Affiliate marketing is a field that has for some time now being gaining in importance and popularity, rendering it an industry worth billion across the board of commercial activity. The reasons behind its success and popularity in recent years are wide and varied, but before briefly referring to those, it is important to point out that the very essence of how affiliate marketing works is really what makes it so successful and important, since it allows for win-win outcomes for all those involved in the process.
Those involved are basically the brands being promoted through affiliate programs, that gain more leads, customers, sales and revenues, the affiliates who act as the promoters, who earn rewards, often in the form of healthy monetary commissions, and of course the purchasing clients who meet a brand through a referral, who benefit because through the referrals process they become aware of products or services that obviously meet their needs and demands or desires, but which they were oblivious about before.
Over the past few years affiliate marketing has consolidated its position as a valuable tool for marketing, especially as part of their overall digital marketing endeavours. Despite some initial hesitation and scepticism by businesses to go down this lane, this was soon overcome once the effectiveness of affiliate marketing became clearly evident and nowadays well over 80% of brands across the board of the provision of goods and services do participate or even maintain some form of affiliate marketing program.
The upsurge in the use of affiliate marketing can be attributed to a number of factors, chief amongst which are the rise in online businesses, as well as the increasing effect of the internet and social media in all spheres of human life and activity. As social media continue to grow in usage more opportunities arise for affiliates and influencers to use their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other venues to sway the purchasing decisions of other people and effectively promote their affiliated products and services.
Online blogs and vlogs are also in high demand as they too offer a dynamic venue through which affiliate efforts may be undertaken. This has made the most popular and impactful bloggers and vloggers become more selective over time about the brands they choose to endorse in an attempt to maintain their trust, authenticity and authority amongst their followers and readers.
Moreover, since smartphones and other mobile devices are fastly becoming the means of choice for the majority of people accessing the internet, there has been a simultaneous increase in mobile affiliate marketing and both the promoted brands as well as their affiliate publishers are shifting their efforts and attention towards the creation of mobile content and mobile specific ads.
Last but not least, massive improvements in technological solutions with specific reference to reliable analytics gathering tools and robust tracking technologies have also aided the growth of affiliated marketing. This is because, through such tools and solutions firms can rely on tons of reliable data and reports through which they can analyse, evaluate, better target and improve their affiliate marketing strategies and tactics, as such metrics always provide an accurate picture of what works and what doesn’t.
Against this backdrop, further growth appears to be the inevitable trend for affiliate marketing in the foreseeable future, while one can predict with enhanced certainty that this further growth will also be accompanied by certain shifts and changes in the way affiliate marketing endeavours will unfold.
Chances are that influencers will be becoming more and more important in the future and as they seek to further establish and consolidate relationships of trust with their audiences and followers, this will render affiliate marketing all the more important and necessary for all brands. As the fan bases of influencers grow, so are the opportunities and capabilities of influencing and encouraging the purchasing choices of these fans. Indirectly this also helps build ties, relationships and personal connections between consumers and brands, via the endorsement of the influencer they trust and follow.
Though this trend seems to be undisputed, a challenge may arise for influencers relying heavily on Instagram, since this popular social media channel has gradually started implementing policies which will not allow the number of likes each post receives to be visible to others than the user posting the content, in an attempt to combat self-worth issues arising from such metrics. These metrics however are crucial for affiliate marketing purposes and if such policies become consolidated or followed by other social media channels as well, this may pose problems for future affiliate marketing efforts.
A second trend which is set to influence the course of affiliate marketing is the remarkable rise in voice searches performed especially through the use Amazon Alexa, Cortana, Siri and others. This trend has already forced affiliate marketing campaigns to adjust their content and move away from traditional written copy and visual ads and this trend is set to continue in the future. Voice search optimization, as part of the overall SEO efforts of brands, will be hot topic in terms of affiliate marketing endeavours as well and adjustments will need to be made to factor in speech patterns and spoken language characteristics, including the targeting more long-tail keywords, as well as producing and disseminating high quality audio and video content, as these ensure better and increased engagement, which in turn results in more successful affiliate marketing outcomes.
