2018 is already shaping up to be one of the best and most lucrative years yet for savvy affiliate marketers who are committed to exploring new angles and expanding their reach.
Even though the year has barely gotten started, there are a number of trends and techniques that are proving to be big money-makers for early adopters, and if you’re prepared to put in the work and are committed to staying ahead of the curve, there’s no reason why you can’t be among them.
If you are looking for ways to increase your market share, boost your reach, and maximize your affiliate marketing earnings in 2018, look no further.
In this article, we will look at the five top affiliate marketing trends to watch in 2018, and explore how you can utilize them to increase your revenue and expand your reach.
First up, it bears mentioning that all too many affiliates still aren’t making the best possible use of mobile marketing, and this is a huge mistake that is almost certainly costing you money, whether you realize it or not.
The mobile market is big business already and is still on the rise – with over 50% of internet users choosing their phones in place of a desktop to play games, socialize, and browse the internet in a way that was virtually unheard of as recently as five years ago.
If you’re not dedicating as much time and money to the mobile channel as you are to your desktop promotions and ad targeting, you’re losing out – it’s that simple.
In-app banner ads, gaming promotions, and mobile browser ads are all highly lucrative ways to catch your target audience’s attention – and convert prospects into purchases, which means more money in the bank for you.
Strong content still leads the field
Getting your website and another online content spot on when it comes to SEO, user-friendliness and fast, intuitive performance is still an integral element of success as an affiliate.
However, all too many affiliates think that writing and optimizing their customer-facing content is a “set and forget”endeavor, or less valuable than direct marketing and ad placement.
Google and other major search engines value optimized, good quality authority content more today than ever, and this isn’t something you can take a shortcut on if you want to stay ahead of the pack.
Work on providing real value for your human visitors and establishing your site as an authority in your field, with excellent written content, good quality backlinks, and SEO built in.
If you’re not up to the task yourself or feel as if you’re getting left behind by the competition, hiring an SEO consultant and/or a professional copywriter is definitely worth considering, and will pay for itself many times over in the medium to long-term.
Harness the power of influencer marketing
One marketing angle that affiliates are only just starting to sit up and take notice of in a big way is influencer marketing – and if you can get a social media savvy celeb, or a well-known blogger, vlogger, or online personality to highlight and endorse your goods, you might soon find yourself with more traffic than you can handle.
Whilst you probably won’t be able to convince one of the Kardashians to give you a shout out for less than around £100k, any influencers, bloggers, or vloggers with 10,000 followers or more are definitely worth targeting.
Some smaller-scale and newer influencers might well offer you a shout out in return for a good quality/desirable product, but expect to have to pay for well established and big-name influencers to promote your brand or goods.
Engage and inform with video content
We’ve already covered the importance of excellent quality written website content, but don’t overlook the power of video when it comes to reaching out to prospects and getting your content shared organically.
Stats for last year indicate that videos account for a whopping 90% of all user-shared content on social media – and not only is video content highly shareable, but it also engages the watcher and ensures that your message is seen and taken on board in a way that written content can’t hope to emulate.
Whether you’re offering teasers, tutorials, demos, or content to entertain and amuse, now is the time to get to grips with YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram Live, and put them to work for you.
Think native advertising
Native advertising is camouflaged content that is designed to promote and advertise goods or services whilst blending seamlessly into the background of the page or content that it is displayed within. Think Buzzfeed’s promoted content, comprised of humorous listicle-style quizzes and articles that perform just as well as the organic content that lies beside it.
Getting your native ads on point relies upon being able to find and build relationships with brands and websites hosting complementary content, which will allow your ad or promotion to make itself known to your prospects without immediately causing them to discount it because “it’s just an ad.”
Native ads emulate the tone, style, and approach of the other content present within the platform that displays them, which makes them much more visible in real terms to your prospects, who will often have a finely-honed talent for tuning out blatant adverts, no matter how relevant or persuasive they might be.
Good native ads are highly shareable, bespoke designed for the platform on which they are used, and blend seamlessly with the organic content of the site. If you put the time and effort into fine-tuning your approach, you might find that your potential prospects do the rest of the hard work for you, sharing and disseminating your message to an ever-widening pool of potential buyers.
Creating and actioning a native ad campaign can be pretty time and effort intensive because each ad you produce will need to be bespoke-designed for the platform that hosts it. But when you see the type of yield that choosing the right platform and the right approach can produce in short order, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it years ago.
Hopefully, now you will have a good idea of the up-and-coming affiliate marketing trends to watch for 2018 – and if you get on board now and start putting this knowledge to work to boost your income and increase your reach, you’ll soon find yourself drawing ahead of the competition.