[Recap] Outbrain @ GeekOut Home: How Affiliate Marketers Can Win On Native

2020’s been a challenging year for all — including Affiliate Marketers, to say the least. But that didn’t stop the legends at GeekOut from carrying on with the Affiliate Marketing get-together of the year — and this time, at home.

It was my pleasure to present at the GeekOut Home conference this past weekend, alongside friends and colleagues, discussing why Native Ads are the no-BS way to boost Affiliate Marketing success. Plus, as sponsors of the event, Outbrain was honored to donate to the non-profit organization chosen by the GeekOut crew — 100 Million Mask Challenge — a great cause we were thrilled to be a part of.

For those who couldn’t attend, or if you heard me live and want a quick recap, here’s some of what I covered and a quick rehash of what James Van Elswyk and I discussed during Q&A.

The No-BS Way to Win on Native

Here’s the thrust — it’s time for Affiliate Marketers to break out of their comfort zone and discover a complete world of opportunity outside of Google and Facebook.

Native Advertising is the rising star, and nearly two-thirds of ad spend this year will go to native ads. Because it works.

When evaluating a traffic source, there are three things to consider.

  1. Does it have enough traffic?
  2. Is the traffic good quality?
  3. What is the value of the user?

When it comes to Native on Outbrain, the answers are yes, yes, and very high. 

The most frequently asked question by Affiliate Marketers is…

“Can I run this on Outbrain?”

There are loads of high performing verticals on Outbrain, like eCommerce, Search Arbitrage, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, App Installs, and more. Yes, some verticals are not allowed, but there is really no end to the products and offers that you can promote. Although 5% of Affiliate ads submitted to Outbrain in 2019 were rejected as inappropriate, 95% is a heck of a high acceptance rate. You just need to know what you are doing.

And that means no black hat: no illegitimate offers, website redirects, or deceptive practices. Together, we keep it clean!

Visit the Affiliate Knowledge Hub

Creative Rules

Next, we discussed the importance of great creative, design, and UX when it comes to landing pages, what you need to do to make your ads click friendly in terms of keywords and images, and how to set up and optimize campaigns specifically for performance-minded folks like yourselves.

One of the key takeaways was this: there’s no such thing as ‘bad traffic’. Rather, it’s about finding the right traffic at the right price, and gearing all your creative juices to hitting that sweet spot.

As James and I dived into a bit of a discussion to end off, there were a few interesting points raised. For example, we talked about the importance of ads being click-friendly, not clickbait-y. Sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how, but that should be the goal. In 2018, for example, the most clicked image on the Outbrain network was a red onion! Go figure…

Another interesting point that came up: what is the most important part of being a successful Affiliate Marketer on Outbrain? IMO, it’s patience. Building up to success takes time and budget. Don’t look at unsuccessful campaigns as ‘lost money’. It’s data, information, and experience that’s moving you in the right direction.

Go Geos

We also discussed the best geolocations to chase, if the U.S. and U.K. are proving too competitive. Definitely Germany, France, and Spain are the European markets worth checking out, plus South Africa is a hot spot right now too. It’s definitely worth investing in great translations and running local campaigns in other geos — some of the best ROIs come from overseas.

There was a whole lot more going on in the presentation, and it was all Affiliate Marketing-driven — that means catering to hard conversions, not impressions or clicks that brands and agencies chase after.

Hope you were able to attend and if you did, that you got a lot out of it.

Check out the slides right here, or visit our Affiliate Knowledge Hub — and see you next time!

Launch your Campaign!

Create full funnel campaigns that drive real business results.

Start Now