Affiliate Industry Preview: Affiliate Summit’s Shawn Collins
As part of the ReveNews 2012 Affiliate Industry Preview Series, I interviewed affiliate marketing industry leaders to get a sense of their plans and goals for 2012. Todayâ€™s interview is with Shawn Collins, Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit.
Angel: How do you feel about the health of the Affiliate Industry overall?
Shawn: As far as I can tell, the industry is very healthy these days. The primary indicator for me is Affiliate Summit, and our attendance has grownÂ consistentlyÂ year to year since we started in 2003. Recessions, state legislation, and other hurdles have not stopped or even slowed the growth.
Angel: Beyond posting coupons, how would you like to see affiliates use social media?
Shawn: I think we’re still just figuring it out. I am using social media as a means to effectively broadcast my content, and I see more and more affiliates using social platforms like Shareist and Pinterest to build their affiliate activities.
Angel: What excites you most about mobile?
Shawn: Just the sheer opportunity with mobile has me licking my lips. As smartphones and tablets mature, mobile is sure to be a brave new world for affiliate marketers.
Angel: What type of affiliate (coupon, loyalty, etc) would you like to see more of?
Shawn: I am biased, because I’ve been an original content affiliate since 1997, but I would really like to see more affiliates produce their own content. And not that garbage with spinning softwareâ€”real, original, quality content!
Angel: A lot of scrutiny has been placed on the SOPA legislation. How will it impact things if legislation like it passed?
Shawn: I suppose the most direct impact could be that affiliates will be hampered when trying to get their information distributed.
Angel: How did Illinois passing the so-called Amazon tax impact the industry? Have we seen the worst of it?
Shawn: I think the starkest example was Tim Storm moving the operations of FatWallet. So many other affiliates are one-person shows, and they don’t have the ability to move, so they were effectively forced out of the business by a bunch of ignorant politicians. It is my hope that we see federal legislation in the near term to make state laws superfluous. But that’s hard for me to even say, because I’d always like to see less government, and if CAN-SPAM is any indication, the good guys suffer and the bad guys go offshore when the government gets involved.
Angel: Are you surprised by the growth of the regional Affiliate Summit meet-ups? What are your plans for them?
Shawn: Not at all. There is such a hunger for information on the local level by so many folks who don’t have the time or money to make a trip to a conference. It’s been fun to see the meetups help some people break into the industry and others mature their affiliate marketing efforts. I’d love to see the meetups expand to more cities and countries, and maybe even have a series of mega-meetups in various cities where we do a day of workshops.
Angel: What are Affiliate Summit’s goals in 2012?
Shawn: We’d like to grow in all areas, not just the physical conferences. We want to expand our reach with our webinar series, meetups, FeedFront magazine, and the audience that watches our free videos of sessions from past Affiliate Summits.
I’d like to thank Shawn Collins for taking the time to participate in our interview series. Tune in tomorrow when I talk toÂ Anthony Clements and Kevin Edwards of buy.at.