Affiliate marketing trends tend to come and go, just like those jackpot sales associated with them. This means it’s critical that marketers follow the trends within their specific niche if they really want to make steady and sustainable profits with affiliate marketing in 2022. And if you’re one such marketer looking to make sure your business runs smoothly this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
That’s because in this article we discuss both — affiliate marketing trends that will dominate the market this year, as well as some ever-green ways to earn online that just never go out of style.
Read on and learn how to run a successful business with affiliate marketing in 2022!
What are the hottest affiliate marketing trends in 2022?
We know that digging through hundreds of industry reports is just tiring and time-consuming… we’ve just finished doing that, and it took us a while.
So, to make your life just a bit easier, we present you with this ultimate guide to this year’s trends based on extensive research into the affiliate marketing industry, as well as its ups and downs over the past 12 months.
Seasonality: Key dates of 2022
One of the most important things affiliate marketers need to do is to be vigilant about what the next opportunity to make money online is.
Obviously, big e-commerce dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around every year and they need to be marked with a big red pen in your calendar. Especially when you take into account that according to Adobe. U.S. consumers spent $204 billion during the holiday season (November 1 to December 31). It’s also good to know that shopping during this period started earlier than usual (just like the trend predictions said it would). They spread their shopping out weeks before Thanksgiving and there was a 5.6% increase in orders after Cyber Monday. But apart from the Cyber-5 shopping madness season, there’s a number of other events that should be taken into account, too!
Below you’ll find a list where we cover exactly what dates you should note down for the whole of 2022 to make sure your profits are coming in steadily this year.
Just take a look!
While you look ahead at what is to come for 2022, it is also important to look back at what we managed to achieve in 2021.
Here’s an article on the top affiliate marketing trends of 2021, some of which are sticking around this year, and some are left for dust. After all, it’s best to learn from others’ mistakes and capitalize on your own business!
Improving brand awareness with affiliate marketing in 2022
In 2022, all kinds of businesses, small and large, really need to step up their brand awareness game. That’s because the competition has never been tougher, and if you’re not on top, then you’re not hot.
In today’s fast paced and very much digitalized world, no customers wants to risk buying from a brand they have never heard of. That’s why it’s so important for brands to shout their names from the rooftops, even if they have been established for years.
It’s all so the customer doesn’t forget a brand’s name when they are thinking about its product area. In a split-second decision, customers go with their gut, and if their gut seems to have seen one brand more than the other, it’s this brand that wins the purchase.
Luckily, there are many ways to improve a company’s brand awareness, and among many, affiliate marketing campaigns seem to be a perfect tool for doing so quickly and effectively.
But, to help marketers make the most informed decision, let’s take a look at the list below and see what other options are currently trending and if you can add or combine any of them to your affiliate marketing strategy to gain even more exposure.
- Video marketing — visual and motion imagery is the number one way to get in touch with your audience in 2022. We all know billboards and newspapers have worked for years in increasing brand awareness, but video rocked both the offline and online world already a while ago, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
- Affiliate marketing & Programmatic advertising— one way we’d recommend to keep brands at the top of customer’s mind is to use direct, quick and effective solutions provided by affiliate marketing and programmatic advertising. Especially ad formats like pop, domain, push, or search traffic ads.
- Social media marketing – brand marketing is especially visible on nearly all social media sites these days. And it’s no surprise as it’s an easy way for companies to to stay on their target audience mind and be remembered at the time of purchase
- Influencer marketing – this kind of marketing isn’t confined to just social media anymore. Within social media, affiliate marketing and influencer marketing (since all these topics are in fact connected) some influencers can promote your brand more effectively than regular marketing campaigns. That’s why all options should be considered if you want to keep spreading the word.
Keep your brand safe with affiliate marketing in 2022
In 2022, brand safety is an important subject for any business. There are many topics and approaches that should be avoided in today’s climate within advertising. We all want to reach more clients or increase brand awareness effectively, but we need to remember that brand safety needs to be built into every marketing strategy.
For years now, there has been a growing concern within the advertising industry that advertising needs to protect both the brands they are promoting, as well as the clients.
In the modern world, people need to be more careful that the ads that they are making are not making political statements, or are seen to be too risky by covering controversial topics, are misleading their customers into making false assumptions, or simply appear within environments that allow such things to happen.
