A survey of 1,100 marketers showed that affiliate marketing was one of the growth drivers again this year. But what opportunities and risks, will the industry be dealing with in 2022? We will examine this in a three-part series. Part 3 of 3: New publisher models and technology partners.
Affiliate Marketing: The Trend Towards New Publisher Models And Technology Partners
Sixty-seven percent of advertisers see the most significant growth potential for 2022 in new affiliates.
Opportunities In Content Commerce
Large publishing houses in particular face (sales) challenges. The area of content commerce, which stands for the closer integration of the content (content) with the associated shopping options (business), is seen as an opportunity.
The various cooperations between voucher sites and publishers such as Spiegel, Focus, or Welt are examples of this interlocking. The same applies to price comparisons that are integrated via RTL or NTV. According to an evaluation by PressGazette, product tests or leaderboards also generate additional traffic.
The results of “The Independent,” for example, which employs more than 15 people with its content hub “Indy Best” and register over five million visitors per month, show that great successes have been achieved.
Affiliate Marketing And The Role Of Influencers
Advertisers are also hoping for new growth from influencers. Thirty-four percent see this as a growth driver for 2022. Also, the developments that Instagram has released the link sticker for every influencer since 2021 enables many more influencers to advertise products and provide them with affiliate links.
Above all, the acquisition of target group-specific micro-influencers offers many new sales potential. The news that Instagram is already testing its affiliate marketplace in the USA, allowing influencers to advertise advertisers with their own Instagram shop, also offers a lot of new potential.
According to Business Insider, the closed beta test of the Instagram affiliate tool has already started in the USA with around 100 influencers and 30 brands. And since 2021, Pinterest has also been offering the option of linking to shops via the new Shoppable Pins using affiliate links.
Publisher Models Based On Artificial Intelligence (AI)
New publisher technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are also among the growth drivers in affiliate marketing. So offer z. For example, new publishers like UpSellit have the opportunity to create and develop personalised conversion experiences. Advertisers can use this technology to improve conversion in their shop on a performance basis.
The startup Recommended from Bielefeld also offers advertisers technology that uses artificial intelligence to automate creation and management. In addition, the technology ensures the unique design of sets of similar items.
By automating this area, retailers can save over 90 percent of the costs. The startup Bounce Commerce also offers AI-based bounce management and product recommendations technology. According to a DPD study from 2019, 62 percent of customers have already cancelled the shopping process.
This is precisely what Bounce Commerce builds on with its AI technology. First case studies show that with Bounce Commerce, up to 30 percent of visitors who would leave an online shop because they did not find the right product are addressed again with AI-based product recommendations, and the conversions by up to can be increased by 10 percent.
Publishing And App Placement
In the case of individual online shops, the proportion of new customers was even over 50 percent. But many other publishers such as Intent.ly, retail rocket, Envolve, Precise, blue knob, RevLifter, or Increasingly also offer innovative technology solutions and software.
There are also new publishers from the embedded commerce sector, such as Tipser, MikMak, Constant. Co and Monotone. These enable advertisers to be placed on digital media, platforms, or apps.
This means that advertising banners are no longer placed on the publishing pages of media companies, dealers, marketplaces, or social networks, but rather products that can be bought directly. The shopping functions are thus integrated now into websites and apps.
Especially small to medium-sized online shops that do not have enough technical capacity can use these affiliate technologies to generate new potential and save a lot of time and money through automation. There are also many other ways of developing traffic via affiliates.
TikTok, Twitch, And Co.
As one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with over 12 million users in Germany, TikTok now offers the opportunity to advertise affiliate products with the right campaign or the right influencer.
Twitch, which no longer only serves as a pure platform for eSports and gamers but also covers numerous entertainment channels, also offers a lot of potential with over 6.2 million viewers every day. More and more Twitch streamers are discovering the possibility of affiliate marketing to place advertising via the infobox or the live stream.
And podcasts, which are now regularly listened to by more than 10 million Germans, are currently marketed based on unique voucher codes with affiliate marketing.
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Commissions And Demand Continue To Rise
There are still other changes in the provisioning of affiliates. Fifty-one percent of affiliates see low commissions as one of the biggest problems for 2022. This is accompanied by 31 percent of affiliates naming non-transparent remuneration strategies and 57 percent non-functioning tracking as a problem.
Accordingly, 66 percent of affiliates generally want higher commissions, which means that more and more affiliates want to share the risk of missing commission allocations and incorrect tracking with the advertiser and only offer advertising placements based on hybrid commission models, i.e., fixed advertising -Costs for specific arrangements combined with CPO commissions.
In 2021, 77 percent of the advertisers were already paying additional commissions based on advertising or hybrid models. In 2020 it was still 58 percent. Therefore, fifty-four percent believe that commission payments based on marketing activities have increased. At the same time, however, 55 percent of the advertisers think that these commission models are also financially worthwhile and could achieve increased sales as a result.
The development towards hybrid commission models and increasing commissions will continue to prevail in 2022 as long as the advertisers cannot guarantee transparent and future-proof tracking to remunerate the affiliates fairly and correctly for the advertising service.
