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Affiliate marketing is among the most popular ways to monetize your site. If you’ve ever researched affiliate marketing, you’ve probably also run into experts offering to teach you how to make thousands of dollars while sleeping.
Although affiliate marketing generates passive income, it’s not as easy as this. It is lucrative nonetheless. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that grows daily, after all.
However, as with anything on the internet, it is difficult to predict if this trend will continue. Even experts disagree on the future of affiliate marketing.
Some maintain that affiliate marketing is just gaining momentum and will grow beyond anything we can imagine. Others prophesy that the upcoming changes on the internet will bring about a disaster.
For now, it is impossible to tell. We can just note the current trend—growth. As the experts at the Hosting Tribunal point out, spending on affiliate marketing is growing at 27% CAGR. So, unless something changes drastically, affiliate marketing will remain relevant.
Additionally, by observing recent changes on the internet we can make a few educated guesses about the future. This is particularly useful for affiliate marketers who need to adapt if their businesses are to grow instead of wither into oblivion.
First, web usage is shifting from desktop to mobile. In fact, most traffic already comes from mobile devices.
To be fair, mobile conversions are still lower than those on desktop devices. That’s why marketing on desktop sites is still more effective.
However, with Google’s speed update and indexing mobile websites first, we can expect mobile sites to improve. This will probably make users less reluctant to use their mobile devices to make purchases.
Affiliates will have to make their websites faster and mobile-friendly to stay afloat.
Another thing to consider is how Google is slowly weeding out websites that rely solely on SEO strategies like link building. Links are impactful, of course, but it is more and more difficult to get away with having poor content. Affiliates will have to focus more and more on content quality if they want to keep their audience.
Internet users are also taking notice of affiliate marketing links. As a result, just posting a text with an affiliate link will probably lose its effectiveness because users don’t want to take just anyone’s word anymore.
Instead, they want credibility and trust in the affiliate’s judgment. Therefore, affiliates that form a bond with their audience will emerge ahead of the competition.
Affiliate marketing will get more difficult. Affiliates will have to make their content more personal. Connecting with your audience via social media and email marketing will be even more essential than it is now.
Also, mediums like audio and video will become more popular as they are better for building rapport with an audience. Marketers can be much more transparent about affiliate marketing over audio and video recordings. This type of marketing is less threatening than affiliate links in a text. We can, therefore, expect to see much more affiliates turn towards podcasts, vlogs, and similar content.
To reiterate, forming a connection with your audience is essential. Your audience will appreciate honest reviews and effective solutions to their problems. Stuffing a blog post with 10 affiliate links will not do that.
Your visitors must see that you care about their needs and not just your own profits.
Companies who hire affiliate marketers already realize this. These companies look to connect with affiliates who already have a rapport with an audience.
Some companies can afford to prevent just anyone from becoming an affiliate. Instead, they work with just a few hand-picked individuals. Working more closely with a few affiliates proves to be very profitable for everyone.
This way the brands can let their affiliates offer certain promotions to their audience. Both parties enjoy this. The marketer gets audience loyalty, and the company brings in more customers.
To sum up, to the best of our knowledge, affiliate marketing is here to stay. Of course, there will be changes in this industry. Affiliate marketers will probably have to pay more attention to the mobile versions of their sites.
Also, there is much less room for lower-quality content and impersonal communication between the affiliate and the audience. Companies are also likely to leverage this by working more closely with their top affiliates.
These are positive changes in the industry. The affiliates and companies that genuinely care about reaching out to their customers would be more likely to prosper and untrustworthy affiliates would not.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the affiliate marketing industry has a bright future ahead of it. And concerning current trends, the infographic below has all the info you need.
Nick Galov, Head of Content and Community Manager at HostingTribunal.com. With years of experience as frontline support and system administrator, Nick wants to improve the web hosting industry as whole. Through impartial reviews and detailed case studies he helps people find the most suitable hosting provider. In the rare moments he unplugs from the digital world, Nick enjoys hiking and cycling.
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