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Sep 14, 2020

During COVID, Affiliate Marketing Is Emerging As a Cost-effective Channel For Brands

Entrepreneur India

With the outbreak of the pandemic, going for performance-oriented channels has become a prerequisite for stability. Several advertisers are struggling with low marketing budgets and a pressure to drive return on investment (RoI) through limited spends, especially owing to current times.

The most common dilemma for companies is to decide where to focus their marketing budgets on, after investing in one’s own in-house paid channels. ‘Affiliate channels’ often provide desirable solutions, as the performance of such activities can be assessed and paid for. When the budgets are lower, investing on a marketing channel where one gets to pay per lead or pay per transaction, could be the safest bet during the current crisis compared with other marketing channels.

With the ongoing challenges of customer acquisition and the pressure to get RoIs, the advertisers have tried to come up with the online business approaches in order to depend less on offline means. 

Despite the evolution of marketing practices and strategies, amid the big quantum of content available online today, brands are finding it difficult to reach out to their target audiences in an effective manner. Taking the current health crisis into consideration, customers are more concerned about health and safety, thereby influencing their choices with respect to financial services such as in the insurance segment, over the others.

This holds especially true for brands operating in niche segments, such as the banking and financial services sector which offer specialized products and services. Their marketing content, essentially, is about communicating ‘what’ the brand is offering, ‘why’ the customer must opt for it and ‘how’ can the customer acquire the same. It’s not easy to convince people to trust someone to deal with their money and life’s savings.

Why companies in the BFSI sector must opt for affiliate marketing

FinTech has transformed the BFSI sector drastically. From payments, loan applications to insurance, almost every service in the banking sector is going digital at a rapid pace. Apps, banking services and products are also updated regularly to enhance user experience, and make financial services easier and more convenient for consumers. The digital shift reflects prominently in the adoption of digital payments as well.

However, due to COVID-19, investor sentiments are at an all-time low and this is likely to cause severe disruptions in the banking industry all over the world. Banks will now have to regroup their departments and teams to chalk out counter-strategies to maintain good assets and earnings.  

Affiliate with whom and where?

For affiliate marketing programmes, BFSI brands require those publishers who have the required ingenuity for curating relevant information in the right category of the sector. With everything going online from doorstep delivery of daily groceries through just a click, to getting the health checkup or tests done at home, users are now more aware about such needs. The probability that they will go searching online for services and also transact online is very high. It would be an opportune decision to reach out to the target audience in such a manner, as it is likely to generate faster results and direct interaction with a user looking for a service.

  • Blogs: Online blogs are one of the most trusted platforms for the BFSI sector. 

  • Business news websites offering guidance on personal finance: These websites are regularly accessed by keen observers on finance and banking, who are one of the primary target audiences for brands in the BFSI sector.

  • Comparison sites: Comparison sites invite immense traffic of consumers who are interested in getting the right deals in financial services which are most suitable for them from the budget and consumption point of view. 

  • Contextual advertising: These platforms provide relevant content, targeting a particular set of audience for whom unnecessary features are eliminated based on their past browsing behavior, making it one of the most effective platforms for brands in the BFSI sector. 

  • E-mail inventories: Brands can supply relevant information to potential and current consumers via newsletters in their email inboxes. BFSI companies can tie up with content affiliate sites that send out value-based articles and ideas with other exciting information about the brands, promoting more subscriptions and sales.

A win-win for both: the brands and the affiliates

By making the most of the growing digital presence of consumers, affiliate partnerships can prove to be one of the most cost-effective ways for banks and financial institutions to convert consumers online. The fast and approved online transactions help the BFSI brands acquire more control over their businesses than the other conventional marketing practices. 

Players in the BFSI sectors can get a fair chance to incorporate multiple marketing tactics and test innovative strategies in an affiliate marketing programme without the slightest worry, since rewards are paid only on a performance basis which is well accounted for.

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aEntrepreneur India is a monthly business magazine targeted at Indian business owners and entrepreneurial enthusiasts.

Advice, insight, profiles and guides for established and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide. Home of Entrepreneur magazine.

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