Let's get straight into things. Affiliate marketing is about one firm making money from promoting another firm's product. As affiliate means ‘to partner’ and marketing is about selling, this phrase makes sense and works well together.
But what does it mean when put into practice? Simply explained, it’s about working together with other firms and making a profit.
This is done using advertising partners who earn commission every time there’s a lead or website visit. It’s a win/win scenario! One way it's done is through creating content for blogs and social media, where an affiliate link is subtly added to the content.
However, there are now a lot of other methods that are being used with different mediums and are growing in popularity, such as video and in-app advertising.
Annually, spending on affiliate marketing is estimated at a massive $12 billion! Which means taking part in affiliate marketing is a great way to get ahead of the game. With this fact in mind, it’s time to see the 2021 trends that will boost profits all around.
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1. Companies Will Start to Consider Mobiles More
Let’s face it, most of us spend much more time on our phones than we’d like. We’re a society addicted to mobile technology. People’s phones have become personalized computers that they can use as chatting channels, shopping devices, or even a space to work.
Which means if firms want to make the most of affiliate marketing, they’ll be making content more mobile-friendly. In 2021, some advertising material will be focused solely on mobile devices and will be based on the way that people use their phones.
This could be analyzing the sites that people tend to use more on their mobiles and creating links based on this. Or it could just be that firms make their sites more mobile-friendly in general.
Businesses are now able to create a personalization strategy for mobile phone use, so the least a firm can do is make sure any links or content are phone-user friendly. Because otherwise, if a site is confusing when clicked on via their mobile, the user will leave.
As we rely more on using our phones for general tasks, companies will have to ensure they’re keeping up with this trend. Otherwise, firms will be missing out on opportunities to promote their company.
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2. Influencers Will Have A Bigger Impact
The popularity of influencers just keeps on growing. Of course, the role of an influencer is to, well, influence. This means they’re paid or given free products to persuade people to invest money into whatever they’re advertising, whether that be shoes, desserts, or even cloud security.
Companies will often pay influencers to advertise their products and subtly persuade people to use that firm. This essentially makes them affiliate marketers.
Getting involved with an influencer is an excellent way to boost profit. Especially as for every $1 spent on an influencer, a company can expect a profit of around $5.78 on average.
This is another excuse to ensure that businesses are as mobile-friendly as possible because influencers have the biggest impact on Instagram. This social media platform is predominantly a mobile-based site. So, it makes sense to ensure that users are enjoying a smooth experience when they click through from Instagram to the product site.
One reason influencers are so successful is because of their ability to stay natural while still being able to sell a product. This creates an organic and smart shopping experience for everyone involved. As companies put more trust in influencers, this type of affiliate marketing will keep on growing.
Şencan Özen, the owner of ReklamStore has observed another interesting trend that is emerging: “I think the importance of micro-influencers will increase in 2022. Influencers specializing in a particular field have a great ability to convince their audiences".
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3. AI Will Play A Bigger Role
This doesn’t mean there will suddenly be an influx of robots trying to sell us things. It means that as more people use voice-activated AI, such as Siri, Alexa, or Cortana, the affiliate market will grow in this field.
The way customers are engaging with information is changing. People rely much more on voice searches than written information now. So to bring themselves into 2021, advertisers will need to find a way to work around this. Whether that be by using marketing collaboration tools or creating voice sensed affiliate marketing.
To do this successfully, firms will have to consider the way people speak and ask questions compared to the way they type and word written queries.
This could mean keywords will be longer or sentences structured differently. For example, when typing into Google, a person may put, “RPA in business”. Whilst when asking Alexa, they may say, “Alexa, how does Robotic Process Automation help businesses?” This is something companies will have to keep in mind and be prepared for.
Working with the way people behave, including how they talk, helps keep an audience engaged. Something which in turn means increased audience interaction and more sales.
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4. Blogs Will Grow In Popularity
As it stands, blogs are already a much-used resource for affiliate marketing. They’re an excellent vehicle to optimize SEO and keywords and to place subtle advertisements.
Today, blogs are everywhere. They range from amateur personal blogs to professional company ones. So they’re the perfect place to integrate a product and use affiliate marketing.
Think about it. Before, if we wanted to know something, we’d have to spend an age researching and putting together details. Now, all we have to do is Google it and an abundance of blog posts appear, such as where to find the best free video conference call software or a personal story on becoming more environmentally friendly.
Of course, making money through blogs does take a little know-how, and unfortunately, it isn’t enough to put in random keywords. It’s about adding the right keywords and links, so firms will probably also increase the use of automated writing software to make sure they’re creating blogs that are the best they can be.
Source: Zac Johnson
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5. Personalized Content Will Grow
Personalized content is massively on the rise. Have you ever been watching television online and had the adverts come on and know your name? That’s personalized affiliate marketing. However surprising you may find it, it catches your attention, doesn’t it?
As content is everywhere nowadays, people will start having to use unusual tactics to make their firm stand out in 2021. A big part of this will be to adopt personalized content.
Tohyper-target an audience, firms should be combining personalization with other tactics. This could be using a call to action or reminding the customer of products they’ve previously shown an interest in.
Personalized content can be created through social media adverts, emails, videos, and even blogs. So instead of just creating a generic marketing campaign, companies can add in names, locations, or items the user has viewed.
Say, for example, a company was trying to push subscription renewals with SaaS Clients. Instead of sending an email that starts:
“Hi there. Check out our latest subscription deals...”
… companies should personalize their interactions and say:
“Hey, Harry. We noticed your SaaS subscription has almost run out and thought you might like to see these renewal options.”
Being more specific and personal helps catch your audience’s attention and makes them feel special.
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6. Exploring Different Platforms
When it comes to affiliate marketing, marketers tend to stick to ‘traditional’ media methods of getting the message out there. Examples of this being things like social media, emails, and blogs.
As already discussed, these are excellent ways of using affiliate marketing. However, for teams to beat the competition in 2021, they’ll have to consider other platforms and methods of connecting to customers.
We’re in a day and age where creativity is key to standing out. It’s not just about thinking outside the box but climbing out of it. A great place to start is to look at other forms of media that clients engage with.
Thanks to much-increased mobile usage, a lot of us are playing games on our phones. So as technology advances, more firms will use games to sell. This is because games are addictive and use strategies to keep people hooked and create customer loyalty and brand awareness.
Another place that firms will start to collaborate in tech and marketing is through VR and AR. Whether pushing marketing automation or the latest in fashion, these will create even more exciting trends.
Luckily, there are plenty of collaboration tools for creative teams, so firms can make the most of futuristic ideas that will help them stay a step ahead of their competitors.
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With the marketing environment constantly changing, teams must keep on top of trends and continue moving forward. Therefore, a campaign might involve personalization, traditional methods, looking to the future, or all three.
One thing is for sure, however: 2021 will be the year that shakes up affiliate marketing. And to get the edge on competitors, firms will need to follow and adapt to the six emerging trends outlined in this article.