For 20% of brands and 31% of publishers, affiliate marketing is the most successful marketing channel. In order to drive growth, maintain an upward trajectory, and outpace the competition, ecommerce brands that integrate affiliate marketing are critical to staying up to date with where the industry is headed.
In this article you’ll find prospective niches, ad formats and thoughts of industry experts.
- Trends for affiliate marketing verticals
- Trending content types
- Which ad formats will lead in 2023
- What can we recommend to new affiliates?
- Thoughts of experts
Trends for affiliate marketing verticals
To make money in affiliate marketing, you need to find niches where millions of people are trying to find products and are willing to pay for them.
Hot verticals that promise to generate leads and sales in 2023 include:
iGaming was one of the hottest verticals of 2022. Interestingly, it promises to stay on trend in 2023. And this niche will remain one of the hottest in the market. The desire to get rich quickly drives people to play online casino games and make bets on sports.
But it's not all about the money. Some people also enjoy the entertainment and social aspect of gambling, which add to the reasons why this niche remains a sought-after market.
Betting products are diverse. They include casinos, sports betting, poker, bingo, horse racing, lottery, number games (like lotto), and Daily fantasy sports. However, sports betting and online casino games lead the way in terms of impressions.
iGaming niche is expected to grow to $114.4 billion by 2028.
People can bet throughout the year, but gambling is a high seasonal vertical. This is because major sporting events attract maximum attention and leads.
So, to succeed in affiliate promotion, pay attention to the sporting calendar and adjust your offers accordingly.
This year, the tightening of the advertising policy in social networks will continue. In this connection, marketers will have to look for new ways to promote. This way, platforms like TrafficStars, will be a great option for promoting igaming products in more stable manner without troubles with moderation and cloaking.
Push notifications are great to promote upcoming sporting events.
🌎 The top GEOs to target for affiliate campaigns in this niche are the UK, the US, China, Japan, Brazil, and Australia. Others are Singapore, France, Germany, South Africa, and Nigeria.
There are several types of utilities that affiliates can promote. VPNs, Antiviruses, File managers, Memory boosters, etc.
This niche boomed after the COVID pandemic. As the pandemic locked down the world, people started working more with their desktop and mobile devices. This has led to an increased demand for VPNs for maintaining privacy and security while working remotely, as well as antiviruses to ensure safe browsing.
This trend is here to stay. Though the world has reopened, 25 - 35% of the workforce now favors remote work.
Mobile traffic is rising, causing an ever-increasing demand for utility-related apps.
People need apps for privacy, safe browsing, organized files, and more. So, some of the hottest affiliate marketing trends in utilities are VPNs and antiviruses.
💡 In-Page push notifications perfect fit for promoting mobile utilities.
The sweepstake vertical is evergreen. A sweepstake is a kind of lottery where participants pay a small amount for entries, and the entire prize is given to one randomly-selected winner.
The sweepstake vertical promises to be always hot because virtually everyone likes the idea of getting free money.
Generally, the bigger the prize, the more buzz around the sweepstake and the more traffic and leads it’ll generate. So, a top trend is to focus on sweepstakes offers with significant prizes.
The best sweepstake offer for beginners is SOI (Single Opt In), where users are able to participate by taking just one simple action (like entering an e-mail). So, in 2023, go for offers with fewer fields to enter.
Also, Tier-3 countries will be the fastest-growing markets for Sweepstakes in 2023. Know that while Tier-1 countries promise high payouts, they are more difficult to attract. So, target Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries instead.
The dating niche focuses on dating and courtship. It is a perennially hot vertical because people are always looking for love. It is a broad category that includes online dating apps and services, matchmaking, relationship advice, and self-help resources.
Online dating is a billion-dollar industry projected to soar by 6% annually.
The desire to find love and companionship is a universal human need and drives people to seek out dating services, whether through traditional means or through a digital platform.
The search for love has moved online in this digital era, and the trend promises to continue in 2023. Users of dating services are projected to be about 280 million by 2024. Also, the revenue of matchmaking services is estimated to rise to $2.5 billion by 2024 (from $655 million in 2020).
Crypto & Forex trading
The crypto was going through a tough time last year. The 2020 crypto rush preceded the crash in 2021. The biggest cryptocurrency hedge funds have collapsed and millions of amateur investors have lost money. Despite all the negative events, people have not lost interest in crypto.
With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the demand for crypto-related products and services remains at a high level. A bear market usually pushes investors to buy cryptocurrencies in hopes of making money when prices go up. Payments using stablecoin became more mainstream as more businesses and organizations accept it.
Binary options and forex trading still remain an investing environment where traders can hit it big in a twinkle of an eye.