Although we all know controversy sells and headlines that divide opinion get more clicks, brands need to be viewed to be risk-averse and sincere to gain a larger market share. This is where brand safety and online advertising standards come in.
The International Advertising Board (IAB) states that:
Brand Safety solutions enable a brand to avoid content that is generally considered to be inappropriate for any advertising, and unfit for publisher monetization regardless of the advertisement or brand.
Additionally, the IAS has identified and reported on seven core brand risk categories which advertisers must not use when creating an ad so they are not too controversial:
- Adult content
- Hate speech
- Illegal downloads
- Illegal drugs
- Offensive language and violence
How does brand safety impact the affiliate industry?
Well, affiliates help brands by giving excellent brand awareness opportunities via reaching a large number of internet users in a short space of time with promotions and products of the brand they are partnered with. But these ads that affiliates show to users need to be brand-safe and follow similar rules to those set out above. That’s because affiliate advertising networks also have high standards that they hold themselves to ensure those seeing ads from their platform are not dissatisfied.
Within Zeropark, for example, this means having a compliance team at the ready to make sure any ads used on the platform follow the rules that the advertiser agrees to when they sign up. All ads promoted via the quality ad exchange platforms should be brand-safe, if they are found to be breaking the rules, then they will be taken down.
So, what’s one way to keep your brand or affiliate campaigns safe online?
Well, affiliate marketing has been known to be particularly effective at ensuring a positive outcome of online advertising that actually leads to sales, too.
One reason for this is the fact that the ad formats used by affiliates, for example pop, domain redirect, push and search ads, all have rules which need to be followed before the ad can be shared with the audience.
In fact, there are teams at affiliate networks that enforce these rules so there is no nudity, or graphic content, for example, used to promote the ads for the brand. This way brand safety is ensured for all parties involved — the brand, the offer network, the ad exchange platform, affiliates and the clients, of course.
Zeropark Search Marketplace
The issue of brand safety is important to everyone at Zeropark, and our latest ad format — the Zeropark Search Marketplace — is actually one of the best ways for brands, performance and affiliate marketers to promote products and services in a brand-safe and effective way. This is ensured thanks to showing such ads only to customers who are already interested in the category of product associated with the key phrase searched by the user.
Not only is this a good brand awareness opportunity, but also one promoting products to purchase-ready clients which ultimately increases their chances of converting.
Influencers still have a seat at the affiliate marketing table in 2022
Trends change, times move on and people want different things. However, that is not the case when it comes to influencer marketing in 2022. There are more influencers than ever before on social media, on YouTube, and of course on affiliate marketing forums and websites.
In fact, according to the InfluencerMarketingHub, the influencer market was worth $13.8 Billion in 2021 and 75% of companies now have a budget for Influencer marketing.
This means more people are talking about endorsed products, which is a good thing for the industry as a whole. People are used to the way they operate by now too, and some influencers have amassed a large enough following that they could sell anything they want.
Looking at our own niche, for example, some of the affiliate marketing influencers have a reputation of making millions through using techniques proven to be effective in turning website and landing page views into sales.
But it’s not all about the sales, it’s about trust, too. They can then help other affiliates to do the same if they are looking to earn some more money through a training program or affiliate forum. And these affiliates put their trust with the gurus, just like regular customers put their trust with influencers.
Social media marketing trends
It’s unavoidable to talk about affiliate marketing trends without mentioning social media. There are also a few trends that are worth noting down this year to make the most of that fact.
Top social media trends for affiliate marketers in 2022:
- Video content will continue to dominate…
- TikTok isn’t going anywhere, so hop on!
- Influencer marketing will keep growing, too, you guys.
- Buying items through social media will become the norm.
- Paid advertising will be scaling even more.
These are just five trends that will be hot in social media advertising this year, but you should mainly focus on the last one. Paid advertising isn’t going anywhere… apart from going upwards. It is a big growth area for affiliates to help support brands and companies in their marketing efforts. That being said, there are plenty of various ways to make money with paid advertising online.
