As with any industry, trends in affiliate marketing are constantly in flux. And if you want to ensure you’re using your dollars wisely (as well as maximizing your overall ROI), then staying abreast of these ever-changing trends is vital.
Affiliate Marketing Trends & Examples
Are you considering upping your affiliate game in 2019? Here are the affiliate marketing trends to keep on your radar as you start planning:
1. Strong reviews and review sites are still king.
Tapping that highly qualified “[product name] reviews” keyword is still the name of the game in affiliate marketing.
Anytime someone searches for reviews or testimonials, they’re just inches away from a purchase — all they need is that little push over the edge to get there and pull out that wallet. As such, creating strong reviews — as well as entire review sites — will continue to be a big trend in affiliate marketing, 2019 and beyond.
2. Ecommerce retailers are getting in on the game.
Ecommerce merchants are continuing to show interest in affiliate marketing, especially as part of their lead generation efforts.
Many are even launching their own affiliate programs through networks like Linkshare and Shareasale, broadening the opportunities for existing affiliate marketers even more.
3. Proper affiliate recruitment is more important than ever.
With more and more marketers starting up affiliate efforts, recruiting the right resources is more important than it’s ever been.
Using a smaller number of niche web publishers, mobile affiliates and highly qualified, targeted websites will prove to be more effective than a wide net of general and haphazard ones — especially as affiliate marketing continues to expand.
4. The use of affiliate agencies is on the rise.
Affiliate marketing takes a special skill set to see long-term financial success, and many online merchants just don’t have the resources or team to do it properly in-house. This has led to a growing number of agencies specializing in affiliate marketing — a trend that will likely continue throughout 2019.
5. Leveraging Facebook ads and remarketing tools.
Affiliate marketers are increasingly using Facebook ads in their efforts, likely due to their super detailed targeting opportunities, as well as their abilities to help with remarketing campaigns.
Many are even branching out into Facebook’s Messenger tool to broaden their efforts. Keep in mind, though, Facebook isn’t always welcoming to affiliate marketing (it’s been known to ban some advertisers, actually), so make sure to watch your campaigns closely.
Amazon also doesn’t allow advertisement of its affiliate links, so steer clear of using Facebook ads for those products as well.
6. Focusing on images and video content.
Affiliate marketing is no longer just about the written word. Marketers are getting more creative about their messaging, using Images, videos, demos, courses, slideshows and even live content to promote their links and products.
Branching out creatively allows for a wider net of potential affiliates and promotional opportunities.
7. Optimizing for voice search.
Voice search is on the rise, thanks to phone assistants like Siri, as well as the increasing adoption of smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Because of this, optimizing campaigns for standard SEO terms is no longer enough. In order to stay relevant in the long-term, affiliate marketers need to start optimizing for more natural speech patterns and long-tail keywords as well.
8. Diversifying your portfolio.
Finally, affiliate marketers are moving away from the Amazon model — or at least relying on its programs 100-percent. Most are diversifying their efforts across different platforms and websites, especially as Amazon shows signs of branching into more brick-and-mortar stores down the line.
Mobile Affiliate Marketing Trends
There are also some mobile affiliate marketing trends to keep in mind as mobile usage grows. First and foremost, marketers need to fully optimize their sites and platforms for mobile devices.
“Mobile has only continued to rise in popularity and use,” says Erick Smith, Lead Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy.
“Google is simply tailoring results to consumer behavior to provide the best options in search.”
Considering that an estimated 64% of all paid Google search clicks are mobile based, failing to do so doesn’t just equal ineffective campaigns, it likely means wasted ad spend as well.
Affiliate marketers can also create mobile-only offers to leverage the growing mobile audience and bring in more leads.
As you can see, affiliate marketing is still growing and evolving. And as it does, marketers need to evolve their strategies as well.
Stay tuned to CPC Strategy or email [email protected] for more updates on affiliate marketing trends.