TikTok stops multi-level marketing: How will affiliates drive traffic in 2021?

Multi-Level Marketing

Social channels have been one of the main sources of traffic for many affiliates around the world for quite some time now. It doesn’t matter if you are an iGaming affiliate or someone affiliated with a beauty company – social media marketing works, and it can be extremely affordable in comparison to the other options out there. However, a recent decision by growing social media channel TikTok to stop multi-level marketing content has raised some eyebrows in the world of affiliate marketing. Could this be a pre-cursor to stamping out affiliate content as a whole in 2021? We look at how affiliates can drive traffic if this becomes a reality.

TikTok changes the rules

TikTok has really grown as a channel over the past two years with the demographic shifting throughout lockdown. More people are using TikTok than ever before and so marketers have started taking note and using this channel to target their audience.

Recently, TikTok announced that it would update its community guidelines. Within this, they decided that they would become the first social media platform that would prohibit multi-level marketing. This includes the likes of well-known brands such as Scentsy, Arbonne and Avon but could indicate further action for other kinds of affiliates.

While multi-level marketing companies don’t often get a good reputation by onlookers, this is the livelihood of many. Additionally, TikTok could be leading the way for other social media channels to start looking into the way that affiliates operate and drive traffic.

The ban on multi-level marketing is likely just the beginning for this brand and we expect some additional rules to be put in place regarding social media marketing for affiliates over the coming years. Should this come into place, we must be ready to drive traffic in other ways to continue promoting our brands.

Influencer marketing could be effective

Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram have made it very clear over recent years that they won’t tolerate influencers refusing to declare when they have been paid for a post. They are often seen as affiliates, especially if they receive an additional income for any purchases made by their audience through an affiliate link.

However, with tight regulations already in place regarding influencer marketing, we expect this option to remain in place for a while. If social channels were to ban direct affiliate marketing, affiliates could still potentially drive traffic using third-party influencers.

Driving organic traffic

When social media is a viable option for driving traffic, some affiliates find themselves ignoring traditional methods such as SEO. Of course, SEO and PPC marketing remain extremely effective in 2020 and will likely be in 2021.

If you aren’t constantly working on your website SEO, you won’t be driving traffic organically in the way that you hoped. With the potential of an affiliate marketing ban already in place, we must be looking at lead-generation in other ways.

Content is still king – so do some keyword research, invest in some backlinks and boost your SEO to drive traffic in 2020.

Consider podcast advertising

Affiliates and multi-level marketing companies already struggle to use the ad tools available on social media channels like Facebook. Some have even had their pages removed as a result of using the phrase ‘affiliate’ in their ads. So, are there other options for driving traffic that don’t involve PPC or social media ads?

Podcast advertising is a viable option for those seeking to drive traffic in 2021. In fact, over 10 million people in the UK listen to a podcast every week adding to the Spring 2020 MIDAS Survey. We recently looked at the benefits of podcast advertising and how you can find the perfect podcast for your brand.

Don’t forget that The Affiliate Marketing Podcast is launching season 3 in 2021 so if you’d like to appear in our Podcast for 2021 or advertise, get in touch.

Keep yourself informed…

The last thing you want is to be caught out by a rule change on a social media platform, only to lose all of the work that you have done so far. If social media channels proceed with stamping out affiliate marketing altogether over the coming year, there are options to continue driving traffic.