October 2, 10 min read

Five tips to build a winning affiliate media buying strategy

Here are five practical tips to help you build a winning affiliate media buying strategy for your ad campaign.

Over the last few years, affiliate media buys have supported high revenue increases for mobile and display advertising. As Forrester reported earlier this year, near 7-in-10 advertisers preferred to enable the affiliate channel (incl. CPA networks, influencers, bloggers) for their media buying strategies, and ultimately the new marketing mix allowed their ad campaigns to dramatically scale up and target wider audiences while keeping eCPMs lower.

As an advertiser, you want to flatten the traditional media buying strategy and access a larger pull of supply partners (publishers), so that you will maximize yield and optimize ad spend. The benefit of affiliate marketing here is that it will allow you to diversify your media buys across multiple subchannels and to focus on sources that generate higher ad performance and user engagement.

Though affiliate media buying has already helped global brands like Amazon, Souq and Machine Zone to build and grow user acquisition at scale, it still remains a challenge for small and midsize businesses. Based on our experience, here are five practical tips to help you build a winning affiliate media buying strategy for your ad campaign.


1. Analyze affiliate performance

As you start to adopt the affiliate channel for your media buying strategy, you will meet many of the same challenges advertisers encountered in the digital advertising ecosystem, with affiliate performance analysis being the biggest hurdle.

This problem isn't just limited to affiliate marketing. Without analyzing traffic that drives leads and performance, how will you know if you're hitting campaign goals or just losing traction with your strategy? You just can't. Affiliate performance data will tell a full story.

To truly understand how well your media buys are performing is to track affiliate performance data. Take the time to look at the data collected regularly by your ad tracking system, and see what sources and sub-sources are doing well and where you could use a little improvement.



2. Build trust and communication with affiliates

Despite financial motivations driving traffic and leads, affiliate marketing is also about relationships. You can increase attention and trust through relationships with people who decided to work with you. By building trust in your business relationships with publishers and affiliates, you can access larger inventory and higher volumes of traffic for your ad campaign.



Trust and communication are the nerve center of effective affiliate-based media buys. Arrange meet-ups, speak with your partners, show them how your business works, build business relationships over email, Skype, Snapchat, or other means to ensure smooth communication.


Trust. Jared Leto sings in his lyrics:  “All we need is faith, faith is all we need”. Trust is a valuable asset that helps you attract and retain the affiliates you need. Since you are interested in improving your buying strategy, start with being transparent with affiliates and recommend yourself as a professional in affiliate marketing. Work on your communication. 


Communication helps build trust between advertisers and affiliates. Your availability plays a big role. It shows your responsibility and professionalism. Think about it. Who would you turn to,  who responds quickly or to the one who makes you wait for a response? Let publishers and affiliates know that you ensure cost-effective media buys in the programmatic ecosystem. 



3. Use eCPM to media-buy effectively

Traditionally, CPM has been used in performance advertising to figure out how many traffic (impressions) your campaign receives versus what you pay for it. CPM-only media buys are simple enough to do as you just need to negotiate (through bidding) the lowest cost per thousand, allocate caps and dollars, run the campaign and see whether you reach your goals for this specific CPM buy.


When you run dozens or even more traffic channels with different pricing models (CPM, CPC, CPA) and multiple audience segments, traditional CPM media buying is no longer efficient and effective, especially considering multiple sub-channels and creatives. Besides, it’s hard to optimize a CPM campaign for a desired/payable action when you do not have sufficient data, for example, interests, gender or age.


What you need is eCPM or effective CPM that tells you exactly how many leads and sales your campaign generates per media source within your budget. Whatever ad targeting and segments you apply, the eCPM will help you identify less effective sources in terms of CPA (desired action) and determine the expected ROI.


In affiliate marketing, eCPM works the same way - helping you focus towards effective affiliates that generate more leads and sales. No matter how you measure affiliate performance (using impressions - CPM, clicks - CPC, or actions/acquisitions - CPA), eCPM counts cost and conversions, which is the key criteria that drives media buying.


With affiliate eCPM calculation, you can estimate your ad spend against the revenue you generate per affiliate to the returns percentage you’re getting. Ultimately, you correlate the CPA to the CPx (where “x” is any performance measure for your campaign, like CPM or CPC) to figure out the value of your overall affiliate media buying strategy.


4. Automate affiliate tracking for better optimization

By automating as much as possible of your affiliate tracking you save valued time and energy to focus on optimization as part of the complete media buying process. 


Furthermore, automation will help you identify the right affiliates and prioritize them quickly for higher volumes without burdening your team with unnecessary actions like shifting placements, JS tags or URLs. Put simply, you can scale ad campaigns without the need for “media buying hacks” - because everything is right at your hands and you just need to automate and optimize.


So, here are the essential tactics for you to learn before you start simplifying media buys and automating manual affiliate tracking.


