In 2024, affiliate marketing is set to witness significant changes and challenges as the industry responds to macro-level shifts. Let’s delve into the key affiliate marketing trends that marketers should be mindful of in the coming year.
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Navigating the social media slowdown
With the slowdown in global digital ad spend and fluctuating new user growth on social media, brands are seeking alternatives. The rise of creator-affiliate programs allows brands to connect directly with influencers and build genuine, collaborative partnerships with creators.
Major brands like The Body Shop and Walmart have already launched their creator-affiliate initiatives, a trend expected to grow in 2024. This shift provides influencers with more reliable income streams and aligns with brands’ efforts to tie awareness-building on social platforms to measurable marketing outcomes.
TikTok vs. Amazon: The affiliate model showdown
Big tech companies like Amazon and TikTok are expanding into each other’s territories, intensifying the competition. Amazon has evolved into an ad space in addition to a shopping marketplace, while TikTok has transitioned from pure entertainment to a platform where users can make purchases.
Both are incorporating affiliate-type models, with TikTok utilising creator content as a fuel for its commerce ‘flywheel.’ Amazon on the other hand has long embraced affiliate strategies through its Associates program. While this adoption validates affiliate marketing, brands now face the challenge of deciding whether to invest in these platforms or focus on driving traffic to their own e-commerce sites, emphasising the need to enhance the shopper experience.
The shift away from programmatic advertising
The programmatic ad industry faced challenges in 2023, with issues such as transparency and wasted ad spend. In contrast, affiliate marketing’s performance-based model, tied to tangible outcomes like sales and revenue, positions it favourably. As marketers seek more control over their ad spend, affiliate marketing is expected to gain more momentum in 2024, providing a reliable alternative to programmatic advertising.
Chrome’s cookie deprecation
Google’s decision to deprecate third-party cookies in Chrome demands a shift in tracking setups. The implementation of server-side tracking becomes crucial, with technology partners like Stape offering simple solutions to accelerate the transition.
As the industry adapts to this change, server-side tracking adoption is set to accelerate, ensuring affiliates can navigate the challenges posed by Google’s “cookiepocalypse” effectively.
Affiliate tech partners easing marketers’ regret
In 2024, marketing software becomes a top priority for businesses, with the emotional aspect of technology purchases gaining attention. Affiliate tech partners, offering agile and risk-free experimentation with new technologies, emerge as a solution.
With container tags from Awin and ShareASale supporting over 80+ technologies, marketers can experiment, scale, and achieve success without the fear of regret.
Navigating political events
2024, with numerous elections and major sporting events, presents a unique opportunity for news and media publishers in the affiliate channel.
Affiliate efforts become crucial for maximising the value of user demand, helping publishers offset ad revenue challenges. Additionally, major sporting events coming up this year such as European Football Championships and the Olympics, will contribute to the affiliate commerce content space, offering opportunities for partnerships and increased revenue.
Search’s AI revolution and the impact on affiliates
The introduction of AI-powered search consoles, represented by Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), challenges traditional search behaviour. Publishers, especially those relying on organic traffic and the affiliate longtail, face potential declines as AI-generated answers reduce the need for users to visit websites. Adhering to established SEO values becomes vital for maintaining visibility in this evolving search landscape.
In this evolving search environment, maintaining a robust online presence requires publishers to adapt and prioritise established Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) principles. Focusing on high-quality, relevant content that aligns with user intent is more important than ever. Publishers must strive to create content that not only answers user queries but also provides added value, fostering engagement and encouraging users to explore the website beyond AI-generated snippets.
Travel industry’s resurgence boosts affiliate opportunities
Contrary to predictions during the 2019 lockdown, the travel industry is experiencing a revival. With a projected 4.7 billion people travelling in 2024, affiliates play a vital role in complex customer journeys.
Experience-based tourism, inspired by pop culture, creates opportunities for brand partnerships and further growth in the travel sector. Travellers are increasingly seeking immersive and culturally enriched experiences, driven by influences from movies, music, and other forms of entertainment. This opens up new opportunities for brands to strategically align themselves with these trends through partnerships.
Sustainability challenges in fast fashion
The rise of ultra-fast fashion platforms poses challenges to sustainability efforts in retail. Despite the competition, affiliates actively promote mindful choices through innovative solutions.
Affiliates are increasingly becoming champions of sustainable practices in retail. Some affiliates are strategically partnering with eco-conscious brands, promoting products that adhere to ethical and environmentally friendly production methods.
By aligning themselves with sustainable values, affiliates play a crucial role in redirecting consumer attention toward more eco-friendly options, promoting a positive shift in consumer behaviour.
Data aggregation solutions for publishers
The marketing industry’s fragmentation, especially in data and reporting, poses challenges for publishers operating across diverse platforms. The need for data consolidation becomes apparent, with solutions like ASK BOSCO® addressing this issue.
ASK BOSCO® connects and consolidates your reporting and analytics to empower you to take control of your online performance. To find out more, visit askbosco.io.
In conclusion, 2024 brings a dynamic landscape for affiliate marketing, where adaptability and innovation are key. Navigating these trends requires marketers to stay informed, embrace emerging technologies, and adopt strategic partnerships to thrive in the ever-changing digital world.
If you need any support and guidance with your affiliate program, get in touch with the Modo25 team by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to find out more about our affiliate marketing services, simply click here.