Up next on Mediamodifier Affiliate Marketing 101: the most essential affiliate marketing trends you must keep an eye on.
Chapter 5: Affiliate Marketing Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2023
Affiliate marketing is becoming one of the most talked-about ways to make money online and gaining popularity fast. In fact, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, over 80% of brands have affiliate programs, and affiliate marketing is responsible for 16% of global e-commerce sales – and this number is sure to rise in 2023.
So, if you’re thinking about getting into affiliate marketing or if you’re already one, then you need to know about the latest trends to stay ahead of the curve. Lucky for you, we’ve written down five affiliate marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2023.
Following the most relevant trends can be the way to maximize your affiliate marketing profits.
1. Influencer Affiliates Will Become More Popular
Influencer marketing has grown in popularity over the past few years, and we expect to see even more companies using influencers to promote their products and services in 2023. Influencers have a massive following of people who trust their opinion, and brands can harness that influence to sell products and services. Moreover, brands are expected to spend a whopping $32.5bn on influencer advertising in 2023, 18% more than in 2022 (according to data presented by AugustaFreePress).
As social media platforms become increasingly crowded, brands are turning to influencers to reach their target audiences. This allows affiliate marketers to partner with influencers and promote products or services through their channels.
In addition, we can expect to see more micro-influencers (influencers with a smaller but highly engaged following) as companies look for more cost-effective ways to reach their target audience. So if you’re not already using influencer marketing as part of your strategy, now is the time to start!
2. Content-Based Affiliate Programs Will Dominate
Affiliate programs are usually based on pay-per-sale or pay-per-lead models, but content-based affiliate programs will see a rise in 2023. In a content-based affiliate program, affiliates are rewarded based on the traffic they drive to the merchant’s website or the quality of the leads they generate.
Two factors are driving this trend; first, content-based affiliate programs are more effective than pay-per-sale or pay-per-lead programs, and second, they align better with how consumers research products these days.
Marketers will become more focused on driving results rather than just increasing traffic. As a result, we can expect to see more emphasis on producing high-quality content, improving website relevance through targeted keywords, and optimizing the user experience to encourage conversions.
In addition, this means that brands will reward affiliates for making a sale and driving customer loyalty and repeat business. As such, expect to see more programs focusing on customer lifetime value (CLV) rather than just short-term revenue.
3. Greater Use of AI and Machine Learning
Some affiliate marketers already use AI and machine learning to automate link-building and tracking conversions. However, there are many more options, and we expect these technologies to become more refined and sophisticated in 2023. In particular, AI-powered tools will better understand complex search queries and target relevant ads. At the same time, brands will use machine learning to optimize campaigns in real-time based on engagement data.
Thanks to the exploding popularity of AI image creation, 2023 will see a rise in AI content marketing. AI content and image tools can generate realistic and professional images, videos, and even articles on demand, making it possible to create high-quality content without little human input. This is the real magic of generative AI.
Hopefully, this will also lead to a significant increase in the effectiveness of affiliate marketing campaigns as more and more affiliates can create content more efficiently.
4. Data-Driven Decision-Making and Privacy Will Become More Important
Marketers will use data to guide their decision-making as affiliate marketing becomes more competitive. Data allows marketers to track which affiliates are performing well and which aren’t. Data also allows marketers to segment their audience and target them with specific offers that are likely to convert. As a result, there will be more transparency around sales numbers and commissions, giving affiliates a better understanding of their earnings potential.
As the industry continues to grow, we expect to see more regulation around affiliate marketing in 2023. In addition, we can expect to see even more regulation around data privacy. This could mean stricter requirements for obtaining consumer consent, tighter controls on how data is collected and used, and more enforcement action against companies that violate data privacy laws. Since Google announced it will phase out third-party cookies in 2024, marketers and affiliates will also have to find new clever ways to track customers online.
5. Shorter Payment Cycles
Gone are the days of waiting 90 days (or more) to get paid for a sale. Instead, in 2023, affiliate marketers will be paid much quicker, with payment cycles ranging from real-time to weekly. This trend is driven by the increasing popularity of subscription models, which require affiliates to get paid more frequently to drive new customers.
This trend will benefit both affiliates and brands, improving cash flow and allowing for more accurate tracking of affiliate performance. It will also create more opportunities for affiliates to receive bonuses and commissions for driving high-value customers.
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These are just a few affiliate marketing trends we expect to see in 2023.
So what does this all mean for your affiliate marketing strategy? The most important thing is to stay flexible and adaptable to adjust your plan as new trends emerge quickly. Keep an eye on the latest industry developments so that you can be one of the first adopters of new technologies and platforms. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different tactics and strategies. You never know what might work until you try it!
Still confused about getting started? You can read all about affiliate marketing from our blog.