The 5 affiliate marketing trends you need to know in 2016

Affiliate marketing changes by leaps and bounds each year, providing new ways for affiliates to generate revenue and rendering old methods obsolete. In 2015, several affiliate marketing trends changed the industry’s dynamic landscape. Here are five of the most significant changes:

1. Increased Focus on Niche Marketing

Gone are the days when affiliates could cast a wide net and promote any product or service that crossed their radar. This trend started several years ago, but it gained prominence in 2015, encouraging marketers to focus on narrow niches to increase traffic, improve search engine rankings, and build audience trust.

Niche markets are small subsets of consumers who have specific interests, hobbies, or goals. For instance, affiliates might focus on a hobby like golf or photography. Alternatively, they could target a demographic (such as teenagers) or a value (such as energy efficiency). Niche marketing benefits all parties because it forces affiliates to create custom content that benefits a smaller group of people who are more likely to make purchases.

2. Expanded Possibilities for Mobile Marketing

In 2015, the mobile possibilities for affiliate marketing expanded even more, with an increasing number of affiliates optimizing their websites for mobile and taking full advantage of push notifications. This mostly boils down to the numbers. According to Internet Retailer, 36 percent of affiliate sales in January 2015 were conducted via mobile.

Affiliates who fail to leverage mobile technology might fall behind their competitors. As more consumers use their smartphones and tablets to shop, businesses rely more heavily on mobile-friendly apps and websites.

3. Improved Applications for Big Data

Affiliate marketers also began applying Big Data statistics to their marketing efforts. As more data becomes available to marketing professionals, the applicants expand exponentially. Affiliates can use Big Data analytics to determine their biggest sources of traffic and their key demographics. They can also compare different tactics and techniques to decide which offer the best performance in practice. In 2016 and beyond, Big Data applications will likely continue to get more sophisticated.

4. Increased Dependence on Attribution

In affiliate marketing, attribution modeling allows businesses to track the “chain” of clicks that ultimately led a buyer to make a purchase. A consumer might click on one affiliate link, click away, then click on the same link from a different source. This results in lost revenue for the first affiliate. It allows advertisers to adjust rates and payment models based on consumer behavior.

5. Unique Affiliate Partnerships

In 2015, unique affiliate partnerships emerged, changing the business model to accommodate new methods of drawing attention to businesses’ products and services. Collaborations between companies and schools, sports teams, and other organizations have changed the affiliate marketing landscape. Additionally, businesses have used affiliate marketing to raise money for charities and non-profits by donating percentages of sales to those causes.

As 2015 fades into the rearview mirror, 2016 will bring even more changes to affiliate marketing. It will also change how affiliate marketers send and receive money. If you want access to a convenient global payment option, sign up for Payoneer today.

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