- Increased Transparency
- Increased Popularity Of Native Ads
- Blockchain Technology
The Rise Of Affiliate Ecommerce
Affiliate Ecommerce is a term coined by Charles Ngo and it is basically where you have an eCommerce product which you sell on a cost per sale basis. Then, the advertisers of these products, maximize on every sale with their optimized and thoroughly tested funnels. These types of offers are now coming online and many affiliate networks are currently developing them.
Lead Generation – Not Just In The US/UK But All Around The World
B2B Lead generation is set to grow in 2018 and beyond, since companies are always looking for ways to get more customers. Without customers, a business wouldn’t be able to sustain itself. As a result, internet marketers can help to generate leads through SEO, paid ads etc. One example of a lead generation CPA offer would be where the lead is generated for $20 and the business is charged $40.
Many Internet marketers have been doing this in the US and UK for awhile, however, the larger opportunity lies in other areas of the world. The rise of smart phones throughout developing countries has made this a ripe opportunity.
Google home, Alexa, Siri and other voice assistants are becoming increasingly popular. This will have an impact on how people search for information on the internet, which will affect SEO based affiliate marketers.
Therefore, it is important that you optimize your site for keywords that follow natural voice patterns as opposed to focusing on short tail keywords that are unnatural to speak.
Augmented reality isn’t new, but it appears to be making a comeback due to the popularity of Pokemon Go. Also, Snapchat/Instagram filters and emojis have also increased popularity and acceptance by the public.
As a result, smart companies and marketers are making use of this trend in order to target and reach their audience. One example of this is IKEA who created a phone app so customers could actually see how their furniture would look in their home, before they purchase it. If you think about how this technology can be used for different types of stores, you can easily see that it is a trend that will continue to grow.
Using influencers to market affiliate products isn’t new – however, that doesn’t make it any less relevant. YouTube and Instagram stars are only growing and the popularity of influencers have reached a point where you can no longer afford to ignore them.
Content & SEO
The days when you could have thrown together a tiny niche site and get it ranked in Google with a couple of PBN or GSA links are long over. As a matter of fact, with more people creating niche sites, the competition has gotten tougher – but not impossible!
To satisfy both Google and visitors to your site, you need to create comprehensive reviews and content that truly wows and engages the viewer. This means your content needs to be thought out, properly formatted and at least 1,000+ words. It has to contain lots of unique pictures, videos and other graphical content that helps the consumer identify why they should purchase your product. The better you do this, the more affiliate sales you’ll make.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Traffic is a precious commodity – you now have to work harder and wait longer for SEO to work and Google to send traffic your way. Paid advertising is expensive and as demand increases, so will prices. As a result of these, CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization has become increasingly popular in the last year and will continue to do so in 2018.
To explain CRO simply, if you are sending an affiliate offer to 100 people, and you convert at 5%, you will get 5 sales. However, by doing CRO and optimizing your processes, and you convert at 10%, then you get 10 sales which equals more affiliate revenue – who doesn’t want that?
There are many agencies that now offer CRO services, or you can learn it on your own.
Improved Reporting – Deep Data Reports
Affiliates have been demanding access to better reporting with real time data and finally, advertisers are providing it. As a result of more data being accessible to affiliates, it now means that you can make better marketing decisions and determine the best products to promote, which traffic sources to focus on and know which consumers to target. These deep data reports will help affiliate marketers to make much better decisions and increase revenue, once you make use of them!
Focus On Developing Countries
Most affiliate marketers target consumers in the US, UK and other western countries. However, with the increased use of smart phones throughout the world, developing countries now offer a great deal of opportunity to capitalize on. Plus, buying traffic in these countries is significantly cheaper, which makes it a great option for those who have a lower ad spend budget.
Rise Of The EPC Payment Method
EPC means earnings per click and it is an affiliate payment model where you get paid according to the click throughs to your affiliate link or other specific activity that is performed on your affiliate link. This payment model is currently used by many affiliate networks and it is expected to grow in 2018 and beyond.
The main reason why this type of affiliate payment model is becoming more popular is because it gives the affiliates and advertisers a deeper insight into customer behaviour which helps both parties to determine what is being done incorrectly and what can be changed to increase conversions.
More Mobile Purchases
50% of affiliate referral traffic comes from mobile devices and is set to increase in 2018. As a result, optimizing your affiliate websites for mobile is not only important but critical for success. However, this doesn’t just mean ensuring that you have a mobile responsive design, but ensuring that your mobile design and layout is properly optimized for conversions.
Many high profile celebrities, companies and even influencers have come under increasing scrutiny for not disclosing income, paid advertisements etc. As a result, the FTC has implemented the General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR) regulations which will ensure all of the above are more transparent and this includes affiliate marketers.
This will lead to marketers and vendors monitoring each other for compliance with the GDPR and ensuring that all parties have the necessary consent and disclosures. As of May 2018, you will need to determine if your partners and vendors are compliant and to provide supporting documents.
Increased Popularity Of Native Ads
Consumers look at native ads 53% more often than they look at display ads. Also, according to Business Insider, these ads will dominate by 2020 and account for as much as 75% of all ad revenue. These ads blend in on the website or platform that they are shown and are not susceptible to ad blindness in the same way as banner ads are. As a result, the use of these ads will continue to grow in 2018 and moving forward.
Bitcoin was quite popular in 2017 and will continue to increase in popularity in 2018. Bitcoin and blockchain technology has been disrupting several industries and affiliate marketing is definitely one of them. Many affiliate networks are currently offering payment in cryptocurrency and many more will start doing so in 2018.
Also, blockchain technology is being used to address and reduce ad fraud due to the large number of bots on the internet.