Affiliate marketing is on the rise, becoming an even more lucrative channel for brands, affiliate marketing platforms, and affiliate marketers themselves. Like any other marketing channel, it is also ever-changing. Along with more spend and more participants come more challenges and fraudsters. As we gear up for Affiliate Summit East, we’re looking at some of the top trends in affiliate marketing and the always-trending fraud associated with this industry—and how we can work together to stop it.
Top Trends We’re Seeing in Affiliate Marketing
There’s no shortage of opinions on what’s the latest in affiliate marketing trends in 2023. Still, we see the top five as an across-the-board increase in affiliate marketing spend, post third-party cookie strategies, video content, voice search, and link building.
Brands andaffiliate marketers have relied on third-party cookies to gather insight into their customers and their behaviors. Browsers Firefox and Safari have already tossed third-party cookies. To comply with various privacy laws and regulations, many websites allow visitors to block all unnecessary cookies and opt out of allowing their information to be sold. There’s no need to cry over the demise of cookies; tools such as AI-powered technology, contextual targeting, cross-device tracking, and in-app monitoring are among the available ingredients to help marketers understand and target customers and prospects. These techniques can help deliver more targeted messages to the right individuals at the right time and on the right device, leading to stronger engagement and increased sales.
Tik Tok. Facebook Stories. Instagram Reels. YouTube. Expect to see more user-generated video content (UGC) on these popular channels among influencers and shoppers, who can see the products in use and hear their favorite influencers tout benefits without feeling like they’re viewing an ad. According to Deloitte’s 2023 Digital Media Trends Report, nearly half of consumers discover new products and services through UGC videos, with around 40% saying they are more likely to purchase a product based on a creator’s review. This makes UGC potentially more effective than traditional brand ads. Links in these videos can take viewers to the website to purchase while ensuring the affiliate or influencer gets proper credit.
We expect to see an emphasis on high-quality local links as well as backlinks. Online shopping is great; however, customers sometimes want or need to buy something right away.Nearly half of all Google searches include location-specific information. For brands with physical locations, local affiliate marketers or influencers that have name recognition and attract your potential customers can help drive online and physical traffic.
High-quality backlinks from affiliate marketers, influencers, and content creators can drive customers to your site. Help these partners help your brand by providing fresh, relevant content on your brand’s site.
Is Affiliate Marketing Fraud Trending, Too?
Trends can change over time, but fraudsters often keep running their same old schemes in different ways. In the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2023, more than two-thirds of marketers were concerned about affiliate marketing fraud. We’ve found that fraud accounts for an average of 45% of affiliate traffic, and most of these trends won’t have a significant (positive or negative) impact on that number.
Many affiliate marketing fraud trends we’ve looked at before are still going strong today. As trends and techniques get more sophisticated, so too do fraudsters’ schemes. They’re smart, slippery, and ever-changing.
It does stand to reason that an increase in spend does increase the opportunity for more fraud and could lead to a loss of legitimate affiliates and fewer customers or leads. Fraudsters know the value of affiliate marketing and can see the opportunity to get their not-fair commission share by generating more fake clicks.
Brands looking to partner with new affiliates should do their homework. Make sure any influencers you partner with are legit, with engaged human followers in your target audience. Check your traffic sources and verify they come from your affiliates, not bots.
An ad fraud detection solution that is even smarter and constantly changing its detection and prevention approaches, based on trending fraud techniques, is the best defense in fighting affiliate marketing fraud and maintaining integrity in your affiliate marketing program. As a small sample, read more about three companies that successfully put a stop to affiliate fraud.
Anura detects where fraud occurs and which affiliates it is coming from, so you can determine whether to end those relationships or work with them to eliminate the fraud in the event they were victims themselves.
Join Anura and Your Affiliate Marketing Tribe
Affiliate marketing is big business. One way to keep up with what’s trending now and what the future holds is by attendingAffiliate Summit East! Anura is proud to be the Headline Sponsor for this event, and you don’t want to miss our own co-founder and CFO, Beth Kahn, who is on the agenda speaking with the women of Link United.
Can’t attend this year? Contact us to find out how we can help you fight affiliate marketing fraud and strengthen your affiliate marketing program.