Affiliate marketing poses a win-win situation for both advertisers and publishers alike. Advertisers can generate a significant amount of traffic or impressions, while the commissions motivate affiliates to find creative ways to market the products or services on their sites.
Despite the fact that affiliate marketing is older than the internet, digital advertising tools such as cookies and analytics have completely revolutionized the way these programs work. And, because of the very nature of the industry, affiliate marketing trends are likely to remain in a constant state of flux.
Below, I have compiled the most relevant affiliate marketing trends that will affect these programs in 2018.
Affiliate Marketers Are Opting for Native Ads
Unlike banners and other formats, native ads blend in with the content of a web page. This type of advertising is extremely efficient because the ads look like part of the site, so users don’t have any negative misconceptions when exposed to them.
From a creation point of view, native ads are not different from any other type of online format. And, because these ads look like part of the website, they usually perform better than more obvious formats. That being said, keep in mind that you always need to tell users that it’s an ad, so you should have a visible notice somewhere.
One of the reasons why these ads work so well is because they are usually designed to arouse human curiosity. Advertisers usually choose emotional images or engaging stories to hook users and get them to interact more frequently than other formats.
Most of the major ad networks are now introducing native ads. For example, PropellerAds has presented a new lineup of Native Ad Formats earlier this year, including Native Push Notifications and Native Interstitials, so affiliate marketers can already adopt this trend and compare the native ads’ performance to traditional ads’ one.
Transparency is Becoming Critical
Digital security is a hot topic of discussion, especially with the GDPR coming into play. In that spirit, affiliate marketers are starting to turn to transparency as a cornerstone of their marketing success.
At the same time, the GDPR will bring changes that will give marketers more concise information. While some fear lower volumes, savvy affiliate advertisers will take advantage of the better quality standards and reward consumers by avoiding deceptive tactics like misleading ads.
Unofficial Specialization of Affiliates
In a similar move towards transparency, affiliates are beginning to specialize in different industries that serve different segments. Although unofficial, this new trend will divert from the traditional catch-all approach that promotes poor quality content.
Instead, they will start to focus on giving consumers valuable information about one specific field.
Influencers will become particularly important in what remains of 2018. Credible brand ambassadors and other influencers allow you to piggyback on their success while targeting a certain demographic at the same time.
Keep in mind that you’ll need a thorough strategy with a set timeline to successfully implement influencers into your campaign. However, users tend to respond positively to these changes and improve your page’s statistics.
Personalization and Targeted Ads
It’s no secret that personalized ads are one of the most efficient types of online advertising. Affiliates are now employing different targeting and personalization options, allowing them to display relevant ads based on the user’s behavior.
PropellerAds’ geographical targeting is a great example of personalized ads. At the same time, because it takes into account the user’s whereabouts, geo-targeting option allows various businesses to launch time and location-based promotions.
Depending on the platform you use, you may be able to choose personalization options like language, operating system, device type, mobile carrier, connection type, and of course, geographical location.
Cryptocurrencies and eCommerce
Cryptocurrencies have been the talk of the town for some time and the same can be said for e-Commerce. However, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been advancements or recent developments in both fields.
As a matter of fact, there are subcategories of ecommerce that are starting to gain traction among affiliate marketers, like travel offers or tangible goods (like all these Shopify stores). Despite the fact that the most traditional type of ecommerce consists of dropshipping products, advertisers with a solid funnel game can choose to take care of the backend, sell each product on a cost-per-sale basis, and maximize each transaction.
Although it has received a lot of negative press, the cryptocurrency industry is flourishing as a whole. Because of this, many affiliates are specializing in the purchase and exchange of cryptocurrencies. Check out this extensive guide on how to promote ICO with paid traffic, so if you are into crypto offers, I strongly recommend reading it.
Summing up, this year and the coming one, affiliates will focus on five major aspects that are about to shake the affiliate marketing landscape. Let’s go through them once again:
- Native ad formats will let us get closer to our audience by letting users chose the way the want to be contacted.
- Advertising world is under the pressure as consumers are looking for more transparency, and they are winning this fight, majorly because big players are now seeing the obvious benefits of this approach.
- Affiliates are starting to focus on specific verticals rather than trying to target all the verticals at once. We know that “catch-all” method never really worked.
- Not just creatives are becoming more personalized, but marketers are now using technical means for a more accurate targeting, therefore, event targeting is getting traction in affiliate marketing.
- The crypto hype has reached affiliate marketing because that’s where the money is now.
I hope my guide was helpful and you can now stay in line with the latest trends of affiliate marketing. Did I forget something? Share your vision of where affiliate marketing is moving in the comment section.