daniel-gross
A changed world
April 22, 2020
Interview with Lizna Grobler, absolutelife.co.za
August 19, 2020

There might be those who believe affiliate publishers are largely unaffected by the Carona virus pandemic. They couldn’t be more wrong. Although we operate in an online space, when the worldwide economy is in a downturn due to a global crisis, everyone gets affected. But there is proof that some verticals (like travel) are being hit harder than others (like gaming). So how can you as an affiliate, adapt and survive during this stressful time, and what are the big do’s and don’t’s you need to be aware of?

The answer may be exactly that: adapt & survive. The virus outbreak hinders many brick-and-mortar businesses, products or services often promoted with the help of the affiliate marketing industry. This in turn leads to a lower demand for online purchases, a cut in advertising budgets, lower interest from customers, and a general decrease of business opportunities for affiliates.

But it’s not all bad news. With millions of people forced into quarantine, self-isolation, and working from home they will be looking for ways to keep themselves entertained. This can in turn lead to a rise in demand for entertainment traffic in verticals like streaming, gaming, and dating i.e. new business opportunities for affiliate advertisers and publishers alike.

You may also be wondering whether it will now be more expensive to run affiliate ad campaigns now? Whenever there’s a world crisis, no industry remains stable. An unstable industry means unstable pricing. But in the case of affiliate advertising, this may, again, open up new possibilities. For instance, Google Ads pricing has dropped by roughly 25% in the last week due to the pressure on so many industries, especially travel. Overall there are much fewer offers out now in ‘old’ verticals, while we will see more offers emerge for new, trending verticals. The payout for new or existing offers are expected to be lower than usual, but at least it’ll have a chance to convert.

At least for a while traffic may become cheaper. But it’s still early days so we’ll need to see.

Now, however, is definitely the time to explore new ‘work from home’ verticals. These include Surveys & Sweeps, Lead Generation, Education/Personal development, Hobbies & Interests, Nutra & Healthcare. Mobile devices verticals include: App Smartlink, Utility & VPN, Antivirus, Games. Adult content verticals include: Smartlinks, Cams/Tube sites, Games

Push traffic (as users engage with news an are staying alert), pop and domain-redirect traffic (entertainment traffic), and native in-app advertising should also do the trick with people turning to their phones for all kinds of e-commerce related purchases.

It is also important for advertisers and publishers alike to update themselves with the latest campaign guidelines for affiliate advertising in times of coronavirus. For example NO Coronavirus related angles are allowed in advertising, which includes the use of terminology like Covid-19, Corona or Covid. This applies across the board to landing pages, icons, images ad descriptions etc. Fake news and deceptive content is also a BIG NO and could have legal implications. This also applies to fake endorsements of products.

However advertisers and publishers ARE allowed to promote medical products during the Corona pandemic, as long as the ad is not irresponsible or exploit people’s fears regarding the outbreak. Campaigns without the Coronavirus related angle, but promoting self-protection products are also allowed (like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer), as long as there’s no mention of the pandemic.

There is no doubt that these are strange and challenging times, but our industry is an amazingly resilient and adaptable one. Let’s use this opportunity to take on a new challenge, and who knows, you may come out the other side even stronger.

Onwards and upwards!

The Publisher Team