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Trust in online reviews in 2022 is different
Reading online reviews as the way to find out if what someone is selling online is the real deal, or if it’s going to break in two minutes, or more importantly, if it’s worth your hard-earned money — is still very much on. But the way we look for reviews in 2022 is now going to be different.
That’s because the trust level of reading things online has gone down in recent years with consumers becoming more and more conscious of what’s an actual, and what’s a fake review
We all know that it doesn’t take much to write a review of a product on Amazon or Google, all you need is a laptop or smartphone with an internet connection these days. And although some reviews require you to make a purchase of the product you are reviewing, this is not difficult for those persistent in making sure they have a 5-star review on their products for their customers.
So, if we are losing trust in the old online review systems, then where do we turn to in order to find the truth and ultimately understand whether the product or service we want to buy is worth it? Well, there are a number of new ways we are finding the answers to this question.
The first place people go to for reviews in 2022 is YouTube, as after all it is still one of the internet’s biggest search engines and has thousands of people creating content about nearly every topic.
And so, while some of the reviews available on YouTube are obviously sponsored by the company that makes the product, there is often another channel that is creating a video with fewer views giving an honest portrayal of their daily use of such products. And alongside the reviews comes a number of How to guides that show potential clients exactly what to do with the product to get the most out of it when they do bite the bullet and make the purchase.
All of this information allows consumers in 2022 to be able to make an informed decision about the product they are intending to buy. Ultimately helping them to make a purchase decision — whether fuelled by influencer’s reviews and those actual reviews.
This is why reviews, as a way of gaining trust for promoted products, are still an important part of advertising strategy for both brand and affiliate marketers alike. They are an important step in the buyer’s journey, and using them in your affiliate marketing materials could lead to gaining more conversions of your products.
So, maybe include a link to a YouTube video that shows the product in a good light, but in an informative and unbiased way on your product offer page. You never know, it could lead to more conversions for your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Forums may be the new space to find online reviews
Another place internet users are turning to for product opinions is online forums. In this case, they are looking for honest reviews and various how-to guides on products they intend on purchasing. Places like Reddit, Quora, and others offer unbiased reviews of products that people are actually using.
While these people are not being paid for their review of a product, the language they use and the detail that they cover can be more trusted these days than some of the reviews that are left on e-commerce sites, which seem to be written by bots or people that have not considered every detail of the product.
These reviews are felt to be less attached to the big e-commerce companies and therefore distanced from them, meaning that the author of the review is somewhat more credible in their depiction of the product’s flaws or benefits.
This is why one thing you can do as an affiliate marketer in 2022 is to attach screenshots of reviews for the product you are promoting, but not simply from an e-commerce site but, for example, from a forum instead.
Harnessing technology to make marketing easier in 2022
Many businesses in 2022 will be looking to make their profit by utilizing technology to become more efficient. Are you wondering if you can do the same with your affiliate marketing business? Well, you’d be surprised what’s possible with technology in our area of business these days. From chatbots and AI-powered automation, through intent targeting and audience matching — the possibilities are endless and only growing!So, let’s have a look at some of those.
How to use AI to boost profits in 2022?
It is obvious that technological advancements have increased productivity in business since man discovered the use of tools, but how can the new technology we have mentioned be applied to affiliate marketing?
Well, there are a few things that you can already do to your affiliate marketing campaigns to get the tech to work for you. For example, utilizing the possibilities brought by campaign automation. Whether you use this technology in the form of a/b testing, campaign capping, automatic filtering or Rule-based optimization — it saves you a lot of time and money when used correctly.
How can you implement Rule-based optimization in your next campaign?
One of the hottest trends of 2022 is taking advantage of technology to improve your business, and when it comes to Zeropark campaigns one of the ways you can do just that is via our own AI-powered Rule-based optimization (RBO) feature.
What is exactly rule-based optimization and how can you use it in your next campaign? Well, it’s quite simple really. It’s a way to make your campaigns run themselves with a set of fixed if-when rules that your campaign follows based on the Zeropark algorithms. Just like presented in the example below.
What exactly is A/B testing?
A/b testing can be used in your campaigns to find out which elements get the highest conversion rate (CR). After all, it is all about the best conversion rate in this game we call affiliate marketing. You can do this in several ways and by testing various segments of elements to ensure that your campaigns have been fully optimized for the highest CTR or CR possible.
