Affiliate Marketing Trends You Must Watch In 2021

Affiliate Marketing Trends You Must Watch In 2020

As we enter the newest decade, the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) started to spread across the world. However, this entire situation couldn’t stop brands from promoting their products through digital channels during social distancing.

It’s time to learn from past experiences and make an educated guess about the upcoming affiliate marketing trends that will last 2021. Affiliate marketing is a hot buzzword right now and there are a large number of programs and affiliate marketing platforms. By the year-end, the net worth of the US affiliate marketing industry alone will be 6.8 billion dollars.

Affiliate Marketing: What Is It?

To put it simply, affiliate marketing trend is similar to what its name suggests. According to industry experts, affiliate marketing is very much about trust. If someone trusts the tech life hacks or beauty tips posted by their favorite YouTube channel, then why would they not buy the products that are being used in the video? The YouTuber even provided a link in the description that can give you 20% discounts on your first purchase. 


Each year, e-commerce websites try out new techniques to turn one-time visitors into loyal buyers. While trends keep coming and going, they are not something that will die after a few weeks. Some patterns are here to stay forever for good. For example, mobile optimization for the affiliate website was spotlighted in 2012; 6 years later, it’s still going strong.

Online retailers and bloggers are looking out for ways to monetize their sites and attract potential customers. Before you search about how to optimize links in affiliate market programs, and drive traffic to your website, read on to know the fourteen exciting affiliate marketing trends that can boost your business growth.

14 Affiliate Marketing Trends That Are Going To Dominate 2021

Increase Sign Ups For Affiliate Program

As brands are always on a 24/7 hunt for most popular internet marketing tools, we expect more e-commerce merchants to enter the affiliate channel this year. The reason is simple; lead generation affiliate networks drive sales. A lot of retailers are even showing their interest in developing their own affiliate programs through internet companies like Shareasale and Linkshare. In fact, diversifying affiliates allows a business to tap untouched online spaces and be available in all the areas of the customer journey. 

And with a pay-for-performance marketing model, businesses are more comfortable than ever because you pay the affiliate when the action is completed. This way, retailers feel satisfied with the fact that their money is spent wisely on converting their target audience into actual customers.  

Voice Search Assistance Is On Rising

Voice search is booming, and there are some incredible voice searches statistics that you need to know before this decade comes to an end. In 2021, more than 50% of online searches will be made using voice, while 55% of the households will have a smart voice-activated assistant device by 2050. Considering this background, it can be said that optimizing standard SEO campaigns is insufficient. To prepare for the upcoming global voice commerce revolution, affiliate marketers need to put more effort. 

The question is, how? Well, they have to optimize the website for voice commands rather than typed keywords. The voice commands are long and should be more conversational, matching the natural language patterns of humans.  

Data-Driven Advertising

Without a doubt, data-driven affiliate marketing will be highly prevalent in 2021 despite the controversial arguments surrounding it. The opponents argue that data-driven advertising is unethical. Still, the fact of the matter is that a lot of big brands are leveraging this marketing technique, and that is why it has been anticipated that affiliate marketers will join their league. In the data-driven marketing technique, publishers collect more in-depth visitor data through tracking solutions. The data generally includes the type of site’s customer visits and the products and services they are more interested in purchasing. 

During the Covid-19 outbreak, more and more people searched for the nearest medical care centers, grocery stores, and symptoms of the virus. This data is translated by affiliate marketers into actionable strategies. Affiliate marketers create customized content and promotional tactics that drive massive traffic to the site. 

Seasonal Campaigns Are Trending

Ever-lasting marketing campaigns and forever living products no more exist today. However, more and more affiliates are creating winning campaigns keeping in mind the seasonality factor. To make it more simple, some products are high in demand, and some aren’t in a specific period of the year.

For example, as the hot weather approaches, the urge for fitness and camping equipment increase in customers. Another example is gift offers during the Christmas holiday season. 

As an affiliate marketer, you can also take into account the current global health crisis and make sure that you use a sensitive tone in your content. Ignoring seasonality factors can be quite damaging until and unless you are in the gaming, finance, or gambling industry. For all these reasons, you need to watch out the seasonal shifts and anticipate its impact on consumer interest so that you can optimize your affiliate marketing strategy accordingly. 

Use Of TikTok Ads 

It’s best for businesses to make use of the online spaces to the fullest, and short-form video-sharing social networking platforms like TikTok is no exception. But what will TitkTok really mean for affiliate marketing? Unless you are living on an isolated island, you already know that TikTok is the most popular app among teenagers and generation Z. If your business aims to target the young demographic segment, don’t be reluctant to pick a platform where they spend more than half of their day. While this hot social networking service is a unique opportunity for most affiliate marketers, there are few things that marketers need to keep in mind. 

Merge Of Affiliate & Influencer Marketing 

A lot of industry experts talk about the 10 marketing tools that every start-up should use, and some even recommend reaching out to influencers with a good fan following as they can reach out to the target audience more quickly. By combining affiliate marketing with influencer marketing, a company can benefit immensely. The significant difference between both marketing techniques is how the content creators are paid. While affiliates are paid on a commission basis, the payments are made to influencers based on per post. With this merging of two marketing techniques, online merchants are more likely to earn likes, followers, and higher engagement levels at low costs. During this Covid-19 pandemic affiliate, marketers and influencers can post video, image, or written content that reflects the social responsibility of brands.  

