One of the challenges facing affiliates in all markets is picking the affiliate program that best suits your needs.
Many affiliates will look at this question from the attitude of choosing who is will to pay you the most money for promoting their product through their program however there are better and more lucrative ways of choosing the right affiliate program to work with.
The first thing you must look at is where you’re planning on promoting the advertising. Once you’ve decided where the advertisement is going to go, the most important thing is who is going to be looking at the advertisement i.e. who are your viewers?
This may sound like a simple statement but it’s incredible how often something is pitched at users on the internet that are nowhere near the likely purchasing user.
So, who uses your website that you’re planning on putting advertising on?
If it’s a specific audience that you’re already targeting (e.g. male gamers in their 20’s) then it’s an obvious choice on which affiliate programs you’ll be looking at. Online game stores that sell directly from within New Zealand (or wherever you are targeting) is the obvious choice.
If your website is more into a specific demographic of users (e.g. females around the age of 30-50) however your website is not themed around a specific product then you’re going to need to promote something that offers what these users are looking for. Perhaps there is an online nappy affiliate program around that’s looking for your target market. It might not be what you had in mind with your community of users but it may provide the best option for choosing an affiliate program that’s going to convert best for your users.
If you have an older, male audience, perhaps it’s going to be a foreign exchange affiliate program that suits?
Once you’ve looked long and hard at the users you have viewing your site, you’ll be in a much better position to target their needs with the advertising programs you work with.
Generally, you’re going to find a much better return from your advertising by promoting something that hits the spot for your users and gets a higher conversion rate than if you just slap on the highest paying affiliate program out there that doesn’t have as much to do with your communities wants or needs.
Once you’re on the path of choosing the right affiliate program, the next step is to test, test, test and then test some more with different advertisements in different placements across your website. If the program you’re working with at the moment doesn’t show any returns, talk to your affiliate manager first and see if they can help you with some advice. If it your returns continue to stay lower than your expectations, try another program.
There’s no way around the truth that affiliate marketing is all about knowing your audience and testing for the right advertising or affiliate program that connects with that audience.