Here are my predictions for 2017
1. Native will go mainstream and start attracting big brand spenders
Native advertising has been affiliate marketers little secret for a couple of years now. The volume is now at a stage where brand advertisers and big spenders are starting to come in and push inventory prices up.
Quality issues are still there with a lot of native advertising being placed on sites which aren’t exactly brand-safe but some of the big networks are already addressing this in an attempt to draw in the media buyers who don’t have performance restrictions. More restrictions on publishers and advertisers are likely as networks “clean up” the traffic.
Native companies like Revcontent, Outbrain etc. will follow the same pattern as Facebook did as more advertisers move into it, prices rise, all but the most competitive affiliates will be driven out.
2. More affiliates will move into ecommerce
A lot of affiliates followed the T-spring goldrush and are now moving on to dropshipping. I think the natural progression is for the top affiliates to move into real distribution and perhaps even production of unique products and importing.
Facebook is the traffic source of choice for these verticals but I think long-term thinking affiliates will also diversify in to SEO and dominating the organic listings.
3. Private blog networks, aged domains and redirects will stop carrying link juice
This might be happening already but the practice of drop catching domains to redirect for SEO purposes will decrease as Google brings in updates to prevent it. It’s too simple for Google to just check if Dropcatch.com registered the domain in the last week and now it’s 301’d or set up as a mini site… penalty.
It’s also going to become a lot harder to build out quality PBN’s and existing ones are going to become useless.
4. Another major CPA network will go bust
Yeah a pretty obvious one. It’ll probably rain in Scotland at some point too.
5. Clickbank will come under pressure from the FTC
Clickbank products are inherently scammy and they are pushing more and more rebill stuff. It can only be a matter of time before the FTC catches up with them.
6. There will be another goldrush to…
Honestly I have no idea. A big app install offer perhaps or some kind of ad arbitrage. Whatever it is the people that will make their millions on it will be the ones who are hungry right now. Getting up at 6am to test offers and trying 100’s of campaigns across new traffic sources and offers that others haven’t even heard of. The guys coming up with new ideas who aren’t reliant on spy tools and obsessed with what everyone else is doing will benefit the most. Creative thinking and determination will lead someone to hit on something big, if you’re reading this you are in the game. Go setup something totally new and out of the box.
7. Virtual Reality and IoT will continue to stall
There is going to be some growth in both sectors. UK TV is full of adverts for a IoT thermostat called a Hive. Amazon has their new echo products. Sony are releasing the VR headset for the Playstation 4. I can’t see any of these things hitting critical mass just yet.
8. Economy Concerns
We are due another big hit to the economy. While it still feels like we are recovering from the 2008 meltdown the stock markets are at all time highs and the economic data doesn’t back it up. Inflation will rise almost certainly in the UK because of the whole Brexit embarrassment. Oil prices should continue to recover which will add further pressure to increase interest rates. It’s a fragile state of affairs right now and reducing the deficit and finding some real financial stability has been put on the back burner. Anyone with savings/investments should be really concerned about super-inflation as in the long term it’s probably the only way that 1st world countries will ever be able to pay off their debts.
If you have investments in index-trackers it might be a good time to rebalance them.
9. A shift in some political power to the BRIC countries
China and Russia are flexing their political and military muscles and there’s not a great deal anyone can do about it. Trump is going to be sandboxed by the political system and as he realises he doesn’t have CEO power over the country we could see some fireworks. Also it’s only a matter of time before some horrible story about his past comes out and he is pressured to resign.
The UK is in an even worse state with us pulling out of Europe and potentially losing the banking sector which is the only thing supporting the whole country.
It’s a good time for BRIC countries to develop their political agendas.
10. Back to online marketing
I got a bit distracted but finally some last thoughts on the digital marketing scene in 2017.
Affiliate World conferences will continue to grow and attract top affiliates. While perhaps not the same numbers as ASW, I think a lot of the experienced affiliates will prioritise STM events over the next year. Maybe I’m just bitter because I can’t make Vegas this year and am gutted about it.
There’s going to be some big mergers and acquisitions in the ad tech sector. As large publisher groups, silicon valley giants and advertisers strategically align themselves for ad impressions. If you run a company called Programatic AI Marketing LLC, just put your feet up and wait for an offer for whatever you just bootstrapped together.
Whatever 2017 brings affiliate marketing is still one of the best businesses to be in for opportunity and work/life balance.
Have a great Xmas and New Year!