Smart-target your audience

Use smart targeting for your ad campaign to automatically reject clicks and conversions that come from irrelevant, misleading or fraudulent traffic sources. You can start with the basic targeting rules like Device, Operating system, OS version, Carrier, ISP, and Geo targeting (Region, Country, City, Postal). If the affiliates you media-buy from allow to segment audiences by Interests and profile IDs, you gain more chance to super-target your ads for high engaging users.



Monetize non-targeted leads

Even mistargeted media buys coming from affiliate networks can generate extra revenue for you. You don’t need to worry about the volumes and tracking - you just set traffic redirection rules in Evertrack - and the system will do the job.


Next, find and integrate 2-3 monetization platforms (like Mobusi, AppThis, etc.) to re-sell them the leads that have been rejected by your system. Those platforms use smartlinks and in-house optimization algos to convert remnant and redirect traffic into profits.


Optimize for campaign KPIs

Whatever sort of media you buy with affiliates, there is one or more quality measures to use for tracking affiliate performance and campaign efficiency. As an advertiser, you want your media buys to deliver traffic that converts down the funnel: a portion of leads you acquire will become users and generate sales, and at the end of the day you get a positive ROI.



You don’t need to manually measure affiliate traffic against KPIs. You set up your system for KPI tracking rules and campaign caps to automate performance tracking. And then your system will act based on that logics to optimize your campaign by disabling inefficient sources and assigning more caps to top-performing affiliates.


For example, an affiliate source can be automatically disabled when your campaign receives a bunch of clicks with no conversion. Or, based on post-install event postbacks, your system can track in-app engagement rate and scale up those sources that generate users engaging high with your app’s content.



5. Do multi-channel marketing

After you have established and optimized your media buys with affiliate networks, you will not want to focus on the same channel all the time, because otherwise your strategy will dry up without new sources and audiences enabled.


It's just plain silly to think that using only one affiliate media buying will drive users and sales. And it’s only about affiliate marketing. What if you just relied on Facebook ads to get the message out? Or just Twitter? You will then narrow down your advertising campaign and end up with lean and drained audiences. One marketing channel will never do the trick.


You should grow and move your media buys forward with multi-channel marketing. Spread your strategy around. Advertise across multiple channels and sources, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, affiliate networks, email marketing, content syndication websites, etc. The only thing to remember is that you should regularly analyze campaign performance and identify which channels work best for you and disable those ones that generate low or no ROI.




October 2, 10 min read

Five tips to build a winning affiliate media buying strategy

Here are five practical tips to help you build a winning affiliate media buying strategy for your ad campaign.

Over the last few years, affiliate media buys have supported high revenue increases for mobile and display advertising. As Forrester reported earlier this year, near 7-in-10 advertisers preferred to enable the affiliate channel (incl. CPA networks, influencers, bloggers) for their media buying strategies, and ultimately the new marketing mix allowed their ad campaigns to dramatically scale up and target wider audiences while keeping eCPMs lower.

As an advertiser, you want to flatten the traditional media buying strategy and access a larger pull of supply partners (publishers), so that you will maximize yield and optimize ad spend. The benefit of affiliate marketing here is that it will allow you to diversify your media buys across multiple subchannels and to focus on sources that generate higher ad performance and user engagement.

Though affiliate media buying has already helped global brands like Amazon, Souq and Machine Zone to build and grow user acquisition at scale, it still remains a challenge for small and midsize businesses. Based on our experience, here are five practical tips to help you build a winning affiliate media buying strategy for your ad campaign.


1. Analyze affiliate performance

As you start to adopt the affiliate channel for your media buying strategy, you will meet many of the same challenges advertisers encountered in the digital advertising ecosystem, with affiliate performance analysis being the biggest hurdle.

This problem isn't just limited to affiliate marketing. Without analyzing traffic that drives leads and performance, how will you know if you're hitting campaign goals or just losing traction with your strategy? You just can't. Affiliate performance data will tell a full story.

To truly understand how well your media buys are performing is to track affiliate performance data. Take the time to look at the data collected regularly by your ad tracking system, and see what sources and sub-sources are doing well and where you could use a little improvement.



2. Build trust and communication with affiliates

Despite financial motivations driving traffic and leads, affiliate marketing is also about relationships. You can increase attention and trust through relationships with people who decided to work with you. By building trust in your business relationships with publishers and affiliates, you can access larger inventory and higher volumes of traffic for your ad campaign.



Trust and communication are the nerve center of effective affiliate-based media buys. Arrange meet-ups, speak with your partners, show them how your business works, build business relationships over email, Skype, Snapchat, or other means to ensure smooth communication.


Trust. Jared Leto sings in his lyrics:  “All we need is faith, faith is all we need”. Trust is a valuable asset that helps you attract and retain the affiliates you need. Since you are interested in improving your buying strategy, start with being transparent with affiliates and recommend yourself as a professional in affiliate marketing. Work on your communication. 


