March 30, 2020

5 Ways Affiliate Marketing Can Help Support Brands in the COVID-19 Crisis

At this point, it’s become remarkably clear that we have transcended into what is an of course essential but undeniably challenging “new normal”. And what we’ve seen is inspiring, as Advertise Purple (along with many other companies) is doing all they can to help out.

And while it’s clear we couldn’t really have predicted current circumstances, there are adaptive measures companies can take to ride this wave. And I’d argue judging by what we’re seeing right now in the space, the affiliate channel can help in ways other traditional marketing methods cannot.

According to Advertise Purple Director of Sales Kelson Boyer, “Yes, these are uncertain and unpredictable times but, clients are utilizing the affiliate channel now more than ever – not just to maintain or keep ‘afloat’, but to scale and grow. These brands realize that this will not last forever and the light at the end of the tunnel can be brighter and closer than it seems – i.e. utilization and optimization of their affiliate channel”.

Today, I’d like to share a few more reasons and an example of why now is a good time to develop an affiliate program.

Let’s begin.

1. The transparency in the space is unparalleled


We understand brands’ pockets are tight right now. From a payment standpoint, you aren’t going to find many better alternatives to the affiliate channel.

You won’t take huge hits by investing in an affiliate program. In most cases, with affiliate marketing, you’re working in a cost-per-action capacity, meaning that your investment is performance based.

We’re aware that companies can’t afford even more uncertainty right now than already exists in the market. Without a sizable upfront initial investment, performance marketing incentivizes companies like Ad Purp to help you sell more of your product or service because that’s how we end up getting paid. 

We’ll do our part to assist you without roping you into a deal on a retainer that feels more like a gamble than a data-driven optimized marketing approach.

Also, there are plenty of statistics available, from the publisher side to user activity that we also will gladly share with you so you know how your money is working. There is no need to roll the dice in the affiliate channel. 

We can predict, and in many cases correctly allocate the right spend that will bring in the optimal revenue to investment ratio.

With all of this information at your disposal, like the rest of our clients, you will very likely continue wanting to work with us even after this volatile and uncertain quarantine period ends.

2. Affiliate opens up your brand’s conversation with concerned customers


Of course it’s important to be aware of your communication style, but the good thing about working with publishers from an advertiser standpoint is that you can reach those who are at home right now in a conversational and casual way.

Not to mention, you can find them where they are. Not where you hope they’ll be.

Search engine traffic has reached all-time highs since the start of the outbreak. People are looking for answers, not just about Coronavirus but about their needs and trying to find products or services that might be able to help them in this difficult time.

Again, you should be more sensitive than usual when approving the messaging your brand will use. There’s nothing worse than a tone-deaf advertisement. People are genuinely worried about the future, so lend support through the channel rather than missing the mark by just focusing on trying to sell and convert.

Creativity is needed now more than ever. Which leads me to the promotional aspect of the channel that could drive sales as well.

3. Affiliate easily lets brands engage customers with promotions and offers


Now is a better time than perhaps ever in the history of e-commerce to attract the attention of a huge portion of the country (and world) with deals that they can only get online.

With stay-at-home orders and most brick and mortar stores closed or in the process of closing, people are stuck on their computers and smartphones looking at content all day. Make that content attractive, and your brand might reach people who weren’t even aware of your product offering.

Offer free trials or specific-to-quarantine deals that will surely cause excitement for the people you’d like to target and engage. Again, data is easy to track in the affiliate channel, so through split-tests and other methods, you should be able to see what works and what doesn’t across a short period of time.

Loyalty offers and free or discounted shipping incentives also work very well right now. Overall, it’s not very difficult to adjust and tinker with promotions and offers in the digital realm, which makes promo codes, discounts, and the like easy to deploy quickly.

4. Rates are easily adjustable between advertisers and publishers


Yet another benefit of the affiliate channel is that there is an actively fluctuating market for rates to be paid out to publishers that work with brands. At this time, it might make sense for those rates to be a bit lower.

However, if things change soon, the market will adapt and we might see publishers earning the same amount they were making before.

Luckily all of what is used to determine this pay-out structure is based on online data. Therefore, nobody loses because each side is held accountable and rewarded for their part in the entirety of the system. 

Publishers, networks, advertisers, and most importantly the customer all win because of the way the affiliate program is designed.

5. An example for those unfamiliar with the space


Looking for a gift basket to send to your cousin, who lives alone? Maybe you’re worried that she is running low on snacks. Perhaps you want to cheer her up by letting her know you’re thinking about her.

There might be a more editorialized way to put this together, but in essence, a “top 10 care packages to brighten someone’s day” article could be the perfect fit for brands that put together exactly what you’re looking for.

I’d argue people might not know how to find something like that off-hand. Therefore, it’s likely they’d search online and perhaps come across this article. Maybe number four is X-product from Y-brand. Boom, they click the affiliate link and make a purchase. 

The cousin is thrilled, the sender feels good, the brand wins, the publisher wins, and the agency that coordinates all of this (Ad Purp!) facilitates the successful affiliate marketing sale that leaves everyone feeling a little bit better.

So yes, times are tough. But without being overly dramatic, I’d venture to say the affiliate channel was designed for this. If you have any more questions, reach out to our team at [email protected]. Thank you!

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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