Top Affiliate Marketing Predictions for 2012
What’s in store for affiliate marketers in 2012? How will the industry continue to meet challenges such as the onslaught of state sales taxes and Amazon’s weak response? What avenues of promotion will be the best way to generate traffic for our affiliate sites?
Here are my predictions:
Affiliate Nexus Tax — While it might be easy to think that the confusion unleashed this year because of the Affiliate Nexus Tax in California and other states would lead to some kind of well-planned legislation with a clear process to help online retailers collect sales taxes, don’t hold your breath.
The U.S. Congress is proving that it’s incapable of passing even the simplest legislation without bickering and stalemate. And more complex issues such as the debt ceiling have showed the willingness of a minority in Congress to derail legislation to meet the wishes of their narrow constituency. If you think that’s a recipe for Affiliate Tax clarity, think again.
My prediction is that nothing improves until after 2012′s elections. But we can look for some kind of federal guidelines on sales tax collection in 2013.
Google Panda — I don’t think there’s anyone out there who thinks that Google got it right in 2011 with their incremental updates that have pushed spammy affiliate sites off the top pages of the search results pages. Expect more from Google in 2012. And if you’re the owner of one of those spammy affiliate sites, my advice is that it’s time to start creating better content.
Social Media — Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are going to become less of a big deal. The kind of sharing and recommendation that happens on them will become a part of almost every site we visit. And the big-name social media sites are going to make it harder for affiliates to directly monetize their social accounts.
Growth — Market research firm Forrester predicts that retailers will spend $4 billion on affiliate marketing by 2014. That’s 16 percent growth each year!
Online Poker — In the United States, the lack of legislation governing online poker will continue the uncertainty cast over the industry this year. And while creating clear national guidelines for online gambling would make sense for the country, see my rationale regarding the Affiliate Nexus Tax as to why this won’t get done in 2012.
Mobile — It’s getting easier and easier to buy stuff on your mobile phone. And that means affiliates are going to need to embrace mobile in 2012. Depending on your site, that could mean creating an app, or it could mean optimizing your site for mobile.
What’s on the horizon for 2012? Let us know what you think in the comments below.