5 Tips for Success in the Affiliate World

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WhatRunsWhere was proud to be part of the 5th Annual Adsimilis Meetup that took place in Prague last week. This exclusive event brought together top affiliates for three days of high-level networking and discussion of new ways to grow affiliate businesses.
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WhatRunsWhere CEO, Max Teitelbaum, led a session on the changes and challenges of display advertising in the affiliate marketing world. Max provided valuable insights and advice from his personal experience as an affiliate marketer. Here, we summarize his 5 key tips to display advertising success in the affiliate world. Read on to get Max’s exclusive insights!

1. Tap Into Foreign Markets

Internationally, consumers continue to enter the online world, in fact, the Middle East and Africa have the fastest growing online populations. In the Middle East, internet usage has increased by 65 million in the past 10 years. E-commerce has also grown significantly throughout the region; in 2010 retailers across the Middle East were selling $90 billion in goods and services online.  Africa has also experienced rapid internet growth which has been driven by internet users in Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa. The growth has also been attributed to increased mobile penetration which made the internet more affordable and accessible.

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Since global e-commerce has exceeded $1.2 trillion dollars, affiliates have become an essential part of driving global expansion for brands looking to enter new markets. The affiliate commission structure allows brands to capture data and learn about new markets through test campaigns before investing significant amounts in these regions.

What does this mean for affiliates? More opportunity in untapped markets!  There are ample opportunities for affiliates to generate revenue by launching international campaigns in these regions where there is currently less competition. If you can get in early, you can dominate the market.

2. Split Test and Split Test Again!

In the display ad world you can start tracking results immediately after campaigns are launched. Once you see the success or failure of an ad campaign you can adjust your spend or elements of the campaign accordingly. This is critical to display advertising because you can quickly learn from split testing.

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There are many tools that exist to help you run more efficient split tests. For example, Optimizely allows you to test, personalize and optimize ads across desktop, mobile web and mobile apps all from one platform. Visual Website Optimizer is another great tool for A/B testing as well. Or you could go for a more all-encompassing tool like AdsBridge which helps with tracking, landing page creation, split-testing and optimization. So make sure you are constantly doing this to improve your campaigns: split test, test, and test again. That being said, keep in mind the next tip.

3. Fail Quickly, But Get Enough Data

The important thing to remember when split testing is that you need to fail quickly but allow enough time to gather a sufficient amount of data to make an educated next move.

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For example: If you have 5 visits to a page, where 4 viewers like Test A and 1 viewer likes Test B, it’s not enough data to allow you to make a decision about which design is better. It simply lacks value. However, if you have 100,000 visits to a page, where 90,000 viewers like test A and 10,000 viewers like B, it’s enough data to inform the next move in your campaign.

Again, don’t let an unsuccessful campaign run for too long BUT gather enough data to ensure you can confirm it’s the right campaign to turn off.

4. Gain a Competitive Edge by Building Strong Relationships

Building strong relationships in the affiliate world is a major key to success as it brings a competitive advantage- you can get exclusive offers with advertisers, better rates on inventory with publishers, and much more. So who should you be building these strong relationships with?

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First, choose the right network that will provide you with the technology and tools to build relationships, create links, track results and pay out the publisher partners in their network. Today, you can use competitive intelligence tools to research networks and find the ones that have the most profitable opportunities.

Second, build strong relationships with advertisers. These days, brands are aware of the power and popularity of blogs and are pulling out all the stops to get consumer attention. Using affiliates is a great way to get brands in front of influential bloggers and their followers. For affiliates, this means also looking for profitable partnerships that are in your niche and working towards building a long-term productive partnership.

Third, work towards building a strong brand for yourself so you can develop a network of consumers that trust you. Using a blog to build your brand allows you to build a trustworthy relationship with visitors and also gives you a chance to collect their emails. You can then send offers directly to their inbox and since they gave you their email, they have an interest, making them a good sales target. This also relates to the second point, because building a strong brand as an affiliate marketer will ease the process of creating relationships with advertisers; ultimately giving you more opportunities for even more profitable offers.

5. Technology is an Affiliate’s Best Friend

Whether it’s being used to spy on other successful campaigns, track campaigns or find optimal traffic sources, there is no doubt that to be successful as an affiliate you need to be using some form of technology to optimize your campaigns. In addition to using technology, it’s also imperative that affiliates stay up to date with the latest tech trends to ensure you are capitalizing on all profitable opportunities.

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Take mobile retail for instance – it’s projected to be the fastest-growing category in mobile commerce. This is a key channel for affiliates to leverage in their ad campaigns as more and more consumers are shopping via mobile devices. This channel also affords opportunities for affiliate networks as they are often the key that advertisers need to ensure publishers are properly credited for mobile transactions (MarketingLand).

In 2016, affiliate marketing spending is expected to reach $4.5 billion. As an affiliate, how are you going to invest your ad campaigns? Now that you have these exclusive tips from our CEO you can re-evaluate your affiliate marketing strategy and find ways to incorporate these keys to success.  

You can find Max’s full presentation from Adsimilis here.

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