To succeed in your affiliate marketing business, don’t ignore trends because they will impact your business in one way or another. How you ran your affiliate marketing business a few years ago may not apply to today’s world.
That means you should study trends and align your affiliate marketing strategies accordingly to avoid being pushed to the sidelines.
In this guide, we will discuss the top affiliate marketing trends to watch out for and how you can leverage them to grow your affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Marketing Trends
- Brands will become more data-driven than ever before, requiring affiliates to be strategic in their dealings.
- Virtual shopping is becoming more popular, so affiliates must be prepared with the tools available.
- Social selling through video content is on the rise, so affiliates should focus on creating compelling and informative videos.
- The metaverse is growing in popularity, so affiliate marketers need to jump on the trend early.
- Voice search is taking over from keywords-based searches, so SEO needs to be a priority for affiliate marketers.
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- Latest affiliate marketing trends
- 1. Highlight your brand, not just your products
- 2. Brands will become more data-driven than ever before
- 3. Virtual shopping
- 4. Explore online communities
- 5. Crypto boom
- 6. Social selling through video content
- 7. Increase in affiliate marketing budgets
- 8. Affiliate marketing in the metaverse
- 9. Voice Search
- 10. Loyalty marketing
- 11. Link building and co-marketing with affiliate partners
- 12. Educating the audience will be the norm rather than influencing
- 13. Macro Influencer affiliate marketing business
- 14. AI and automation
- 15. Live shopping will become more popular and mainstream on social media platforms
- The best niches for affiliate marketing
- Affiliate marketing industry facts
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Let me give the most straightforward definition as a form of marketing where affiliate marketers sign up to affiliate networks, promote products online, and get paid a percentage of the sale.
Different payment models for affiliate marketers depend on the affiliate program and network. The networks use third-party cookies to track clicks and conversions.
Latest affiliate marketing trends
The trends below may affect how you run your affiliate marketing activities online. It’s good to understand how each trend affects business and how you can take advantage of it to avoid being left behind.
Here are some biggest affiliate marketing trends to watch in 2022 and the next few years:
1. Highlight your brand, not just your products
How effective is your brand in building customer loyalty and increasing lifetime value? Your customers don’t care about what you sell; they care about the brand you build around your products.
In the affiliate marketing industry, a brand is more than just a logo, website, and other branding elements.
If you see most top businesses, they don’t sell products; they sell brands. They sell stories and emotions. As a result, customers get to connect with those stories and trust the business more.
One example is the Coca-Cola story. It’s one example of how businesses should focus more on the brand they build around their products. Coca-Cola doesn’t sell soft drinks; it sells family hood, friendships, and other wonderful emotions. Most of their ads depict that.
As an affiliate, start building a brand around the products you promote. Neil Patel has built a brand around SEO and link building.
The Content Marketing Institute has built a brand around content marketing. But take note because you can only build a brand by adding 3x the value of your competitors.
2. Brands will become more data-driven than ever before
Instead of running pointless affiliate marketing campaigns, brands will focus on acquiring data, studying their audiences, and making more fact-based decisions.
Data will represent the audiences’ interests, shopping patterns, and purchase behavior. Once you have all that, it will become easy to craft customized offers personalized to the audience.
Data will make business more strategic in their dealings and increases their sales. That means if a brand doesn’t have customer data, it will waste marketing resources and not move the needle.
It will produce content that doesn’t give fort results, run campaigns that give low or no return on investment, and create emails that don’t talk to its target audience.
As an affiliate marketer, you need to watch these affiliate marketing trends and jump on the bandwagon before your competitors do it. Use the tools available at your disposal and make the jump.
Some of the tools are free. For example, you just need a Gmail account to use Google Analytics. Just connect it to your account, and you are good to go.
3. Virtual shopping
How we buy and sell goods online has evolved over the years. Physical stores have lost popularity since people now like spending time at home and can order food and clothes and shop right in the comfort of their sofas.
The ease of shopping online and the convenience have pushed many brick-and-mortar businesses to develop a digital presence and an affiliate marketing program.
The process is less costly and gives forth tremendous results. It has also allowed affiliates to promote products and appear in search results since most use content to promote their affiliate offers.
But one of the things affiliates need to get is virtual shopping. Lives stream shopping is now more popular than ever. Affiliates are now undertaking this on YouTube and other platforms that support live streaming.
Keep an eye on this trend if you are an affiliate because it’s taking shape in the next few years. With a discount code, the affiliates can now recommend products and services to their audiences and reap from the sales. It was a thing with influencers some years ago, but affiliates are now doing it, too.
