21 Affiliate Marketing Trends to Watch For in 2023

MARCH 2, 2023 NEWS
New Trends in Affiliate Marketing: Top 21 Predictions for 2023 by Octo Browser Team
Every year experts lay out their forecasts covering the burning trends for the near future. The Octo Browser Team has surveyed the main affiliate marketing trends for 2023: we have analyzed 48 expert publications and opinions regarding the trends in this sphere, and have found out which ones the expert community mentions most of all.
What is the future for affiliate programs in the Metaverse? What about cryptocurrencies? And what kind of content will attract the most leads? Let us know what you think!

The study focused on major technological and strategic trends and changes. We have singled out 21 statements in three groups: content creation, affiliate marketing tools, and collaborations and strategy, and ranked each statement based on how often it was mentioned. Let’s see the results in more detail.

Attracting influencers, amateur clips and native integrations

The trend for working with nano- and microinfluencers became an undisputed leader not only in the content category, but generally across the board. Almost two thirds of experts believe that using the power of social media will be important in 2023, and this time the number of followers will not necessarily matter: more does not always equal better. Relatively small accounts with 1,000 to 100,000 followers depending on the social network and topics will find their advertisers who want to talk to their potential customers as equals and with trust.

Another noticeable trend in content making for affiliate marketing is connected to the growing importance of video materials. Experts often mention that TikTok and Reels will be increasingly commonly used as promotional channels, especially taking the conservatism of Facebook into account. The quality of video production will not, once again, necessarily be a decisive factor: small-budget amateur clips and native integrations will also work.

Other trends mentioned by experts include the growth of live shopping, integration of affiliate marketing into Metaverses, community building for promotion of goods, growing popularity of podcasts, and the desire of advertisers to streamline their sales funnels through a tighter unification of their creative materials.
Top trends of Affiliate Marketing for 2023: Content

Neural networks, no to cookies, and yes to voice search

The main technological trend of 2023 is mass usage of AI-based tools, and this goes for affiliate marketing as well. Almost half of the experts believe that neural networks will be used for analytics, content creation, and other tasks. Even if working with these instruments was perceived as fancy experimentation before, in 2023 they will be likely used for commercial purposes and projects.

Approximately one third of the experts noted that advertisers will increasingly stop using cookie files and employ contextual targeting in their search for wider audiences and a more meaningful communication with them. These technologies will allow finding appropriate ad platforms within contextualized media based on users' interests. Unlike cookie-based behavioral targeting, contextual targeting will guarantee user privacy while still providing natural and relevant advertising.

Voice search is another tool that will receive attention in 2023, according to experts. More and more people use this function, which means that voice search optimization will help attract new customers.

Experts also note that in 2023 brands will focus on finding the right balance between the quantity of backlinks and their quality. Long-tail search queries, and unique and high-quality content will grow in popularity, so partner publications and new approaches to link-building in blog format will be trending.
Top trends of Affiliate Marketing for 2023: Tools
Among the less mentioned trends are automation of affiliate marketing processes, looking for ways to track cross-device conversion, and speeding up pay cycles.

Interest towards crypto projects, cross-branding projects, and budget growth

Crypto projects will continue to be of interest for affiliate marketing, according to more than a third of the experts. This hardly comes as a surprise, as crypto has been trending for several years now, with many diverse blockchain-based projects constantly appearing on the market.

Experts also forecast more cross-branding projects aimed at mutual development of new markets and demographics.
Top trends of Affiliate Marketing for 2023: Strategy and collaborations
Other trends that were mentioned less by the experts are the general growth of affiliate marketing budgets and a more active usage of local trends for promotions.

At least a part of strategic trends can be connected to a worsening situation in the global economy. For example, there are forecasts predicting the popularity growth of coupon and cashback websites, as well as that of conscious consumption and second-hand market partnership programs. Some experts quote the economic downturn to predict brands reorienting towards performance marketing that allows a more precise control over promotional spendings. It is not easy to objectively evaluate such forecasts, as the economic situation varies significantly from region to region.

The main affiliate marketing trends for 2023

Expert opinions can be summarized as follows:

  • The growing role of nano- and microinfluencers — 60%
  • The growing importance of video content — 52%
  • The growing role of AI and Big data — 45,8%
  • Cookies will be used less, contextual targeting will be used more — 33,3%
  • The growing role of voice search optimization — 31,3%

Overall across all categories we can see trends towards attention to transparent promotion instruments, automation of marketing management and content creation, and switching to more integrated native formats of communicating with audiences.

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