It’s only April and most of the crystal ball New Year’s predictions bloggers made about what they believe would be the trends-to-watch in affiliate marketing this year are unraveling. Let’s take a look at all the once-popular fads that will continue to go up in smoke over the next several months.
- Marketing Automation. Yep, the pendulum is swinging once again. For the past few years, marketing automation has been all the rage. It offers an easy and convenient way for affiliates to connect with their customers. But its popularity came at the expense of creating a personal experience for the customer. At some point, automation went to the dark side … target-free spamming. While automation will continue to grow in popularity, I predict we’ll see affiliates rethink about how much they allow affiliate networks to blindly carpet-bomb their emails lists without the slightest regard for the end user’s interests. Look for response based targeting, seamlessly connecting the right ads to the right users, to continue to flourish while mindless automation continues to suffer.
- Marketing Campaigns. Planned out campaigns will become the dinosaur of affiliate marketing. Not only do they require significant amounts of time and money, they are also inflexible and no longer capable of keeping pace with rapidly–changing consumer tastes. Mention long-term marketing strategy in a room full of online marketers, and they will laugh you right out of the room. Real-time marketing will dominate the industry, with social media interaction leading the way.
- SEO Shenanigans. In the early days of affiliate marketing, SEO reigned supreme and SEO companies could get away with selling just any old link. But now the pressure is on them to provide links with meaningful, relevant content that help marketers create a unique and personal online experience for their customers. The free ride is over. Faking social is no longer an option.
- Anonymity. Hopefully, you have figured out by now that cute, clever and creepy avatars and screen names get you nowhere in terms of building a credible online reputation. Affiliate marketing will continue to be all about personal branding. Consumers expect to see real names and real people. Along with an increased intolerance for anonymity comes an increased expectation of accountability and quality.
- Karaoke Singing. Singing badly in public, while others await their turn to sing badly, will no longer be tolerated. Newer, stricter anti-karaoke laws will be adopted in at least 32 states, with even harsher penalties for those daring to sing anything by Culture Club or Bon Jovi.
A boy can dream can’t he?
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