4. Explore online communities
Several popular online communities and social forums such as Quora, Reddit, and others exist. These platforms receive tons of traffic every year and are composed mainly of targeted, engaged users. Since they rank high for most keywords, they can act as quality backlinks and inbound traffic sources.
These platforms are mainly based on segments of users. For example, as soon as users sign up for Quora, they are asked to select topics that interest them.
That means they will keep getting content geared to those specific topics. It is easier to target these users since you already know their interests.
As an affiliate, these social forums will act as excellent platforms to undertake brand outreach and increase brand engagement. They contain resourceful content and information that can drive leads down to your sales funnel.
Start off with Quora; it is easy to join and doesn’t take long before you begin seeing results. With great content, comes followers, leads, and sales.
5. Crypto boom
Almost everyone has heard of Bitcoin. While it is the most popular crypto, we shouldn’t forget that there is more to watch out for. Recently, NFTs came into the limelight.
This boom will revolutionize the finance industry and the affiliate marketing niche. In fact, crypto will impact almost any other industry online.
Some governments and top firms are now pushing this and accepting it on their platforms. Most online platforms now accept one or two cryptocurrencies as payment. People like crypto in the sense that it is secure and anonymous.
And with the growth in popularity, users are now wary of which cryptocurrency to invest in. That means more guidance and selection will be required in 2022.
As a result, crypto sites now offer affiliate marketing programs, which will soon be a trend with increasing usage. Top affiliate marketers will sign up for affiliate partnerships in popular crypto affiliate programs and generate revenue.
6. Social selling through video content
Millennials now like visual content more than written content. It’s memorable, easy to understand, and compels them to take action faster than written content. That’s why mainstream channels like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are rising.
It is easy for affiliate marketers to create brand awareness, increase product uptake, enhance credibility, and boost business growth using video content.
Influencers can now engage with their audiences through short videos and live streaming to compel them to purchase products and reward the action-takers.
Thus, video content is something to consider if you plan to be a successful affiliate marketer in 2022. Your customers like to see rather than read. They also like to listen; it is easier to compel someone to purchase a product through a call or video than by text.
7. Increase in affiliate marketing budgets
Affiliate marketing is growing in popularity among businesses. In 2022, about $8.2 billion will be spent on affiliate marketing. That should tell you affiliate marketing is on the trend as more and more e-commerce brands come in to acquire a share of the industry.
The budget will be spent on acquiring effective marketing and automation tools. It can be new or subscribing to already existing ones.
Most of these will be in tools such as email marketing coupled with sales funnels. Automation tools save time and more effectively convert leads into sales than any other business process.
Another huge chunk of the budget will be hiring expert talents and AI tools. Hiring Facebook and Google ads experts will help to increase sales and growth.
Online businesses will hire copywriters, graphic designers, and web developers to design, build, and manage their sales funnels and websites.
The AI tools will help to enhance customer relationship management and increase their lifetime value. It can also collect valuable data about the audience, which can be used to make valuable and timely business decisions.
Another marketing expense will come from influencer affiliate marketing. Most of these influencers are majorly either on Instagram or TikTok. Brands are now using the discount code model to lure customers, leveraging the influencers.
8. Affiliate marketing in the metaverse
There is a possibility of undertaking affiliate marketing in the metaverse. A metaverse connects different 3D virtual reality worlds and can be accessed using special virtual reality devices. Since they are interconnected, moving from one universe to another is easy.
Gamers and virtual reality users are now in this. You can interact with another gamer in another universe on your virtual reality devices. And as an affiliate marketer, it’s now easy to find customers right on the metaverse.
This will soon be a trend in the coming years. The metaverse is growing in size and popularity amongst advertisers and brands. It’s good to jump into the trend and maximize the opportunities available for business growth.
9. Voice Search
Most smartphones are now equipped with either Siri or Google Assistant. These two AI tools are revolutionizing the way people search for information online. Right now, you can ask Siri to call someone, search the web for information, and help to do shopping.
Your SEO game needs to improve, as this will soon become the norm. Mobile users do most of their shopping right on their mobile devices. That means voice searches will soon take over from keywords-based searches.
You should target long-tail keywords since most voice searches are somehow long. Don’t target broad keywords because it will be hard to rank. Perform thorough keyword research before creating video and written content.
You can then use these keywords in your landing page, product description, YouTube channel, and blog content.
10. Loyalty marketing
If you think about it, you will find it three times more challenging to acquire a new prospect than to maintain the current one. You will have to run adverts, create a landing page, and build an email list to manage them.
So, how do you form closer relationships with your current customers and increase their lifetime value? It’s all about establishing a loyalty program.
That is essentially what big brands do these days. Customers like to go where they are appreciated. And since some of your competitors are not doing this, it could be your chance to outperform them.
