This site is using cookies to optimize functionality and give you the best possible experience. Cookies Settings I Accept

Affiliate Marketing Leaders Discuss Covid-19

by    |    Apr 6, 2020    |       10 min read

When it comes to dealing with new situations, we believe that it’s important to learn and ask questions. Through these questions, you can come up with a plan that would help you go through unusual times as best as possible. To help you learn and get inspired, we gathered five of the top affiliate marketing leaders to share their thoughts with us.

But first,

To follow the leaders and join their communities – see links at the bottom of the article

So what do they think of the situation? What would happen after the epidemic ends and what are their best tips to win with your campaigns right now? let’s find out:

1. In your opinion, how has the coronavirus affected affiliate marketing so far?

Ian Fernando: 

I think it has affected the industry in a way where creativity is now blossoming. Yes, there are certain verticals that have been dipping, I know as certain campaigns have dipped on my end, BUT it also gave me the new thought of what to other niches to push and try to profit from.

Kj Rocker:

CoronaVirus has affected every aspect of our lives. Just like other industries, it has affected Affiliate Marketing too, actually, it affects us more as our KPIs depend on consumer behavior, etc. So when people in most countries are in lockdown, worried about their future, trying to save up money as they are unsure about their financial future as a result affiliate campaigns are suffering too…

Luke Kling:

I am not sure if what we are experiencing right now is directly from the coronavirus or the shock of it. We are seeing less affiliates active right now and I think that is because everyone is scrambling to figure out what they need to do to be prepared for the chaos coronavirus is going to cause over the next few months. I know for me personally, that’s the situation I am in.

Overall though, I think the affiliate industry will actually see a growth once things have settled down a bit. The industry seems to do well during a recession. Assuming everyone is still able to continue to manage their campaigns from home and spend money on affiliate marketing, I believe we’re going to eventually see an upward trend.

Manu Cinca:

It affected it in 2 ways. First, like many other industries, people have to start adjusting to working from home. Luckily, many in our industry are used to remote work, so most contacts I have in the industry seem to have been fast to adjust… or didn’t have to adjust anything.

The other way is the type of offers that work… users have changed priorities and there are also regular challenges with e-commerce offers when it comes to the supply chain. Most countries are dedicating resources to essentials. Just look at what Amazon did… Overall, definitely a negative effect where there are 1-2 months of readjusting and pivoting.

Servando Silva:

Affiliate Marketing has been affected in some verticals as people drive their attention to news about the virus and a possible economic recession. Affiliates promoting anything from products (especially if you need to pay for something) and services are seeing lower conversion rates due to people panicking around the world. eCommerce, for example, has had many verticals that were affected but at the same time some verticals that are growing. As time passes, we’ll notice a switch between different phases.

At this memento, people are locked down at homes (or at least they’re supposed to) and because of that, they are consuming more news, entertainment services, streaming, etc. This generates more volume of traffic in many verticals and paired with many advertisers reducing or stopping their budgets it also means CPMs are a bit lower than before, but also attention span might be lower and conversion rates can suffer.

2. How has your campaign strategy changed during these times of crisis? 

Ian Fernando:

Currently, I have adjusted my campaigns to feel more generic than forceful I guess. Trying to make sure the end-user at home is fine with the ads being received and the landers they are reading. I also have not used the current hysteria angles to create more fear-mongering, but to be more informative than anything. 

Kj Rocker:

Instead of selling people things they don’t need, I have tried focusing on promoting what people need. For example, I am promoting services like ”transferwise” which helps people send money instantly, make money niche and then what people will need in the near future. Let’s admit at this time things are not great as they used to be so, I am focusing on opportunities and niches which will boost soon. For example in future people will need loans, as interest rates drop people will apply for a remortgage, there is also demand for verticals like life insurance etc … so I am trying to focus more on what people need instead of promoting the things which they don’t need.

In the past, for example, we were doing well by promoting designer brands and travel campaigns like Emirates Airways and Etihad Airways, etc, but right now people are not interested in shopping nor travel so I tried to change my strategy and focus on what people need, like entertainment, make-money, and other things they need.

Luke Kling:

I have continued running my campaigns, but I am in a unique situation. I work from home, my family is at home with me, and we haven’t been hugely impacted yet (although we were all sick already with some symptoms similar to coronavirus, we were never tested and that is behind us). I am seeing now that competition seems to have decreased a bit on a few of my campaigns. I am going to try to scale while I have the opportunity to as I believe the competition will be back very soon.

Manu Cinca:

Focusing more on the lower hanging fruits and less risky tests. So do more of what has the highest ROI, don’t go for any big-budget tests until things stabilize a bit. Depending on your cash reserves, you should even consider pausing slightly profitable campaigns because in case something happens and you don’t get paid, you risked all that budget for a very low reward/ROI.

