Affiliate marketing has been a growing opportunity for advertisers since the mid 2000s, with more than 80% of advertisers now devoting 10% of their marketing budget to this lucrative strategy.
Traditionally, affiliate marketers have focused most of their energy on social channels such as Facebook. However, with more and more marketers using the same tactics, these channels are becoming increasingly crowded, and more expensive. To stay one step ahead of the crowd, forward thinking marketers are constantly on the lookout for new channels that promise to connect them with their audience and gain them even more exposure.
While blogs and YouTube remain popular with advertisers, over the last year utilising avenues such as cashback programs, messenger apps like Telegram, and browsers that display affiliate links have gained traction. This could add significantly to the revenue generated through more traditional strategies.
The market for affiliate marketing is expected to increase from $4.2 billion in 2015 to $8.6 billion in 2020, so gaining access to these latest pathways to audience engagement should not be missed out on by advertisers. Here are the newest traffic sources that your business should be clued in on.
One increasingly lucrative source of revenue for charities and NGOs has been to work with CPA networks to create a cashback program. This innovative way of fundraising allows online shoppers to raise money for NGOs, nonprofits and foundations at no extra cost, and provides an exciting affiliate marketing opportunity for advertisers too. Websites such as Helpfreely let users generate free donations through everyday online purchases. Like traditional cashback websites, these sites donate a percentage of customer spendings to charities, making it easier than ever to donate.
If, like 76% of U.S. consumers in 2017, the user does most of their online shopping on Amazon, it makes little sense for them not to use a service such as AmazonSmile. Prices are the same as using the regular Amazon website, and the tens of millions of products available through this alternative can be identified easily by the ‘Eligible for AmazonSmile donation’ marking on its listing. Shoppers simply choose from one of the hundreds of thousands of charities listed, and every time an eligible purchase is made, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase amount to the selected organisation.
Other cashback sites that can not only give products exposure, but also market their purchase as a philanthropic cause include GoodShop, iGive, and Giveasyoulive.com. NGOs and charities can easily promote sellers of products by installing a creative on their website, which drives traffic and arguably increases purchase likelihood as customers look to give back whilst online shopping.
Whilst many businesses are targeting individuals and influencers on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, a whole slew are missing out on the more fruitful opportunities to be had by utilising the group function of Facebook and messenger apps, particularly the new rising star Telegram.
Though influencer marketing can often generate a one-time big boost in sales, its effectiveness is hard to predict. This eliminates entry for online advertisers without large budgets, as fees are usually paid up front before the post is made. Another way to use social networks as an affiliate marketing strategy is to reach potential buyers through online messenger apps, notably Europe’s hottest new messaging tool: Telegram.
Telegram is a cloud based messaging app that allows advertisers to engage with their audience without the challenge of competing in saturated channels of online business promotion of sponsored ads, posts, and promotional campaigns. Marketing through Telegram provides advertisers with the opportunity to showcase products efficiently and directly with millions of users, and the 220,000 more that sign up each day. Not only this, Telegram is not yet overloaded with competing advertisers looking to take advantage of its audience reaching capabilities and promotional potential.
Telegram’s 100 million users and 15 billion daily messages make it a lucrative market as any for promoting products and providing services through the app. Not only this, but Telegram can also act as a channel for sharing news about the product, collecting feedback, and marketing events. In Spain, the ‘Chollos’ channel has an audience of around half a million users, which provides its members with exclusive promo and discount information, alongside links to various e-shops.
Advertisers have the option to create their own corporate channel that can share unlimited numbers of messages and posts with all subscribers. Channels can be made public or private, and can be managed by an administrator or a Telegram bot, allowing for the advertiser to be selective about who receives any exclusive promo info, and optimise the management of the channel.
With all of this in mind, advertisers looking for new ways to reach groups of up to 100,000 users should be talking about Telegram as an imaginative solution to engaging audiences that are tired of old fashioned, annoying ads.
While Telegram’s popularity increases rapidly day-on-day in Europe, the use of Facebook groups for affiliate marketing remains prominent in the U.S., as Facebook groups can be crucial for increasing website traffic, finding potential customers, building relationships, and ultimately exploding your sales. Top groups that can offer great entrepreneurial advice and tips on using Facebook for affiliate marketing include Blog Society, Inspired Bloggers Network, and The Rising Tide Society.
Placing buttons that link to the company website on browser homepages and ‘new tab’ pages is another increasingly popular way that advertisers are using affiliate marketing to reach wider, more active audiences. Many users do not realise that these ‘recommendations’ are an indirect lead, and the frequency at which an average person opens a ‘new tab’ during any given browsing session means advertisers are able to gain consistent exposure.
By cooperating with browsers, advertisers are able to raise their brand awareness for free. This means money is not wasted through blind advertising through agencies and other platforms, while large amounts of people are still being reached. Advertisers are able to display buttons on browsers without cost as by using the CPA model, they only pay commission for confirmed sales. Users are therefore exposed to the brand without getting annoyed by banners or email retargeting during their browsing session.
In addition to ad buttons, Firefox recently chose to display recommended news articles on the ‘new tab’ page. The browsing tool acquired Pocket this year, a service that allows you to manage a reading list of online articles. Pocket now provides personalised recommendations and sponsored stories on the ‘new tab’ page, in an effort from Mozilla to compete with Facebook’s News Feed, which often shows unappealing clickbait articles. Whilst keeping in line with its principles of privacy, quality, and transparency, Firefox is able to offer to advertisers another avenue of promotion through news content.
Affiliate marketing has provided countless lucrative avenues for advertisers to engage with their audiences, with more opportunities arising year on year. In 2017, 16% of all online orders were placed through affiliate marketing, and 80% of brands are now using it as a key marketing tool. This surge in activity means inventive advertisers need to stay one step ahead of the crowd. Utilising these new channels for product and brand exposure will be sure to give your marketing strategy a fresh boost, helping it tap into active audiences in an innovative way.