In early January, we had made some interesting predictions of what 2019 could have in store for the affiliate marketing industry. Every self-respecting marketing strategy must adapt to market changes and be ready to evolve continuously. So the same must do ecommerce and those in the sector, let’s see together how.
Let’s start with the good news: if affiliate marketing continues to follow the trend from the beginning of the year to today, it will certainly continue to grow. So far 2019 has brought rather drastic changes in the retail world and, in some cases, has also coincided with the disappearance of rather well-known physical stores, favoring a climate of general uncertainty. The task of our sector is therefore to be able to face the challenges of the outside world, managing to support the growth of affiliation and consequently of the economy itself.
Earn consumer confidence
Consumers are increasingly prepared and continue to become more and more familiar with the concepts of affiliate marketing, influencer marketing and online partnerships, particularly since it has become mandatory by law to declare sponsorship of commercial content. They are therefore more aware that when they read information about a product on a blog or email, the author in question was probably paid to promote it. This has made consumers somewhat more cynical and selective, willing to listen only to those they trust. Keeping this in mind will therefore help everyone who works in the sector.
Anonymity is no longer acceptable when shopping online: people want to know exactly who they are buying from. This relates to what was said before: creating bonds and relationships that last over time is the basis for gaining trust and will also help publishers to understand faster what their audience wants. Although building relationships takes time, both campaigns and programs will benefit from this long-term connection with their audience.
One way to gain this trust is to provide free and useful information to potential customers in the beginning, and then, at the right time on the purchase path, to demonstrate that the products offered can actually help consumers solve a problem.
To have a successful campaign and affiliate program you must always offer excellent content. It’s the ABC! The importance of complete and innovative messages, designed specifically for your audience, cannot and should not be underestimated. Marketing campaigns with an original and captivating copy reach higher conversion rates more easily. Thanks to sophisticated software and technologies that allow you to test pages, this task will be even easier, leaving time to focus on creating the right content for your audience and showing the real potential of the business.
Focusing on the production of in-house content, created independently and specially modeled on the basis of user needs (especially if we are talking about a service that offers free added value) will help digital professionals improve the results of their campaigns. You will always be one step ahead of the others.
Attention therefore to the copy, to the insertion of keywords and backlinks, all essential elements to improve SEO and traffic and therefore, in the last resort, the conversions. But no to fillers or exclusively commercial materials and texts (perhaps with a lot of pricing). All this is important because it will give your leads a reason to continue reading your content and getting to know brands and products.
Engagement is obviously a key factor for conversions, and should be encouraged thanks to the use of true stories, statements, testimonials and case studies, all to increase credibility. Consumers will not just need to know the point of view of the publishers, but they will want credible testimonials able to demonstrate how and why exactly that product can be the right one for them.
According to the major affiliate marketing experts , the foundations of the sector will not change immediately. What will continue to evolve is rather the technologies and media that networks are gradually using to promote offers, such as video, audio, podcasts and longer and longer contents.
Existing tools, such as bots based on artificial intelligence that chat online and automatic emails, will continue to play an important role within the toolbox of any marketing professional, while online presentations, Facebook Live and Google Hangouts will probably be used to involve the audience in a different and more spontaneous way.
Further developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning will make it easier to acquire new customers. Google and Facebook have introduced sophisticated mechanisms capable of identifying the target audience on their own and which help all those who use paid ads find new customers, with greater precision and lower costs.
Given all this importance that relationships have, it is obvious that advertisers will focus more on marketing channels that allow you to get in touch with all those consumers who have already shown interest in a brand and its products. These for example include retargeting and remarketing , social platforms and search engines, all thanks to increasingly precise and dynamic algorithms. Artificial intelligence and the technology supported by it will probably be easier to use, with certainly positive consequences for a business like ours.
It consists in working with influencers to build a network of brand ambassadors, able to self-support and thus always reach new consumers. Building relationships with other well-known and influential marketing professionals ensures access to new markets and new audiences and helps build trust and authority.