a long-exposure shot of a sparkler writing 2021

There’s no denying that 2020 had a huge impact on global industries and affiliate marketing has been no exception to this. With Covid- 19 drastically changing consumer behaviour, affiliate marketers have had to adapt to consumers becoming more cautious and companies looking to combat the financial threat presented by this.

Affiliate marketers had to be reactive to the changes provoked by the events of last year, and this is a pattern that is set to continue into 2021. In spite of the fluctuating economic climate, the affiliate marketing industry is fortunate enough to have continued expanding.

2020 changed the way we shop i.e giving us no option but to do all our shopping online. The result? A huge increase in the eCommerce sector. Demand for Affiliate Marketing is increasing as we go through 2021 with eCommerce brands looking to secure and expand their position within the digital marketplace. When set up effectively (i.e by our experts at Fuel), an affiliate marketing program is a low-risk, cost-effective digital strategy that is suited to the volatile economic climate of 2020/2021.

In order to continue it’s run as a multi-billion pound industry, affiliate marketing will see some changes in 2021 as affiliate marketers look for innovative ways to adapt to the changing digital environment.

As we’re now well into the swing of 2021 (see ya 2020), let’s take a look at a few of the trends we’re beginning to see shape up for affiliate marketers this year.

Increased Localisation

The buzz word for affiliate marketers in 2021 is authenticity. In the current climate of uncertainty, consumers are looking to have confidence in the purchases they make. Knowing the nuances of your audience is key to gaining their trust and attention, and something which is crucial now more than ever. Tapping into an audience’s specific preferences will be particularly important for affiliate marketers this year who will be looking to build an affiliate network that supports the authenticity of the brand they represent.


In line with a focus on increased authenticity, we may see affiliate marketers place more emphasis on influencer marketing. Influencers who make authentic content and have an army of loyal followers offer a fantastic platform from which to promote your brand. Having your brand promoted by a real and trusted voice is often more appealing to consumers than intrusive advertising like PPC ads. Influencers have an existing connection with an online audience which affiliate marketers can tap into by building a strong affiliate network.

More Video Content

It’s been predicted that by the end of 2021, more than 80% of created content will materialise as video content. The figures speak for themselves and show the need for affiliate marketers to look more closely at video as a platform for driving user engagement. When created effectively, video content is an exciting and interactive medium to engage users with your brand and something which the digital marketing world is liking to be seeing a lot more of.

Voice Search

The likes of Google Home, Siri and Alexa have transformed the way we interact with the web. Rather than typing our questions into Google (other search engines are of course available) we can just speak them. Voice search is a quick way for users to get an answer, particularly for long questions which they would otherwise have to spend time typing out. Adapting to this new trend, affiliate marketers will need to optimize their affiliate marketing campaigns in order to accommodate the increasing popularity of voice search.

Automation tools

Managing a successful affiliate network can be a complex task for affiliate marketers. With new affiliate marketing trends looking to take shape this year, affiliate marketers will need all the help they can get to stay on top of an increasing, dynamic workload. Automation tools are a great way for affiliate marketers to manage, monitor and improve their campaigns at all times. Affiliate marketers cannot be in 100 places at once which is why tools such as link shorteners that automatically track affiliate sales will prove to be invaluable in 2021.

We’re likely to see plenty more affiliate marketing trends in 2021 than we’ve had time to mention here. However, hopefully this list has provided a glimpse into how this year is shaping up for affiliate marketers.

If you fancy tapping into some of these trends yourself, why not have a chat with our friendly affiliate team at Fuel? Drop us a message via our contact form or email seve@fuel-communications.co.uk.

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