Affiliate marketing is one of the greatest business models and opportunities in the world today. Anyone can start a business no matter where they are located, how much money they have, or even what language they speak or the type of education they have. However, as great as affiliate marketing is, if you’re going to find the success you will need to put in a lot of time, work, and effort.
Having been in the industry now for over 20 years now and getting my start an affiliate marketing back in the mid-90s, I can tell you right now one of the most important things to finding long-term success is being able to adapt with the changes around you. A lot has changed with the internet and affiliate marketing over the past two decades since I started making money online. What was once a static environment of one-way conversations, HTML websites, and easily ranking at the top of Google, has evolved into an engaging and competitive world of social media, WordPress-powered sites, and mobile usage at higher levels than ever before.
With all of this in mind, today I wanted to cover a few different affiliate marketing strategies and potential opportunities that business may need to change and adapt to as they appear on the horizon. As always, if you want to survive in this game, not only do you need to stay ahead of the competition you also need to adapt to these coming times.
The only question is… are you and your business ready?
Blockchain Technology Makes Its Way into the Affiliate Industry
Blockchain technology is getting so much attention lately and it’s not just because of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This form of technology is quickly changing the way data, online processing, and payments are being made online — while also being more secure than ever before. It’s simply only a matter of time before we start to see this type of data tracking and integration move into the world of affiliate marketing as well.
Actually, there is already a decentralized affiliate platform in place today at Attrace. Through their technology and blockchain processing, this platform is making it possible for merchants and advertisers to eliminate the high-costs that most affiliate networks are charging today, while also making the payment and commissions out to affiliates in a more seamless matter as well. Instead of paying traditional network fees that can range from 20-to-30% per transaction, Attrace is focused on payments of less than .05% per transaction while also offering immediate commissions and payouts to Affiliates through blockchain technology.
What also makes the network stand out, is how they are built from the ground up with blockchain technology, and also how the direct relationships between affiliates and merchants work. As listed on their site; “Attrace is the only affiliate marketing blockchain project that tracks and attributes every individual click/lead/referral of a prospect – sale or no sale – which means insights and statistics which are impossible to manipulate.”
With so much discussion on cookies, browsers and mobile usage on the rise, it’s about time we saw a more secure tracking solution in place. How soon will we start to see more affiliate Platforms in a great blockchain technology into their business model?
Expanding Your Business and Reach into Asia
As we know, affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful forms of advertising on the internet today for several reasons. Affiliates love it because of the simplicity and never needing to hold inventory or process an order, and advertisers love the concept of only paying for actual leads and sales that take place. Best of all, it’s a working business model that can be applied to all business, brands, and audiences throughout the world.
While the United States and English traffic are always going to be a top priority and have the highest payouts, it would be a huge mistake not to take advantage of what other countries offer. Just focusing your efforts on the US and top-tier traffic will easily eliminate more than half of the world’s population. However, while many people think non-US traffic sources might be junk, others are finding it to be their own secret cash cow.
This is something Leadbit has been finding success with for years now. As one of the larger global affiliate networks in the game today, Leadbit focuses mostly on non-US traffic and affiliate offers – which makes them an expert when it comes to the reaching audiences outside of the United States.
To show the true potential of marketing to non-US countries (specifically Asia), be sure to check out this Asia Internet Usage infographic guide on their site, which breaks down the various countries within Asia and how to best target such audiences.
Media buying platforms and Facebook Ads makes the process of targeting exact countries, demographics and audiences so easy. If you aren’t currently advertising your own brand or affiliate offers outside of the US, what are you waiting for?
The Role of Artificial Intelligence to Improve Business
No matter where you look these days, there is so much talk about artificial intelligence, robots eventually taking over the world, and how businesses can start using AI to improve their dat to day operations. While most businesses and brands are focusing their efforts on using AI for customer support and chatbots, other brands have been using artificial intelligence in new and creative ways to propel their businesses to that next level.
Designhill is a brand that has been doing just that. Not only are they using AI to improve business and how people use their site, it’s actually building significantly on their bottom line as well. One of the most exciting components of their site, is their new logo creator that is completely powered by artificial intelligence. What’s unique about the tool is that it will provide users with a high-quality and professional logo in seconds, while also costing a fraction of what a typical freelance or design agency might charge — while also improving productivity, volume, and revenue for Designhill itself.
The way their innovative logo creator works is quite simple. The process starts when the user types in their company name, selects from a few different examples designs of their liking, along with a few color schemes, and also provide their site name, slogan, and industry. The last step in the process is to select a few icons and images that they might want to incorporate into their logo as well. Using all of this information, the technology, and AI-based platform will then spit out an unlimited supply of logo designs and concepts to choose from.
So what does all of this mean for your business and the future of AI?
If you aren’t currently using artificial intelligence for your business or brand, you likely will. However, don’t just think about the most common ways to implement such technology into your business. Instead, do something drastic like Designhill and create a platform or service, that can basically run itself and is always learning at the same time.
GDPR Regulations, Compliance, and New Businesses
In short… gone are the days of just randomly picking up, tracking, buying, or selling data without the expressed written consent of the end user… unless you want to pick up a few billion in fees like Google and Amazon have?
I’ll spare you the boring rules, regulations, and legalities of GDPR right now, but what I would like to focus on instead is how companies need to get compliant and have better control of their data while also having full transparency. The more exciting and interesting aspect of GDPR is the billions of dollars that will be generated from companies trying to implement these methods and getting compliant. The truth is, most people (even lawyers and the governments around the world) aren’t sure of the long-term effects of GDPR, or how it might change in the coming months.
One such example is of a company takes advantage of this opportunity is Bulletproof, an online security and data management company. While there is always going to be a risk for data leaks and attacks against a company, Bulletproof saw the business opportunity and demand here, thus launching a division of their company that focuses solely on GDRP compliance and regulations.
With so many harsh fines coming into play, and nearly every online business or brand affected in one way or another (Google Analytics tracking, affiliate links, cookies, lead forms), everyone needs to make sure they are fully covered. If you still have no idea what the GDPR is, the infographic below will give you a quick overview in a moments time.
As an affiliate marketer or brand, it’s no longer just an issue of making sure your business is compliant, it’s also a matter of figuring out ways that you can promote such offers or Services while also cashing in on the process.
What’s on the horizon for affiliate marketing in 2018-2019?
It’s not enough to simply know what changes, trends, and regulations are going to come into effect in the near future. You need to know beforehand and adapt your business accordingly. If you want to see a perfect example of legitimate business empires that failed to adapt to these changes, just look at what’s currently happening with Sears, ToysRUs, and many other well-known and loved household name brands around the world today.
The good news is, you likely don’t have hundreds of employees and millions of data records to take care of. In fact, adjusting to many of these changes won’t take much time or effort on your part at all. This is something that many businesses, affiliate marketers, and brands have done for a while now as a great majority of their audiences have moved from desktop browsing to mobile devices and also using social media more than heading to Google for a simple search result.
Feel free to leave your comments on what you feel the upcoming trends for 2018 through 2019 are, and how we can best adjust our businesses and adapt to these changes over time.