Simple things like testing the colors and images you use for each campaign can make or break the deal, so make sure you test which ones get the best results.
Additionally, if you find that you spot a pattern with a certain color for example, then it may save you time with future campaigns as you can start with this color to see if it will work with similar campaigns to achieve positive effects.
The future of marketing is virtual and augmented reality
Affiliate marketing is branching out from traditional communications such as email, and can now be found in computer games, augmented reality, and virtual reality. These are still in the early stages but is this the way the market is heading?
It’s 2022, you must have heard the term metaverse by now unless you’ve been living under a rock. It’s been bandied around by the likes of Zuckerberg and others to describe the virtual space in which we will all be living in the future or for some of us… right now. This was intended as a computer gaming space, but it has endless opportunities for people. Some are already discussing how they will work in an office in the metaverse, or exercise there rather than out in the physical world.
So, is 2022 the future? Some might say so.
In 2022, you can point your smartphone camera at items around your home and it will be able to identify them or give you more information about them through programming from Google Lens or Apple’s Visual Lookup.
While this is unlikely to be coming to affiliate marketing campaigns in 2022, due to the trickle-down effect of technology this may become your new reality for your landing pages soon enough. There are however a few virtual reality and augmented reality affiliate marketing programs to sign up for already.
5 VR affiliate marketing programs to check out:
- Oculus Affiliate Program
- VR Cover Affiliate Program
- VR Sync Affiliate Program
- Levelup Reality Affiliate Program
- MobFish Affiliate Program
This may be one of the growing niches within 2022 so make sure you check them out as sales of virtual reality headsets and NFTs are bound to skyrocket this year.Watch this space!
2022 could be the year of cookieless marketing
The future of advertising is a cookieless one, and as a result, it is one of the hottest topics for brands and marketers alike today.
While a few people are suggesting that this is the end of digital marketing as we know it, this is again just sensationalist doomsday prophesying. Just like any other technological change in a market, those that adapt succeed, and those that fail to do so are left behind.
There are many in the industry that sees this as a positive thing though, it leads to brand-safe and privacy-centric online advertising that benefits the consumer and the brand. Google is obviously the main proponent of this change as they have set out to remove third-party cookies from their corner of the internet by 2023.
What does cookieless marketing mean in 2022?
It’s been a while since the GDPR bill was introduced but it’s still making an impact on internet users visiting websites in 2022. We have all seen the cookie preference windows by now and they are here to stay throughout this year but there will be brands that want to find an alternative to these pop ups that are ever-present online.
Affiliate marketers can help solve the business need for customer privacy. In 2022 it is more important for brands to give internet users a seamless customer experience and every pop up window asking to update cookie preferences is a hurdle between website owners and a conversion.
What’s more is that every ad format that Zeropark offers is cookieless and therefore has a better user experience for those viewing the ads.
So, whether you serve your customers with pop, domain redirect, push, or search ads they will all be viewing these ads without the need for third-party cookies. This means that affiliate marketing will be resilient to removal of cookies from the internet and may in fact capitalize on the increased need for cookieless advertising.
That’s why if you’ve just got an affiliate website or blog and you are relying on organic traffic and cookies to win you the sale, then you might want to think about using paid advertising to insulate yourself from risk of losing sales in 2023.
Improving user experience in 2022
Is 2022, the year of user experience? It might just be… especially with the number of digital improvements and UX innovations being made in the last few years. This is all due to technology getting better, allowing us to have faster and slicker websites, which means that as users we all expect more. You know the feeling when you click on a link and it takes you straight through to the item you’ve been researching, and then only a few more clicks and it can be on its way to you.
Well, sadly we all also still know the feeling of having a slow website load… and load… and load… just for us to click 17 more times before we get to the purchase stage. This is how you lose customers. This is the importance of the user experience and making sure you do everything you can to improve it in 2022.
What are some of the things that improve user experience in 2022?
- Go with the flow —- meaning leading customers from information to sale quickly and simply.
- Simplicity is key — if it can be said in fewer words, do it. If it can be explained with an image or infographic even better.
- Whitespace is good — making it easier to read your website is what it’s all about and removing any obstacle that gets in the way of this is a great place to start.
