The Rise of Photos in Affiliate Marketing

These days, it’s pretty much common knowledge that pictures and images can be more effective than text when it comes to marketing, as they are generally more efficient in getting messages across due to the fact that they don’t require as much time nor effort to process, compared to chunks of paragraphs. However, when it comes to affiliate marketing, the field is generally still reliant on text content. If for no other reason than the multitude of marketers and middlemen who have built a working ecosystem from text content, links, and the products that they are selling. It may all soon change, as now we are starting to see photos take an even more active role in affiliate marketing.

As a prime example, NY-based startup Consignd has built a system around the premise of getting photos to become the driving force in affiliate marketing. The way it works is that it lets its users create custom storefronts from which they can show off their products. Due to the use of images, it is very easy to streamline the whole operation by promoting the photo itself, either by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter or pinning the photos itself on Pinterest (which in itself is rising in popularity and proving to be an effective e-commerce tool.)

One benefit from Consignd is that they have drop-shipping contracts with companies and their brands, which means the retailer is effectively eliminated from the equation. Each order will come directly from the manufacturer. Consignd’s business model makes them easy to integrate with existing selling channels. In fact, there are already talks of courting people who sell products on Etsy.

What Makes Photos Effective for Affiliate Marketing

The rise of photos in affiliate marketing is a result of changes in online consumer behavior and advancements in technology that it made it possible. It used to be that text content is the preferred medium, because not many people had access to broadband, and images can be a bit slow to load. Add the fact that photosharing services like Flickr, Photobucket, Tumblr, and Pinterest weren’t available. It all boils down to the fact that the Internet back then weren’t conducive to polished, high quality photos. So text content won by default.

But nowadays, the infrastructure for uploading and sharing high quality photos are available, and people are much more receptive to images than text, both because they simply look more appealing and because they don’t require as much time and effort to process (think of it this way, an entire article describing a car’s exterior can be replaced by a single photo.) Photos are simply that much easier to go viral – they are more likely to be looked at and shared than you would expect even the best-written article to be read and forwarded.

Photos in Affiliate Marketing and the Future

As evidenced by Consignd’s rising popularity, we can only expect the future to look bright for affiliate marketers willing to look into photos and images. With Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram all showing massive potential when it comes to driving traffic, coupled with places like Amazon and the aforementioned Consignd encouraging affiliate marketers to take advantage of visuals, the top spots in the industry will definitely be fought not with words, but with photos.


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