Crypto, forex and binary affiliate marketing programs offer the highest payouts on the market. This is a lucrative niche that does not lose its appeal despite all the excitement.
Step-by-Step Guide to Start Promoting Forex Affiliate Offers
Trending content types
Vertical video content is on the rise. After launching TikTok in 2017, media giants Google and Facebook also launched the vertical video format. It’s the most convenient format of content, since the most people create and watch videos on mobile phones.
TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Reels have enormous potential for affiliate marketing. Many marketers have already taken advantage of these social networks to promote various affiliate programs. You can find many case studies on the web.
Keep in mind that a standard advertising techniques don’t work here. Create compelling short-form videos that keeps your audience engaged, follow hashtag challenges and post consistently.
By consistently posting content and responding to comments and messages, you can create a deeper connection with your followers and increase the likelihood that they will convert when you share product information and recommendations.
Augmented and virtual reality
The concept of virtual or augmented reality is not new. Remember Pokemon Go? It was introduced in 2016. But many companies are working to improve these technologies. In general, we expect that this year we will see innovative use of virtual reality in business. It can be used in niches such as webcam, dating, soccer, e-commerce, travel, health and others. The use of AR or VR technologies can enhance consumer engagement and increase sales for brands and affiliates.
The content is king. It’s clearly considered a worthwhile investment by millions of marketers and creators. And AI-content generators can significantly help you with it.
Our society and lives have been transformed by artificial intelligence (AI). We are no longer surprised by chatbots, automated tool and drones. It's time to automate content creation! There are already dozens of services for creating texts, photos and even videos.
However, technologies is at a low level now and cannot completely replace humans. So in 2023, we will see a increase in growth of AI-content generator tools and it’s product improvement.
BTW, this image and the article cover were created by an AI-image generator.
Which ad formats will lead in 2023
The programmatic penetration in digital advertising is forecast to reach 91.1% in 2023 (up from 90.2% last year). It's not surprising that programmatic keep evolving, since this technology allows media buyers to reach targeted audiences and use advertising budget more wisely. In addition, the reduced complexity of self-serve advertising platforms interface makes launching campaigns super easy. To get the maximum profit from your ads, pay attention to the following formats:
We are confident in the success of this ad format, the volume of which is steadily growing from year to year. Native ad format has multiple advantages both for advertisers and publishers. The native widget is fully customizable, allowing you to add an image, a brand name, and a headline, which can be tailored to match the look and feel of the site. This allows publishers to not irritate users by excessive advertising. This creates a consistent user experience and helps to increase the chances of the ad being engaged with by prospective customers Also, with its CPMV (cost per 1,000 views) algorithm, publishers get paid for every thumbnail that is viewed.
Moreover, native ad format is an excellent lead generation channel. Discover benefits of Native ads in TrafficStars it this ultimate guide.
We also betting on push ads, which will stay hot. Push notifications are excellent ways to reach users instantly because the users do not need to be on the brand’s site/app to receive the pop-ups. Also, the messages appear on the home screen and are hard to miss.
Push ads will remain one of the most suitable ad formats for promoting iGaming, Dating and Finance verticals.
Unexpectedly, Apple has confirmed that it will bring push notification support to iOS devices in early 2023. So, 2023 promises to be a bigger year for classic push offers!
In-page push notifications are the next-gen successors of classic push notifications.
The success of push notifications is limited because they can be sent to only users that had earlier subscribed to them. In-page push breaks this limitation, as they do not require subscriptions. They work on all devices, browsers, and platforms.
They can be highly targeted and personalized. They can be used to deliver specific messages to different segments of your audience based on their browsing behavior, location, or other factors.
We have custom skins that designed for our top verticals: Dating, Webcam, Gambling and VPN. They already proved their effectiveness and
Video ads will become even more popular. Several factors will contribute to this.
First of all, producing videos become easier. There is a bunch of software that allows you to make high-quality videos. It includes simple drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built templates, so users don't need to have any technical knowledge to edit videos.
The video editing process can also be made even more intuitive and user-friendly with AI-powered editing tools. AI can provide automatic editing recommendations to streamline the editing process right now, for instance, by analyzing footage.
📈 Video ads show the highest click-through rate of all ad formats.
Secondly, video ads outperform any other ad format, since they allow to tell a whole story about your product. Follow our tips to make a video that drive conversions.
What can we recommend to new affiliates?
⭐ Discuss topics with other affiliates
These are affiliate marketing communities where members can get targeted advice from one another to advance their affiliate promotions business. Top forums include affLIFT, AffiliateFix, etc.
