Affiliate marketing is a constantly evolving sector. The way in which we sold products and services as an affiliate 10 or even 5 years ago, is different to how we do so now.
What does the future hold though?
As the market is consistently changing, we need to alter our strategic plans to match this. Any marketers who remain in the old ways and don’t modify their approach over time will get left behind and are doomed to failure in the long run. For example, look at how much affiliate marketing efforts are now focused on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These didn’t exist 15 years ago. Similarly, affiliate marketers are now paying most of their attention to mobile marketing as smartphone’s and tablets are now the most common way in which people access the internet.
The point is that affiliate marketing changes and we have to change with it.
Let’s look at the future opportunities and threats that you will come across in affiliate marketing.
What is swot analysis in marketing?
Before we get into the specifics, let’s first have a look at SWOT analysis marketing and why it applies to the future of e-commerce.
SWOT analysis is a strategic preparation technique that lets you plan for the future. It stands for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You can break this down even further by dividing the SWOT marketing analysis into another two sections – internal and external. Generally, your strengths and weaknesses are part of the internal analysis and opportunities and threats are associated with external factors.
This lets you examine the internal parts of your business that are good and bad and what external factors will help or hinder you reaching your objectives and goals. The SWOT technique can be applied to any business, however, we can use it in this blog to look at affiliate marketing as a whole.
How to do a swot analysis
Applying the SWOT marketing technique is quite straightforward and it will give you a much clearer idea of how to proceed in the future to reach your goals.
In the strengths column for affiliate marketing, we have the ROI. As you aren’t developing or producing these products or services yourself, then your return-on-investment will be high if you can make sales. You won’t have massive costs associated with creating products, you are simply advertising other people’s services and your budget can be completely focused on marketing and advertising.
Weaknesses include the fact that you have no control over the products that are your promoting and making sales with. You may also have a poor knowledge of that sector in the beginning so a lot of research will be required and you may need to manage several ‘micro-sites’ for each product that you are affiliated with.
There are great affiliate marketing opportunities that we will look at in more detail below however the fact that you have literally thousands of products to choose from means you can branch out into any sector. You aren’t limited in what you promote. In some cases, affiliate marketing can turn into a passive income however it does take a bit of work to get to this stage.
Finally, the threats of affiliate marketing include the fact that your income can go from a lot to nothing overnight. For example, the product that you have made countless sales on might cease or the company might stop using affiliates leaving you to start all over again. Anyone can get into affiliate marketing and for you, this means a huge number of competitors which is problematic especially in small niches.
That is, in a nutshell, how you conduct a SWOT analysis.
What does the future hold for affiliate marketing?
Online affiliate marketing opportunities
There are a number of affiliate marketing business opportunities that are there to be utilized in the future.
The changes in traffic sources is a big one that many affiliate marketers are beginning to take advantage of. As we use mobile now more than ever, some marketers haven’t got into this trend yet and it provides an opportunity for innovative affiliate marketers to take advantage of these new traffic sources.
Taking advantage of automation is another big area in which individuals and companies can grow their affiliate marketing business quicker in the future. It is one of the marketing tricks that a lot of affiliates will adopt.
Threats in affiliate marketing
Google’s new ad blocking plans is one of the biggest threats that affiliate marketing faces in the coming years.
The tech giant confirmed that it has plans to integrate an ad blocking in the Chrome browser that would limit the exposure that many affiliate marketing ads get and also reduce the audience that sees those ads. Although using anti-ad blocking is one potential way around this problem.
Another threat is affiliate fraud and the reputational impact that this can have on the industry as a whole. Fake leads, proxy sales, and other fraudulent techniques can damage affiliate marketing for everyone and cause consumers to lose faith in using affiliates to purchase products and services. It can also have a detrimental impact on future opportunities for affiliate marketers.
The future of affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing isn’t going away however it is an industry that constantly changes and evolves as time goes on.
What was a cutting-edge marketing technique 5 years ago is probably hardly used anymore? Consumers change, the way in which we buy products and services online changes and affiliate marketers have to react to this.
We have listed some great affiliate marketing opportunities to show you that the future is bright however there are threats to be aware of and they serve as a reminder that you can’t stagnate in this market. Use the SWOT analysis to ensure that you not only recognize your own strengths and weaknesses but that you discover the marketing threats and opportunities too as it will give you the best chance of success in an ever-evolving industry.