It has been around long before the internet but how long will affiliate marketing last? Is it a business model that is dying out or is there still hope for it going forward? There are many concerns that have been raised over the years which are causing people to question the longevity of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing as a business model has endured the many changes that have taken place on the World Wide Web. If anything, it is set to grow as there are many changes taking place in the world as we know it and this points to a growth of the affiliate marketing niche.
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Why do I say this? With the Corona pandemic that has hit the world; a few things have become evident:
- Many companies will not make it through this crisis meaning that there will be higher unemployment.
- Many companies will have to downsize or start looking for remote workers who they don’t have to pay employee benefits.
- Many companies will start implementing affiliate marketing as a way of boosting their revenue.
- AI and automation are going to significantly reduce working opportunities for a large chunk of the population.
Unless and until we come to a place as society where we don’t have to work anymore, you will need to look as ways of making an income. There has also been a growing trend over the past few decades where corporations and governments the world over are taking less and less responsibility for the welfare of their employees.
This means that you are going to have to make a plan for yourself or you and your family will have some really serious problems down the line. The good thing about affiliate marketing is that you can basically start it off as a part-time gig if you are currently employed them grow it into a full-time income.
Affiliate marketing will be here for the long term but, just like everything else, it has and will continue to change with time and you have to be on top of these changes.
How Long will Affiliate Marketing Last in The Twenty-First Century – Factors Driving Change in Affiliate Marketing
There are a few key things that you will have to take note of if you want to make the most of affiliate marketing starting from 2020 and going into the future. I will list some of them here.
Optimize For Mobile
At the risk of sounding like a broken record and parroting what has already been shared over and over again in Internet marketing circles, mobile is the next great frontier. Statistics show that mobile traffic accounts for more and more web browser activity.
Google, the biggest search engine, has taken a mobile-first approach in its ranking system. The fortunate thing is that if you are building with WordPress and many other modern page builders, mobile compatibility is all but guaranteed. You still need to confirm this though.
Change in Privacy Policies
User privacy issues have affected affiliate companies which collect user data. There have been major cases over the past few years and one that takes centre stage is Facebook’s recent case where they were accused of violating user privacy.
This among other things has prompted individuals and lobby organisation to push for stricter privacy policies. What this has meant for the affiliate industry is that third-party trackers have been blocked by web browsers significantly impacting how affiliates measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
There are other changes that can be pointed to but, by and large, significant changes are occurring in the industry and affiliate marketers need to adjust accordingly.
New Corporate Players Recognising the Power of Affiliate Marketing
There are corporations who are recognising the power that is in affiliate marketing especially after seeing how companies like Amazon have used it as one of their main ways of growing their organisation.
These companies will need affiliates meaning that there are opportunities available for the current and new affiliates. Vast opportunities also exist for affiliates who can craft private agreements with local companies and start marketing their products and services as an affiliate.
The History of Affiliate Marketing Proves It’s Here to Stay
Affiliate marketing as a concept, pre-dated the internet and was first implemented on the World Wide Web in 1994 by PC Flowers and gifts. They did very well grossing over 6 million dollars in their first year of implementing the affiliate model.
Since then, a lot of other companies adopted it but it was not until Amazon started implementing it through their Amazon Associates program that it really took off in the mainstream. Amazon eventually took up a patent in 2000 for parts of their system.
From 1994 since its inception in 2020, it has never ceased to grow despite taking on a number of changes in the process. That means that it has now been in existence for nearly 30 years and indicators are it’s going to grow further in the next 30 years barring any major changes to global economics.
As we stand, the biggest changes that we see currently is towards quality affiliate products. Affiliate networks now have a more rigorous quality screening process. This is evident for both digital and physical product networks.
This is mainly due to the customer going more for quality than ever before. Customers rarely buy on impulse now but take time to research a product first before making that final buying decision.
The affiliate marketer who succeeds is the one who takes the time to offer value to the customer first before asking for the sale. We will talk about this in more depth later in the next point.
Which Affiliate Marketing Models Are Poised For Growth?
I am going to look at two affiliate marketing models that you can choose to focus on and these are PPC and a content-based approach
PPC Affiliate Marketing
The PPC model has been around for as long as Pay Per Click marketing has existed. It’s a quicker way of getting results as opposed o the content-based approach but due to the nature of the market right now, you can’t just direct link to a product without offering some form of value first.
This used to work in the past but not today. You, therefore, need to have some form of a value funnel where you pr-sell your customer before showing them the affiliate offer. Most successful affiliates will use a mini-site or a video to pre-sell their prospects.
You can also implement a cleverly presented lead magnet and have your prospects give you their email address in exchange for a free offer. This can be an e-book, video or course. The idea is to get you, customer, to trust your opinion enough to take up your recommendation.
Content-Based Affiliate Marketing
The content-based approach involves text, audio or video content for the purposes of pre-selling your prospect. You create valuable content based on what people are already searching for then use this content to promote affiliate products.
Text-Based Content Marketing
A blog is the thing that quickly comes to mind. It involves you writing content that helps your client solve a part of a problem then offering them an affiliate product as a holistic solution.
In order to succeed with this model, you need to be good at researching what to write about, then driving traffic to this content. This can take the form of SEO or using platforms like Pinterest to drive free traffic to your blog.
The SEO route takes skill, time and patience but a more hands-on and quicker way to drive traffic to your blog would be to use Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes.
Audio Based Content Marketing
The basic idea remains the same with the text-based approach. In either scenario, you want to offer value to your audience. You can create podcasts where you interview leaders in the field for which you have the affiliate offer.
If the people you are interviewing have a product, you can set up a revenue-sharing agreement. If they don’t, you can promote an affiliate product to them
Video-Based Content Marketing
Lastly, video-based content marketing is where you use video content providing value to your chosen audience. The same rules apply with regards to creating great value each and every time. YouTube is the best platform to carry this method out.
How long will affiliate marketing last? As far as I can see, it’s here for the long haul. There are no signs that it will be slowing down anytime soon. It’s a field that still offers a lot of opportunity for new affiliate marketers.
The changes in this industry call for pre-selling of your audience by offering significant value to them before asking them to make a purchase or complete an action that gets you paid. If you make value creation our objective, there is no limit to your income potential as an affiliate marketer.