2023 Affiliate Marketing Trends: a Rundown of Market Drivers by Adsterra & Voluum Experts

What are the most remarkable affiliate marketing trends for 2023? Our star-studded crew of Voluum and Adsterra experts is here to highlight those market drivers that can lead you to higher gains. We kept our overview inspirational yet practical so that you could make use of those trends in real-time mode.

Top 2023 affiliate marketing trends and drivers

By Gala Grigoreva, CMO at Adsterra

Regarding affiliate marketing trends in 2023, I’ll try to keep the focus on both financial prospects and budget-saving opportunities. With the estimated $12 billion annual spending globally, affiliate marketing will keep gaining traction in 2023, attracting more brands and individual entrepreneurs. The latter ones will tend to scale income sources monetizing in several trending niches while sticking to the cost-efficiency principles.

1. Affiliates to embrace video formats

Short videos will soon become the #1 means of engaging users. Wyzowl’s research shows that viewers are 95% more likely to remember the in-video call to action compared to 10% when it’s in text format. To add more, 88% of users tend to purchase after watching ads in video format. 

We’re not urging you to rush hiring a video-producing team. But you surely need to get ready for dynamic storytelling. Since the classic VAST/VPAID formats are still very demanding in terms of budgets and production, you can try a clever move: add video Social Bar ads to your campaigns. 

Social Bar is an advanced combo of display and in-page push units created by Adsterra in 2020. It can deliver any interaction with users. Social Bar Video ads are available on managed accounts for now, but since we’re witnessing an ever-growing demand for this format, we also look forward to seeing it on the Self-Serve Platform.

If you are not sure about this format, you can A/B test its effectiveness with Voluum. 

Top offers to promote: iGaming, Games, Ecommerce, Paid Subscriptions, Betting, etc.

2. Targeted advertising is good advertising

There is no getting out of precise targeting. Think about your ad delivery like a surgical operation, not a full-scale war. You only want to spend money where it matters, either in terms of new conversions or ideas tested.

Few marketers know that they don’t have to rely solely on targeting options provided by their traffic sources but they can also analyse 30 plus data points gathered by Voluum and act upon them. If there are parts of your traffic that don’t perform that well but you can’t stop it from buying because the traffic source doesn’t give you such granular targeting options, you can at least re-route this traffic to a different offer, or the same offer but with a different landing page. Maybe a new offering or an angle will get you some money out of traffic that you’ve already paid for.

3. Social marketing is still on the rise

Influencer marketing has skyrocketed over the past years, and we expect to see even more businesses call for influencers to promote their products and services in 2023. Brands are forecasted to invest $32.5bn in influencer advertising in 2023 (according to AugustaFreePress).

Although social media seem to reach limits of their growth (if a steady decline of Facebook’s importance is a good indicator of this trend), they are still the perfect place to advertise in some carefully selected verticals using a compliant tracking method.

We still recommend using the well-oiled machine of traffic + landing page with Voluum direct tracking script + Direct Link to avoid bans from social networks. Adsterra Direct Link or any display ad format placed on a landing page can convert into multiple benefits.

Top offers to gain from influencer marketing in 2023: Gambling, Nutra, and Electronics – all whitehat. 

4. VPNs are evergreen

The VPN industry is very promising. It is believed to reach over $75B by 2027, growing to over 1.5 times. The world is still GEO-blocked and VPNs are a good way around that. This, plus rising privacy issues on one hand and governments trying to control the Internet on the other make advertising VPN offers a sure-fire way to get conversions.

VPN and Utilities will remain the most desired offers, but will have to ask for better deals due to rising competition between VPN providers.

For example, major brands like NordVPN have already given a lead to other players by launching a Black Friday campaign with a $2.99 monthly subscription. CyberGhost offered an even smaller fee with additional 4 months of FREE usage.

So please keep track of this sort of extra campaigns; they can ramp up your profits immensely!

Top offers for 2023: VPNs (iOS / Android), Anti-Viruses (Android), Cleaners (Android), and Battery Boosters (Android).

Best conversion flows: CPL, CPI, cost per download

GEOs: the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, and others.

5. Entertainment apps as a trending niche for affiliate marketing

One major trend we’re at Adsterra to keep tracking is the steady growth of local social media platforms and short video apps. While Twitter and Meta don’t seem to cease disappointing users, these cozy communities collect a massive following. 

One of the most notable is Bigo Live, a live streaming platform. This offer is still among the highest paying in the US, Indonesia, and Australia. And with Adsterra, you can run the offer with global traffic (Android only). Some other apps that carry on returning nice revenues are Hipi, an Indian video app for Android, and Kwai, which has created a stir in Turkey and Brazil (also Android). You can always check the most trending and rewarding social app offers in your Adsterra account.

You can track your advertising efforts with Voluum. If you are the app owner, you can combine Voluum with a mobile measurement partner (MMP) to track outside events and in-app activity. 

6. More regulations and more prospects in iGaming

Not so long ago — in September 2022 — we could expect the online gambling industry to reach $145.6 billion by 2030 (as of Custom Market Insights). A fresher study by H2 predicts that the industry’s revenue will strike $483bn in 2023

But you will have to keep an eye on regulations. In 2023 we will be facing very contradictory trends. Like these three, for example:

  • The Netherlands will start banning untargeted ads starting from 2023;
  • In the meantime, Hungary has decided to end the state monopoly on online betting. The country will now attract new commercial operators to this sector.
  • Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil are developing stronger rules to govern gambling activities, which can make them game-changers and boost the whole industry. 
  • Lastly the US loosens their iGaming rules in more and more states. You can read about the current legal status of iGaming in this deep-dive study.

