When an affiliate marketer gets accepted into a few networks, the first task they have is selecting an offer and deciding how to promote the offer. Today we will discuss several approaches that you can follow to shape your philosophy in selecting niches and offers that are best for you to promote. Of course any of these approaches along with many others are feasible and all affiliates must decide what is right for them. One of the beauties of affiliate marketing is that there are so many different ways to approach it and everyone can find an approach that works best for their own experience, work style and personality. The 3 approaches that we will examine in this post are expertise, seasonality, and audience targeting.
Someone who knows about a product is more likely to be successful at promoting an offer. The affiliate will be able to produce better traffic because they know how to target the traffic. They know who ideally will use the product, and pick the appropriate creative or linking method to convert an offer. Expertise in the subject matter will also be a benefit when it comes to keyword research.
When creating content for a Website, expertise in the subject could help you do a better job in blending the content in with an image that naturally fits the theme. For example, if you are currently going to school and you are studying education, a great way to promote an affiliate offer is to match an education or business opportunity offer that best reflects the content being mentioned. So, someone earning an MBA may want to learn about currency trading (FOREX). Alternatively, someone who is studying elementary education may want to purchase a video series about child development or methods to improve reading comprehension.
When targeting social networks, an affiliate often joins certain groups and organizations. Affiliates, like everyday social site users will see the kind of traffic that is appearing within their personal social space. Looking at the advertisement below, it makes sense how the #1 affiliate marketing group on Facebook has two affiliate network advertisers posted on the right. This is called contextual targeting. Ensuring your context matches your users is fundamental.
For every season, there is an affiliate marketing vertical that will capitalize on traffic more so than others. To follow this approach, you must be on your toes, be able to execute quickly and be comfortable handing deadlines. For example, you could promote offers relating to Valentine’s Day but you need to start watching for these offers well in advance of the holiday and be ready to integrate them into your sites and landing pages in time to promote for the build up before the big day. Then you have to watch for the next seasonal happening and be ready to do it all over again. As another example, consumers who are looking for great gifts during the holidays will often make more As-Seen-On-TV purchases from October thru December than any other time of year. Sure there is work involved following the seasonality approach, but the payoff could be substantial. On the flip side, many affiliates prefer to focus on the evergreen type of offers that never go out of style, like, dating, weight loss, beauty and health or auto insurance. As I said earlier, there are many different ways to approach affiliate marketing and you need to know which one makes the most sense for you personally.
There are several websites on the Internet that will help you understand who your prime audience will be for a particular niche or offer. Everything from age, sex, geography, income, and education are described (see below). Such sites include Quantcast, Microsoft ad labs, Compete.com and others.
Offervault (www.offervault.com) has a handy demographic feature as well. You can click the “D” demographics button next to each offer and get an instant snapshot of the demographics for typical visitors to that offer. If you are interested in taking this type of approach, there are several traffic sources where you can put this information to good use, most especially Facebook.
There is probably no better place to get traffic pinpointed to particular demographics then Facebook. Plenty of Fish, a major dating site, also has a wealth of demographic data that you can use to target your ads. Lastly, Pay Per View traffic sources will often allow demographic targeting. When done right, this strategy can often produce some of the highest conversion rates of any type of targeting and of course we all love getting high conversion rates on our offers.