Loyalty marketing is meant to keep your high-valued customers. However, it’s sometimes more than that. You can actually collect customer data and craft customized offers for them. That will keep them coming back regularly.
It doesn’t have to be monetary rewards only. You can add value by sharing valuable content through a book, course, or webinar. They will develop brand loyalty if they get information that changes their lives for free.
11. Link building and co-marketing with affiliate partners
You will need to target organic affiliate traffic to get leads from your website. The thing with organic traffic is it converts highly compared to other forms of traffic.
These people who land on your website or e-commerce site are already interested in the product. Once they hop into your email list, converting them into customers will only take a few emails.
That means you have to invest in building links and co-marketing. It’s another affiliate marketing trend you need to watch as an affiliate. The more backlinks your content has, the higher it will rank on search engine results. Links will also bring in quality inbound traffic.
Co-marketing is about the cooperation affiliates will create amongst themselves. This might not be new to some top affiliates, but it will soon be a trend with most affiliates.
It will be challenging to progress without cooperating with affiliates from your niche or a slightly different niche.
Link building and affiliate marketing will increase the traffic amongst different affiliate blogs, give customers a wide range of options, and increase leads and conversions. Rather than competing for the same customers, affiliates can choose to collaborate and win.
12. Educating the audience will be the norm rather than influencing
Most affiliate marketers just sell products without caring how the customer will use the product to benefit their businesses and lives. Smart affiliates are now using their influence to teach their audiences why they need the products and how to use them to better their lives.
Think about it – many people didn’t think they needed an iPhone. But Steve Jobs educated them on why they needed it. Others thought they didn’t need computers until someone educated them on the benefits of having one.
Merely promoting offers on Instagram or YouTube will be a thing of the past. Customers now want different experiences to purchase products. They want you to show them rather than merely tell them. That’s why case studies and podcasts translate to higher sales than blog posts.
13. Macro Influencer affiliate marketing business
The year will be mainly for micro and nano influencers. Online companies want the influence that comes from influencers. Since it’s not easy to create an influence that will push the products and generate sales, companies are now looking for influencers to help generate sales for them.
And since small to medium-sized businesses may not be able to pay huge influencers, macro influencers will benefit more from this. Businesses will recruit macro influencers into their affiliate programs and assign them a unique link or discount code.
Influencer marketing is among the affiliate marketing trends you will notice even now with the celebrities we follow on social media.
They will often refer products and ask you to include the code with their name to get a percentage off. People often trust products that the influencers refer to them.
14. AI and automation
AI is already cutting across the online spectrum, and the affiliate marketing world is not spared. It offers a new way of interacting with customers, searching for information, and marketing. With AI, brands can save time, marketing resources, and increase sales.
The simplest form of AI is automation. It is setting up conditions based on how your prospects interact with your content. You can decide to create rules on your email marketing tool based on certain subscribers’ events you anticipate on your emails and landing page.
You can even undertake A/B testing to find the best-performing email, advert, landing page copy, and email subject line. AI and automation have helped brands easily collect customer data, analyze it, and use it to make fact-based decisions.
And since it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to decline any time soon, it’s good to consider it as an affiliate marketer.
15. Live shopping will become more popular and mainstream on social media platforms
If you are an Instagram fan, you should have seen some celebrities you follow to do live shopping. It is essentially going live and interacting with the audience while promoting a particular product. The audience can ask questions and get real-time answers from influencers or affiliate marketers.
Instagram is not the only app that offers a tremendous live shopping experience. It’s also gaining popularity on platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch.
More and more brands are now seeing the need to partner with influencers for the same, owing to its impact on brand credibility and reach.
Influencers and top affiliate marketers generate traffic to an e-commerce store when undertaking live shopping. It is turning into a thing in 2022 and the coming years.
Social media will no longer be a mere social platform but an essential platform to generate affiliate marketing sales and enhance business growth.
The best niches for affiliate marketing
To get the best results from your affiliate marketing efforts in 2022, here are niches that will give forth the best results.
1. Home Décor
2. Kitchen Items
3. Pet Products
4. Health And Fitness Products
6. Fin-tech Products
The niches will become more and more profitable in the next few years based on the changing trends and lifestyle patterns.
Affiliate marketing industry facts
Here are some notable facts about affiliate marketing that you ought not to ignore even as you study the recent trends.
More affiliate marketing statistics show the practice is profitable and growing in popularity.
These affiliate marketing trends will help shape how business is done online in the coming years so it’s important to stay on top of them.
By understanding these changes, you can be better equipped to take advantage of them and avoid being left behind.
Do you have any thoughts on these upcoming affiliate marketing trends?
Let us know in the comments below!