For a few years now, we’ve known that a shakeup in the way marketers use third-party cookies was on its way. But what are these changes and how will they affect affiliates? Read on to find out.
Cookies and what kind we are talking about
Let’s quickly revert to what a cookie is, and the different types of cookies available to marketers. The term ‘cookie’ comes from the idea that as you browse you are leaving crumbs behind and there are three types:
First-party cookies: These are the types that you as an affiliate might create and store. This covers the data you collect on your visitors mainly for the improvement of the user experience.
For example, if you have an account section on your website, a first-party cookie could be used so that you improve the experience for your user by auto-filling their username and password. Another classic example would be if you collect data on your web visitors using Google Analytics.
Second-party cookies: This covers data collected from someone else’s first-party data. Have you ever booked a flight and then noticed you get hotel recommendations? Yep, that is likely to be from a second-party cookie.
Third-party cookies: This is the type that is hitting the headlines and they are mostly used to track users between websites so that companies can display more relevant ads between websites. Essentially, people’s information is sold so that other companies can target individuals with relevant advertising.
It is these third-party cookies that will be wiped out.
How Affiliates Can Continue Growing in an Era Without Third-Party Cookies
Fear not, it doesn’t mean the end of tracking. It is only the third-party cookies that are being phased out and many affiliates may not even be using this type of cookie in the first place.
A good affiliate, if they are not already, should be focused on first-party data strategies. If you are collecting data on your customers, you will need to manage this directly, using first-party cookies.
Even without third-party cookies, you can continue to grow your affiliate business in several ways.
Below, we’ve outlined a couple of potential avenues.
Provide Added Value:
This comes down to a little give and take. Users will be more inclined to let you collect their data if there is a good reason for you to.
Ensure your messaging is clear and explain what data you are collecting and why you are collecting it. Being fully transparent and offering value in exchange for data is a good way to get your users to agree to you collecting their information.
For example, offer personalisation and localisation, and make it clear that you are collecting data to ensure their user experience is better.
Focus on Your Content:
Regardless of how long it takes Google to remove third-party cookies, one thing that won’t change is the need for valuable content. Above all else, you must ensure that what you publish on your website is worth reading and searching for in the first place.
Focus on creating valuable content that meets user needs. Think about the top questions that need answering, and how you can cater to these. That way, you’ll continue attracting audiences even without third-party cookies.