For more than a couple of years now, 2020 has been every trend watcher’s near-mythical time horizon. Now, we have finally reached that point where we’re going to live through the infamous 2020 and watch all the things that we talked about over the years finally happen.
New challenges and opportunities are ahead, so we should take the time to first analyze the terrain, remind ourselves what worked so far best for us, and prepare for everything that is coming our way in this new year before jumping back into action with both feet.
Just like any other industry in the world, affiliate marketing is constantly changing and evolving. In order to stay on top of your game, you need to constantly keep your ear to the ground, work on your skills, and test out new strategies that have the potential to help you reach a wider audience and convert more people into leads and customers.
To properly prepare you for what lies ahead, we at Traffic Mansion have decided to provide you with a list of trends that we believe are going to be most effective in the field of affiliate marketing in 2020.
1. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is now bigger than ever. According to Social Media Today, 51% of all businesses now believe that they can acquire better customers with the help of quality influencers. The same study claims that the majority of those who collaborate with influencers are convinced that this is not a once-off game. In fact, 71% of individuals who participated in this study are pretty sure that maintaining an active partnership with specific influencers who share their values is the best possible tactic.
In a study conducted by The Influencer Marketing Hub, it has been brought to light that businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. With that said, nearly two-thirds of businesses that currently invest in influencer marketing, plan to pour even more money into this practice.
For people who are interested in making money in 2020 by promoting brands, their products and services, investing in influencer marketing is a must. Creating meaningful influencer campaigns that leverage the reviewing and buying power of influencers has proven to be an extremely lucrative tactic.
Apart from developing strong connections with people who have the authority and audience in specific niches and markets, affiliates should try to become influential figures themselves. They should work on their brand and following, and invest a great deal of energy into creating powerful content (in various formats) that showcases their expertise on multiple networks.
The line between affiliate and influencer marketing is now thinner than ever. If you’re in this to win, you should try to make use of all the tools that are at your disposal.
2. Exclusive Partnerships
This one is sort of an extension of influencer marketing.
Once you build a presence as an influencer, try to land an exclusive partnership with a brand. As a content creator with a developed audience in a specific niche, you’re in a good position to negotiate an exclusive affiliate deal with a strong company.
When working with affiliates, companies are basically looking to broaden their connections. They don’t just want to appear in front of new people, they want to get people who qualify as their potential customers to trust them. To do that, they need help from individuals who are recognized in specific communities and who have proven themselves to be opinion makers.
Brands want influential figures on their side. They want them as brand ambassadors, not just mindless salesmen who are willing to spam people all the time until they cave in and buy something.
Being extremely aggressive when it comes to sales is not really something that most modern Internet users appreciate. Brands know that. Instead of investing in an army of mindless drones whose overly-aggressive approach is going to scare off their potential leads and make them loathe the brand, companies are now more interested in finding respected content creators who share their brand values and who are willing to work with them exclusively.
Chrstiano Ronaldo and Shopee are a great example of how an exclusive partnership can pay-off. Singapore-based e-commerce platform Shopee has signed the Portuguese professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo as its ambassador ahead of the annual 9.9 Super Shopping Day. The famous Juventus scorer has been hired to help Shopee engage fans through livestreaming on Shopee’s app. It goes without saying that Shopee made a killing with this move. With the help of Ronaldo, they were trending worldwide. In addition, partnering up with such a figure gave them a ton of authority. Lots of people started to trust their service and take them seriously.
Sure, Ronaldo is a big star, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that brands are not really interested in creating exclusive partnerships with smaller influencers as well.
In fashion, for instance, this has become the norm. Brands are finding people they think are in sync with their brand values and they are forming exclusive partnerships with them.
Take a look at how Cristine Rotenberg, an Instagram influencer and YouTuber, promotes a clothing brand called “Roots” on her Instagram profile. There is no gimmick, everything is transparent. She is telling her audience that this is a paid affiliate partnership, and people are cool with that. Why? – Because she’s honest and the items that she’s marketing are in sync with her brand.
In 2020, we predict we’re going to see a lot more of this across multiple markets and industries.
3. Native Advertising
Another huge trend to look for in 2020 is native advertising.
Since 47% of all Internet users now use ad-blockers, traditional ways of promoting products, brands, and services are no longer going to cut it for affiliates. Marketers are now forced to look at alternative methods of promotion to help them successfully reach desired people and provoke actions.
The most popular such method is none other than native advertising.
Even though most people tend to think of native advertising as a practice where brands, publishers, and bloggers try to promote things “under the radar”, native advertising is so much more than that.
The goal of native advertising isn’t to trick the audience into believing that certain ads are not ads. The main idea here is to create advertisements that are more contextual than other forms of digital advertising, i.e. to mimic the content of the media on which they appear and to provide actual value for the audience.
If affiliates don’t accept that, they are never going to make native advertising to work for them. Remember, traditional ads are not dying because people despise advertising. They are dying because people despise unimaginative, intrusive, and annoying forms of promotion.
Targeting everyone with the same messages is no longer an effective strategy. To get modern Internet users to engage with your content and ads, you need to customize your output to their individual needs and interest. This is especially true for email. Research has shown that personalized email campaigns receive 29% higher email open rates and 41% higher click-through rates than regular emails.
To make sure that they are communicating with every contact in the best possible way, affiliates need to think beyond email and personalize their entire marketing and advertising strategy. They need to start investing more effort into dynamic content, proper segmentation, and leverage data. In 2020, it’s imperative to create better buyer personas, divide the audience based on a range of different factors (age, gender, work position, income, country, interests, pain points, etc.), and create specific content for each persona, in every stage of their sales funnel.
The goal should be to personalize the whole experience and make sure that the users have a great journey from the moment they first reach your offer until the moment they complete the sale.
In 2020, data is your friend. Have a myriad of powerful tools at our disposal that can provide us with amazing insights about our audience and how to serve it better. It would be a total waste to ignore what is basically in hands-reach with quality tools and to run a business on pure dump luck.
Over to You
Thank you for taking the time to read our latest articles. These were the top 4 affiliate marketing trends we believe are going to make all the difference in 2020. What practices are you planning to invest more in this new year? What do you believe is going to be huge for affiliates in 2020?