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The Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Trends To Have On Your Radar In 2020

When it comes to affiliate marketing, it really is survival of the fittest.

Not only is the landscape of digital marketing changing at a breakneck pace, but there are also countless new affiliates joining all the time. So how can you, as an affiliate marketer, ensure that you’re reaching new prospects and driving better results?

One fool-proof method is to stay one step ahead of the game in terms of affiliate marketing trends. “Getting in on the ground floor”, as they say, can help you reach untapped markets, delivering the campaign performance you need to thrive.

But where do you begin? How do you know where to direct your focus? We’ve got you covered.

Here are 5 up-and-coming affiliate marketing trends you should be looking at in 2020.

#1: The rise (and further rise) of TikTok

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, you must have seen the massive impact of the latest social media platform, TikTok.

Specializing in short-form music-based video content, TikTok is particularly popular with the Gen-Z demographic and younger millennials. If any of your affiliate marketing campaigns are targeting people in these demographics, TikTok might just be an opportunity waiting to be snatched up. The platform has recently begun building its own advertising platform, TikTok Ads, so the timing really couldn’t be better.

Oh, and did we mention it now has 800 million active users? Yep, there’s that too. And with the platform’s incredible pace of growth, that number is only set to grow.

So what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking.

#2: The power of voice search (and optimizing the right way)

A key aspect to many affiliate marketing campaigns is, of course, your website.

After all, it’s here that you’ll host all of the content or reviews which will then lead (hopefully) to sales and commissions. Traditionally, search engines like Google have delivered potential leads to a site via desktop or mobile users. But new technology is challenging that arrangement, and she has a name: Alexa (or Siri, or Cortana).

That’s right, voice search is now taking second place (after mobile) as the most popular way to search the web. How can affiliate marketers optimize for this new way of operating? How can you compete when consumers can make direct purchases via Amazon and other retailers?

The answer is in how you format your content.

If you optimize your reviews and other useful content for voice search, you can still find yourself being suggested by voice assistants. From there, users will be handed off to their device to complete the purchase journey. Content formats like Q&As are particularly well-suited to voice search, which generally works best with single responses.  

#3: The customer-centric strategy

As an affiliate marketer, is it best to go for high-volume at a low commission, or low-volume at a high commission? This is a question that has plagued affiliates for many years. In 2020, we might finally get an answer.

There’s a general trend in digital marketing known as “customer-centrism”. Despite its fancy name, all it really means is that advertisers are focused more on the customer experience. Traditionally, affiliate marketing has been driven by large-volume sales, but high-ticket items can fetch great commissions too — they simply take a different approach.

If you’re willing to re-work your affiliate strategy so that you appear more like a direct brand focused on one or two high-value products, you’ll discover many more opportunities to focus on your customer.

And, in doing so, you’ll be able to focus less on the small fry — and more on the big fish.

#4: AI, machine learning, and the data-driven approach

Artificial Intelligence might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the truth is that it’s already here — and it could help you find affiliate marketing success.

There are two big technological shifts taking place: AI, which refers to technology that makes decisions for itself, and machine learning, which is technology that delivers data-driven insights for you to make the decision.

As an affiliate marketer, you’ll already know how important it is to understand the data behind the affiliate sales you make, but it’s not always easy to bring this all together. Machine learning technology works to do all of this for you. It can leverage historical data to build a picture of the customer persona who is most likely to engage with your affiliate marketing campaigns. From here, you are then able to tailor your strategy — including any creative assets — to reach that demographic.

Don’t think of these technologies as threatening to take your job; use them as tools. Something to help you do your job better.  

#5: Blend in with native advertising

A lot of affiliate marketers dedicate a good chunk of their budget to pay-per-click platforms — and for good reason. After all, if your customer is spending time on Google, you have to meet them there.

But what if there’s another way? Display advertising (like web banners) has been around for years, but people seem to have developed something like “banner blindness”, meaning it’s less effective than it used to be.

The solution? Native advertising. If you’ve ever seen those “sponsored” articles at the bottom of web pages, often with flashy headlines or eye-catching images, then you’ve experienced native advertising. For an affiliate, this form of advertising blends in seamlessly with the existing content — and comes across as far less “pushy” than traditional PPC ads.

With more native advertising platforms hitting the market all the time, 2020 is a great time to explore this potentially lucrative advertising channel.  

Evolve your affiliate campaigns with LinkTrust

Staying a step ahead of the affiliate marketing game isn’t just about keeping an eye on trends, it’s also about making sure you’re using the very best tools for the job. That’s where LinkTrust comes in.

Our one-of-a-kind management, tracking, and attribution platform can help you capture every click, qualify every lead, and secure every commission — no matter which channel you’re working with.Want to know more about how we could supercharge your affiliate marketing campaigns? Get in touch and start your 14-day free trial today