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Top challenges for advertisers and publishers, this year

Published on March 13 2018

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We talked about the new trends in 2018, which are definitely very important, but we didn’t approach the main challenges yet and the biggest struggles affiliates should prepare for in the year ahead.

For example, in order to stay profitable, publishers are all the time challenged to make their advertisers happy with creative sponsored content, ads, articles, reviews or videos. They need to track consumer’s behavior and gather enough data for a targeted ad and also to provide meaningful analytics to their clients when they need to justify their advertising costs.

On the other hand, as an advertiser, you’re buying audience, but when you’re being intermediated you don’t have the depth of customer data and that can be very challenging for your marketing strategy.

However, when you combine all the changes in the audience with the ones determined by the way consumers access news and information, it becomes extremely challenging for both publishers and advertisers. This is why it is very important to make sure you all the time have relevant, fresh content, catchy headlines and enhancing visuals, infographics or reviews. You need to keep up with the algorithm changes, to be able to deliver a varied content and always relevant to the consumer.

Having these in mind, we will point out the top challenges and areas of opportunity that we managed to identify and that will gather a lot of work and attention from the Affiliate Marketing industry in 2018.

1. The importance of visitor’s experience

The loading speed of your content, the infrastructure of the website and the security issue, are great challenges for online publishers and it is very important to be able to combat these challenges, so the consumer won’t turn to a competitor. A fast and reliable connectivity, a friendly interface, a good anti-DDOS protection for security, a powerful network able to support high traffic all over the world are absolutely essential to make the user experience worth.

2. Ad tech is getting more complicated

Finding the right partners, matching the perfect offers with the most premium sites, testing the layout of an ad, optimizing your network and using technology in your advantage help you keep up with the industry trends and implement your marketing strategy easier. But technology is complex and if you want to become an industry guru, you’ll have to either take a course or have a dedicated ad operation team for this.

3. Coping with search engine ranking

Google itself is a challenge as most of the websites live or die depending on their ranking within search results. Keeping an eye on all the newest updates from Google and making sure you keep your content popular on Google all the time considering its algorithm ranking reinvents itself often are very important to your marketing strategy. From this point of view, publishers have to refine and optimize their network all the time in order to cope with the level on traffic displayed on Google.

4. Attributing organic marketing success

One of the top marketing challenge of this year is the struggle to successfully attribute organic marketing to specific actions. We also have to make sure that our team knows how to spend the company money wisely enough, when they have the possibility to gain organic reach with creative posts and innovative marketing strategies.

5. The threat of ad blockers

The new rules from Google Ad Blockers remind us of one big Shakespearean tragedy with so many players and stakeholders involved. All publishers need to agree with the new quality standards of their ads, engaged in this cat and mouse game against ad blockers. The chances they will be penalized are pretty big if they don’t find ways to diversify revenue streams or find some traffic solutions, including ad supported, payments, subscriptions that are fully complying with the new standards. Pretty challenging, we might say!

6. Disruptive technologies

Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, we have more access to our user’s data and this helps us to create relevant, targeted content, but for example You Tube forced some of the greatest advertisers to pull their ads out of the video platform when encountering some ad targeting terms that they couldn’t agree with.

7. Lifetime value cycle & attribution

In marketing, you always have to determine where earning is more meaningful and to focus on efficient strategies and technologies that can keep track with your expanses. It is true that online marketing is a long-term game, but make sure it will bring the most wanted conversions/sales.

It is also important to always measure global performance and the impact of your marketing efforts.

8. Having control over the data

One of the key challenges content experts are facing in 2018 is to learn more about the customer journey so they can engage customers across channels. Even if you have an amazing site and you can get a lot of conversions, not having data from the users means to fail in making a future connection with them. This is why it’s important to have killer engaging content and connecting technologies to bring all these data together.

9. Lack of budget

One of the top challenges most affiliates have on their list is the lack of budget. So, even if they have the right talent, the lack of money doesn’t allow their strategy to be implemented completely.

10. Transparency

The need for more transparency is beginning to gain pivotal importance.  Marketers began to be more interested about how their money are spend, so it is very important for agencies and other third parties to be more transparent.

Of Course, That’s Not All

Even if you can handle the challenges above, the picture is a bit more complicated than that. Keeping pace with customers’ journey and having access to data, tracking them across digital platforms with the right technology, improving connectivity speed and optimizing your network so it will rank good in search engines, complying with the new standards of Google’s Ad Blockers and handling your marketing strategy in a certain budget limit, providing in the same time transparency for your partners, may not be enough. There are a lot of other issues related to ad fraud, banner blindness, ad viewability or to low clickthrough rates that you have to be prepared to approach, so you’ll get back some of the ad money you are spending on your strategy. Keep an eye on BitterStrawberry’s blog, to always be updated with the most important news in affiliate marketing and if you have any other question, don’t hesitate to write at