Affiliate Marketing resilient during crisis

While overall ad spend has dropped during to the Covid-19 crisis, affiliate marketing has been resilient, according to a study by Rakuten Advertising. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, one being a significant and rapid shift in consumer behaviour, which has made affiliate publishers identify opportunities to re-evaluate the way they meet customer’s needs. The survey revealed that 57% of affiliate publishers have continued “business as usual” throughout the pandemic and some were even seeing stronger performance during the crisis. More than quarter of affiliate publishers said they have also launched new inventory or campaigns to fight the crisis. Some are also providing new services and content to site visitors, while 24% of them have invested in different channels to meet new consumer activity. The pay-for-performance model has been an especially attractive proposition for advertisers during the crisis, since they can determine in real time what they are willing to pay for a sale and thus have total control over channel ROI. As consumers have become more cost-conscious, many companies have become promotional and now rely on large affiliates that are very adept at getting their promotional messages out. The expansive models that affiliate marketing covers (on-site promotion to email, social media, paid search, shopping feeds and more) are helping advertisers to get their offers out far and wide. With large parts of the world now coming out of lock-down, advertisers and publishers need to consider how to prepare their businesses for a post-pandemic world, especially in the face of a collapse in customer demand in certain sectors, significant regulatory modifications, supply chain interruptions, unemployment, economic recession, and increased uncertainty. Perhaps the management theorist Henry Mintzberg defined it best as the 5 Ps: plan, ploy, pattern, position, and perspective. What position can you attain during and after the pandemic? What is your plan for bouncing back?  How will your culture and identity change (perspective)?  What new projects do you need to launch, run and coordinate? How prepared are you to execute on these plans and projects? You can download a worksheet for the 5 P’s here. It can help you plot your current and future moves. Best of luck for the coming weeks and months and remember, we are here for you if you ever need guidance or help in how to set up your campaigns or change your messaging. Onwards and upwards! The Publisher Team

Interview with Lizna Grobler,

This month we meet Lizna Grobler, a 30+ Beauty, Food, Lifestyle & Travel blogger since 2014 who calls Wilderness in the Garden Route, home. Being a proud dog mama and a big animal lover, supporting and using cruelty free brands is important to her. When not blogging or playing with her dogs she loves creating blogs and websites for others and trying her hand at photography. Describe yourself in 3 words Funny, Sensitive, Intelligent What made you decide to start a blog? At the time I was writing reviews for an online beauty community and had previously tried to start a food blog, but I didn’t really know how and what and where. So I eventually started by publishing these reviews on a free blogger blog and it just grew and evolved from there. How is different from other lifestyle blogs? I try to include a bit of my sense of humour into my content, because somehow things always tend to go awry! I also think my outlook on life is different than a lot of other people I know. I also grow and “morph” my blog as time passes and my interests change so my blog grows as I do. How would you describe your content strategy? Honestly, I don’t really have one. I create content that inspires me at the time. I love what I do because… It’s a creative outlet and gives me the opportunity to say out loud what I say to myself and I enjoy sharing a bit of my life and loves with the world. What makes a good blog? Well written, ever-green content. You need to create content that will always be relevant, if you are a blogger that likes to review new items and products that come into the market I also suggest that you alternate with ever-green content. Using striking images (even if they are stock) just really pulls a blog together for me. Don’t forget to be authentic and add your own voice and personality into each piece of content you create. How has the Covid-19 crisis affected you as an online publisher, and what are you doing to adapt to the ‘new normal’? I am actually one of the people that is refusing to accept a “new” normal and I only see it as a temporary lifestyle change, by doing this I am keeping hope alive that one day (hopefully not too far into the future) we will once again be able to enjoy travel, visiting friends and go shopping without masks. With the crisis at hand I am not able to create local travel and restaurant content as I did before so I’ve been updating some of my older popular content. 3 things I’m doing to keep myself sane during lockdown I chat a lot to one of my friends, we made a deal to message each other every day during lockdown, and we’re still going strong! I’ve also been baking a lot more and obviously binge watching some older shows like 24 and Law & Order:SVU. I cannot stand… Bleggers! Those are people who start blogs purely to receive “freebies” and out right begs for them. This is not a good reason to start a blog. Getting noticed and eventually getting PR takes a lot of work, effort and patience and if it’s your only goal with your blog, please, rather don’t start one. My favourite place to eat in Wilderness is… This is actually a harder question than what it sounds, since the start of lockdown we’ve lost a lot of good eateries due to the restrictions. This is really sad for our area which thrives off of tourism, I really hope with the new level 2 restrictions the area can move forward. I would love to give a shoutout though to two restaurants that’s been fighting hard for the area during lockdown. Salina’s Beach Restaurant and The Girls. My favourite place in the Garden Route is… The entire area is gorgeous so I can’t really just choose one spot! Each nook and cranny has something making it special, which is why I’m in the process of launching a second blog dedicated to the area. We have amazing scenery, friendly people, loads of walking trials, gorgeous beaches, the list just goes on.

Surviving the Covid-19 crisis as an affiliate


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