It goes without saying that 2020 brings big change for almost every industry. The change in consumer behavior and purchasing journeys has challenged many marketing strategies. Adaptation and adaptation have become the new reality, with many of us having to think outside the box when it comes to promoting our products and services online.
As marketers, there are a few key concepts we can draw from the past year’s experience to create new opportunities for affiliate marketing. In this article, we’ll cover new affiliate marketing trends and ways to incorporate them into your 2021 strategy.
- Feature more affiliate content
- Use social media to educate rather than influence
- Explore alternative social media channels
- Promote not only products, but also your brand
- Offer bonus commissions to stand out
1. Include more affiliate content
Over the years, affiliate links have been lurking in blog articles with little knowledge of the affiliate relationship with the promoted brand.
But as they say, when they make a change.
Affiliate marketing has grown significantly. The rise of self-publishing tools and social media platforms has led to more publishers looking to monetize their content. The shift in customers’ expectations for engaging, valuable content has led advertisers to seek new ways to promote their products and services.
Add the best affiliate marketing tracking software and affiliate marketing becomes a fixture in your marketing strategies, just like email campaigns or display ads.
In fact, 81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers in the US have turned to affiliate marketing in recent years. With that, you no longer need to shy away from your affiliate-focused promotions.
Highlight your affiliate partners.
Take advantage of affiliate-generated content on your site.
Promote your affiliate program and highlight your offers.
Attract more affiliates and get more people promoting your brand.
Amazon has partnered with creators as part of their Amazon Associates/Influencer Programs to create featured content directly on their sites. Affiliates promote products specific to their niche using live streaming videos and include links to purchase products featured in the Amazon marketplace. Amazon uses this content on product pages, category pages, and holiday promotion pages on its site.
Some affiliate content ideas to feature on your site include:
- Live streams with product Q&A sessions
- Video tutorials and how-to guides
- Special product feeds such as gift guides or wish lists
- Detailed product reviews and references
Considering that this content is used as part of your site, consider using different commission structures. You can offer a higher commission or bonus incentive for affiliates who create content for your site.
Used by 93% of brands and showing no signs of slowing down, influencers will continue to play an important role in affiliate marketing. But as the industry continues to grow and evolve, you can expect new things to come for influencer-led promotions in the coming year.
Trends like video and micro-influencers will continue.
The big change will be in impressive content. Given the dramatic societal changes of the past year and the ability of viewers to spot paid promotions, highly curated compelling content will no longer have the same impact as before.
Viewers want to see more authentic, authentic content that provides value.
Cerave achieved this by partnering with top estheticians like @makeupforwomenofcolor to create content about skincare products. Despite having a large niche audience, partners don’t just grab a product and tell their followers to buy it, they instead use their industry-leading position to create in-depth, educational content around the products they promote. They discuss how to use the product, what skin conditions they target, and why the ingredients work.
The focus is less on their popularity and less on their expertise.
This type of content has become increasingly popular on social media platforms like Tik-Tok and Instagram Reels. This content is also suitable for Live streaming, Q&A sessions, and blog content (both onsite and offsite).
Tips for creating this type of content for affiliate promotions include:
- Finding the best influencers in your particular niche – the more specific the better
- Looking beyond just follower numbers, more expertise
- Providing Influencers with free samples or product previews for review
- Allowing influencers to have more control over their promotions
It’s important to keep in mind that the influencers you partner with may not necessarily be the first type of “influencers.” But don’t limit yourself. Viewers want to see real people and quality content. Accredited professionals, industry analysts, brand professionals, and niche experts can all be excellent influencers.
Major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have always been the channels of choice for affiliate promotions. But as we mentioned above, viewers are looking for content that is more authentic and provides value.
Alternative social media channels like Reddit, Quora, and Medium offer a new way to share affiliate content and promotions.
These platforms tend to be more niche-oriented with communities built around a common interest so you have a better chance of reaching your target audience. Also, as we mentioned earlier, this content is extremely educational and a resource for many potential customers.
This is also a great opportunity to put your brand at the center of the conversation. This could be affiliates that provide reviews and links to your products. Or it could be a way to find highly qualified members to join your program. In both cases, you can arouse interest in your brand and build brand awareness.
As an added bonus, this will aid your SEO efforts and expand your online presence.
4. Make your brand stand out, not just products
Brands that highlight who they are, not just their products, will be successful in 2021.
Consumers want to buy from the brands they like.
87% of consumers say they will switch from one brand to another if the other brand is associated with a good cause.
They want to feel good about who they buy from and where they spend their money. They care about brands being sensitive to the environment. They like to read stories about employee well-being. They find it important to see diversity and inclusion.
Blogger WildishJess shares products on her blog that align with her goals of keeping a more sustainable home. The blog, which features products like shampoo sticks, provides a detailed explanation of how the product uses less single-use plastics and why this is important for the environment. It offers a new angle and appeals to readers who care about this topic.
Share any brand-related content with your affiliates so they can use it as part of their promotions. You can post it in your newsletter, marketing materials (such as images or graphics), and on your website.
Great brand-related content for affiliate marketing includes:
- Company initiatives
- Social Issues (i.e. Black Lives Matter)
- non-profit sponsorships
- Local outreach efforts (Volunteering in Food Banks)
- Company history and establishment
- office culture (see paid paternity leave)
5. Offer bonus commissions to stand out
With more and more brands turning to affiliate marketing, it can be difficult to attract affiliates.
Bonus commissions will help you stand out among your competitors. This gives you an extra edge and gives affiliates an extra incentive to promote your product.
As a way to promote affiliate programs, Coursera highlights bonus offers. They give a base commission of 10% to 45% on all eligible purchases users make within 30 days of clicking an eligible link, and then add bonuses for strong performance.
Here are some situations where bonuses can be useful:
- Launch of new product or features
- Seasonal and holiday sales
- Decreased sales periods
- Financial quarter or end of year
Tapfiliate’s Professional Plan allows you to customize bonuses based on target goals, bonus amounts, bonus periods and bonus tiers.
There are many opportunities to grow your affiliate program in the new year and Tapfiliate is here to make it possible. Be sure to follow our blog for more affiliate marketing updates in 2021.