Success Lies Behind Key-Word Rich Content 

What is one of the biggest wishes of most affiliate marketers? To make sure that the content shows up on the front page whenever a consumer searches about their brand. This is why businesses should do some research on their own and work closely with affiliate marketers to come up with keywords that should be used in the titles and content of the post. A pro tip is to make sure that your affiliate marketing agency actively engages in the keyword search. Moreover, tracking the results is essential so that both the affiliate marketers and business owners would know if the affiliate marketing strategy is working or not.

Mobile-Friendly Programs Will Take The Lead

With growing users of smartphones across the globe, mobile affiliate marketing trends are here to stay beyond 2021. The critical takeaway for affiliate marketers is that the sites should be fully optimized for mobile phone devices. Seamless user experience doesn’t need to be complicated. Instead, it should be fast and straightforward. Long blogs and website content about academic writing services can be challenging to read on the compact screen of smartphones. This means affiliate marketers need to design mobile-friendly content to attract the growing smartphone users and bring in more leads. It is also important that they find brands that genuinely match their own personality so that they can promote smartphone-friendly content like vloggers and social media influencers. 

Using The Power Of Visual

This year we’ll see a huge shift from written content to video and image content. Today people don’t like to read lengthy details, and the chances are higher that they will ignore your long written posts even if you are selling something they need the most. People are also able to absorb more information when it is being shared through images or videos. On the other hand, companies are getting more imaginative about their brand messages using animation, images, and even Instagram live videos for appealingly advertising their products and services. 

Moreover, videos and infographics allow companies to share their brand story and a whole lot of product information in a single go. For example, if you want to educate the public about COVID-19 and precautionary measures that should be taken, it’s better to deliver your detailed message through audiovisual content, which is why affiliate marketers must start focusing on producing engaging visual content.

The Classic Review Strategy 

While most trends change each year, some remain the same as leveraging powerful product reviews. This trend existed in 2019, but with time it is only getting stronger. In 2021, affiliate marketers will continue to use the keyword-rich review to capture the attention of their target audience. It is a prominent factor that directly contributes to conversions. Today’s shoppers prefer to read online reviews and testimonials before buying a particular product of a brand. Evidence suggests that product reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations have a direct impact on consumer purchase intention. 

A truthful product or service review posted on your blog, social media page, or your YouTube channel is a highly effective way to attract your customers. You can also build weekly incredible newsletter campaigns and subtly add the review in it. The success lies behind finding the perfect communication channels that your people will most likely use.  

Think Beyond Facebook

Affiliate marketing has significantly changed over the past years. A decade ago, Facebook and Google were the two market players in the digital marketing landscape. However, their growing monopoly and consumer privacy concerns made some people uncomfortable. And this was the time when businesses started looking for alternative social media platforms.  

So, if you are still stuck with tracking Facebook clicks, views, and conversions, we recommend you to diversify your social portfolio and content. Try something different, but make sure that your target consumers can find your brand easily. If you are into the beauty business, then YouTube, Instagram, and blogs would be the best option. There is no harm in experimenting with new unique mediums until you achieve your goal of reaching your buyers.  

More Marketing Dollars For Affiliate Marketing

An increased share of marketing dollars will be allocated to affiliate marketing activities in 2021. According to industry reports, a 10.1% growth in affiliate marketing budget has been observed each year in the US. This means that the estimated market worth of the affiliate marketing industry will be more than $10 billion by next year. 

Almost 81% of brands are currently leveraging the strength of affiliate marketing, and many more small and large scale businesses will be making investments in the future. Amid this pandemic situation, which is causing enough damage to the economy, businesses need to understand that time and capital is worth a lot. For this purpose, it is essential to pick campaigns with care. Research about the affiliates before teaming up and track your progress. 

Hiring An Agency Would Give Fast Results 

As the global affiliate marketing industry is accelerating at its full pace, the number of affiliate marketing agencies is expected to grow significantly in the next quarters. While some of you might be wondering whether you should hire an affiliate marketing agency or not, it is likely that some people are even wondering if there is really a need for them. If you belong to the second type, the answer is yes. 

Regardless of the company size, brands who are working closely with affiliate marketing agencies are enjoying great benefits, including improved leads, relationships, and turnover rates. Most merchants hire agencies because they don’t have in-house experts or because outsourcing the marketing function is cheaper. But, even if you have abundant capital, we would still recommend you to hire professional help because agencies have people who know all the nitty-gritty of affiliate marketing.

More Retailers Will Benefit  

If you haven’t guessed it by now, online retailers who are using affiliate marketing techniques are reaping countless benefits from years. Affiliate marketing generates passive income streams for businesses by broadening the audience. Technically, affiliates are more like your trusted business partners who help you improve your brand’s credibility and reputation. 

The best thing is that affiliate marketing does not only benefit multinational companies but also the small business ventures that are unable to invest a massive amount in marketing budgets. You only need to pay your affiliate marketers when a customer purchases from their site. 

The Final Verdict 

The beginning of the newest decade is the perfect time to try out new affiliate marketing strategies and push your business to new heights. Affiliate marketing activities are an inexpensive and effective way to increase brand awareness and achieve sales targets quickly. The main finding is to find out affiliate markets and influencers who genuinely resonate with your brand. They must have proper knowledge of affiliate marketing and show a high willingness to work with new affiliate marketing trends. But most importantly, they should be open to new trends and pick strategies that fit your brand the most. 

Author Bio 

Amanda Jerelyn is currently working as a Marketing Manager at Crowd Writer and Trainer at Dissertation Assistance, a high-quality cheap dissertation services platform for students. With an in-depth knowledge of marketing concepts and years of experience working in the practical field, she has been committed to supporting new business ventures

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This blog post is about:

  • Affiliate Marketing Trends
  • Digital Marketing

Post Updated: August 15th, 2021.
Originally Posted: May 19th, 2020.