Servando Silva:

We’re running verticals that are evergreen, some we haven’t seen much of a difference in our campaigns except for a few ones were the CR dropped abit, but we haven’t been able to identify any substantial movements yet. In some verticals like finance and entertainment we even notice more traffic available. I have heard people are trying to avoid purchasing stuff they really don’t need, so for anybody doing eComm this might be a bad time. Also lead gen in general could result in lower quality leads and conversions due to the situation we’re in.

3. How do you see the day after COVID-19? What do you think will change in the affiliate marketing world?

Ian Fernando:

I think it will get back to normal, I also think CPC will increase dramatically as well as everyone will be fighting for ad inventory that they have lost. In the industry itself, I am hoping that affiliates come out with a more creative mindset. I know some affiliates hate expanding out of their vertical but I hope it gave them the chance to adjust and learn. I am hoping new ideas and tools also come out of this, all this time thinking at home, some new ideas should have been created. Lol

Kj Rocker:

Everything has changed, all marketing events we all look forward to having been cancelled, there is panic everywhere so like everybody else affiliates are affected too. However, I must say our community is very tight and always are there to provide help and support that is the best thing about our industry.

About changes, I think the future is bright. Post Covid19 the world would be new, I think for affiliate marketing and overall internet businesses I can see a bright future as more and more people are adopting the internet which means we will have more offers to promote.

Luke Kling:

I think the recession this is going to cause is going to have a positive impact on the affiliate marketing industry as a whole. We’re going to see certain verticals make a comeback. For example, I believe traditional online dating (mainstream niche dating) is going to grow tremendously as people are less likely to just hook up with someone on Tinder.

Manu Cinca:

Well, things switched off more suddenly than they will switch back on. It’s impossible to say what will change exactly. Obviously, some evergreen verticals that are hit hard now, like travel & accommodation, will come back strong. I think there will be more and more companies that work remotely rather than having an office. And, unfortunately, there will also be many companies that don’t come out of this pandemic, because the financial impact will be too big.

Servando Silva:

That’s hard to say for sure. But once this problem ends we might have a new boom with new traffic sources growing fast, more affordable tools for affiliates like spy tools or trackers and maybe things like automation (where people and employees aren’t needed) will grow even further.

4. What is your best tip for running campaigns right now? any verticals that are really shining at the moment?

Ian Fernando:

Find out what the end-user needs. Everyone right now needs entertainment, education, self-improvement, etc. What affiliates need to do is look at these verticals at a vertical vision rather than horizontal. For example, when I say self-improvement, it won’t be health, or mental or yoga, but maybe fixing their credit finally. I think games will also be huge as well too as I am in the process of testing some right now myself.

Kj Rocker:

You should focus on what people need right now. For example, I am promoting remittance service transferwise which helps people to send money abroad, Similarly, you can promote entertainment offers, games, Make Money From Home, finance, etc.

Luke Kling:

I think online dating is going to grow and I also think make money online offers should see a nice bump. My best tip right now has not changed from prior to the outbreak. TEST, TEST, and TEST SOME MORE. It’s the least helpful, but the most helpful tip any affiliate can follow. The only way we’re going to know what is going to work is to run our own tests 🙂 Oh, and share your results on our affiliate forum so you can help others! 😀

Manu Cinca:

Well, I don’t have first-hand experience with any of these verticals since I am solely promoting our daily newsletter, Stacked Marketer, but our readers shared some interesting info:

Digital products instead of physical ones is the biggest tip (with exceptions). As I said, all deliveries are focused on essential products so delivering some gadget won’t be a high priority. Some brands can probably still deliver but it’s so chaotic in Europe and North America at least… if you can surely deliver, then some physical products are fine but otherwise, go digital.

What seems to be less affected, or even positively affected, are digital products that deal with working from home, keeping fit and healthy at home, boosting the immune system. Also worth not forgetting apps that deal with recreational time when having limited time outside like gaming and gambling/casino. Those were mentioned by our readers to see an uptick too.

Servando Silva:

Focus on things that make sense. People have time but less money and they are bored at home or working from home. Entertainment, gambling, finance, dating and other niches quickly come to my mind as good choices to run at the moment.

Summary

Although we can’t really tell what the future holds, we can still keep learning and growing in order to keep our lives and careers as stable as possible. Let’s focus on verticals that are working right now, like streaming, sweepstakes,  gambling, and more. Meanwhile, try to come up with a plan for when the situation starts to calm down – read, ask, and most importantly – Keep testing all the time. New situations can indeed be confusing, but they also enable us to find new opportunities – and some really profitable ones!

Many thanks to Ian, Kj, Luke, Manu and Servando for participating in this interview. Follow them and join their amazing communities:

Ian Fernando: Join Ian’s new community chat ADvengersOnline

Kj Rocker: Follow Kj on his blog

Luke Kling: Join Luke’s affiliate marketing forum – Afflift

Manu Cinca: Sign up to Manu’s daily newsletter

Servando Silva: Follow Servando on his blog