Affiliate marketing is a fast-moving industry, and the most successful affiliates are the ones who never stop learning and trying new strategies for their affiliate websites. The rapid growth of social networking and mobile devices is changing the way that people use the Internet, and this year will see some big opportunities for affiliate marketers who can figure out how to take advantage of that change. Here’s a quick look at some affiliate marketing strategies which will be big news in 2013.
1. Cross Channel Marketing
Consumer focused, cross-channel marketing is going to really take off over the next couple of years. Brian Marcus of the eBay Partner Network believes that advertisers will soon start rewarding affiliates for the contributions beyond simply “closing the deal”.
The way affiliate marketing currently works, the person who gets the commission is the person who created the cookie that is present on the user’s machine at the time of purchase. That person may not be the one who actually persuaded the visitor to make the purchase. Considering that many people start shopping on their PC at work, browse more products on their tablet PC, and then finish the purchase on their computer at home, this cookie-based system is not effective. A growing number of affiliate programs are moving towards coupons and other attribution tracking methods which will reward affiliates more effectively.
2. Expanding to Emerging Markets
Emerging markets present some big opportunities for affiliate marketers. In the context of affiliate marketing, “emerging markets” means any city which is seeing a large increase in broadband or mobile availability, or economic growth. Australia presents a lot of opportunities for marketers thanks to the growth of the National Broadband Network, while emerging market cities such as Lima, Moscow and Bangalore also offer expansion opportunities for people planning SoLoMo (Social, Local and Mobile) affiliate marketing schemes.
3. Video Marketing
A growing number of people are consuming video content on their smartphones and tablet PCs, and bite-sized, entertaining viral videos are proving successful as marketing methods. Most web users are bored with the kind of high-production value videos that big ad agencies produce, so you have a golden opportunity to reach those users if you produce interesting or funny “home videos”.
New social services such as Vine (and the more established, but still not that well-known AudioBoo), could also be good news for affiliates.
4. Location Aware Marketing
The popularity of FourSquare has proven that people are willing to share their location information in order to enjoy discounts. Web users happily add location information to their tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media interactions. Take advantage of this and serve up highly targeted, location based information instead of generic ads. You’ll be amazed at how much more positively people respond to local ads.
5. Big Data and Analytics
Thanks to the power of cloud computing, any can harness “big data”. You don’t have to own a huge server farm or have a team of dedicated programmers. Even a solo affiliate working out of his spare room can analyse subscribers, social media messages, searches and sales to figure out what people are interested in, what they’re searching for, and what sort of content they are likely to respond well to. If you want to enjoy continued success in affiliate marketing, you need to take advantage of all of this available information. Easy analytics has levelled the affiliate marketing playing field, and if you’re not learning as much as you can from it, you will get left behind.
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