The 4 biggest affiliate marketing trends of 2022

In this article, we answer the following questions on the subject of “Affiliate Marketing Trends”:

Affiliate Marketing: How it works

Before we get to the affiliate marketing trends 2022, we want to clarify how exactly the affiliate business works. Because although you have certainly come into contact with it, not everyone may immediately recognize that it is affiliate marketing.

Surely you’ve recently visited a product comparison site on the internet to find the best price for a new camera, new running shoes or the hotel for your next vacation, right? And did you then follow the link to the cheapest offer? These links are often affiliate links found on websites, blogs, or even social media channels. Whether it’s a hair dryer, kettle or smartphone being tested, links to the products are included in the test reports and take you, the reader, directly to Amazon, Clickbank or some other similar types sites. And the site operator earns a commission from it. Classic affiliate marketing.

Definition: affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the cooperation between sales partners with the aim of selling products and making money. The affiliates advertise products from manufacturers or retailers and receive a commission in return. This principle works equally well for services. And because affiliates recommend other products, so to speak, this business model is also called referral marketing.

The following parties are represented in the affiliate business:

  • affiliate: The person who advertises a third-party product and earns money depending on the commission if it is successful (also called publisher).
  • Advertisers: Distributors who want to sell their own products. These can be manufacturers, but also dealers.
  • affiliate networks: Platforms where affiliates and advertisers can register and find each other. So, affiliate networks act as an intermediary between the two parties and handle all payment matters.

Success Factors in Affiliate Marketing

So in order to be able to earn money with affiliate marketing or to achieve a lucrative passive income, you need enough reach. Because the more people you reach with your content, the more potential customers you generate for the advertisers. And you earn more money accordingly. But people will only buy something through your affiliate link if they are convinced of your content and trust what you say. Consequently, it is crucial for your success that your readers and followers can really trust you. So make sure to credibly present certain expertise to the outside world. It is best to present your knowledge so perfectly that your product recommendations appear rather irrelevant.

Now that we have clarified how affiliate marketing works, we come to the exciting part: What trends can and must affiliate, advertisers, networks and technology providers adapt to? Which topics, innovations and challenges will dominate the affiliate industry in 2022?

To answer exactly these questions, we conducted a survey. The goal: to make trends for 2022 and important developments of the past year visible in order to develop a picture of the mood. 1,100 affiliates, merchants or advertisers and agencies, networks and technology providers took part in the survey. We want to present the central and most important top trends together.

The survey, which compared all the views of the various parties, identified four top trends that coincided.

Cookie consent has become an increasingly important topic for affiliate marketing. Because since the new GDPR regulations, there is now an obligation for users to actively give their consent to the use of cookies every time they visit the website. This fact is very important for affiliates since cookie tracking is essential to earn commissions and being able to allocate them to the right affiliates.

The 4 Biggest Affiliate Marketing Trends Of 2022

A cookie consent tool or plugin works like a kind of mask. If a user visits your website, a pop-up window appears in which the user can tick their consent for all types of cookies. With 63 and 64 percent respectively, the topic ranks first among advertisers as well as agencies, networks and technology providers. Second place among affiliates with 50 percent.

2. Trending topic: cross-device tracking

Cross-device tracking is also one of the top topics in Affiliate Marketing Trends 2022. Cross-device tracking refers to the cross-device analysis of visitor flows to a website. Here, marketers do not mark users with a cookie, but with an ID. Although affiliates and advertisers could easily analyze visitor behaviour with tracking via cookies, using different devices to surf the web became an increasing challenge. But this is now possible, with cross-device tracking.

But another challenge has arisen. Because it is important for affiliate marketers to comply with the applicable data protection regulations and to ensure that user IDs are stored anonymously. In the survey, 54 percent of affiliates stated that they will deal with this topic in 2022. Only 38 percent of advertisers and merchants stated that they use this method.

3. Trending topic: TTDSG

The TTDSG – Telecommunications Telemedia Data Protection Act came into force at the end of 2021. It regulates provisions on telecommunications secrecy and data protection for telecommunications and Telemedia services. The TTDSG aims to smooth the discrepancy between the ePrivacy Directive, the GDPR and current German legislation in relation to data protection and the use of cookies. Sounds pretty complicated. But here, too, it is about the fact that affiliates or publishers have to obtain the tracking permission of the users. Therefore, this topic ties directly to the cookie consent tools.

The question facing the affiliate industry is how to ensure proper tracking without violating the GDPR and TTDSG. Whether via plugins or specially tailored management platforms – the TTDSG occupies many marketers as an affiliate marketing trend 2022. This was also evident in the survey, as 58 percent of merchants and 60 percent of agencies, networks and technology providers stated that they would focus on this this year. 38 percent of the affiliates also named TTDSG as a top topic.

4th hot topic: attribution and customer journey tracking

A customer journey could be described as a journey through different online marketing channels. Imagine the following example: A customer becomes aware of a product through an Instagram post. He then googles this product and arrives at the advertiser’s online shop. But there is no purchase at first. Through retargeting, the customer is made aware of the product again after a few days. Now he actually buys it too. These different stations on the journey are also called touchpoints. And each of these touchpoints played a small role in the customer finally making a purchase decision. Attribution providers exist to measure and evaluate these touchpoints.

And therefore this area is also considered an affiliate marketing trend for 2022. In the survey, 42 percent of the agencies, networks and technology providers stated that they would deal with this topic in more detail in 2022. Merchants and advertisers, at 56 percent, attach even more importance to this topic. “Only” 36 percent of the affiliates stated that they would focus on this topic this year.

Even if the trends are very technology-based and affiliate marketing requires some know-how, it is a very good business model for starting your own online business. The survey participants also commented on this and noticed promising developments in recent years. All groups within the survey stated that sales have developed positively and that they expect sales to continue to rise. Of course, a functioning affiliate business first requires time and perseverance, but once they reach is there, you can achieve excellent passive income.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing describes the cooperation between sales partners with the aim of selling products and making money. The affiliates advertise products from manufacturers or retailers and receive a commission in return.

What is an affiliate network?

Affiliate networks are platforms where affiliates and advertisers can register and find each other. So, affiliate networks act as an intermediary between the two parties and handle all payment matters.

What are the top trends this year?

These are the trend themes for this year:
– Cookie Consent Tools
– Cross-device tracking
– Attribution and customer journey tracking

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