- Adaptability — this goes for quick transitioning from mobile to desktop and vice versa as well as dark mode which has become expected on most sites now.
- Accessibility — alt text and more need to be included so that all audiences e.g. visually impaired users can experience your website or ads unhindered.
While all of these things will work to aid user experience on your blog or affiliate website, they can also be implemented on your landing pages to improve conversion rates. So, do think carefully about your UX design next time you are planning what to include on your landing pages.
2022 will be another big year for e-commerce
In 2021, there was a marked change in the way we shop, as the global pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives and store shopping has been hit the hardest. There are more and more hurdles put in place to shopping in person these days, and it has even become a joyless experience for some. While brick-and-mortar sales have declined in the last few years, Shopify has noticed that the online retail sector has taken up the slack.
According to Forbes, one big trend will be the continued growth of e-commerce in 2022. This is due in part to the previously mentioned declining retail outlets but also due to the pandemic-speeded and increased success of e-commerce in the last few years.
What does this mean for affiliate marketers?
Well, brands will need to switch their marketing efforts to attempt to tap into that growing market online. One way to do this is through affiliate marketing. The best affiliate marketers make money with e-commerce all year round with well-placed e-commerce ads.
Again, this comes back to the affiliate marketing calendar we mentioned earlier, as well as market adaptability to make the most of the opportunities to profit online throughout 2022.
The way we search for online purchases is different in 2022
It has also been noticed that the way that users are searching for items to purchase online has changed. Traditionally, users browsing for particular items online e.g. running shoes, would go straight to a search engine and type in their keyword phrase to find the best deals available for that particular product.
Well, not anymore.
Among various newly emerged trends, it has been recorded that many consumers are now searching items online using their voice these days. With the introduction of smart devices in smart homes, as well as virtual personal assistants available on mobile and desktop devices this number is only set to grow. With Google Assistant already having over 500 million users, for example.
Many people have heard key phrases like ‘Ok, Google play music from Spotify’, ‘Alexa search for…’ ‘Hey, Siri, what’s the weather like today?’ These are just some examples. And although not all content has been voice-search optimized just yet, marketers who pay attention to the shifting sands of online marketing trends have surely done so already.
The biggest e-commerce players have already implemented some competitive bidding wars for the suggestion these personal assistants can make to users. An example of this is the brand suggested when shopping via an Amazon Echo. It can be any number of products for a particular spoken keyword phrase, but if a brand wants to be the one at the top of the suggested list, then they have to pay a premium for this top spot much like the sponsored links in the search results page within Amazon or the PPC ads on the Google SERP.
So, in 2022 it will be necessary for affiliates to try to penetrate this market with their ads or at least pay to have their products mentioned as a suggestion. This will of course be dominated by brands that have larger spending capabilities but alternatives are also available.
Another search trend that has been noticed is the use of what is coined as vertical search. According to Search engine land this one of the recent market changes worth taking note of in 2022. This is simply the name given for searches that occur on websites of a particular vertical. For example, shoppers searching for computer games online are skipping the search engines like Google and Bing and heading straight to online retailers (like BestBuy, or Amazon) stocking these games for their primary search.
This means that SEO isn’t just about what gets you to rank on the SERP, it’s needed for vertical search to show customers what they are looking for too. And although this is technically a form of competition to Google they actually favor promoting sites that do well for vertical search as they ultimately serve customers better in their search for what they are looking for.
This is important because the searches that are carried out on these e-commerce sites can be monetised via advertisements.
So, if you haven’t started search marketing just yet, this may be your opportunity to get started in 2022.
Shopping habits of Gen Z & Millennials
We can’t forget the new generation of shoppers is also having an impact with Gen-Z having fewer problems trusting technology to help them make purchases online. We can’t forget that most of them shop on mobile too which makes up 43% of online sales in 2021, but don’t worry desktop traffic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon either. Many brands will need to take advantage of this market to reach the new generation of shoppers that expect everything to run quickly and securely (and don’t forget sustainably, too).
According to Business Insider, internet users these days are going straight to their favorite shopping sites (in this case Zalando) and relying on the search box within the website to locate the item they are searching for. While this doesn’t seem like a big change, it is one that needs to be taken note of as this is an opportunity to make some real money.