The third trend that begs attention is the increased need for mobile friendliness, since as already mentioned above there are volumes of reports indicating the ever-increasing number of people who perform online searches via mobile, and who actually proceed to make their transactions through that as well. To be better able to influence purchasing decisions then, affiliate marketing campaigns need to be adjusted or even be specifically designed for display and use on mobile devices to provide users with a better overall experience, since it has been proven that when accessing content from a mobile that isn’t mobile friendly, most visitors choose to bounce away. Thus mobile-optimization in affiliate marketing emerges as a dire necessity for the future.
Since affiliate marketing in a natural partner for any form of online retailing endeavour, the surge in online retailing, which has been strengthened due to the COVID 19 pandemic, is also bound to bring an increase in the utilization of affiliate marketing by online retailers as well. This is also aided by other technological advancements which mean that onboarding affiliate marketers and being able to credibly measure their success and contribution to a brand is today easier than ever before, thus leaving no excuses for businesses not to include affiliate marketing in their overall marketing mix in their attempt to increase not only their immediate sales, but also their overall brand exposure and awareness.
Another development which is set to positively impact affiliate marketing is the observed slow down in push traffic partly because consumers indicate they are tired and annoyed by push notifications and partly because browsers, such as Google Chrome, have now made it easier for users to stop pop-ups and push ads. This consumer frustration and increased irrelevance of push notifications, leaves more room for targeted affiliated marketing efforts.
Another trend which is set to continue and positively affect affiliate marketing is the ongoing increase in affiliate revenue, which is solid proof of its effectiveness. Based on this, businesses are today more willing to dedicate a greater portion of their overall marketing budget towards affiliate marketing strategies and programs. Increased spending on affiliate marketing will surely mean better structure and quality in affiliate marketing efforts and improved rewards for affiliates, urging more wannabe influencers to join the bandwagon and spread the word of mouth.
As expected, the growing importance of affiliate marketing also means that agencies offering affiliate marketing services will also grow in importance. Having in-house expertise on affiliate marketing matters is not possible for all firms and in some cases, it may not even be desirable. Such firms are better off resorting to specialized, expert advisory agencies to help them with their affiliate marketing needs, by locating the best and most appropriate affiliates for their own needs, and to assist with all aspects of devising and implementing affiliate marketing tools and strategies.
The proven experience and expertise of specialized affiliate marketing agencies is a powerful weapon that may be placed at the disposal of any firm or brand seeking to reap the benefits of affiliate marketing and increase their visibility, exposure, sales, client base and revenues, while such agencies will effectively and efficiently help all businesses smoothly navigate the dynamic and challenging affiliate marketing landscape.
Here at start-business-online we pride ourselves of being a prime example of such an agency, and we boast a particularly impressive track record of successfully assisting many of our clients with their affiliate marketing endeavours. We particularly concentrate on certain niche markets, such as those of fintech and online retail forex brokerages, and it is on the role of affiliation in the online forex industry that we concentrate below, using it as an illustrative paradigm.
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Affiliated Marketing and the Online Forex Market: useful pointers for effective forex partnerships
Few will doubt the catalytic effect that the use of affiliated marketing has had on the impressive booming and overall success of the forex industry and particularly of online retail forex brokerages. It is also an undeniable fact that during the past decade few online brokers operated without an important affiliate network component, concentrating much effort in the robust building of such partner networks, which in turn greatly helped them expand their online presence.
Affiliation was challenged as tool in the forex industry in more recent times, due to increasingly strict regulatory restrictions being imposed by industry watchdogs, especially in the cases of forex brokers targeting traffic from EU member states through their affiliate marketing channels.
Though challenges do exist and will most probably continue to emerge, forex affiliate partnerships are far from obsolete as a tool. In fact, now more than ever forex brokers should tap into the immense potential that forex affiliation as a dynamic and evolving tool can offer their businesses. This is because forex affiliate programs are the ideal venue for fostering dynamic partnerships which not only positively impact a forex broker’s conversion rate, but most importantly enhance their overall online presence and improve their broader market reputation.
If this fostering dynamic partnerships is of interest to you, we think you will enjoy reading our first series of Top Forex Affiliate Program case studies that are dealing on making money through the promotion of financial offers. The Lights this week is on the OspreyFX Affiliate Program. Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who would be interested as well.
