My favorite paid traffic source is Facebook, but its getting more expensive to advertise on. In quarter four of 2018 we cracked the Pinterest code and will continue innovate as affiliate marketers. - Brian
By now, I hope I have convinced you that Paid Traffic is the way to go for Affiliate Marketing.
Now let's take a look at the primary Traffic sources my team and I use.
There are hundreds of different Traffic sources when talking about buying Paid Traffic. I know that's overwhelming, but you tend to buy from a few good ones in the end.
What makes a traffic source different from the next?
1. Audience type
What type of audience do Snapchat and TikTok have?
For the most part, those platforms are younger people and millennials who are the next generation of spenders.
Do you think a product known to convert for senior citizens back pain will do well on Snapchat? I think you know the answer to that. But for a car brand that has a target market of 18 to 22 years old, Snap and TikTok would be ideal. The most important thing you need to understand is what type of audience your Traffic sources bring you.
2. Options for Targeting
Traffic sources give you the ability to select portions of the audience on the platform, also known as segments.
Listed below are some common targeting options:
- Favorite television shows
- Location, for instance, the city where they live
- What type of cell phone they have - Apple or Android, or desktop or mobile
- The website they are visiting from, commonly called the site ID
- What time of day people are online
Being able to Target lets you gather data on which segments are the most profitable.
In Las Vegas, I used to run the promotions team for a major nightlife company. Based on your production on the day before, you could pick your location on the Las Vegas Strip as to where you would promote for that day.
Certain areas on The Strip have more Traffic and better-quality people for the nightclub. So, you always had an incentive to do well and work hard so you could pick the target area with the greatest number of people who would most likely attend the nightclubs. Getting the best Traffic on the Las Vegas Strip is a real-life example of targeting.
Google and Facebook are the top Traffic sources globally because they have an incredible amount of Traffic, and you can laser Target your preferred audience.
3. The Costs
Every Traffic source is different. For the most part, you are on a bidding platform and can bid to get the placements you want.
You may find traffic sources that are extremely under-utilized and find hidden gems of under-priced traffic.
4. Rules and regulations
Be compliant is a hot topic lately, and some Traffic sources are strict on offers you can run on their network. Strict means you are limited to what you can promote.
Make sure you are following the GDPR rules in the European Union and the California Data Protection Laws. They are hot topics in 2021.
5. The Amount of Traffic
Some traffic sources like Google and Facebook have seemingly unlimited traffic with the number of users on their platforms.
Other Traffic sources are not quite as large and don't have as many users. In some cases, it's challenging to scale a smaller Traffic source.
If you find something working on one source, it is very likely you can bring it over to another source and run it on that Traffic.
Many Traffic sources are less competitive and can be highly profitable when you test other counties or "geos." In some cases, you can find very underpriced Traffic when the supply is greater than the demand
7. Traffic Source Quality
Some traffic sources are terrible. The traffic is just plain garbage and will not convert.
There is such a thing as bot or fraud Traffic. Quality Traffic sources typically have better budgets and better systems that don't allow this to happen. Just be aware that there are sources out there that are junk.
Paid Traffic Categories
There are hundreds if not thousands of traffic sources out there.
Let's look at the different kinds of categories:
I'm sure you've heard of social media!
Websites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Plenty of Fish are social platforms where people go to interact with each other. They typically have robust targeting options like age, gender, interest, and location, which will allow you to determine who will see your ad.
While there are many social networks out there, in this training, we are going to focus on the biggest one: Facebook. It's been my "Honey Hole" for the past six years and has made many affiliates millionaires, including me!
The main variables for testing on Facebook
- Age and Gender
- Bidding type
We mentioned this earlier when we talked about SEO. Search Traffic is an index of different websites; when somebody searches something, the results come up.
Google is the number one search engine globally, and some other options are YouTube, owned by Google, Bing, and Yahoo. With all these search engines, there's going to be Paid Traffic and Organic Traffic. Typically, the Paid Traffic is on the top.
Google’s paid ad platform is called Google Ads; it used to be called AdWords. So, people still call it that if you have been around a while.
Advertisers can pay their way to the top of the page for the keywords they want to advertise.
The cost per click depends on the keyword your advertising and how competitive it is. It's like an auction/bidding system.
The Google ad system is very user-friendly has a ton of options to help you create cost-effective and relevant ads in minutes.
