Top Trends in Affiliate Marketing to Look Out for in 2021

by Josh Biggs in Digital Marketing on 18th March 2021

2020 is the year that challenged all set marketing norms. Advertisers found ways to move forward with innovative strategies and adaptability. There has been a steady rise in internet marketing over the past year, owing to a change in the way people communicate online. 

Companies were forced to be conservative with their marketing budget. However, services like social media marketing and affiliate marketing have only been gaining importance. Statistics show that there has been significant growth in cross-border shopping and global advertising. 

You may have heard of companies that are built solely on affiliate income. The affiliate networks have many sectors and industries ranging from mainstream products and services to niche industries.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when a seller places an advertisement for the product or service on an external party website to generate sales and leads. The external party is paid a commission for any sales generated through the website. It works primarily on a referral system. Bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers use affiliate marketing to monetize their content. The commission varies depending on the size of the sale. 

Link marketing is one of the most popular techniques of passive income generation. The external website or platform that hosts the advertisement is called the affiliate, and the party that uses the service is called the brand partner. Companies use an “affiliate link” to perform affiliate marketing.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

There are different ways in which the payment is determined and discharged. “Pay per sale” is the most common method. The affiliate receives a percentage of the sales amount only if the consumer buys a product.

The “Pay per lead” method is a method whereby the affiliate gets paid for lead generation. The affiliate will get paid if the consumer finishes an action like filling out a form or submitting an email address. 

The following method is the “pay per click” method. The affiliate gets paid when the consumer clicks on a link. It doesn’t matter if a product is sold or a lead is generated.

Affiliate Marketing Trends

Despite the rise in popularity of other digital marketing techniques, affiliate marketing has retained its importance. Social distancing norms and lockdowns have boosted the significance. 

Multi-Channel Strategy

 The lockdowns have increased the number of people listening to podcasts and watching videos. There is also a significant boom in the number of marketers using these platforms to share affiliate links. Affiliate marketers are now adopting a multi-platform strategy. They are testing out video platforms, podcasts, webinars, and written blogs to generate leads and sales.

Google Search Algorithm

Google introduced link attributes like “rel=sponsored” and “rel=ugc” for sponsored links and generated comments and content, respectively. The new links are meant to filter out spam links from results. 

Specialized Affiliate Marketing Programs

The year 2021 saw some changes in affiliate marketing programs. Program specialists have changed first-click attribution programs to last-click attribution programs and the like. Innovative and exciting affiliate marketing programs and schemes are now available on the internet. 

The programs are specialized and specific, so prospective affiliates and brand owners have the flexibility to choose a program that is almost tailored to their needs and requirements.

SERP Rankings and Traffic

Organic SERP rankings and organic traffic has become difficult to generate and maintain. There is increasing competition in the internet marketing field. Even corporate giants and successful digital marketing experts are being forced to develop new ways to keep their rankings high. 

Social Media

People are spending more time on platforms like Instagram and Youtube in 2021. The boom in social media usage has led to a growth in user lead content. Further, many social media influencers and bloggers partner with promising brands to promote their growth and leverage the brands’ success. 

Amazon Tracking and Other Similar Programs

Browsers have been trying to eliminate third-party tracking. Third-party cookies that are used in redirect tracking are being identified and phased out.            

Voice Search

Many affiliate marketers use voice search to research their topic. Further, more and more internet users use voice search to ask their common questions. Identifying keywords is complex when it comes to voice searches. However, marketers are trying to figure out keywords in terms of a voice search. The increasing use of voice search has also posed a challenge to affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing Has to Be More Flexible in 2021

Overall, it’s safe to say that 2021 has shown a positive trend in affiliate marketing growth. Google is making efforts to ensure the user’s intent is channeled into rankings, and marketers have no choice but to be flexible and adaptive. Affiliates and brands are under pressure to figure out new ways to make marketing effective. 

Categories: Digital Marketing