As already discussed previously affiliate marketing spending is on the increase across the board and this means that affiliate marketers can enjoy increased earning potential provided they manage to stay ahead of the game and in top form, since the playing field is getting broader and more diverse and targeted audiences become more resistant to and sceptical of traditional affiliate marketing methods and increasingly technologically savvy. Therefore, forex affiliates need to rise up to the challenge and effectively meet the growing demands through the exploration of innovative and fresh ideas and methods, as well as new channels and concepts.
The fiercely competitive, dynamic and often volatile forex landscape and the emerging challenges have meant that both the forex brokers and their affiliate partners approach their relationship in a more demanding manner and demeanour. Naturally, brokers expect to be getting higher quality traffic and increased conversations while they also demand quality branding and a fair representation of their brokerage and corporate identity and vision by their affiliates.
On the other hand, affiliates expect brokers to provide them with constant and accurate communication and information, better and diversified marketing materials, effective and reliable tracking tools and last, but not least, better remuneration terms.
Both the brokers and their affiliates are called to work closely and in harmony in order to jointly meet the growing demands of their audiences and existing or prospective clients. Traders now more than ever expect and demand authenticity both in their interactions with affiliates and brokers alike, as well as originality, clarity, honesty and consistency in the messages being delivered and directed to them.
To satisfy these needs both forex brokers and their affiliates need to become even more competitive, through harder work and increased investment. As brokers spend more in improving their brand, offered products and services and their marketing strategies, their affiliates are better able to expand their rich wider into new markets or deeper in their niches.
The cornerstone of successful forex affiliate marketing lies in effective communication and the proper crafting and dissemination of a forex broker’s messages. Mere content creation is no longer enough as there is ample content around. What is most important is that content is authentic, accurate, streamlined and properly distributed through the right channels and aimed at the right audience.
Those engaging in forex affiliate marketing should focus on using the right tools which they have at their disposal in order to effectively recognise and anticipate the needs, wants and expectations of their target audience. Pro-action rather than reaction renders forex brands more relevant and helpful to their prospective clients and enables them to effectively reach the right people, at the right time with the most appropriate message.
In order to effectively rise to the challenge therefore, forex brokerages should not approach their forex affiliate marketing endeavours as mere outsourced marketing accessible to any willing third party. Instead they should carefully and rigorously select their forex affiliate partners to ensure an effective and efficient communality in achieving the common goals set. Following from this, brokers also need to ensure that their affiliate networks and partners are offered clear guidelines regarding not only the forex brokerage’s brand identity, but also any regulatory restrictions.
Building and maintaining a robust and effective forex affiliates network requires that brokers spend time, effort and money on it, while also ensuring the communication and partnership relationship is developed unhindered and is based on trust. Most forex brokers are willing to go down this way because they realize that a robust affiliate network is essential for the health and further growth of their business as it brings them increased brand awareness, attracts warm leads, opens up new markets and reaches new audiences, whilst at the same time results in more citations and mentions, thus greatly boosting their overall SEO performance.
To help their affiliates be in a better position to help them, forex brokers should also ensure to employ smart marketing methods and tools, especially those which help with optimising conversion rates, such as automated marketing funnels that can be tailored to the different lifecycle stages of each client. Moreover, they should ensure that their affiliates are supported constantly and effectively through a dedicated and easily accessible portal where partners can find not only the latest marketing campaign materials, but also the brand’s overall business strategy.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing in general is expected to continue its surge and affiliate marketing schemes in the online retail forex industry continue to remain an essential component of any forex brokerage’s marketing endeavours. A successful forex affiliate program however is only possible when the relationship between the broker and its affiliates is based on trust and transparency to enable it to be productive, effective and efficient. To this end, broker must ensure that they offer as much support as possible to their affiliates, competitive, fair and timely commissions and pay-outs, as well as remuneration plans which are fully customized to yield the best possible results.
If you are a forex broker that hasn’t yet utilized affiliate marketing or seeking to your existing forex affiliate program to the next level, contact our team today and let us help you take full advantage of this powerful, dynamic tool.