Top geos for iGaming will be:

  • the US (those states where gambling is allowed), 
  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina particularly), 
  • the EU: Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria;
  • Asia: Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh.

Top ad formats for 2023: Popunder ads, Social Bar with its most creative templates, and Interstitials.

Conversion flow and pricing: CPM pricing for deposits, CPA pricing for downloads and sign-ups.

Finally, we expect a burst of creative techniques applied to prelanders and landing pages related to online casinos and slot machines. Marketers will be trying to grab user attention, beating the ever-shrinking attention span. “Less is more” will be the main principle: affiliates will learn to state values and convert users into leads with minimum copywriting. 

7. AI tools to help affiliates scale campaigns and test geos

That’s not affiliate marketing news but a closely related topic. Artificial Intelligence keeps blossoming (the registration of .AI domains raised by over 400% during the last 12 months), and marketers are among those who can use its steroids to ramp up campaign scaling. You don’t need to know how to build neural networks, thankfully. But you definitely should harness some ready-to-use tools.

For instance, the Deepl translator is enough to test your landing page conversion potential. You don’t need to pay for a professional translation just to find out your prelander converts poorly. 

Need to create several landers with the same offer but keep them unique? Look for powerful rewriting tools. They will transform your copy into a completely new piece of content while maintaining the gist untouched: Quilbot, Anyword, Paraphrasingtool.ai, and others.

More and more creators will use the advantages of AI image generators. The explosive development of neural networks has enabled humans to generate realistic photo content and even create videos and games. Hopefully, this will also lead to a shift in affiliate marketing. There are still few opportunities to allow neural networks to do all your job. Still, we’ve seen successful cases when affiliates used This Person Does Not Exist to get realistic photos of humans for ad creatives.

More prospects will be revealed as giants like MidJourney, Stable Diffusion, DALL-E 2, and market challengers StarryAI and Craiyon (DALLE-E mini) carry on evolving.

8. Gamification and new behavior patterns

One of the latest affiliate marketing trends – still, we can’t call it an innovation – is implementing game mechanics into creatives and landers. It’s not about transforming your ads into games, though it also works. It’s about appealing to the user’s primary values and motivation drivers:

  • The strive for self-development
  • Collaboration or competition
  • Leadership
  • The sense of self-uniqueness or possessing something unique
  • The craving for mysteries and fairy tales, including becoming rich overnight
  • Love and acknowledgment
  • Fear of missing out and scarcity of resources
  • The zeal of a researcher

Even a hackneyed trick with an invitation message in Dating creatives is a sort of game mechanic that keeps gaining clicks and conversions.  

Having a versatile tool that can modify any of your ad creatives into a game or a teaser is precious. And our team knows that more than anyone else. We’ve been developing our Social Bar format for two years, and now it serves you over 20 templates that power augmented user experiences. 

Prelanders are the second step to greater CRs. Apart from weeding out unwanted traffic, you can speed up decision-making, prewarm users, reward them with entry bonuses, and so on. Powerful and impressive designs will score you some points, for sure.

9. Shorter payment cycles

Surprisingly, we’re still witnessing affiliate programs with 60 to 90 days payment hold. This year can become a game changer. We at Adsterra CPA have made risk-free super-fast payout our key differentiator. But soon, dozens of CPA networks will join in this trend.

So, no more waiting, fellow affiliates! Grow faster!

Affiliate marketing trends in regards of tracking

By Michał Schindler, Content Manager at Voluum

Tracking slowly becomes an art in its own rights. It has to serve even the most creative campaign funnels while being operational with various browser – OS – device – ad blocker combos visitors use. It’s juggling, dancing and hard science in one.

2023 is a year where we will observe continuation of trends that we observe before, namely:

  • More emphasis on privacy
  • More regulations
  • More unusual campaign funnels and more exemptions from general rules.

Let’s look at these trends more closely.

1. ‘Privacy’ will be 2023’s buzzword

Everyone talks about privacy but they often mean different things. For Google, privacy means replacing decade-long solutions, like 3rd party cookies or full User Agent strings with new ones that they fully control.

Luckily, Voluum is way ahead and has already been futureproofed from all Google shenanigans. It can track using 1st party cookies (that will not be blocked) and fetch user data using Google’s new mechanism – client hints.

Overall, the biggest obstacles trackers face is to keep being operational.

2. DSA is just one example

The EU has led the digital world with its innovative GDPR legislation that was followed by similar regulations in other places. In the year 2023, a new legislation will become live with similar rippling effect expected to happen soon after. The DSA legislation, which you can learn more about in our deep dive article, will affect the digital world in a lot of ways. Marketers should be aware that this will limit the number of angles that they can use when advertising. Some techniques that were previously allowed may not be allowed anymore.

On the plus side, forcing big tech’s to include competitor’s apps stores on their devices should open more advertising possibilities and make the digital world less artificially divided.

3. Adapt or die

Traditional affiliate marketing, as we have known it for over a decade, is growing in complexity. Being profitable requires much more effort: more testing, more analysis. Behavior changed: people now use multiple devices and spend most of their time in a few most popular apps. For some, TikTok or Facebook is the Internet. 

We recommend testing various offers from Adsterra with various traffic types and campaign funnel shapes. You never know what may work until you test it & analyze the results.

Affiliate marketing is still one of the leading ways of how people find products online

We hope this set of affiliate marketing trends for 2023 will inspire you to find new income sources and lead you to the best insight for scaling and supercharging your business.

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