optimising online revenue

Affiliate marketing - how to cope with recession

January 2008


affiliate marketing during recesssionTimes just aren't easy and look like they could well get worse. This spells trouble for everyone, but affiliate marketers are likely to particularly feel the pinch as consumers rein in their online spending.

The combination of a struggling economy with changing clickthrough behavior - today's surfers are now much less likely to click ads than they were just a few years ago - is going to mark a profound fall in online income levels.

In other words, affiliate marketers will need to adapt fast if they're going to survive, and this means turning to strategies that reflect market conditions far removed from the golden days of online spending.


Smarget your ads

Smargeting is about picking ad formats that appeal as much as possible to your audience. As all offline advertisers know, the look of a marketing message is just as important as the bare-bones offer itself. By adopting so-called psycho-blending techniques, the emphasis is on the kind of advertising vehicle your users will respond to best.


Keywords for a new economy

Value, savings, reduced prices and discounts will start to gain even more importance among cash-strapped consumers. If you run CPC campaigns, you'll soon notice the wording of your ads change to reflect this - advertisers are as keen to shift their product as you are to have their ads clicked.

However, if your advertising is contextual you'll probably need to additionally optimize your content. Start to employ the kind of keywords that will bring such incentivized advertising to the fore.


Value-added products

In times of economic hardship, demand for most non-essential items falls rapidly, and even the purchase of staples will be dictated by cost considerations.

However, products perceived to ease financial burden will clearly gain in appeal, so consider your current referrals carefully - do they offer the kind of value many will be looking for?

Sectors that will almost certainly gain in importance include home entertainment (DVD rental, games and online entertainment options), auction, barter and exchange opportunities, job offers, emergency finance, no-frills goods.



Up to now, CPM (or cost per 1000 views) advertising has performed less well for many publishers than CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPA (cost Per Action) alternatives. This may start to change, and if you run a high-traffic site, it's worth at least looking into CPM options.

Pay Per Install is also likely to gain in popularity due to the entertaining nature of its content and no-cost download.


Step up your marketing

Everyone will be scrabbling for fewer click-economy dollars, so successful marketing is likely to prove tougher than ever. But all affiliates should look into adding extra elements to their marketing mix or even changing the focus of existing campaigns.

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