5 Channels Affiliate Marketers Are Using (Besides GAFA…)

Ehud Basis
Ehud Basis
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Sure, we all know the stats. GAFA combined have a market cap of close to $3 trillion. Nearly 70% of people in the US use Google products every day. There are 2.45 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide….we get it!

While these sorts of numbers are hard to beat, the most successful affiliate marketers know that there’s an entire world of potential outside the “Big Four”. The fact is that people everywhere are doing much more with their smartphones and laptops than just Google searching and Facebook posting. There’s tons of room to compete for audience attention and generate more income, with the help of other effective channels – besides GAFA. So, what are the most popular channels that affiliate marketers are using? Let’s take a look:

1. SMS marketing

Imagine a marketing channel that got you open rates of 98%! Look no further than SMS marketing.

SMS marketing has a few big advantages over other channels.

Firstly, it is estimated that 5 billion people worldwide use mobile phones. And remember, you don’t need to have a smartphone to receive an SMS. SMS marketing gives affiliate marketers amazing access to huge audiences.

Secondly, SMS marketing is simple and fast. There’s no need to invest in elaborate design or long-winded messages. Short and enticing does the job (and perhaps a few emojis too 👍).

And thirdly, SMS will always reach the intended target, in the most direct possible way. Most people have their mobile phones on them all the time, and they check them up to 160 times a day. Unlike a social media post on a news feed or an email in a spam folder, affiliate marketers know that their SMS message won’t get lost in the crowd or go unnoticed.

2. Email marketing

In 2019, there were 3.9 billion email users. As an affiliate, your target audience is pretty much guaranteed to have email addresses, and you can reach them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with a simple email.

It’s true that email can’t compete with SMS in terms of pure open rate – email in 2020 has an average open rate of 17.8%, which dropped slightly from the previous year. But there’s an upside.

Open rates are a bit lower but engagement rates are higher. This means that the audience engaging with the email is much better qualified, and that means better results for affiliate marketers.

Also, the email format allows for far more complex messaging than SMS, and there is plenty of room to play with the various elements. Subject lines, headings, HTML vs plain text – with email marketing, affiliate marketers can optimize and personalize to better engage the audience.

Email marketing is particularly effective in e-commerce, which is great news for affiliate marketers.

And the cherry on top? Email marketing is one of the best channels for ROI – expect to earn an average of $42 for every dollar spent.

If you’re an affiliate and want to get updated on a daily basis (and see how a leading affiliate newsletter totally crushes email marketing), subscribe to STACKED MARKETER here.

3. SEO

SEO is the cornerstone of any solid affiliate marketing strategy. No matter what other tactics you deploy in your affiliate activities, you should always spend a decent part of your resources on optimizing for those spiders. Here’s why:

Organic traffic comes in many shapes and sizes, and also in many unexpected ways. Google came out with the statement that ~15-20% of queries have never been searched before. This stat is particularly relevant to affiliate marketers.

Oftentimes, affiliate marketers avoid optimizing for a niche solely because they fear the red ocean. In reality, though, even the most saturated niches can produce quick wins with those sweet longtails.

💡 Bonus tip #1: When researching for keywords, try to aim for those 10-50 monthly searches where you can create content that will rank with as few backlinks as possible.

4. Native Ads

One of the main bonuses of native advertising is the fact that native ads don’t look like regular ads. They fit naturally to the form and function of the web page they appear on, so they are much more likely not to fall into those nasty traps that affiliate marketers fear – ad fatigue, banner blindness and negative attitudes from frustrated audiences. Fact: consumers look at native ads 53% more than display ads.

Another huge potential for affiliate marketers is the rich targeting options you can get with native, like Interest Targeting and Lookalikes, so you can really home in on your best potential audiences on the open web. It’s true that some of the popular verticals in affiliate marketing are not accepted to native ad platforms. But there are plenty of verticals that are perfectly acceptable, including health and beauty, travel, tech, financial, careers, and entertainment.

5. Podcasts

Podcasts are by far one of the most promising channels for affiliates. Today, we’re already seeing some brave affiliate pioneers who are rocking the channel with podcast sponsorships or by placing sponsored audio pieces within leading podcasts.

The main advantage of podcasts is the ability to deliver an offer or promise to a highly refined listener group. With podcasts, affiliate marketers can tailor offers to very specific audiences, so the chance of success is much higher. However, here’s where the problems start: unlike direct links, which are easily tracked and analyzed for ROI, establishing ROI for podcast sponsorships is much more challenging.

An effective way to overcome this obstacle is by providing a dedicated coupon code for different podcasts or podcast episodes. This way, the attribution will be perfectly clear.

💡Bonus Tip #2: Want to listen to some leading podcasts covering the affiliate marketing world? Start here.

We cut the marketing fluff to bring you the No-BS Guide For Affiliate Marketers.

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Ehud Basis

Ehud Basis

Ehud is an Online Acquisition Director at Outbrain. He previously led the PPC teams at Conduit and eTeacher, using his breadth of knowledge to analyze and optimize performance to achieve company goals. Ehud lives in Israel with his wife, 6-year-old son and 1-year-old baby girl. He loves following basketball from all around the globe.

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