Another trend in affiliate marketing that’s been growing is personalized marketing.
For example, more recently a lot of successful affiliates have used Facebook groups in the pre-launch stage. They’re promoting a product that’s in the pre-launch stage and they begin emailing their lists. Telling them about a secret, closed Facebook group where they’ll be sharing free training videos for the pre-launch.
Doing this makes the entire process a lot more personal and puts all your qualified leads in one place. It’s a great strategy.
The people who are in this Facebook group actually want to be there. Once the product launches there’s continual support right from this group. Product previews and back office videos are shared. The excitement from other people that buy the product is also shared.
It’s a great place to foster relationships and once that’s accomplished, people purchase. This strategy has resulted in affiliates coming in first place for several launches.
The reason why it works is because no one is being interrupted and slammed with an ad that screams “buy me”. Everyone involved in the process actually wants to be there and in the end wants to buy the product.
According to a study from Janrain, “nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when the content they see on the page has nothing to do with their interests.”
When marketing actually knows what you want to buy when you want to buy it there’s a much higher chance of you purchasing. Again here, why retargeting is so effective.
Here’s an example why a 1-on-1 approach to marketing is becoming more important.
When there’s a public speaking event and there’s a thousand people in the audience, are all of them paying attention? Are all of them paying an equal amount of attention? It really depends who’s on stage of course but even then there’s no guarantee. If the speaker were to give 1-on-1 attention to anyone in that audience, wouldn’t there be a much higher degree of influence?
The individual. The consumer. The customer. However you’d like to refer to the human being that makes commerce possible.
“In today’s digital world, marketing is the function responsible for creating and sustaining a long-lasting relationship with the most important asset of any business – the customer.” – Economist Intelligence Unit
Sure other trends like data above are important but it’s easy to get caught up in data and forget about the customer. The customer experience is why we gather data in the first place.
When the experience feels more 1-on-1 its more genuine and there’s less resistance. When focusing on your customer, you’re focusing on customer service.
The best customer service always wins. Think about Starbucks or Apple. When you walk into one of their stores you just feel great. That’s what people want. They like to feel important and special. If you can achieve that with your marketing then you’re headed in the right direction.
A fact that shows marketing is becoming more 1-on-1 is integrated marketing. Integrated marketing shows a consistent brand message everywhere the brand is present. Meaning if you were to see a brand on social media they would be the same as in a brick and mortar store or on a television commercial.
Doesn’t that seem more personal? More like building a relationship with someone? When you see an individual in different environment you don’t expect them to change or be different. That’s a connection between customer and brand. It’s transparent, nothing is hidden and it works.
In the past few years mobile was thought to be the demise of affiliate marketing. When Google introduced its Mobilegeddon update a lot of websites lost traffic and sales. Sites deemed mobile friendly were pushed up the search engine rankings.
Responsive design became the norm for web design. Responsive design adapts to almost any screen size the website is being viewed at.
According to Google Think Insights, customers that have a positive experience with your mobile website are 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.
A lot of questions were being asked by affiliate marketers concerned with mobile. Such as, how can I make sure I get a commission from a click? With mobile browsers not supporting third-party cookies, this was a huge concern.
Another concern was how does an affiliate show up where people spend most of their time on mobile devices: apps. These concerns are all very real but have been getting addressed recently.
Most mobile browsers now support cookies except for Safari. Although, Chrome for mobile is gaining popularity, Safari is still the most used mobile browser.
Apps like Amazon are making clicks from the browser open automatically in the app. There are more and more apps that offer great platforms for affiliate marketing.
One example is Polyvore – Personalized Fashion, Shopping and Style. This is an app that’s a little like Pinterest. It’s a little different because there’s a focus on items from fashion, beauty and home. You can actually purchase things right from the app.
This is a great tool for affiliate marketers of all types, even those that do e-commerce too. You can organize items into “sets” like this:
Within the set each item can be one of your products or affiliate links. Similar to Pinterest you can download a browser plugin that allows you to “clip” items from the web along with your affiliate link.
If you want to up your affiliate marketing mobile game you need to show up on mobile apps.
The future of mobile is messaging apps becoming integrated with other apps. For example, WeChat and Facebook Messenger are allowing actions to be taken without leaving their apps. On WeChat you can look for directions or order an uber car and make a reservation at your favorite restaurant without leaving the app.
WeChat is one of the apps that has seen great success with mobile messaging.
Some companies are using messaging apps for customer service. Hotels are using it for room service. Commerce will soon be huge on messaging apps. Affiliate marketers pay attention.
Another thing about mobile is that people can’t tell if your links are affiliate links. One of the top problems on desktop is that users know which links are affiliate. They’ll rather just go into Google and do research on their own to purchase the product.
On mobile this changes because all they have to do is click and they’re taken to the purchase page. That’s also why disclaimers like “We may make a commission”, have gotten popular.
People love transparency. If you let them know this is how you’re making money, they’re actually more likely to purchase from your link.
Gizmodo owned by Gawker Media, has added affiliate marketing into their monetization strategy. This should give all affiliate marketers hope for a great future to come.
People are getting more and used to seeing affiliate links and will buy from the people they like the most.
The future of affiliate marketing looks promising. There are so many different channels to focus on as an affiliate marketer that all you have to do is choose one and laser focus on it.
Don’t make the same mistake that the majority of affiliate marketers make by doing too much at once and not taking enough action.
The most successful affiliate marketers are the ones that niche down and get specific with their audience.
How about you, what trends do you see in the future of affiliate marketing? Leave your comment below.
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