Functioning and state of Romanian affiliate marketing
Affiliate is a well-developed online marketing segment in Romania. There are hundreds of active publishers operating in the market and the majority of major e-commerce actors have their own affiliate campaign. Affiliate marketing has dramatically grown and been professionalised in recent years.
Occupation of the market
A number of networks are operating in the market. The Slovak network Dognet or the global network CJ.com have also penetrated the market. But the leading ones are the local networks 2performant.com and Profitshare. They both provide extensive educational guides and blogposts where they share insights and latest updates from the market, dedicated to affiliates, advertisers, as well as beginners interested in a head start in affiliate marketing. 2performant.com is even hosting an online course on Udemy.com that should teach you on how to get started in earning commissions on their platform.
2performant.com has already been operating in the market for over 10 years, with more than 700 campaigns running so far and more than 4,100,000 mediated conversions. As the platform has been constantly growing, so has its functionalities. For example, in September 2019, as part of their strategy to keep up with the affiliate marketing developments, the network has introduced the so-called ‘’Affiliate Ranking’’ – a functionality which should rank affiliates best on their performance and hence enable transparency for advertisers when recruiting for publishers to promote their campaigns.
Given that Amazon does not operate in Romania, the publishers are mainly focused on local e-shops. This is a big advantage over those markets where affiliate revolves chiefly around the affiliate programme of Amazon as a market leader. On the other hand, the online retailer eMag has a leading position on the Romanian market, being among the first 5 affiliate campaigns in the online. Profitshare, the second largest network on the market, started as eMag’s affiliate program in 2009. Today, the network has over 90,000 registered affiliates, some of whom are also active on 2Performant. The company is also present in Bulgaria (www.profitshare.bg) and plans to expand to Hungary as well.
The affiliate market has strongly progressed and been professionalised in recent years. This is no longer about a few individuals who click something after their work. That Google pushes for quality has shaped also in Romania several content partners serving the majority of the market. A non-negligible percentage is hundreds of minor publishers. What is great about the market is that new publishers keep coming into being.
A group of cashback / loyalty projects and, of course, coupon aggregators also operate in the market. Of the cashbacks, I´ll mention the international project Cashbackworld, while of the coupon websites I’ll mention only the largest systems, such as Kuponiada.ro or Kuplio.ro.
Under community communications, there operates chiefly Facebook featuring the popular group Marketing Afiliat Romania with over 3000 members, as well as smaller groups such as Dognet – suport afiliați (operated by the Dognet network) or Absolvenți Cursuri Udemy Performant (operated by the 2performant.com network). All of these groups work as a platform for affiliates and networks to share any affiliate marketing relevant information, as well as to enable collaborations.
2performant.com also used to run a forum, which eventually they closed down in 2013, with the intentions to instead cover all the possible questions affiliates might have in their FAQ section. Classical affiliate fora or magazines are more or less non-existent, though there exist blogs such as Dragoș Bunea, manafu.ro, Laurențiu Mihai, which are a source of information and updates about digital marketing. But the blog sections of the affiliate networks remain the most relevant for the affiliates.
Offline the community is concentrated also on small gatherings organised by influential affiliates (such as Afiliere 3.0). Affiliate networks are also organizing these offline events with the purpose of meeting their affiliates in person or for introducing themselves to the new affiliates who might potentially sign up on the platform (e.g. HotDognet organized in Bucharest by Dognet, 2performant TALKS).
Larger and more international digital marketing and ecommerce related events that take place in Romania (e.g. GPeC SUMMIT, Digital Marketing Forum) are also an opportunity for affiliates, advertisers and affiliate platforms to come together within a broader context.
The future of affiliate marketing in Romania
Given a clearly upward trend, affiliate marketing is assumed to have an increasingly stronger status with advertisers and publishers alike. Black Friday, organized in Romania one week prior to the global event, is the year’s most active period for affiliates, advertisers and affiliate networks alike. Some affiliates event create website exclusively dedicated to promoting Black Friday, hence their PPC, Facebook and SEO efforts going into directing traffic to these websites, which in turn promote the Black Friday campaigns of various advertisers.
Advertisers in turn, are expected to release enough information and ahead of time about their Black Friday campaigns so that affiliates could promote them accordingly. After the event, the local affiliate networks usually publish an overview of their results in terms of generated conversions, clicks or most sold product categories. Even more, 2Performant has launched last year ‘’The Affiliate Marketing Grand Circuit’’ – a competition offering prizes for the affiliates with best Black Friday results, while at the same time promoting various advertisers on their platform as sponsors of the competition.