We’re looking at the most prominent trends that will change the affiliate marketing landscape in the future.
Expanding to reach Gen Z
By definition, the oldest Gen Z-ers are now over the legal drinking age. They’re going to college, they’re thinking about their futures, and they’re looking for jobs.
That might be quite a wake-up call for brands that have the goal of “aiming for Gen Z” circled on a whiteboard somewhere in their office. Yes, there are teen Gen Z-ers but they’re aging up. If your aim is to target teens, target teens, but Gen Z users are quickly moving out of that category.
Instead, focus on what makes a Gen Z-er a Gen Z-er. They were raised on the internet, probably with an iPad used to keep them quiet. They spot online marketing techniques better than anyone. They’re far more clued into the problems of the world, having had them reach them on social media whether they want to know or not. They are still angry about those problems, whereas Millennials have generally adopted a pessimistic and nihilistic approach, especially with their humour.
Gen Z on the other hand still want to do everything, and as legal adults, they have the freedom to now. They can enact those dreams of travel, wear what they like, move towards the job they want, etc.
Video will overtake other marketing formats
Marketers are only now starting to realize the power of video. Thanks, again, to TikTok and the booming trends of short-form media, it’s more realistic and rewarding to shoot some video content rather than adding a photo to your content.
Short-form video content has opened up a range of marketing content ideas, with little effort involved. It’s arguable, in fact, that it takes less effort than a photograph, which has an expected standard to be taken seriously online. But, at least for the moment, the more homegrown short-form video content looks, the more endearing you are to your audience.
This is because TikTok and short-form media is leading the way in the influencer revolution. People want to get to know the real you. For influencers that means showing a more humble side, and for brands it means proving that you’re not just a soulless capitalist corporation.
As time goes on, brands are expected to see more why video is so popular and its many benefits and get on board.
Why is this approach to brand content so important? Well, it all comes down to a change in social media user perception. Too many influencer scandals, the clout chasing and the hustle culture, the larger socio-economical effects of big brands hurting people and the planet in the name of profit, has all led social media users to turn their back on the flashy influencer aesthetic online.
Instead, users are responding better to content that shows a human side to influencers and brands. Everyday users have stopped apologizing for their hair not looking great at the top of videos and are just embracing it. Meanwhile, trends that show off the team of a brand are taking off. Companies are going around asking the team’s favourite, or worse movies, what they’re having for lunch, clips of anecdotes or work nights out, etc.
It’s all done in the name of moving away from the faceless corporation. Your team are your mascots and your content implies that you are treating them well, which your audience will then respond to.
The rise of the micro-influencer
Facebook and TikTok don’t have a lot of trends in common, but what they do have is the ability for people to find their people. On Facebook, people hunt out their people in groups that are specific to them, whereas, on TikTok, the algorithm shows you your people. This has created “communities” that are made up of people with a shared interest or identity. And the cream of the crop, that rises to the top, is the micro-influencer.
They’re usually the leaders of the community, either due to a talent for content or consistent engagement, and have the rest of the community following them. They have fewer followers, but what followers they have are dedicated, prompted by the thought of “If it works for them, it’ll work for me.”
Marketers seeing this change in influencer dynamics should get on board with promoting these micro-influencers and reaping the benefits of a more loyal fanbase.
If you’re interested in more social media and affiliate marketing strategies, take a look at our blog, or book a free call with a member of our team for a more personalized approach to your advice.
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