In the final instalment of my New Year blog series, I want to talk about how you can future-proof your affiliate business.

Last week I discussed some of the trends I think will shape the sector over the next 12 months, and this week it’s all about how you can leverage those factors to your best advantage. The affiliate marketing industry is now even more competitive. To survive and thrive it is important to remain focused, never stop learning and always look ahead.

Being an affiliate entrepreneur, doesn’t have to be lonely

Being an affiliate business or entrepreneur is now about so much more than driving traffic to operator sites. For many, it can be a pretty lonely road until they get to deliver enough volume to eventually meet with an affiliate manager.

To win in this game, you must have the right mindset, have a focused plan and remember – that you are not alone. You can and should be asking for help. You’ll be surprised at what comes back and also how many people would be willing to assist.

There is much more emphasis for affiliates to responsibly build compliant, sustainable revenue streams, especially if they want to sell out to larger corporates in future. Our industry is maturing and in order to stay relevant affiliates should consider finding experienced coaching to help keep them focused.

An experienced business coach can help you transition your business, increase your earnings and target the right audiences, which is absolutely critical for business success. Fast tracked networking is also key, and a good coach will have a black book of contacts that you can leverage and help take your business to the next level.

You have a voice – so make it heard 

The days of “build it and they will come” – are long gone.

Online brands must be unique and stand out from the crowd. Often I’ve seen clients forget to distinguish their program values from others. It’s not enough to simply offer an affiliate program and hope affiliates will clamber to sign up into it. You have to be clear about who you are , what you offer, and how affiliates can work collaboratively with you.

You need to market  your affiliate program in the same way you market  your player propostitions. Being present in as many channels as possible and placing your affiliate brand in front of this vibrant community often and in varied places is the key to keeping front of mind with busy affiliate entrepreneurs.

Those that remain neutral will just slowly die. Those that understand exactly who they are and what makes them different will continue to grow their program reach and build sustainable revenue streams with affiliate business owners.

Look at online marketing – for all your channels

Affiliates will no longer be creating sites for just desktop and mobile – they now need to expand their channels across social media and instant messaging.

Lead generation just got a whole more complex. Understanding how to drive traffic to a website is no longer the key focus. It’s now about building audience engagement across multiple platforms and getting better at it as data and analytics provide better insight on cross channel content publications. Your page design and UX iterations need to be reviewed for wholistic inclusion and offer customers multiple different channels to interact with your content.

It is about providing a point of access to news, information, guides, offers – for everyone, everywhere.

New markets offer huge opportunities 

This year we will see more affiliates expand into new and emerging markets, particularly in the USA and Africa. We’ll be covering both as we look to support emerging growth within the iGaming community

Africa remains an interesting market as operators establish themselves and the affiliate channel starts to emerge as an effective acquisition tool.

The USA will continue to open up, but with barriers to entry will likely be more suited to mid-tier businesses with the resources to make it work while the market finds its feet.

Affiliates are some of the most innovative business owners I know. They are at the forefront of acquisition marketing and are often early adopters of new technologies and trends. Affiliate managers are just as pioneering, and by working together the affiliate sector has a long and bright future with plenty of growth opportunities on the table.

We’re looking forward to supporting you do – all of this.

By actioning some of the points mentioned above, affiliates and program managers can ensure they future-proof their affiliate businesses for long-term growth and continued success. AffiliateINSIDER sits within the nuclear of all of this providing – FREE content and thought leadership, hosting bootcamp events to help affiliates get access to expertise and networking before they are actively account managed in any one program and providing strategy and training to help operators and affiliates succeed.

Here’s to an exciting 2019 – who knows where the road will lead, but we’ll be here trucking along beside you to support future growth of this ever changing industry.

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If you would like to learn more about how to growth hack your affiliate business and get better connected, simply register for our AffiliateINSIDER Bootcamp in March. This year it hosts a first of its kind – entrepreneur affiliate coaching workshop alongside, with the highly experienced entrepreneurial business coach George Swift from Bigger Brighter Bolder.