War For Talents
However, one of the most oversized brakes on growth in the coming years could be the shortage of skilled workers. Due to the industry’s growth, appropriate specialists are required to implement the campaigns.
The increasing shortage of skilled workers, affecting many industries, has also arrived in affiliate marketing, regardless of how many years of professional experience someone has or what jobs are involved.
The corona pandemic and the associated changes in the world of work have also brought further challenges that companies face. Companies have to create an environment in which talented people feel comfortable and can do an excellent job at the end of the day.
In addition, more attention should be paid to ensuring that they are used according to their respective strengths and can thus assume responsibility. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a training offensive for new specialists in the affiliate industry.
For example, the BVDW already offers a specialist certificate for job starters with one to two years of professional experience in SEO. Similar models should also be developed for the affiliate industry in the future.
Likewise, companies should offer their employees further training opportunities due to the increasingly complex changes in the affiliate industry. In addition to training, this includes attending conferences (currently mainly in digital form) or participating in MeetUps.
In principle, one should also look at developments and not blindly be infected by an alleged hype. V. a. Due to the corresponding use of resources, trends should primarily be pursued that are sustainable.
Sustainability And Quick Commerce Will Shape The Year 2022
Many experts agree that sustainability and climate change will most shape the marketing year 2022. According to a study by the Serviceplan Consulting Group and Facit, 39 percent of marketing decision-makers in the DACH region believe that these topics will be the most important in the coming year.
In addition, nine out of ten CMOs believe that sustainability communication will become more critical. According to GfK, awareness of sustainability is also increasing on the consumer side. Seventy-one percent of all consumers worldwide believe that companies should take responsibility for the environment. According to Accenture’s management consultancy, 61 percent of consumers now shop more environmentally friendly, sustainable, and ecologically conscious.
For this reason, the desire for environmentally friendly shopping opportunities is also increasing. According to the Digiday portal, large publishers such as the BBC, The Economist, Financial Times, and Bloomberg have noticed an increasing demand for advertising placements that deal with climate and sustainability issues.
Affiliate Marketing And Delivery Services
According to Awin, more and more new affiliates are registering in the network, serving this sustainability niche. At the same time, more and more advertisers are integrating sustainability aspects into their corporate goals. Another development for e-commerce is likely to be the topic of quick commerce. That means the timely delivery of products to consumers. A lot of new delivery platforms are currently emerging on the German market.
With Doordash, a new provider has now started who wants to bring pizzas, beer, and bouquets to the front door in record time, and it should not just stay with this range. Delivery services will soon deliver screws to do-it-yourselfers or bring fashion products directly to them to try on.
This development should make traditional retailers and brand manufacturers sit up and take notice because whoever controls access to the end customer will also have the power in product marketing in the future. Providers such as Flink, Gorillas, or other delivery services could soon become logistical service providers for brand experiences that would fail in brick-and-mortar retail because of the opening times alone.
Retailers, therefore, have to think about which delivery services they want to work with in the future and which service providers they want to include in their own sales strategies.
Conclusion And Development Of The Affiliate Industry In 2022
When the corona pandemic began in March 2020, no one thought it would last so long. Many retailers and online shops have benefited from the changed buying behaviour and have adapted to the situation.
According to a study by IBM, the pandemic accelerated the shift toward digital shopping by about five years. The pandemic also accelerated technical innovations among advertisers and publishers.
Due to the industry’s strong growth in 2021, most market participants also expect increasing consumer demand and sales in 2022, primarily because affiliate marketing with its performance model is a cost-efficient and risk-free marketing channel for many companies.
Many advertisers have switched to first-party tracking, adapted the consent management platforms, and are well-positioned for 2022, even if some advertisers still have some catching up to adjust to the technical infrastructure.
The further challenges lie above all in the maximisation of the consent rates through consent optimization and the additional measures through the orientation aid of the DSK and the resulting concrete technical and organisational requirements for cookie opt-ins.
Affiliate Marketing 2022: Between Influencers And Skilled Labour Shortage
That is why flexible and innovative tracking adjustments and alternatives will continue to accompany us in the coming years.
The long-running customer journey and cross-device tracking will also be discussed further. The possible potential of the technologies is currently broadly not used by the affiliate industry. Therefore, budget allocations cannot occur sufficiently, and commission attributions are sometimes unfair.
New publisher models from the field of content commerce, numerous technology partners, and access to thousands of influencers will boost affiliate marketing. There are also many other ways of generating traffic via TikTok, Twitch, and podcasts. There could also be further changes in provisioning so that the proportion of marketing centre costs and CPOs could increase.
The topics of sustainability and quick commerce will also shape eCommerce in 2022 and gain importance. Accordingly, dealers and brand manufacturers have to adjust their corporate strategy and think about their future direction.
Affiliate marketing will continue to grow in 2022 and gain market share in the online marketing mix. However, the shortage of skilled workers could slow down growth. Therefore, the industry must continue to be perceived as an attractive marketing channel and drive innovation further.