More Emphasis on Reporting and Attribution
Marketers in general live and breathe data. To compete in the broader marketplace, affiliates need access to the same types of reports for decision-making that corporate marketers have.
Thus, affiliate marketing networks and platforms are enhancing the access they offer affiliates to quality reporting features. Access to real-time data is being demanded across the affiliate marketing landscape, and more providers, including Amazon, are starting to oblige. With deep data reports, affiliates are more equipped to make decisions on whom to target with key product offerings.
Increased Attention to SEO
Search engine optimization has long been integral to affiliate marketing, but its role has changed over time. In the early days, less scrupulous affiliates used black hat SEO tactics to drive traffic with little regard to the customer experience. Now, top affiliates have returned to SEO, but with greater awareness of the connection between search engine results and a quality user experience.
Google has ramped up the importance of on-site factors like page-load speed and time spent on site. Thus, to thrive in the new age of SEO, affiliates need to offer useful, informative, and relevant content that supports a visitor in moving toward an ideal purchase.
More Niche Affiliate Marketing Programs
The affiliate industry has become much more niche due to increased competition. It is difficult for new players to succeed with a catch-all approach to marketing. Instead, new entrants are setting up shop with niche offerings and precise targets in mind.
This approach allows you to build a strong rapport in a limited marketplace, so you can become a primary provider to that market. Then, as you become established, you have the opportunity to grow slowly by offering your market a select number of new products.
Focus on Email Collection
Email marketing is widely regarding as producing the highest return on investment in digital marketing. Therefore, a key priority for affiliate marketers is to turn new website visitors and first-time buyers into long-term contacts. To do so, offer easy access to a subscription form that converts your visitors and customers into subscribers. Simplify sign-up with a web form on the sidebar or at the bottom of landing pages. Ask for just an email address and name to start. Offer an inducement like an eBook or report download.
These are a few of the most important trends that affiliate marketers need to pay attention to as the calendar shifts to 2018. Leveraging the opportunities afforded by these trends gives you an advantage over competitors that do not pay as much attention to what is going on in the world of affiliate marketing.