⭐ Search for affiliate marketing programs
There are several sites of lists with affiliate marketing programs and related services, that affiliate can sign up for to start making money. For example: Offervault, Affpaying, Business of apps, Affbank.
⭐ Get free tips
Account managers of networks are always happy to help you find a profitable approach. Also, you can read guides in our blog and find really helpful tips. In case you’re looking for courses dedicated to affiliate marketing training, we’re recommend to do a deep search. Since there are a lot of useless courses from fake gurus. Agree, that the best way to learn is practice. So do not be afraid to launch some ad campaigns with minimum budgets to to understand how it works.
⭐ Automated bidding
Through machine learning algorithms, we can improve campaign performance by eliminating manual adjustments with machine learning algorithms. As a result, tools using machine learning to analyze millions of signals in real time and adjust digital advertising strategies in real time are becoming more popular. Optimizer is one such tool. It helps media buyers to automatically adjust bids and create blacklists.
Thoughts of experts
🙎♀️ Lavender, Advertising Account Manager at TrafficStars
This year, the unchanging leaders in terms of the number of impressions remain:
- Native ads
- Banner 300x100
- Banner 300x250
Animated and video banners will rule this year, in my view. Also for high-performance of your campaign, I would highly recommend using optimizer and auto-bidder for all the formats. We improved this tool a lot this year for your convenience.
Optimizer is an in-house technology that can blacklist underperforming traffic sources and adjust bids according to your set rules. With this tool, you won’t need to turn off sources manually in your campaigns anymore and check on them all the time as well, wow!
2022 was an awesome year for me. affLIFT had one of its best years ever and I personally had many great affiliate marketing campaigns.
One potentially massive change I am looking forward to is native push notifications coming to iOS. Push has been a great traffic source for me and many affiliates for years, but it’s always been pretty limited to Android. Apple is supposed to be finally releasing native iOS push notifications from the web early this year. We’ll see how that goes but I believe there’s a lot of potential!
I am focusing on push still and I know many other affiliates are as well. Push notifications provide a unique experience to get in front of users in a way that is hard to beat. The quality is usually pretty good and will the addition of iOS, there will be a lot of opportunity.
I like to promote dating but I usually stick with T2/T3 GEOs. T1 is very competitive and can be really expensive. I like English speaking GEOs because that’s what I speak. I’m not really sure what will be the “most promising” GEOs, but I know what I will be focusing on 🙂
Newcomers to the affiliate space need to join affLIFT and go through our Beginners and Intermediate Courses. Obviously, I am very biassed about this because I own affLIFT, but I also have over 20 years of experience working with newbies in the affiliate space and I’ve worked with our team at affLIFT to make the most affordable and complete systems for getting started. Be patient, stay focused, and understand you are not going to make $10,000 on your first day. There is a lot of opportunity with affiliate marketing when you give it the time and effort it requires 🚀
💁♀️ Victoria, Business Development Manager at AdsEmpire
The year 2022 was one of the most complicated and challenging years we have ever had. But our team make a really great result. So we can say that the dating vertical is still alive and very profitable even in hard times.
Changes in affiliate marketing happen, as always. Traffic sources and approaches constantly changes, and we must be flexible and patient. So time will tell.
First of all, all ad formats can be profitable if your traffic source is quality, and of course, it depends on your experience. So first advice - always choose a good ad network. Second, try a lot, and you will have a lot. Third, if we need to specify the best ad format, it can be native or banner ads. You can customize them exactly like your offers works best.
There is no surprise here, we all know that Tier 1 can bring you excellent payouts. We advise you to focus on geo like - AU, NZ, or CA. The potential of these geos is great. Also, Europe can be very profitable with the high level of life in SE and AT and popular locations like ES, IT, and CZ.
Only practice can help you for real. Never give up, and remember - the only thing that costs a lot - is your experience. In the AdsEmpire blog, we make a lot of articles that can help you to learn about different types of ads, affiliates communities, best geos, offers, and our recommendations. So you can always ask us about dating - ping Victoria on Telegram @ViktoriiaAE.
Affiliate marketing can help you get a slice of online businesses’ revenue. However, you must keep up with affiliate marketing trends to know what works at each point.
Hot affiliate marketing verticals to target in 2023 include iGaming, sweepstakes, mobile utilities, dating, and crypto.
Ad formats that’ll put you in the forefront in 2023 include native ads, classic push, in-page push, and video ads.
Looking for an ad network to help you reach your affiliate marketing goals? Look no further than TrafficStars.
With a range of top-performing ad formats, exclusive traffic sources, optimization tool and more, we provide publishers the tools to monetize their platforms and help advertisers reach millions of users daily.
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