Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2018

Business, Technology, Internet and network concept. Young businessman shows the word: Affiliate marketing

Stay in the game with the latest trends! We’re sharing the top 10 affiliate marketing trends for 2018 that you should know in this post!

There has never been a better time to get involved with affiliate marketing. 

Research shows affiliate marketing is on track to being a 6.8 billion dollar industry by 2020! 

Of course, what works once isn’t always guaranteed to work again. Out with the old, in with the new.

You’re going to need to stay on top of the affiliate marketing trends.

Affiliate marketing changes quickly, so it’s important to know what’s in and what’s out. 

Read on to discover the top ten affiliate marketing trends for 2018. 

1) Cross Device Tracking

Think about how you browse the Internet.

You don’t use just one device. Instead, you probably go from work computer to smart phone to home computer, right? 

And as you switch back and forth, you expect some kind of consistency in the content you see. 

Potential customers are no different. They might read about your product on their phone, then decide to actually buy it once they’ve gotten to a computer.

Your affiliate marketing strategy needs to be able to track their behavior, regardless of the device they’re using.  

2) Mobile Strategy

The first item on this list should help you guess why mobile strategy is key this year.

Sure, going mobile isn’t exactly new. But now it could be more important than ever. 

Mobile app revenue across the globe is expected to reach a staggering $76.5 billion in 2018.

Yes, that’s billion with a ‘b.’ 

People can’t ditch their desktops for phones fast enough. 

If you have a weak mobile strategy, you’re cheating yourself out of a lot of money. Don’t leave cash on the table!  

3) Content Focus

Now, don’t take this to mean that using coupons or deals to drive in those affiliate clicks is a bad thing. It’s not. 

There will always be customers out there who are motivated to click ‘buy’ because of a good deal. 

But if you want to create repeat customers, relying on things like coupons is just not going to work. 

Instead, focus on content. If someone purchases your product because they like what they see — not just because it’s cheap — they’re more likely to be confident in their decision. 

They’ve probably done their research. Maybe they’re convinced that they need what you’re offering.

That customer is way more likely to become loyal to your brand. 

Focusing on content requires patience, but it’s worth the wait. 

4) Performance-Based Models

Performance-based models are useful for a couple reasons. 

First, most companies are thrilled to pay only when there are measurable results, instead of throwing money at a strategy and hoping it works. 

Second, with the amount of data available, it’s easy to analyze the performance of each ad, and then tailor affiliate marketing strategies. 

Even though people have been using these models for years, performance-based models will probably gain popularity in 2018 since they’re so wallet friendly. 

5) Refer-A-Friend

It’s conventional wisdom that people are more likely to listen to people they trust. 

Refer-A-Friend programs are another cost-effective move to add to your 2018 affiliate marketing strategy. 

Getting existing customers to spread the word to their friends not only expands your audience reach, but it’s also cheaper than traditional methods.

If you create incentives for customers to email Mom, Aunt Sally, and the couple in Apartment B about your product, they’ll do the marketing for you…for free.

6) Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing basically combines the best aspects of refer-a-friend and a content focus. 

The subscribers or followers of a popular YouTube personality, for example, follow that person because of the content they put out. Those subscribers are the perfect example of loyal customers. 

If that YouTuber endorses a product, you can bet that their subscribers are going to buy it. 

This is a win for everyone — you get to build your brand and hopefully expand your audience, while the YouTuber gets some cash in their pocket every time a subscriber clicks their affiliate link. 

7) Using Multiple Marketing Channels

Like how customers can view your content across multiple devices, they also see lots of different types of marketing. 

Banner ads, search ads, short commercials before videos…as important as affiliate marketing is, don’t get pigeonholed.

Tunnel vision will only hurt you. 

Learn about a variety of marketing methods. The best and savviest affiliate marketers this year will know how to mix various methods to get the best results.  

8) Moving Away From Tradition

This is one of the biggest affiliate marketing trends to know — traditional methods just aren’t cutting it anymore. 

In 2017, you’re going to have to change your thinking.

Humanize your marketing strategy. Consider working with new partners. Reexamine how you’ve been doing business. 

While we would all love to believe that every choice we make is foolproof, the truth is there’s always room for improvement. 

Even the best plan isn’t perfect. 

Challenging the status quo is how things get better. Maybe your company has an amazing idea that will change the face of affiliate marketing in 2018! 

9) Video

If you haven’t already incorporated video into your affiliate marketing strategy, start making your plan now. 

The stats of online video don’t lie — four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. And after they’ve watched it, they’ve got about an 80% chance of remembering it a week later. 

A week! 

Using video not only grabs customers’ attention, it connects you with them. Video can also help raise your brand’s perception.

You can make videos about a variety of topics — a product, your staff, your company’s origin story. Whatever you choose, make it short, sweet, and engaging. 

10) Automation

Finally, as the affiliate field continues to grow and companies get bigger, brands will be less likely to spend lots of time on repetitive tasks. 

Instead, a likely 2018 affiliate marketing trend is automation. More companies will create and run programs that can monitor the heaps of data.

In the meantime, the actual employees can turn their focus to more important things, hopefully creating even more revenue for the company! 

The Bottom Line on Affiliate Marketing Trends

These are the affiliate marketing trends that are going to be most important throughout 2017 — but no matter what, make sure you’re keeping up with all of the latest developments.

Have you set any goals for your 2018 affiliate marketing strategy? Tell us about them in the comments below! 

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