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What happened in affiliate marketing in 2020 & What does it mean for 2021 advertising?

Discussion in 'General Affiliate Marketing Forum' started by zeropark, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. zeropark

    zeropark Traffic Manager Traffic Manager affiliate

    Hey guys,

    2020 has been a crazy year.

    Affiliate marketing, despite being one of the lucky industries that avoided experiencing the worst consequences of COVID-19, has also been touched by the changes. This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions but there’s also a lot we’ve learned from it.
    Read the article for a recap of 2020 events in the world of affiliate marketing and learn how to make money from it in 2021!

    ☑️ Clearance sales & Weight-loss niche

    The beginning of the year started as usual, with a smaller albeit still sizable surge in post-holiday sales. E-commerce was on the rise again, and while most people cashed in on the December shopping craze, some decided to wait. January sales are always overshadowed by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing day, however, it’s still a great marketing angle.

    Throughout January, shops will be getting rid of their last year’s inventories, and who doesn’t like that kind of deals? Heavily discounted items, free shipping, vouchers, bonuses, and so on – while it’s not the same as the Q4 shopping craze, it’s a good opportunity to make money.

    Do you know what else people do in January? They step on the scales after the Holiday overindulgence. The beginning of the year is also the time for actively working on one’s new year’s resolutions. The nutra vertical and weight-loss niche is usually the most potent angle, bringing all kinds of diet programs, pills, exercise routines, and healthy cookbooks to needy customers.

    Covid or not, once the holidays are done, it’s worth starting the new year with some e-commerce and nutra offers.


    ☑️ The sports betting rush & the Super Bowl finals

    In 2020, the Super Bowl went exactly like planned. Sports betting and e-sports have become the hottest topics while Americans became completely immersed in the excitement of the biggest sporting event of the year. But in the world of affiliate marketing, the spotlight fell on more than just sports verticals.

    In the big game guide to affiliate advertising released at the beginning of this year, we talked about many supporting verticals that were perfect for the occasion. Online casino and gambling, e-sports, gaming, nutra, streaming, lead generation, and hobbies were all playing second fiddle. Put a football angle on anything and it will do well during the Super Bowl season.

    Luckily for the 2021 season, the confirmation has been made and, Super Bowl is not a matter of if any more, but only of when. While the world is already excited about the announcement of the headline performer (spoiler alert – it’s The Weeknd!), the exact plan of the event is still unknown. The date is yet to be announced, with rumors about potentially postponing it to March. The stadium capacity will also be reduced to comply with covid regulation.

    One thing is certain. Affiliate advertising will not suffer due to these changes. People might stay at home but it only means that the online sports betting will get even more attention.


    ☑️ Valentine’s day surge in online dating & adult content
    Let’s not forget that February isn’t only about football. Although not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s day, everyone will get on board with the promotions. Let’s face it, celebrating love is quite universal.

    V-day is for buying presents for your significant other, for your closest friends, for family members, for pets, or even for yourself. But in the world of affiliate advertising, it’s also for finding a special kind of friend – on online dating and adult content sites. Whatever the circumstances outside, this day does not lose its importance.

    Covid or not, Valentine’s Day brings a lot of opportunities for scaling your campaigns. E-commerce will once again take the first place among the most profitable verticals. But the dating and adult niche are anticipated to be a very close second. Unfortunately, this year, romantic getaways might lose popularity so you shouldn’t put too much faith in the travel vertical just yet.


    ☑️ Cashing in on the US tax season 2021
    Tax season is the one thing that will most likely remain unchanged no matter what. Everyone living in the US will be worrying about filling out their tax returns sometime between January 27th and April 15th. That’s why marketing the 2021 US Tax Season is going to look almost exactly the same as the year before.

    Starting in January, but really coming to prominence in March, the finance vertical will be the one that’s trending. Additionally, finance-related lead generation and software downloads will spike again with the return of tax-filing products and their affiliate programs. Millions of people across the US and Canada (starting their tax season craze soon after the US) will look for help with taxes.

    The global pandemic did not affect the tax season. If you specialize or feel comfortable in finance-related verticals, this is the time for you to shine.


    ☑️ The influence of Chrome updates on affiliate marketing
    Every time Google comes up with yet another update, affiliate marketers begin to worry all over again. Is push dead? Is pop dead? Is affiliate marketing dead? The simple answer is no. As scary as the changes might seem, the affiliate marketing community is just too strong to give up that easily.

    Despite the uncertainty, things turned out to be fine. The changes observed by marketers were small and not particularly significant. Over half a year later, push traffic is just as effective and just as available as it used to be. Slightly cleaner, with a slightly more interested user base. Either way, no negative outcomes could be observed.

    There are probably more changes coming, though. Google always tries its best to protect its user base from malicious or intrusive notifications. But that also means push traffic will be cleaner and you’ll have a better chance of your ads getting noticed.


    ☑️ The first effects of coronavirus on digital advertising
    This year’s affiliate marketing concerns began with the Chrome 80 update, and then before they had a chance to de-escalate, the pandemic hit. The most frequently asked questions about affiliate marketing in times of coronavirus ranged from worries about failing businesses to worries about increasing competition among affiliates.

    Affiliate marketing did change because people went into lockdown and almost the whole travel industry was temporarily put on hold. Despite these hardships taking its toll on one niche, other niches, such as VPNs or utilities became more profitable.

    In 2021, the effects of these changes will still be visible. It’s hard to tell whether the travel industry is up for a comeback or not just yet, but what we know for sure is that the coronavirus angle is slowly losing its magic. Panic shopping is more or less over. The vaccine is coming.

    In 2021, it’s time to account for both — the lockdown advertising trends & the post-coronavirus trends.

    ⚠️ If you want to take a look at a summary of:
    • The switch to working-from-home mode;
    • The effects of push cleanup in Zeropark;
    • The changes in AM caused by the pandemic;
    • The outcome of the 2020 shopping season;

    tyoussef, Honeybadger and T J Tutor like this.
  2. Voluum
  3. Runestaff

    Runestaff Affiliate affiliate

    In the year 2021 things will be better because since most of the people are indoors and there is not that much movement then there is going to be a lot of onlien buying and that is why 2020 was a good year for affiliate marketers. You need to target particle people who are indoors and let them use your link. It is the best option at this time.
    Honeybadger and tyoussef like this.
  4. Certified
    T J Tutor

    T J Tutor GM Administrator Certified Vendor Dojo Master affiliate

    You helped many members make some sense of it all! Also some $'s & ¢'s for the members!

    As always, great advice and info from you zeropark!
    tyoussef and Honeybadger like this.
  5. Honeybadger

    Honeybadger Affiliate AffKit Ninja affiliate

    TYVM @zeropark
    Very helpful information & professional format
    Online sports betting in US is very exciting !!
    T J Tutor and tyoussef like this.
  6. Flamepick

    Flamepick Affiliate affiliate

    This year it is going to be easier to advertise since there is so much more potential than the previous years. There is still a lot of online buying going on and if you take advantage of thattathin you will be able to make a lot this year. You just need to have a good landing page and know where to find the right target audience.
    Honeybadger and tyoussef like this.
  7. Certified

    tyoussef Moderator moderator Certified Vendor Service Manager affiliate

    Thanks a lot Magda from @zeropark.
    Really useful information here.

    am sure this year will be a good year for affiliates and online marketers.
    Honeybadger, T J Tutor and zeropark like this.
  8. Sam Malhotra

    Sam Malhotra Affiliate affiliate

    Really a helpful information
    Thanks a Lot.