Advertising on Buy Now Pay Later platforms
Buy Now Pay Later is another trend being enjoyed by Gen Z and Millennials shoppers this year. It’s the process of delaying your payment for a product and paying later, usually in instalments hence the name. The popularity of companies like Klarna, Affirm and many others have skyrocketed over the last year and they aren’t going anywhere in a hurry. Recent analysis carried out by Adobe shows the BNPL industry increased by double-digits in 2021 as revenue increased 27% YoY, and the average order value was $224, with 3 items in the shopping cart.
In America, the segment of Gen Zers using BNPL has grown six times since 2019, from 6% to 36% in 2021, according to Forbes. Meanwhile, 41% of millennials in the US use BNPL, a rate that has more than doubled since 2019. In fact, it has been noticed that Gen Z in particular are using BNPL apps more than they are using savings schemes from traditional banks.
An example of an ad network that offers BNPL traffic is NewProgrammatic, which manages to monetise the traffic from various BNPL search feeds. This seems to be the way the market is headed and it will certainly grow within 2022.
The effect of the pandemic on advertising
Unfortunately, it is still an ongoing trend in 2022, and it is still affecting the way that we all operate. While some people have become apathetic to the situation, others have found new ways to innovate during this time.
The pandemic has been raging for over two years now, and it doesn’t look like the situation will completely disappear in the next five minutes. However, businesses have adapted to the ever-changing world that we live in and overcome the many obstacles that have been put in their way.
It has been noticed that the pandemic has afforded more people to pursue careers outside of their field through what has been dubbed the great resignation.
This came about when thousands of people left their jobs due to the flexibility that working from home has offered people during the pandemic. This, coupled with lockdowns, and people taking up new hobbies and reigniting passions that commuting and the rat race have halted for some years.
Such flow of events has led to people starting new businesses and starting to work for themselves. Other people have used this time to reevaluate their careers and whether their current job is fulfilling them. This is all of course made simpler through the use of remote working jobs that do not require you to be in a particular location.
Now seems to be the best time to start an affiliate business, as more and more people have been searching for how to start a business than those searching for how to find a job in 2021 according to Google Trends. Also, more searches around this topic throughout 2021 were why are people quitting their jobs, along with back to work bonus in the U.S as well as the term how to ask for a raise which was the top searched how to ask in the U.S. this year.
What does this mean for the affiliate marketing industry?
There has been an increase in those taking up jobs as affiliates as the benefits of working from home, or even from a beach in Thailand, have come into focus for some newcomers to the industry. The affiliate marketing business offers exactly what people are looking for in these times, challenging but rewarding work that can be done from anywhere at any time. This is why it has been noticed by Forbes that sign-ups in the affiliate marketing industry have been increasing during the pandemic and the industry is worth over $8 billion.
So, there really isn’t a better time to get started with affiliate marketing than right now. After all, the best time to start was years ago but the second-best time to start is right now.
What are you waiting for?
The top affiliate marketing trends of 2022
Here’s a recap of each trend mentioned in this article that you should note down for this year:
- Seasonality — note down your affiliate marketing calendar itinerary now!
- Improving brand awareness — learn how to do it with affiliate marketing.
- Brand safety — remember why this should be included in your affiliate marketing strategy.
- Influencer marketing in 2022 — utilize it for your affiliate marketing business.
- Harnessing technology for advertising — automate, update and save both time and money.
- AR & VR — don’t forget these are earning their place in future advertising.
- Preparing for cookieless advertising — act now.
- Improving user experience — UX is more important than ever.
- E-commerce changes — what you should focus on to keep your campaigns sustainable all year round.
- The way we search has changed — keep up with the new demands of modern consumers.
- Pandemic effects on advertising — get into the best remote job during a pandemic!
The affiliate marketing industry has changed significantly since its humble beginnings in the early 90s, but that’s a story for another time. What matters is that as affiliates, we have to stay on top of the latest trends to ensure we know which products and niches are hot right now, and more importantly, which ones to avoid. After all, if you know which way the wind is blowing, then you know where the money is flowing.
Hopefully, you have found a new trend to apply to your next affiliate marketing campaigns and can get off to a flying start in 2022. Let us know by leaving a comment below if you have.