The social media developments in 2010 have changed the way small business entrepreneurs perceive affiliate marketing. With direct marketing back into the scene, affiliate marketers are presented with the opportunity to maximize product sales with precise or custom marketing models that will target a specific customer base.
For this to happen, affiliate marketing agents need tools and techniques to capture the fast developing Internet marketing trends.
Such tools will make sales soar high and also increase transparency in tracking sales and calculating return on investment. Here we have shortlisted the potent affiliate marketing trends for 2011.
Dynamic Consumer Interaction
Use of dedicated widgets will increase level of consumer interaction with affiliates. Crisp and relevant marketing is the norm. People are not interesting in knowing never ending tales of weight loss miracles, for instance!
Consumers are well aware of the truth behind so-called miraculous truths. What consumers are looking for are real products with real value. An affiliate marketer who can capture this aspect of the consumer mindset will do well this year.
Keep your communication with consumers through messages, videos and other social media ultra-relevant and do not divert from the product. Don’t try to trick the buyer with false informative advertisements – you can trick them once but not twice!
Most importantly, engage with them and try to fulfill their product necessities. Again, no sugar-coated explanations! If your product has backbone, dynamic consumer interactions will be your blessing in disguise.
Who doesn’t own a mobile today? Well, unless you are still living in the Stone Age and you have no knowledge whatsoever of technological miracles! Jokes apart, trade pundits believe that mobile affiliate marketing will be the special marketing flavor of 2011.
Mobile-commerce or M-Commerce is increasingly allowing publishers and advertisers to monitor consumer purchase behavior and identify profitable products on mobile.
Most of the websites today are accessible on your handsets; it’s like doing business 24×7 for both buyers and sellers. With handsets becoming more sophisticated, affiliate marketers are refocusing their online advertisement campaigns towards making them M-Commerce friendly.
Understanding Google’s new feature ‘Google +1’ is necessary for affiliate marketers to prepare for the next 8-12 months of your business marketing model.
On 30th March, 2011, Google announced this new feature that will tie in search engine optimization with social media and networking. This is a step ahead to capture and initiate the increasing importance of social media in online businesses.
Mind you, if until now you were an affiliate marketer who did not believe in utilizing social media or used to purchase traffic / back links etc, Google +1 will completely spoil your business plans. How?
Google is well aware of how marketers engage in fraudulent methods to rank higher in search engine. The Google spiders crawling on the web cannot make out genuine traffic / back links from a fraudulent one most of the time.
So what Google did is very clever actually – Google took into consumer opinion. We know businesses flourish or get doomed on strong consumer opinion, which means Google +1 will now rank blogs and affiliate product websites on the basis of consumer response or feedback available from social networked platforms.
For instance, if you are running ‘fashion couture’ business and you have, let’s say, 5,000 Facebook likes and 23,000 tweets, your business will rank similarly against your competitors with the same statistics but what will really push up your search engine rankings are the consumer responses to your business.
If the responses are good, you rank high; if the responses are dissatisfactory most of the time, your rank goes downhill steadily. Getting this?
In other words, Google +1 has redoubled the efforts affiliate marketers and small business entrepreneurs need to invest in their business. Positive social media marketing and securing favorable feedbacks from consumers will occupy a large percentage of marketing campaigns.
Like the Facebook ‘like’ button, search engine results will have a similar button. The search engine will remember responses, negative or positive, to these buttons and use the data to refine website rankings! Is this getting too complicated for you? Wait, there’s more…
Google has designed this new system in such a way that people cannot misuse it. All the narcissists out there and those who like to abuse their competitors, beware…
You cannot use Google +1 to vent your personal grudges against someone or to excessively favor your own blog postings. If you do so, Google will simply stop counting your votes.
Google +1 is still in its early stages of development, that is, it will take some time to become visible but you need not wait to let the change takeover.
Start by reassessing your blog or website content that should not be any less than high quality and also monitor your online social media presence. You have to adopt precautionary measures if the responses and feedbacks have not been especially encouraging till now.
Some Things Never Change…
Some affiliate marketing trends will continue from 2010 into 2011 at least. These are:
Email marketing – one of the time tested ways for affiliates to reach target audience and generate sales. Newbie affiliate marketers will find lots of potential in email marketing.
These are like newsletters that inform your readers about recent changes happening in your industry and how that’s affecting your business or you can use email marketing to promote new products. But, email marketing should not be strictly promotional.
Yes, it’s all about marketing but you need to be subtle and careful. You cannot afford to lose interested readers just because your email marketing is boring and redundant. Every week write something interesting to capture your reader’s attention.
List Building – another one from the old tested times. List building is the prime issue of concern from newbie Internet marketers. Never ever go the shortcut way and purchase list of email ids and other details that comes with these package lists.
By purchasing them you are committing a crime because these lists are a result of privacy violation done by whoever is selling them. Instead, concentrate on creating your own list that you will use to send marketing materials.
Online Community Development – still in the initial stages of development and has lots of potential. Developing online communities is especially recommended because it helps to create a small network of clients and/or readers who can either be repeat buyers or become buyers later on.
Affiliate marketers can use social promotional tools to create online communities. The testing part is to keep the community active, which of course, cannot happen if members lose interest. Therefore, you have to find out topics and issues to keep your readers glued!
Blogging, Article Marketing and Ezine Marketing – again, these are the best ways to bring in traffic. No matter what kind of tools and techniques are used for promotion, these three components will never be out of vogue. After all, content is the king!
That’s about what we can think of. If you have any other potential affiliate marketing trends in 2011 that we have overlooked, feel free to post a comment below…