Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money online and is a great alternative to investing your own money into a product or service. By becoming an affiliate you can network with as many people as you like with both companies and individuals. So if you are good at promoting and marketing other peoples goods and services then check out the 5 trends that will continue to dominate the affiliate market in 2014:
1. On Affiliate Marketing and mobile:
Internationalisation will gather pace – we are already seeing an increasing volume of publishers signing up to the network from abroad and also a considerable volume of overseas traffic to our advertisers. This is likely to grow further over the next 12 months and advertisers will be better placed to take a foothold in key markets.
The continued rise of mobile – This year saw mobile really come to the fore and we can expect it to play a more important role in 2014. Advertisers will be looking towards a “mobile first” strategy – not only optimising their sites for mobile traffic but also looking how to utilise mobile capabilities in terms of targeting by device and location. Affiliate tracking will be added as a standard rather than merely an afterthought and publishers will become increasingly savvy in developing their mobile offering.
Emergence of cross device tracking – with the rise of mobile commerce and consumers using multiple devices, we will begin to see cross device tracking to help us answer questions of incrementality. Are customers who would typically purchase from a desktop just migrating to mobile devices or are they additional shoppers? Cross device tracking will also be instrumental in helping target consumers across multiple devices.
2. On Affiliate Marketing and the single customer: While targeting customers over multiple channels, brands need to have a complete picture of their shopper. Many retailers are now trying to take a single customer view, ensuring that the pieces of their marketing campaign are working more efficiently together.
3. On Affiliate Marketing and pricing models: In short, it will grow! Firstly, in terms of traffic: Mobile & on-to-offline will become integral parts of an advertiser’s affiliate program. There will also be a rise in local affiliate marketing i.e. advertisers being relevant “here and now” and having geo-targeted vouchers and deals. In addition to this, the industry will further embrace social, video and offline – for example pay-per-call. It’s going to be about understanding the user journey and their path to conversion better.
4. On Affiliate Marketing and attribution – I think what’s interesting this year is that there will be a few key developments which, rather than being discrete, will very much go hand in hand. These are largely centred around shifting approaches to attribution and the attendant focus on user journey data. There has already been considerable development in this area over the course of 2013 and I think this is going to start coming to fruition throughout 2014 with much greater visibility over user journeys achieved.
5. On Affiliate Marketing and data – 2014 will be the year of focussing more on data-driven advertising models and data insight-generating technologies for eCommerce advertising. Historically, affiliate marketing hasn’t supplied advertisers with the performance they need. There will always be online businesses for which this kind of “traffic brokerage” model still suits them, especially within the search and email marketing areas. However, moving forward I definitely predict that the top 500 online brands will decrease their campaigns with affiliate networks in the coming year.
This year we will see even more focus on creating a custom experience for consumers to boost sales in every aspect online. By creating a custom experience consumers are more likely to buy things they feel are tailored just for them and it will bring back a sense of urgency and desire that the recession put on the back burner for quite some time now.
What are your predictions for affiliate marketing in this new year?