May 21, 2020

Affiliate Marketing During COVID-19

Affiliate Marketing During COVID-19 | SalesGig


Many businesses have been forced to close their doors as a result of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus).  While some are able to operate remotely, others have been furloughed.  The marketing industry is paying a toll as well.  Marketing services are often the first thing to be cut in times of financial strife, and affiliate marketing is no different.

With many states ordering a shelter in place for its constituents, Americans aren’t leaving their homes.  Couple that with the fact that many have only just bounced back from the 2008 economic crash, and you get a large number of people who aren’t as willing to part with their disposable income.  So, where does that leave affiliate marketing?


COVID-19 Impact on the Economy

First, it’s important to point out that COVID-19 has caused many businesses to struggle while has done just the opposite for others.  There are some sectors that have seen a dramatic uptick in their sales.  For instance, the fitness industry has been selling out of equipment just as soon as it's able to restock its website.  With gyms being closed and Americans forced to stay home, fitness equipment sales have been on the rise.

Other sectors have not been so fortunate.  The travel and restaurant industries have taken a huge loss - even Disney World has closed their doors!  Flights have been in the news recently for having as few as one passenger on board.  With an uncertain timeline for when things will reopen and the possibility of a resurgence of the virus, the impact on these industries will likely remain high for quite some time.

We often see comparisons between the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic and the 2008 financial crisis, but is that really an accurate comparison?  Or is comparing the two akin to comparing apples and oranges?  The reality is that while they both have similarities such as uncertainty and collapse, they also have vast differences as well.  Some of those distances include the cause for one.  The 2008 financial crisis was brought about by unsteady housing markets and investors lending to non-credit worthy individuals.  The COVID-19 crash is caused by the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus taking the globe by storm.  Another striking difference is the process.  Commonly referred to as “an artificial coma”, to flatten the curve, many states have issued shelter in place orders.  In 2008, all the actions were directed at reviving the financial sector.


What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when an individual can earn a commission for promoting another company’s product or service.  If you’ve ever watched a popular DIY YouTube video, you’ve probably come across an affiliate partnership.  Many DIYers have affiliate partnerships with companies in which they promote the product in their video or blog. 

To go along with affiliate marketing, you have channel partnerships and resellers, which can also fall under the affiliate marketing umbrella as well.  A channel partnership is when an individual receives a commission on sales as a result of their recommendation of the product and/or service.  A member of your sales team would not be classified as a channel partner because they work for your organization.  A channel partner is someone not affiliated with your organization.  A reseller is someone who sells a product or service for profit.  Many professionals in the marketing industry are resellers of software.  For instance, SEMRush offers a reseller/affiliate marketing solution.  SEMRush is a frequently used tool by SEO professionals and can earn an affiliate marketer up to a 40 percent commission.


COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Affiliate Marketing

So, with Americans hunkering down during shelter in place orders and a fear of spending disposable income after what happened in 2008, it’s safe to say the affiliate marketing industry has taken a hit as well.  The economy has seen a drop in sales for of course, travel, but there’s also been a drop in affiliate marketing for things like gyms, some educational items and more.  Other areas of the economy, and therefore affiliate marketing, are blooming - such as medical supplies.  Items in high demand right now include medical equipment, supplements, entertainment, etc. 

This drastic and sudden shift has caused many affiliate marketers to have to be flexible in how they approach selling.  Affiliate marketers rushed to shift their focus and refine offers, but many are still facing reduced to no commission on sales, even on those high demand items.  Simply put, the demand for some companies is just too high to produce and so they’ve put their affiliate marketing on hold while muddling through these unprecedented times.

One sector of the affiliate marketing industry that is thriving according to Forbes is affiliate partnerships with online class providers.  Many have sought to fill their days with online courses, building on their knowledge and skills to return to the workforce a better version of themselves.  According to the Forbes articles, one affiliate marketer saw their affiliate earnings increase three times their average volume from online class providers.


Drastic and sudden changes can mean new opportunities for those willing to remain flexible.  Will our economy go back to how it was before?  Maybe in time.  The foreseeable future will mean patience and flexibility.  Many businesses will be rethinking their strategies and changes are coming.  There may be some bumpy roads ahead for all of us, including affiliate marketers, but we will rise to the occasion and come out of it stronger than before.  After all, we’re in it together.


SalesGig creates seamless lead generation with limitless opportunities by connecting companies with referral partners.  Sign-up today and Get Connected.

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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
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