Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions.
Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Whether you’re an independent blogger or run a big publication, it’s a strategy that can help you get more online revenue. In fact, a study by Statista shows that the total spend on affiliate marketing is expected to reach $8.2 billion (paywall) by the end of the year. This shows massive growth, up from $5.4 billion in 2017.
With this kind of a boom, you want to make sure you are riding the tide. With a well-planned campaign, you can make more money and grow your business. Before you start working on your affiliate strategy, it’s important to be aware of the latest affiliate marketing trends that you should watch out for. In this post, let’s talk about some major trends that are likely to emerge in the coming months:
1. Live shopping will become more popular.
If you’ve been following the news, you already know that shopping via livestreams has already gained popularity in China. Major social media networks like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook have already been running livestreams with famous creators to make the most of their potential.
Even YouTube is looking to make it their key focus. On their blog, Wendy Yang, Product Designer for YouTube Shopping, said:
“We want to bring you closer to your favorite creators and make these livestreams interactive between creators and fans. Creators can offer their audience live product drops, exclusive discounts, and even poll fans during their shopping livestreams to interact with and get feedback from their fans.”
She also explained that creators would be able to poll their audiences to find out which products they should add to their livestreams. Such real-time feedback will make the shopping experience more dynamic. With such exciting changes on the horizon, you can expect affiliate marketing campaigns to evolve.
2. Co-marketing partnerships will take the spotlight.
Co-marketing affiliate partnerships will offer a bright opportunity to get your brand in front of a diverse audience and earn more revenue. Working with brands or influencers who have a similar audience can provide more exposure to both parties involved. It’s a win-win situation. To maximize revenue, you could work with fellow content affiliates or different types of affiliate partners together.
When it comes to commissions, the overall revenue share agreement could be between the two parties as agreed. Alternatively, the arrangement could also be centered around keeping the percentage of commissions based on the sites referred.
3. Artificial intelligence will make affiliate marketing campaigns more efficient.
Along with complex machine learning algorithms, AI-based tools will make it possible to track consumer behavior more efficiently for all affiliate marketing campaigns. As a result, you’ll be able to make smarter business decisions.
Along with identifying your target audience quickly, you can also optimize keywords for your content so you can generate more leads. AI models will also be capable of predicting KPIs by analyzing a big chunk of data. If used well, it can yield a higher conversion rate for your affiliate campaigns.
4. Micro and nano influencers will shine.
There are a lot of small and mid-sized companies that are opening up to the potential of affiliate marketing. The push has been greater after the pandemic forced companies to move their businesses online. Such businesses may not have huge affiliate marketing budgets but still want to deploy the strategy to grow their business.
For them, micro and nano influencers are perfect to collaborate with. They can get more brand exposure and reach a wider audience online without having to shell out a fortune on the campaign.
5. Change in policies related to cookie-based tracking.
In late 2022, Google is set to start phasing out third-party cookies in Google Chrome. By 2023, they aim to make the browser less intrusive. After third-party cookies are phased out, Google plans to roll out its Privacy Sandbox initiative, which will make user data anonymous.
All of it is likely to be moved to the browser itself. User data will be stored as well as processed. Instead of collected cookies, it will rely entirely on anonymous signals to reveal a users’ online browsing habits.
So how will this impact affiliate marketing? Affiliate campaigns can be tailored so they only rely on data from first-party publishers. That removes the need for any third-party cookie tracking. With this system, you can deliver purchase opportunities in trusted environments.
Instead of completely pushing your ads out, you can structure your campaign so that you can integrate ads that are related to content that a consumer has sought out proactively. The key to creating such successful affiliate marketing campaigns will be rooted in authenticity.
6. More crypto affiliate marketing programs will emerge.
Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly more mainstream. This opens up doors for more cryptocurrency-based affiliate marketing programs.
Whether you run a blog or have a YouTube channel, crypto affiliate programs could ensure that you earn revenue for years to come. Already, there are multiple crypto affiliate networks out there that you can join to get started with crypto affiliate marketing.
Any affiliate marketer needs to stay ahead of the curve to build successful campaigns. By understanding these upcoming trends, you can adjust your strategy accordingly and set yourself up for success in 2022.
Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?