5 Ways Affiliate Marketing is Changing in 2019

Haran Rosenzweig
Haran Rosenzweig

Affiliate Trends 2019 - Outbrain

If you are wondering whether affiliate marketing is changing, get a hold of this: in 2016, retailers in the US spent $4.7 billion on affiliate advertising. By 2020, the number is expected to reach $6.8 billion. In 2016, affiliate marketing was already being used by over 80% of brands and publishers.

Any way you look at it, affiliate marketing is not just here to stay – it’s ruling the online roost.

That’s why every affiliate marketer should stay up to date with the latest and upcoming trends, and keep track of the way affiliate marketing is changing today. Check out these affiliate marketing trends for 2019:

1) Smarter product testing

In the past, affiliate marketers relied heavily on the advertiser’s opinion about what might work to increase sales. They also often leaned on their own intuition or gut feeling as to what kind of approach would bring the biggest payoff. Those days are over, with more and more affiliates using spy tools to monitor which products are working best on which traffic sources. Affiliate marketing is getting wiser, with data-based tools surging in popularity as the most efficient and accurate way to develop winning affiliate strategies.

As more spy tools are developed and the software becomes even more sophisticated, affiliate marketers can expect to get even more benefits from spy tools: smarter product testing and better results.

2) Less of the same

The increased use of spy tools and data-based strategies are giving affiliate marketers a much clearer idea of which direction to go. And this means we are seeing less copying of landing pages and creative, and more original content being generated by affiliate marketers.

Affiliate marketers now have much more knowledge at their fingertips about what converts and for which audiences. This empowers them with the ability to customize their ads and content for the audience segment they want to target. At the end of the day, a product can be marketed in a thousand different ways, depending on the end user, their pain points and needs. Data-driven affiliate strategies are giving rise to much more focused and original campaigns – which is good news for everyone.

3) Comparing similar products

Affiliate marketers have often focused their campaign efforts to one product per web page. This seems natural, as it gives the proper “soapbox” for the product or service, with plenty of room to talk about its benefits. Today, though we are seeing this less and less.

There is a definite move towards advertising seemingly disparate products on the same web page, if the products are connected in some way to the target audience. For example, an affiliate marketer may advertise a particular travel gadget alongside products for seniors, as this mature population spends more of their retirement time traveling. A common affiliate marketing practice today is running a listicle showing or comparing these different services and products, with the aim of grabbing the attention of the target audience to multiple products – and hopefully achieving multiple conversions.

4) Voice search rising

Voice assistants are on the rise. By 2020, it is expected that 50% of all online searches will be voice search. And that means more and more affiliate marketers are having to optimize their campaign keywords for voice search. The time is now for affiliate marketers to adjust their approach to SEO for more conversational, long-tail keywords that match people’s natural speech patterns.

Affiliate marketers can start with the basics and use some simple strategies to optimize for voice search. This will form the base for more sophisticated strategies that will be sure to come with the development of more advanced voice assistants in the future.

5) Reviews, reviews and more reviews

While some things in affiliate marketing are changing, others stay the same. One of the trends in affiliate marketing 2019 is not new, but it is definitely getting stronger. More than ever, affiliate marketers are using keyword-based reviews to capture their target audience’s attention.

One of the key drivers to conversions is online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations – which also at times falls under the umbrella of influencer marketing. This marketing tactic has a heavy influence on building brand awareness, trust and conversions. A high quality, honest and comprehensive product review is a powerful way to draw the audience in.  In addition, when a person is reading a review, they are already very interested and possibly very close to the purchase stage. A review is the ideal opportunity for affiliate marketers to engage the target audience when they are primed to convert.

What are the changes you’re experiencing in affiliate marketing 2019? Let us know in the comments.

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Haran Rosenzweig

Haran Rosenzweig

Haran is leading the performance sales & new business efforts in the EMEA region. Prior to his position at Outbrain, he managed teams and projects based on content and performance oriented native advertising media buying.

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  • Ben| July 23, 2019 at 8:08AM

    Hi Haran,

    Good article. I am just entering the space so I do not have any input on what changes I see for affiliate marketing in 2019.
    I am looking forward to my journey though and I was able to pull some good information from your article. Thank you.