Affiliate Marketing
min read

Top 5 affiliate marketing trends to know for 2024

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
February 2, 2024
Last updated
February 2, 2024

What this article covers

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In 60 seconds…

  • AI will continue to be a huge topic within the industry, helping brands with all-important forecasting and decisions 
  • Gen Zers are preferring to spend their money on last-minute getaways, making 2024 a huge year for the travel industry 
  • Young shoppers are more likely to be influenced by micro-creators and professionals, preferring their expertise to the enormous popularity of macro-influencers 

Over the years, affiliate marketing has proven itself to be the ideal foundation for turbulent times. It can help you reach your commercial goals, build brand awareness, and truly connect with Gen Z.

And, with a bright future ahead, more and more businesses are recognizing the value of the affiliate marketing industry - particularly when it comes to increasing brand exposure, generating leads, and driving sales in a cost-effective way!

But, it's a crowded market, and to stay at the top of your game, you need to stay ahead of the trends. In this blog, we'll be sharing five key affiliate marketing trends for 2024, as well as hearing from Pion's Affiliate Partnerships Manager, Daniel Millar.

How can affiliate marketing help you meet your commercial goals?

Affiliate marketing is a resilient revenue driver, and it helps advertisers meet commercial goals across all sectors. 

Much like every other form of marketing over the past few years, affiliate marketing has adapted over time. Now, it’s about helping brands to build real, authentic trust with consumers. 

Ultimately, having an affiliate marketing program helps brands to build awareness and drive conversions. And once Gen Z knows and understands your brand intimately, you’ve gained their trust - every marketer’s dream… 

5 trends for affiliate marketers in 2024

1. AI

It's the topic on every marketer's mind in 2024: What's the future of AI?

It's definitely one to be aware of, and this year it's going to be used more strategically than ever before. Here's what that might look like in 2024:

  • To detect and prevent fraudulent activity
  • To provide personalized affiliate support
  • To identify potential partners and their audiences
  • And that's just the beginning!

Affiliate marketing relies on strong content to help it rank on Google, but with AI tools taking over, this is certainly something the industry needs to keep an eye on.

Dan says: “We have already seen AI implementation across the affiliate industry with some networks and brands integrating AI tools into their repertoire, allowing them to predict future trends, consumer purchases, and commission payouts.  This massively helps brands with forecasting and can support them when it comes to making decisions about what publishers they should optimize and partner with.”

2. Travel 

In 2021, travel was uncertain. By 2022, we were easing ourselves back in. Then, in 2023, the rising cost of living hit.

But now it's 2024, and travel is well and truly back for Gen Z!

This year, young people will be excitedly booking holidays abroad, while many will be planning their trips to international events which are still being planned. This is important for affiliates to be aware of thanks to the important role they play in the shopper's journey, from inspiration and comparisons to getting them over purchase over the line.

“At Pion, we know the Gen Z demographic inside out”, says Dan. “The young people of today care less about spending money at the pub and would much prefer to book a last-minute trip away with their friends and family.  This is huge for the travel industry as they can look to build loyalty with this generation…

“This year also sees the return of the Olympics in Paris and The Euros in Germany, which will no doubt see a huge demand for travel bookings. The trend of short-term travel planning is also increasing, so brands should keep that in mind when planning their affiliate marketing strategy for the year.”

3. Video 

What is it about a video review that Gen Z loves so much? The detail and connection, of course.

From YouTube Shorts to Instagram Reels, there are countless opportunities for affiliate marketers wanting to engage Gen Z. Pion research has revealed that 31% of Gen Z have bought or been inspired to buy something after watching a YouTube ad.

Videos are also a great way of creating suspense around a product - by providing an affiliate with marketing materials such as promotion codes and sale information, the content will create that sense of exclusivity that Gen Z loves so much.

Top tip: For those with a target audience of Gen Zers, it's worth noting the most popular video content formats: tutorials, product reviews, unboxing, and styling sessions.

4. Affiliate marketing in the metaverse 

The metaverse seems to be the only thing people can talk about at the moment, and it won't be long before brands and affiliate marketers start to work together in the online world.

Whether it's promoting products or reaching new customers, there are endless opportunities for marketers, advertisers, and businesses in the metaverse.

“If the rumors are true and metaverse spending is expected to rise to $80 billion in 2024, it’s going to be very difficult for brands to ignore!”, says Dan. “ There are already some early examples of the world's leading brands spending big on advertising and collaborations in the metaverse.  

“One example that stands out for me would be the collaboration between Nike and Fortnite where they’ve included apparel and sneakers from the Jordan Brand for users to purchase for their avatars. Another would be Coca-Cola hosting virtual events and concerts whilst allowing users to redeem rewards and incentives they can use in the real world to purchase Coca-Cola products!  

“It’s exciting to see what this could look like for remote teams in the workplace as virtual events and experiences are already taking place among top brands!”

Two Gen Zers walking down a stret, looking at the camera and smiling

5. Working with micro and nano influencers

Did you know that 45% of Gen Z are most likely to be influenced by a friend/peer when purchasing online?

When it comes to marketing, Gen Z wants authenticity, and highly curated influencer content will no longer have an impact on this generation of digital natives. Nowadays, young people can easily spot a paid promotion, and this doesn't sit well with them.

The solution, of course, are micro influencers. These more personable and reliable creators can easily form a connection with Gen Z, which in turn will boost engagement and visibility.

In 2024, it's about focusing less on popularity and more on expertise. This young generation of shoppers wants industry analysts, professionals, and brand employees to guide them through to purchase.

Top tip: Peer-to-peer marketing is the key to success with Gen Z. Boost your brand’s potential with Pion’s award-winning creator marketing campaigns targeted at Gen Z students: Student Beans Creators.

So there you have it - five top affiliate marketing trends to guide you to success in 2024!

Discover more about how we can equip your brand with end-to-end solutions to better attract, engage, and retain student customers here.

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