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Top 5 Latest Affiliate Marketing Trends You Won’t Want to Miss in 2021

Become an Affiliate

Few marketing specializations require you to shift gears as often as affiliate marketing. Not only must affiliate marketers contend with the rapidly changing spectrum of digital marketing tools and platforms, they often have to deal with these changes while dodging unexpected policy changes from those tools and platforms.

Despite this changing landscape, affiliate marketing remains a promising way to generate income on your own terms — if you can stay ahead of the game.

Taking advantage of the latest tools, trends, tips, and tricks can give your affiliate marketing campaigns the juice you need to produce sustainable results. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five trending affiliate marketing tactics you should try in your next campaign, starting with...

1. Quality over quantity

Most affiliate marketers create minimal content, and the content they will use is often recycled from the offer owner. Chasing traffic without a content strategy might have worked five years ago, but every available promotional channel now has a range of tools and restrictions designed to hide or flag low-quality content while promoting stuff people actually want to see.

The best affiliate marketers already know how to convert content into customers. Some of the top publishers have been using affiliate marketing models to drive revenue through product reviews or organic link placements for years.

As Facebook, Google, and other major ad platforms tighten their restrictions, and as social media and email providers continue to refine algorithms to surface “quality” in users’ feeds or inboxes, marketers of all stripes will have to focus on grabbing interest through strong copy and content instead of spamming untested paid ads and copy-pasted social tactics.

One way to promote your affiliate offers through high-quality content might not be something you’ve considered (but we have)...

2. Native ads

Anyone can hop on Facebook and create a paid ad campaign, but that just makes mediocre Facebook ads easier to ignore.

Native advertising doesn’t fade quite so easily into the background, because it combines the organic nature of a blog post or piece of typical non-promotional content with direct links to promoted brands or products. Some of the world’s most prolific and highly-trafficked publishers, like Business Insider, TechCrunch, and even the New York Times will create and/or run native advertising as “sponsored content.” You can also get your affiliate link into articles elsewhere with a little convincing, some cash, or a combination of both.

Native advertising can be costly upfront, but it can also have a longer tail of effectiveness than traditional paid ad campaigns.

3. Seasonal or holiday promotions

It’s always a holiday somewhere, and you probably didn’t even know. Holiday-themed promotions have been a staple of major retail brands for decades, but in recent years, businesses of all types have begun tying their marketing to time-limited or seasonal themes.

The great thing about running holiday-themed campaigns is that you’ll always be timely. You’ll always have an easy starting point for your creativity, no matter where you live or what you’re selling.

For example, September 13 is National Grandparents’ Day in the United States. We like to check for holiday ideas — it lists all major national holidays around the world. If you drill down by country, you’ll probably find an enormous range of lesser-known celebrations and commemorations to use in your campaigns.

4. Influencers for affiliates

People buy from people they trust. In the old(er) days, this typically meant building relationships with your prospects to close sales. Nowadays, many brands and marketers prefer to borrow the relationships influencers have already built with their audiences.

Influencer marketing involves much more than a sponsored post or tweet on social media — although these remain popular channels for influencers to promote a sponsor’s products. Anyone with an audience and a platform is potentially an influencer for your campaign. You might even be an influencer yourself!

Some hugely successful influencers make a substantial income from their affiliate relationships by promoting certain products on their social feeds and websites. Affiliate marketers can snag less-expensive promotional help by working with “micro-influencers,” who typically have between 5,000 and 25,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. These active social media users often have niche audiences, which can make them excellent partners to promote affiliate-marketed products or services.

5. Diversification

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that specialization can either help you take off, or it can take you out. For every company like Zoom, which has seen business surge thanks to a mass shift towards work-from-home jobs, there are thousands of smaller companies that have slowed down or shut down altogether.

Affiliate marketers are rarely brand-exclusive and for good reason. The skills that help you craft a winning affiliate marketing strategy can work with many different offers. Since the main limitation on affiliate earnings is their ability to draw in eyeballs, it often makes sense to try to draw the same set of eyeballs to multiple offers instead of focusing on growing the total eyeballs you can reach.

Most of the previous tips on this list synergize well with a diversified approach to affiliate marketing. Some holidays will work better with certain offers than others. If you’re running influencer campaigns, someone in the gaming space can promote a tech-based offer while a travel influencer promotes a vacation-themed product at the same time.

Successful people tend to have multiple income streams, and successful affiliate marketers are no different. To maximize your chances of success, try running multiple offers at the same time and see which one sticks — then, double down and spend more time, effort, and dollars on the winners.

If you’re looking for an affiliate network that helps you make more predictable revenue more often, you might want to consider MaxWeb. We’re currently the #1 fastest-growing affiliate network, and we specialize in maximizing results for both affiliates and advertisers. No exaggeration. We focus on carrying only the best offers and provide maximum commissions—you’ll get payouts up to 3 times a week. Click here to learn more and see if MaxWeb might be a good fit for you.

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