Top Affiliate Marketing Trends to Watch in 2013


Year after year, the affiliate marketing train rolls on unimpeded by the ever-shifting winds of digital promotion. For many reasons, affiliate marketing is a perennial favorite for marketers and merchants alike. By 2016, it will be a $4.5 billion industry. Ultimately, major and minor brands realize that it makes more sense to farm out promotion to experienced marketers in the long run. You can more or less count on the following influential trends to dominate the near-term future of affiliate marketing. 

More & More Mobile

It should come as no surprise that affiliate marketers are leveraging an increasing number of mobile software tools to achieve their goals. After all, we'll soon inhabit a world where the majority of Internet traffic comes from users on mobile devices. The mobile world presents both challenges and opportunities in spades, all of which revolve around brevity. Getting the attention of mobile users isn't easy, as many affiliates have discovered. Regardless, mobile marketing is the future of affiliate sales. 

Channel Convergence & Integration

Nowadays, affiliate marketing tactics don't exist in a vacuum and the importance of merging all of your avenues can't be overstated. As a result, "omni-channel marketing" might well be the key to unlocking vasts swaths of potential from the sea of possible sales conversions. A holistic approach to affiliate marketing these days incorporates online methods like social media as well as traditional offline methods that most have written off like Pay Per Call. 

Site & Search Retargeting

Whether you rely on content, direct advertising or a mix of both to get your click-throughs, retargeting is the best way to maximize gains. With so much riding on the realization of the best marketing ROIs possible, both site and search retargeting are a must for savvy affiliates. Site retargeting can run the gamut from content repurposing to shopping cart abandonment recovery. Search retargeting allows marketers to follow their quarries wherever they happen to end up online. 

Better Analytics Based on Big Data

Using analytics to paint a more complete picture of one's target audiences and their preferences is as old as the web itself. Nowadays, the emergence of Big Data and the techniques used to squeeze every last drop of value from it has led to a supercharged version of analytics that allows affiliates to not only refine their approaches but actually anticipate demand. To paraphrase the great Wayne Gretsky, you skate to where the puck will be rather than where it is right now. Analytics derived from an avalanche of data allows affiliate marketers to do so. 

Pay Per Call Resurgent

Finally, we come back to the main theme of mobile marketing augmented by more unorthodox approaches. The field of Pay Per Call has been a bonanza for savvy marketers in recent years. Thanks to conversion rates that can hit 50% or more, it's a game changer for affiliates in every industry. Used in conjunction with retargeting, Big Data analytics, mobile promotion and offline advertising, Pay Per Call is a no-brainer if you're willing to master its intricacies.

The Primary Takeaway

Going with the flow doesn't necessarily mean that you have to copy the rest of the pack. Though these major trends have already been adopted by many affiliates, one can stand out from the crowd and profit by improvising a bit. Pay Per Call in particular is arguably the most daunting yet promising tack out there. No matter what happens, affiliate marketing will continue to get more competitive and profitable in the near future.

Mike Williams

Image source: Creative Commons License William Hook via Compfight

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