The main testing variables
Mobile Traffic is advertising on cell phones
Mobile Traffic means you're advertising on cell phones.
Some people consider mobile also to be devices that are on Wi-Fi like an iPad. Mobile is the fastest-growing Traffic source, and it has been for quite some time.
Check out these projections going into 2021.
One of the best things about mobile is it has opened up opportunities in emerging nations.
When I first started in Affiliate Marketing, most of the 3rd world countries were pretty much unreachable, but now they all have cell phones and can be monetized.
Facebook and Google both have desktop and mobile traffic, and you can test both.
I always recommend separating your desktop and Mobile Traffic test to see your results.
The most popular forms advertising within mobile:
- Display / Banner
3. Redirect - this is when a visitor lands on a URL and they are directed to a landing page automatically
One of the biggest challenges in improving a campaign is the optimization process for mobile operating systems.
- Wi-Fi vs Non Wi-Fi
Sometimes it can be challenging to make sure your creatives are displaying correctly on cell phones, and often, there are many different versions of cell phone operating systems.
But there's a massive potential for mobile that reaches all over the world. It's relatively inexpensive to advertise, especially in some of these untapped global markets.
Specific Traffic sources specialize in mobile for pop-ups and display ads.
Some of my favorite mobile Traffic networks are:
When testing variables on mobile, you will be optimizing for:
Native Ad Traffic
Everybody’s seen "paid content," "sponsored posts," "promoted stories," or "recommended content".
These advertisements blend in with the content on a website, a.k.a native ads.
It may seem a little sneaky to make people think they're actually still on the original website, but they are really popular and increasing in popularity.
Entire businesses have been built based on higher authority websites that get a lot of traffic, and the business model is to sell advertising which is Native advertising.
Some affiliates are bypassing traffic networks and go directly to the websites to buy the native ad real estate.
They are doing what's called a Media Buy, buying prime paid placements on the websites exclusively.
Some of the popular native ad networks we've worked with are:
One word of caution is native ad networks are becoming stricter about what they allow on their placements.
Testing add variables for Native ads:
- High CTR ads
- Site placements or site IDs
Adult traffic is exactly what it sounds like; these are going to be your porn sites.
Some estimates say 30% percent of the internet traffic is adult related, so don't count adult out.
One of the advantages is they are not as strict when it comes to advertising offers that might be aggressive.
Porn sites are typically going to be a male-dominated source.
One of the major traffic sources I have used in the adult category is EXOclick and had great successes.
Why is adult traffic great for affiliates:
- Lots of freedom to promote offers
- A huge amount of volume
Some of the downsides of adult traffic:
- Massive players make it difficult for newbies to get traction in the market, and Traffic quality can be an issue.
- The top site placements are typically oversaturated with many of the same offers.
PPV is toolbar Traffic. PPV stands for pay-per-view, also known as CPV or cost-per-view.
Users download toolbars on their browsers, and the PPV networks have the user's consent.
Typically, users get incentives to install these toolbars to play games, win prizes, access weather, novelty items, and free wallpapers.
PPV primarily works on Key Word Target and URL Targets. Advertisers can choose to bid on Keyword Targets and URL targets.
Here's an example of URL targeting:
Joe visits www.target.com
If the advertiser bids on www.target.com, then a pop-up ad will appear when he visits www.target.com. The ad will typically be (800 X 600) from the Traffic source.
Two of the most popular networks are:
- Propel media (Formerly known as Traffic Vance)
Generally these advertisers have a minimum deposit of around $1,000.
Landing pages are usually elementary on PPV
Targeting is much cheaper than traditional traffic sources only (bids are a fraction of a penny for URL targets and key words)PPV networks have very lax ad guidelines, so you can promote offers aggressively.
The downsides include:
- A high of minimum deposit
- You're very limited in the amount of PPV traffic sources
- Traffic is typically low quality
- Saturation of competition makes margins very slim
I started on mobile Traffic, had some success, and then went to Facebook and made a ton of money.
I recommend that you start with clean white hat offers or even e-com offers on Facebook Traffic from affiliate networks.
Pick one Traffic source, go with it, get good on it, and learn it. I recommend Facebook to start.
One of the reasons I like Facebook is you can test with low budgets but be warned, Facebook tends to shut down accounts these days for no good reason, and sometimes they put low budget caps on new ad accounts.