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Affiliate Marketing in 2020

Affiliate Marketing in 2020
Marketing has been long prevalent in our society. If we go a few decades back, the famous marketing channels were radio advertising, TV ads and/or large banners hanging by the roadside. While the concept of marketing is still the same i.e., ‘to sell’, ways have changed now. Today, online marketing is largely influenced by technology, trends and tactics.  Online Marketing or more popularly known as ‘Digital Marketing’ is one of the fastest booming industries all around the world. More and more entrepreneurs are investing in building a successful digital marketing company. ‘Digital Marketing’ is a wide field that uses various online marketing channels like Email, Social Media, Paid, Organic, Affiliate, etc. However, here we will be discussing all Affiliate Marketing and how it is going to evolve in 2020. So, let’s start with ‘What is Affiliate Marketing’ and ‘why is it important for both individuals and business owners.’

What is Affiliate Marketing:

‘Affiliate marketing’ is a popular marketing strategy to attract traffic and sales via the efforts of affiliate marketers that earn a share of the sale(commission). The affiliate marketers can be social media influencers, bloggers or others who can drive traffic and result in the sale of a product like startup consultants. The three main pillars of affiliate marketing are:
  1. Creator of a product or service (or destination)
  2. Influencer/ Blogger/ Publisher (Advertiser or mediator)
  3. Consumer (customer of the creator)
So in simple words, a mediator works to unite the source and destination in order a sale happens and the mediator gets his/her reward for the conversion(commission)

Why is Affiliate Marketing so popular

The concept of affiliate marketing was first introduced by William J. Tobin in 1989 and ever since then, it has evolved as one of the best marketing channels that benefit both the creator and the promoter. Here’s why affiliate marketing is so popular:
  1. Passive income for affiliate marketers.
  2. No customer support needed from influencers as they are just the mediators.
  3. Work from home for affiliate marketers.
  4. Cost-effective for brands as it significantly increases the audience for brands without spending enough.
  5. Performance-based rewards thereby saving advertising money for brands.

Affiliate Marketing in 2020

As more and more businesses are moving online, Affiliate marketing is becoming a popular way for businesses to grow, mainly because of its simplicity. Also, as analytics and tracking technologies are continuously growing, brands are finding it much easier to study their affiliate marketing data and plan out accordingly. Currently, about 15% of the total online advertising revenue is attributed to affiliate marketing(99firms).  However, over the years, Affiliate marketing has been changing continuously and in the year 2020 also it will continue to evolve. So here’s what you can expect as an Affiliate Marketer in 2020:

Social Media Influencers over bloggers

While niche readerships made blogging a popular affiliate marketing channel, trends have changed as social media influencing has taken over now. With the popularity of platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc, influencers consistently engage with their loyal fanbase to market brands and earn via affiliate marketing. However, blogging is still far from dead but influencer marketing is considered a much easier way once you build a loyal fanbase.

Ecommerce retailers will expand their affiliate marketing programs

Platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Magento,etc. Have made it easier for even individuals with no coding knowledge to build a website and get their businesses online. And considering the current scenario(COVID-19) more businesses are expected to move online.  For businesses just getting started online, Affiliate marketing is a boon and has a deep relationship with online retailing. By 2020, a majority of the online retailers are expected to engage with affiliate marketers for much faster growth and there is no doubt that 2020 is going to be the year of Affiliate marketing. 

Mobile-friendly websites and content

There are more than three billion smartphone users worldwide(Statista) with the number increasing each day. With such a vast number of mobile users and the easy accessibility to fast internet connections, smartphones have become a popular target for marketers. A recent Google Analytics(thinkwithgoogle) report states that 40% of online transactions are done on mobile devices with almost 70% mobile searches leading to a purchase in an hour(iacquire). Considering the above stats, affiliate marketers are considering optimizing their websites and content for mobile users.

For bloggers voice search optimization is the key to success

A report by prnewswire.com states, “the number of homes using smart speakers, rising to 55% from 13% percent today.” While the online searches are migrating from text to voice, bloggers need to adapt accordingly. Voice search optimization is becoming a key factor for blogging Affiliate marketers. While bloggers are well-versed with SEO, voice searches work a bit differently and bloggers need to capitalize on natural speech patterns to get the best results. Targeting long-tail keywords specially posing questions is what needs to be considered when optimizing for voice searches. Creating keyword rich content is still the key, however, some of the best affiliate marketing websites being early adopters are already optimizing their content for voice searches too.

Niche-specific Affiliate Marketing:

To succeed as an affiliate marketer in 2020, creating a loyal and targeted consumer base is the key to convert more leads. Even though, niche specific doesn’t get you enough traffic but it does bring higher conversion rates.

Promote products you are well-aware of:

While promoters don’t have to deal with the customers directly, both influencers and bloggers need to promote products and services they have tried out and be confident that it will get the consumer the same positive results. To remember “Trust once broken can never be built again” is the secret mantra to succeed in the affiliate marketing industry. 

Some Affiliate Marketing Statistics you can’t overlook:

  • The overall annual affiliate marketing spend is around @12 billion(SoftwareFindr).
  • Google Trend of the search term ‘affiliate marketing’ has been on rise for the past 5 years.
  • Beauty brands and fashion brands account for 18.7% and 11.1% of all affiliate programs respectively (hostingtribunal)
  • Mobile devices account for more than 50% of the affiliate traffic(99firms)
  • Online retailers get an average of 23% sales through affiliate programs(99firms).
  • Instagram star Jason Stone made $7 million via affiliate marketing revenue in a year.
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