As the ongoing situation with COVID19 coronavirus continues to challenge the way people live their lives and conduct business, it’s a priority for us at Rakuten Advertising to provide our advertisers, publishers and partners with ongoing support and guidance as we all adapt to the new norm.

We’re examining our network and industry data to keep you updated with changing consumer behaviours and attitudes that impact ecommerce. Based on these shifts in behaviour, we’ve compiled a list of strategic best-practices to keep front of mind when adjusting campaign strategies in the ever-changing ecommerce landscape.

As a performance-based network, we’re in a unique position to provide our partners with tools that can be leveraged to protect margins, publisher relationships and provide enhanced consumer experiences with a focus on helping all people through this challenging period. 

Communication is key:
At its very core, affiliate marketing is about partnerships. As we adapt to this new norm, it’s more important than ever to ensure communication with your affiliate partners remains a priority.

Regular communication with publishers is vital to ensure that they are both informed on any relevant updates to your business or affiliate activity and that they can pass on the correct offer, promotional and product messaging to their audiences.

It is also vital that any on-site updates are clearly communicated to your audience. Ensure your consumers are informed on potential disruptions by highlighting on your website and updating your publishers on any shipping, delivery or inventory delays or shortages.

Use your publishers to connect with people
During these uncertain times, brands should first and foremost, be thinking about how they can help people through this period. Publishers continue to engage with audiences and can provide collaboration opportunities based on the audience data they have at their disposable.

Affiliate publishers are a way for brands to connect with people and provide them with the things they need, whether that be groceries and household goods, at home office furniture or games and activities to keep kids entertained.

By collaborating with publishers and providing an exchange of ideas to create new opportunities brands can ensure they are engaging with their consumers and delivering experiences that are relevant, timely and ultimately help people adapt to changing circumstances.

Diversify your publisher mix
Data from the Rakuten Advertising affiliate network shows that site traffic to content publishers has increased 20% over the past week. The conclusion can be drawn that people are reading more content as they seek out additional information or a distraction from current events.

Optimisation strategies such as rewarding content publishers on a first-click basis could open new partnership opportunities and allow brands to increase their reach via content affiliates.

And as consumers face economic uncertainty, they will be looking for ways to make their dollar go further. Cashback, loyalty and rewards publishers provide a unique experience for shoppers looking to remain savvy during uncertain times. Brands who usually don’t work with these publisher models should look to diversify their program and leverage publishers who can provide additional incentives to consumers.

Focus on lower-funnel strategies:
Many brands may be considering whether now is the right time to focus on programmatic display strategies. And the answer, in short, is yes. While it may not be the right time to spend big on branding or prospecting campaigns, it is an optimal time to focus on lower-funnel strategies that drive engagement and conversions.

By focusing on strategies such as retargeting, brands are engaging with consumers who have visited their site and expressed an interest in their products and services. Layering in the first-party data they have in their arsenal; brands can deliver very targeted and personalised ads to consumers who are already engaged with them.

Rakuten Advertising will continue to keep you updated with strategies and insights from our network. For more strategic insight, specific to your company, please reach out to your Rakuten Advertising representative. 

Stay Safe. Stay Well.