7 Best Affiliate Marketing Opportunities

Darcy Grabenstein
Darcy is a freelance copywriter, email marketing, and PR consultant.

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    Affiliate marketing is alive and well, according to a Forrester study of the industry. Forrester, which conducted the study for the Rakuten-Linkshare affiliate network, predicts U.S. affiliate marketing spending will increase by a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 17 percent between 2011 and 2016, growing to $4.5 billion.

    Kudos to you if you’re already among the ranks of affiliate marketers. If you’re ready to test the waters, now is a great time to take the plunge. This year, you’ll find new opportunities that you may not have considered before.

    1. Mobile

    Mobile” is the buzzword for 2014, and affiliate marketing is no exception. Affiliate Window, an affiliate network based in the U.S. and UK, reported that sales via mobile devices reached an all-time high of 27.09 percent during the 2013 Christmas season. This reflects the growing trend of mobile affiliate marketing, and is a good indicator of what to expect in the coming year.

    2. Luxury

    Many marketers may never have expected to use the terms “luxury” and “affiliate marketing” in the same sentence. But luxury brands are taking a liking to affiliate marketing. This is due in great part to affiliate networks finally earning respect in the marketing world. These networks are now competing for an even larger share of annual marketing budgets. Look for ways (to) in which you can piggyback on this luxe trend.

    3. Global

    Presentations by Hilton, House of Kaizen, Trade Doubler and Performance Insights,  noted that the European affiliate market is expected to grow 12 percent over the next five years. Worldwide, Asian, Canadian, UK and Australian affiliate markets are expected to be strong. Before you expand globally, however, be sure your company is legally allowed to trade abroad. Keep in mind that some countries may have trade restrictions, and take into account any language barriers that might exist.

    4. Bigger may be better

    With recent consolidation in the industry, you may find that smaller affiliate networks have become part of larger groups. While competition is a good thing, keeping prices in check, larger networks also have their advantages. Your business can benefit by casting a wider net on the ‘Net, so to speak. And more affiliate members can also help lower prices overall.

    5. Local

    Since mobile marketing is on the rise, it makes sense that local affiliate marketing also is on the upswing. Local businesses are trying to compete with both larger chains and with online businesses. You can tap into this lucrative market by researching right in your own backyard.

    6. Social

    Affiliate marketing on social media sites is a no-brainer. You want an affiliate presence on sites that generate traffic, and social networking sites do just that. Let’s face it, affiliate marketing is based on a word-of-mouth type of model. So are social networking sites. That makes the marriage of the two a natural when it comes to online marketing.

    7. Specialization

    Don’t think that the concept of casting a broader net, as mentioned above, is at odds with zeroing in on a niche. Both concepts can help make any affiliate marketing program more successful. A niche can be a channel (such as mobile), an area of interest (such as auto racing), a type of product (such as widgets), or even a geographical area (your hometown, for example).

    If you do your homework, affiliate marketing can help you generate revenue and expand your reach. You won’t lack for affiliate opportunities in the coming year… just be sure you don’t let good opportunities slip away.

    Darcy Grabenstein
    Darcy is a freelance copywriter, email marketing, and PR consultant.

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