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Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2021

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Staying up to date on industry news is vital to being a successful affiliate marketer. As we close out the first month of 2021, we wanted to take some time to cover what we see as the top affiliate marketing trends for 2021.

More businesses than ever before are using affiliate marketing. Annual spending in affiliate marketing is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022 so the time to invest and make a plan is now. After the massive shift, we saw for marketing in 2020, finding new and creative digital ways to reach customers is taking center stage, and a great way to do that: affiliate marketing.

Here are our top affiliate marketing trends for 2021:

1. Influencers are more important than ever

Influencers can help reach new customers and groups of potential customers for your product. They have built their fame by establishing trust with their followers and can massively influence purchasing of goods and services. A lot of people prefer the softer-touch way that influencers market products and they can add integrity and transparency to your brand.

Keep searching for and partnering with influencers in your niche or adjacent to your niche incentive them with special discount codes, a share of the products their audience buys, and more. Building partnerships is key for long-lasting relationships.

If you are an influencer, make sure you are organically adding your affiliate links and content to your feeds and don’t make it too “in-your-face” for your followers. People like the soft-sell. Use that.

2. Diversify Your Affiliate Marketing Techniques

Affiliate marketing is so much more than just putting the right link in the right place. Now there are countless options to get your affiliate out there. Think about how your audience interacts with your most successful content and capitalize on it.

Consider live streaming product Q & As, making video how-to guides, curating a gift guide or wishlist, or doing in-depth product reviews and testimonials. You want to make the content stand out in an interesting way and provide added value to the people who trust your opinions. The more you can build credibility with different and unique content, the better your affiliate links will do.

3. Social Media to Educate, Not Influence

People do not like being told to buy something. They want to know WHY they should buy something, why you use it, and how you use it. A great way to add your affiliate content to your social media is by educating people about the products you have affiliate links for.

Consider the following angles:

  1. Why You Use X product over Y Product
  2. How you have added the product to your life
  3. Why the product makes your life better/easier/more organized
  4. How to use x product
  5. Pros and cons to the product
  6. Comparisons against bigger brands
  7. Personal testimonials

People want content that is more authentic, real, and provides value to their life. Lean into that.

4. Test Out New Social Media Channels

Reach new audiences by branding out from the big three: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. Reddit, Quora, and Medium are all new ways that you can reach a totally new person with your content.

These platforms are a home for more long-form content and usually have niche-based communities that focus on certain topics. Use those communities to your advantage. Find out what people are talking about and join in on the conversation. Start to build credibility there so you can grow your reach. As an added bonus, these channels will help your SEO by providing backlinks to your website.

5. Highlight Your Brand Not Just Products

As an affiliate, you should be thinking about what your brand is. What is your niche? Is it organization, sustainability, parenting, education, art, women-focused, tech-obsessed? Consumers want to buy from brands that align with things they like and support and this applies to affiliates and influencers too.

Explain why you are promoting the products you have affiliate links for. How do they align with your brand and how do they fit into your life? Testimonials like this can make a huge difference by tapping into people’s “why” instead of just “hey buy this thing.”

A warning though, the internet is very good about calling out brands and influencers band-wagoning on a topic or cause because they know it’ll help them get some exposure. Keep your mission authentic and don’t try to be something you aren’t.

Affiliate Marketing Trends 2021

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Robert B Foster

Robert B. Foster is an award-winning international speaker, mental health advocate, and host of the hit podcast Shut Up and GRIND where he inspires guests to share their stories of trauma, survival and defying the odds.

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