Like the previous year, affiliate marketing will grow further in 2021, both as a source of active and passive income.
Industry experts are hopeful that affiliate marketing will boom more compared to the past – approximately 10% per year in coming years.
Considering that it is already an industry of more than $16 Billion, great opportunities are waiting for both marketers and vendors to unveil.
Besides, unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns added up further in its popularity.
Forbes reported in its article that some niches in affiliate marketing have shot-up in sales like never before. With the major increase in sales, industry trends are also in transition.
Affiliate Marketing Trend for 2021
In this article, we compiled the top 10 affiliate marketing trends ahead of us in 2021.
Affiliate marketing strategies can vary from niche to niche, but we covered trends that apply to almost every category.
1. Influencers will stay key affiliate marketers
Influencers already have a perfect audience. An industry influencer working as an affiliate marketer can generate more sales than any other sort of marketing.
Finding the right influencer for your product can be a primary key to boost your sales.
In 2021, businesses that will engage with the right influencers will have leverage over vendors who are still relying on performance-based marketing channels solely.
Influencers have credibility, industry knowledge, and a relevant audience. Their opinions are considered more trustworthy than random people trying to generate leads/sales.
Secondly, during Covid-19 lockdowns, there is a dramatic and monumental surge in the use of social media.
The total number of active social media users has reached 3.96 Billion.
Most influencers are social-media-based; millions of new potential customers are added on social media, which vendors can reach with influencers’ help working as their affiliate marketers.
2. Niches that emerged during the lockdown
During 2020, many existing and new niches surged in traffic because of lockdown. The calendar has flipped, but most of the world is still under lockdown.
As an affiliate marketer, adopt these niches for guaranteed results. Some of these niches are:
- App downloads
- Health and beauty
- Medical supplies
- Home entertainment
- Education and online courses
- Online trading
- Online streaming
- Home appliances
- e-Sports and e-Gaming
3. Continuously monitor market trends
The best way to keep up with the volatile market of 2021 is to keep up with the market trends.
The popularity of niches and trends are changing every passing day. Your affiliate marketing strategies should be flexible enough to adapt to the developments happening in your niche.
Track each of your affiliate marketing campaigns both as a vendor or marketer and make data-driven decisions only.
4. Seasonal and holiday themes
In 2021, instead of going for evergreen niches, try to tap more into current demands. Relying on popular and long-term niches is not a very viable option anymore to generate a quick profit.
Focus on promoting your products by holidays and seasons. Adopt every viral short trend which can benefit you.
Offer special discounts, incentives, and promotions. Get out of the box and develop new themes in relevance to your niche and target market.
These seasons have relatively more sales than regular, so with a good affiliate marketing plan, you can make multiple folds of revenue in season/holidays compared to regular.
With increased revenues, growth in the brand name and customer awareness comes as a bonus.
Do not put all of your eggs in one basket. The biggest lesson 2020 left is trends and circumstances can change in a matter of days.
To mitigate the uncertainty of the market, diversify your affiliate marketing. Look out for different products to market. Diversify the offers for your marketers as a vendor and your customers as a marketer.
Adapt more than one viral trend/strategy at a time to lower the risk or potential damage in case one strategy fails.
Adopting multi-channel strategies like videos, webinars, podcasts, written content and complement your marketing campaign.
With diversification, you also get a steady stream of revenues as you are not stuck with the commission by only one vendor.
6. Video Marketing
Videos are the most powerful tool for marketing any product/service. With the increase in the popularity of video platforms, i.e., YouTube, new doors to free video marketing have opened.
Research-based evidence shows that people tend to give more attention to videos than any other media used in the advertisement.
Deep research conducted by Wyzowl shows that ‘72% of people like to know about their favorite product through videos and around 84% of customers tend to buy something after watching a video of the same thing.
Compared to that only 10% people acquire the knowledge or motive to purchase by reading about something.
7. Customers attention and trust should be your priority
You might be hearing it since forever, but in 2021, it is more important than ever. Today customers are smarter and more aware than ever.
There are hundreds and thousands of brands in every niche which can overcome you, and this number is growing.
Little inconvenience, lack of trust, security (data) threat, poor customer service, or shadowy offers can make your existing and potential customers turn to other brands and never return.
To grab customers’ attention and increase brand awareness, offer engaging discounts and offers such as limited-time offers, flash sales, free delivery codes, customer loyalty rewards et cetera.
Advertise these offers—step-up customer services. And last but not least, avoid false flag offers and promotions; it can bring you revenues for a while but damage your brand reputation forever.
8. Long-tail Keywords
If you evaluate an expert and successful affiliate marketer’s marketing campaigns, you will come across frequent use of long-tail words and phrases.
In a competitive e-business world, using large tail words can help you to reach target customers more effectively as well as with SEO.
Here is an example: running an online store where you sell boots at different factory outlet prices. If you use keywords like ‘boots,’ ‘discounted price,’ chances are high that your page won’t even appear in search.
Whereas if you use long keywords and phrases, i.e., branded boots at discounted prices, the probability of your page appearing on top of the search results increases as not many people use this specific keyword.
You can attract less traffic this way, but it results in a sale most of the time.
Another reason you should use long-tail keywords more is because of an upcoming surge in voice search.
SEO experts have ranked voice search as one of the top 5 SEO trends for 2021. Around 80% of voice searches are full phrases that add to the importance of making long-tail enriched content.
9. Do not limit yourself to B2C marketing
Affiliate marketing is mostly considered as a B2C, but n the past few years, many businesses emerged, which made a good volume of revenues via B2B affiliate marketing.
It requires less management and effort but offers huge incentives to marketers.
Check out B2B affiliate programs offered by different websites in your areas of expertise and reach out to the vendors.
If you have the right set of skills or impressive vendors to sign you up as their affiliate marketer, B2B affiliate marketing has some lucrative perks waiting for you in 2021.
10. Do not tap irrelevant niches
No matter how good the audience you have, if you will promote products irrelevant to your expertise or totally going south from your niche, you will lose credibility, efforts, and in some cases, followers too.
Imagine an IT blogger promoting a skin moisturizer on his page – results will be nothing but a failed campaign on the table.
Do try new niches but stay close to your expertise. As mentioned prior, consumers are smarter than ever. One wrong move can make you lose all of your traffic and cachet.
Affiliate marketing is going to stay strong in 2021 and the coming years. Including upcoming trends in your affiliate marketing can help you as a vendor and marketer.
Here is the summary of these trends:
- Get in touch with industry influencers to become your affiliate marketers.
- Tap niches that emerged during Covid-19 lockdown.
- Stay in continuous touch with trends and the shifting marketplace.
- Instead of evergreen niches, focus more on seasonal and holiday theme marketing. Offer discounts, coupons, sales, et cetera.
- Use videos as a prime tool of marketing.
- Make customer satisfaction and trust your priority.
- Incorporate long-tail keywords in your content as much as possible
- Explore B2B affiliate marketing.
- Do not choose niches totally irrelevant to your expertise.