The start of the year is the perfect time to try new strategies for your affiliate program.
If you’re looking to start an affiliate program or renew your current one, here are some affiliate marketing trends you can try in 2020:
1. Diversify your affiliates
There are many opportunities to promote your brand in different online spaces, be it blogs, social media or even word of mouth. And why limit yourself to the pay-per-performance marketing model?
Make it a goal to recruit new members. Find affiliates that are different from the ones you usually work with.
Affiliates can be any of the existing customers, bloggers, vloggers, influencers, website owners, review sites, other businesses or even professional affiliate marketers.
Search for affiliates across various channels and platforms. Having a wide range of affiliates means more diverse content to showcase your products and services, and your brand will be seen by untapped audiences in new areas.
If most of your affiliates are bloggers, consider being more active in inviting your existing customers for a more personalized promotion. If most of your referrals come from social media, try partnering with review sites to reach new audiences and get better search engine rankings.
2019 saw some big changes in influencer marketing.
First, there has been a surge around regulations with influencer marketing across all platforms. Now, influencers need to disclose promotions in some way, such as #ad or use together in a “paid affiliate”.
Then we saw more backlash from top influencers like the Kardashian family. The famous family came under scrutiny for promoting brands like Flat Tummy Tea and SugarBear Hair, making questionable product claims and convincing viewers that these products were responsible for their model looks.
And finally, the year ended with Instagram announcing it would remove Likes. This has created panic among the influencer community and will undoubtedly change the metrics used for affiliate marketing.
While the last year brought some pretty dramatic changes in the influencer industry, it actually opened up opportunities for affiliate marketing.
Pay for Performance Influencers
Likes and Followers are the currency of an influencer. Influencers were able to leverage these metrics for paid promotions and were often compensated with an upfront fee.
But now that these metrics are hidden, it’s harder for influencers to see ROI.
One solution is to use affiliate links and referral codes. Affiliate links and referral codes allow you to measure how many people actually come to your site and place an order.
And for influencers, they can still be compensated for their promotions.
If you were hesitant to partner with influencers before, these changes now make it that much more viable.
Micro influencers are social media influencers on a smaller scale, with somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Health, design, cooking, travel, gaming, beauty, etc. they tend to be more niche-oriented with expertise in their areas of interest.
Micro-influencers tend to have a more engaged audience.
Markerly found that when an influencer’s follower total increased, the rate of engagement (likes and comments) with followers decreased. Higher engagement rates mean more visibility, and micro-influencers’ posts are more likely to be at the top of their follower feed.
On top of that, they can be perceived as authentic and real.
A micro-influencer is likely to actually be a consumer of that product, and most people don’t question that. In contrast, do we really believe that celebrity influencers use $20 Proactive skin care? On Twitter, many say no.
Using micro-influencers can give a huge boost to your affiliate program’s social media promotions in 2020.
3. Add more video content
More and more videos are becoming the content of choice for consumers.
And there are lots of stats that show just how powerful video can be:
- 72% of people prefer to use video to learn about a product or service. (Wyzowl)
- Viewers are 95 percent more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video, compared to 10 percent when reading the video in text format. (Forbes)
- Video searches for “which product should I buy” have doubled since last year. (Google)
- 84% of consumers bought something after watching a video. (Wyzowl)
There are several ways to include video in an affiliate marketing strategy.
Find affiliates familiar with the video and partner with them. This is for vloggers, YouTubers, live streamers, influencers on Instagram Stories and Facebook Live etc. it could be.
While YouTube is king, it’s important to remember that video can still be very effective as blog and website content.
Popular video content includes:
- Tutorial and How-to videos
- Product Reviews
- Favorites and Top Features
- Unboxing Videos
- Style Sessions
For example, an e-commerce store might partner with a fashion vlogger for a style video of how they wear their products. Or a software company could work with a YouTuber to make a video tutorial that walks you through how to use certain functions and the final result.
For more collaborative content, consider doing an interview or providing sample products that could be used in a video.
This is also a great way to create hype around new products. Provide affiliates with material upfront, then they can create videos with “inside” details and be used for promotion prior to a product launch.
The marketing materials you should prepare for video promotions include:
- Referral links and promo codes
- Brand logo for thumbnails
- Accurate pricing/sales information
Affiliate links can be placed in the video header that direct traffic to the products shown in the video. Another option is coupon codes that can be promoted in the video and in the title.
Video demos are more detailed and in some cases take more time to create. Really take the time to find affiliates with whom you can build a strong partnership and prepare to be more involved in the process (especially with product samples and demos).
4. Think mobile
Mobile is becoming more and more popular with online users, and in 2019 it accounts for about half of internet traffic worldwide.
Generally speaking, long-form blogs and websites can be difficult to read on a phone’s smaller screen. That means you’ll want to find affiliates promoting mobile-friendly content like social media influencers or YouTube vloggers.
This also means making the landing pages of referral links mobile friendly.
All mobile redirects should be sent to a landing page that is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and has an appropriate font and size.
Consider how you can shorten the conversion path with mobile devices.
Use clear call-to-action buttons. Simplify the checkout process with only required form fields. Consider integrating digital wallets into your payment process so customers can easily make purchases in a single session.
Next, make sure these landing pages are fast. Google found that when a page’s load time decreased from one second to 10 seconds, a mobile site visitor’s bounce rate increased by 123%.
5. Apply data-driven findings from Tapfiliate’s Reporting Feature
Optimize your affiliate program using data-driven findings.
Tapfiliate comes with a completely new Reporting feature starting the new year. 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.
See where your promotions are most successful, what types of content are converting, and who are performing the best.
What you can expect from the new reporting feature:
- Overview of reporting 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 conversion and commission data
- Item Type and Landing Page conversion data
- Browser and Device data
With Tapfiliate’s new technology and great features, there are many opportunities to grow your affiliate program in the new year.
However, as we all know, technology and areas of interest are changing rapidly. Knowing trends and keeping up with them is essential to ensure you engage the masses and continue to grow your business.
The good news is we’re here to help! Be sure to follow our blog for more affiliate marketing updates.