Affiliate marketing has always been a mainstay of doing business on the Internet – of course, it has been around before, but it is the easiness of networking via the web that made it as ubiquitous as it is today. And as any booming industry, it isn’t static – every year brings new challenges, trends, and opportunities, which means that if you want to stay on top, you should know which way the market is going. So what can we expect in 2018?
1. Growth of Video and Augmented Reality Content
Humans are physically and psychologically wired to be more responsive to visual content, and the direction in which the Internet had been developing ever since most users acquired sufficient bandwidth proves this point right. Video has already achieved complete dominance over all other types of content: no less than 85% of marketers use it in this or that form, and one-third of all online activity consists of watching the video. Videos are everywhere: on social media, on corporate websites, in product demos. For affiliate marketing, it means that if you are not using videos to engage visitors, you are losing a massive opportunity. Practice shows that it is much easier to entice a visitor to watch a video than to consume any other type of content. In addition to that, take a closer look at AR (augmented reality). It was a big thing back in 2016 but stood somewhat low in 2017, but now we are going to see its comeback after technology gets perfected and used to its full potential. It will be more accessible to marketers and serve as an excellent way of reaching out to potential clients.
2. Growth of EPC-Based Payment Model
EPC (earnings per click) is an affiliate payment model built around the rate of commission you get for the achieved click-throughs or the necessary activity performed on your affiliate links. It is already a widely used payment model across affiliate networks, and 2018 is likely to see it grow. There are many reasons for that, primarily that it provides a deep insight into what is happening both for affiliates and advertisers, making it easy to see what is being done wrong and what has to be changed. Therefore, it may be wise to start working with well-established EPC affiliate programs early in the year.
3. Many Affiliate Networks Will Disappear or Reorient Themselves
No, affiliate marketing isn’t dead despite all the efforts of Google and Facebook and isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. However, there are just too many affiliate networks out there today, especially since the mass emergence of Chinese networks. More supply means greater competition, and while it means better conditions for both marketers and affiliates for a while, it may indicate that the network you’ve decided to hook up is going out of business. So, you have to find a replacement quickly or risk disrupting your business. 2018 will likely see the spread of affiliate marketing to developing countries, which will mean an even more significant competition, so look out.
As a side note, it means that the key to success would be better targeting and the ability to define and stick to a delineated niche – otherwise, it is easy to be lost in the multitude of other offers already existing on the market and appearing every day.
4. Ecommerce Is Big and Will Get Bigger
With every passing year, people from more and more countries are getting more comfortable with using their credit cards online as well as mastering new and more advanced payment methods. It means more business in ecommerce, which in turn means more and more diverse advertising, which means the higher participation of affiliate marketing in this niche.
5. Growth of Voice Search
Voice assistance like Amazon Alexa and Google Home steadily grew in their use throughout 2017 and are increasingly often integrated with third-party products. In long-term, it can mean a general move towards voice search and, therefore, affiliate marketers have to predict this and adapt to more natural-sounding speech patterns and long tail keywords.
In general, affiliate marketing is likely to continue to grow, with more merchants and website owners creating new affiliate programs on popular networks and advertisers trying to diversify their affiliate traffic sources, and you would do better to jump the bandwagon.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community