5 Affiliate Marketing Trends to Try in 2020
Whether you’re looking to start an affiliate program or revamp your existing program, here are some affiliate marketing trends you can try in 2020:
1. Diversify Your Affiliates
Between blogs, social media and even word-of-mouth, there’s a lot of opportunity to promote your brand in different online spaces. And with a pay-for-performance marketing model, why would you limit yourself?
Make it a goal to recruit new affiliates. Find affiliates that are different from those you typically work with.
Affiliates can be anyone from existing customers, bloggers, vloggers, influencers, website owners, review sites, other businesses and even professional affiliate marketers.
Seek out affiliates on a variety of channels and platforms. Having a wide-range of affiliates means more diverse content to showcase your products & service, and your brand will be seen in new spaces by untapped audiences.
If most of your affiliates are bloggers, think about being more active in inviting your existing customers for a more personalized promotion. If the majority of your referrals come from social media, try partnering with review sites to reach new audiences and gain better search engine rankings.
2. Rethink Influencer Promotions
2019 saw some major changes to influencer marketing.
First, there was an increase around the regulations with influencer marketing across all platforms. Now, influencers are required to disclose promotions in some way, like using #ad or “in paid partnership” alongside.
Then, we saw more pushback to top-tier influencers like the Kardashian family. The famous family came under scrutiny for promoting brands like Flat Tummy Tea and SugarBear Hair, giving questionable product claims and misleading audiences into believing these products are responsible for their model-looks.
And finally, the year ended with Instagram’s announcement of removing Likes. This sent panic among the influencer community, and will no-doubt change the metrics used for affiliate marketing.
Although the last year brought some pretty dramatic changes to the influencer industry, it’s actually opened up opportunities for affiliate marketing.
Likes and Followers are an influencer’s currency. Influencers were able to use these metrics as leverage for paid promotions, and typically compensated with an upfront fee.
But now that these metrics are hidden, the ROI of influencers is harder to see.
One solution is using affiliate links and referral codes. Affiliate links and referral codes will allow you to measure how many people actually came to your site and made an order.
And for influencers, they are still able to be compensated for their promotions.
If you were hesitant to partner with influencers before, these changes now make it much more viable.
Micro-influencers are social media influencers on a smaller scale, with somewhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. They tend to be more niche focused with expertise in interests like health, design, cooking, travel, gaming, beauty etc.
Micro-influencers tend to have a more engaged following.
Markerly found that when an influencer’s follower total rises, the rate of engagement (likes and comments) with followers decreases. Higher engagement rates means more visibility, and a micro-influencers’ post are more likely at the top of their follower’s feed.
On top of that, they can be perceived as authentic and genuine.
It’s likely that a micro-influencer is actually a consumer of that product, and most people don’t question this. In contrast, do we really believe that celebrity-influencers are using $20 Proactive skin care? Most on Twitter say no.
Using micro-influencers can give a big boost to your affiliate program’s social media promotions in 2020.
3. Include More Video Content
More and more, video is becoming the preferred content for consumers.
And there’s a lot of stats that show how powerful video can be:
- 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. (Wyzowl)
- Viewers are 95% more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video, compared to 10 percent when reading it in text format. (Forbes)
- Video searches for “which product should I buy” have doubled since last year. (Google)
- 84% of consumers have bought something after watching a video. (Wyzowl)
There’s a few ways you can add video to affiliate marketing strategy.
Find and partner with affiliates that are familiar with video. This can be vloggers, YouTubers, live streamers, influencers on Instagram Stories and Facebook Live, etc.
It’s important to note that although YouTube is king - video can still be very effective as blog and website content.
Popular video content includes:
- Tutorial & How To videos
- Product Reviews
- Favorites & Best Features
- Unboxing Videos
For example, an e-commerce store could partner with a fashion vlogger for a styling video on how they wear their product. Or, a software company could work with a YouTuber to make a tutorial video, going step-by-step how to use certain functions and the end outcome.
For more collaborative content, consider doing an interview or giving sample products that can be used in the video.
This is also a great way to create hype around new products. Provide affiliates with materials beforehand, then they can create videos with “insider” details and be used for promotion prior to a product launch.
Marketing materials you should prepare for video promotions include:
- Referral links and promo codes
- Brand logo for thumbnails
- Accurate pricing/sale information
Affiliate links can be placed in the video caption, directing traffic to the products shown in the video. Another option is coupon codes, that can be promoted in the video and in the caption.
Video promotions are more in-depth, and in some cases, more time-consuming to create. Really take time to seek out affiliates that you can create a strong partnership with, and prepare to have more involvement in the process (especially with product samples & demos).
4. Consider Mobile
Mobile is becoming increasingly popular for online users, making up approximately half of Internet traffic across the globe in 2019.
Generally speaking, long-form blogs and websites can be difficult to read on a phone’s smaller screen. This means you’ll want to find affiliates that promote mobile-friendly content, like social media influencers or YouTube vloggers.
This also means making landing pages for referral links mobile-friendly.
All mobile referrals should be sent to a landing page fit for a mobile screen, and are easy-to-navigate and with appropriate font & size.
With mobile, think about how you can shorten the pathway for conversions.
Use clear call-to-action buttons. Make checkout simple, with only essential form fields. Consider integrating digital wallets to your payment process, so customers can easily make a purchase in one session.
Then, make sure these landing pages are fast. Google found that when a page’s load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123%.
5. Apply Data-Driven Findings from Tapfiliate’s Reporting Feature
Optimize your affiliate program using data-driven findings.
Starting in the new year, Tapfiliate is coming out with a completely new Reporting feature. Now, you can easily analyze all your affiliate data in one place, in real time - giving you a clear understanding of what is working and what can be improved.
Drill down where your promotions are most successful, what type of content leads to conversions and who your top performers are.
What you can expect in the new reporting feature:
- Reporting overview showing active affiliates, total conversions, conversion amount and commission amount
- Conversion Trend reports filtered by day, month, year
- Geo-mapping to show where conversions are coming from
- Top-performing affiliates with their conversion & commission data
- Asset Type & Landing Page conversion data
- Browser & Device data
With new technonology, and awesome features from Tapfiliate, there are plenty of opportunities to grow your affiliate program in the new year.
But, as we all know, technology and interests changes fast. It’s essential to know the trends and adapt to ensure you’re engaging audiences and continuing to grow your business.
The good news, we’re here to help! Be sure to follow our blog for more affiliate marketing updates.