Communication helps build trust between advertisers and affiliates. Your availability plays a big role. It shows your responsibility and professionalism. Think about it. Who would you turn to,  who responds quickly or to the one who makes you wait for a response? Let publishers and affiliates know that you ensure cost-effective media buys in the programmatic ecosystem. 



3. Use eCPM to media-buy effectively

Traditionally, CPM has been used in performance advertising to figure out how many traffic (impressions) your campaign receives versus what you pay for it. CPM-only media buys are simple enough to do as you just need to negotiate (through bidding) the lowest cost per thousand, allocate caps and dollars, run the campaign and see whether you reach your goals for this specific CPM buy.


When you run dozens or even more traffic channels with different pricing models (CPM, CPC, CPA) and multiple audience segments, traditional CPM media buying is no longer efficient and effective, especially considering multiple sub-channels and creatives. Besides, it’s hard to optimize a CPM campaign for a desired/payable action when you do not have sufficient data, for example, interests, gender or age.


What you need is eCPM or effective CPM that tells you exactly how many leads and sales your campaign generates per media source within your budget. Whatever ad targeting and segments you apply, the eCPM will help you identify less effective sources in terms of CPA (desired action) and determine the expected ROI.


In affiliate marketing, eCPM works the same way - helping you focus towards effective affiliates that generate more leads and sales. No matter how you measure affiliate performance (using impressions - CPM, clicks - CPC, or actions/acquisitions - CPA), eCPM counts cost and conversions, which is the key criteria that drives media buying.


With affiliate eCPM calculation, you can estimate your ad spend against the revenue you generate per affiliate to the returns percentage you’re getting. Ultimately, you correlate the CPA to the CPx (where “x” is any performance measure for your campaign, like CPM or CPC) to figure out the value of your overall affiliate media buying strategy.


4. Automate affiliate tracking for better optimization

By automating as much as possible of your affiliate tracking you save valued time and energy to focus on optimization as part of the complete media buying process. 


Furthermore, automation will help you identify the right affiliates and prioritize them quickly for higher volumes without burdening your team with unnecessary actions like shifting placements, JS tags or URLs. Put simply, you can scale ad campaigns without the need for “media buying hacks” - because everything is right at your hands and you just need to automate and optimize.


So, here are the essential tactics for you to learn before you start simplifying media buys and automating manual affiliate tracking.


Smart-target your audience

Use smart targeting for your ad campaign to automatically reject clicks and conversions that come from irrelevant, misleading or fraudulent traffic sources. You can start with the basic targeting rules like Device, Operating system, OS version, Carrier, ISP, and Geo targeting (Region, Country, City, Postal). If the affiliates you media-buy from allow to segment audiences by Interests and profile IDs, you gain more chance to super-target your ads for high engaging users.



Monetize non-targeted leads

Even mistargeted media buys coming from affiliate networks can generate extra revenue for you. You don’t need to worry about the volumes and tracking - you just set traffic redirection rules in Evertrack - and the system will do the job.


Next, find and integrate 2-3 monetization platforms (like Mobusi, AppThis, etc.) to re-sell them the leads that have been rejected by your system. Those platforms use smartlinks and in-house optimization algos to convert remnant and redirect traffic into profits.


Optimize for campaign KPIs

Whatever sort of media you buy with affiliates, there is one or more quality measures to use for tracking affiliate performance and campaign efficiency. As an advertiser, you want your media buys to deliver traffic that converts down the funnel: a portion of leads you acquire will become users and generate sales, and at the end of the day you get a positive ROI.



You don’t need to manually measure affiliate traffic against KPIs. You set up your system for KPI tracking rules and campaign caps to automate performance tracking. And then your system will act based on that logics to optimize your campaign by disabling inefficient sources and assigning more caps to top-performing affiliates.


For example, an affiliate source can be automatically disabled when your campaign receives a bunch of clicks with no conversion. Or, based on post-install event postbacks, your system can track in-app engagement rate and scale up those sources that generate users engaging high with your app’s content.



5. Do multi-channel marketing

After you have established and optimized your media buys with affiliate networks, you will not want to focus on the same channel all the time, because otherwise your strategy will dry up without new sources and audiences enabled.


It's just plain silly to think that using only one affiliate media buying will drive users and sales. And it’s only about affiliate marketing. What if you just relied on Facebook ads to get the message out? Or just Twitter? You will then narrow down your advertising campaign and end up with lean and drained audiences. One marketing channel will never do the trick.


You should grow and move your media buys forward with multi-channel marketing. Spread your strategy around. Advertise across multiple channels and sources, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, affiliate networks, email marketing, content syndication websites, etc. The only thing to remember is that you should regularly analyze campaign performance and identify which channels work best for you and disable those ones that generate low or no ROI.




2018 © Evertrack. All rights reserved.Terms and Conditions.

2018 © Evertrack.All rights reserved
Terms and Conditions.