How much money are you leaving on the table with native advertising? We understand that as an affiliate marketer, there is no greater fear than spending your budget on ad campaigns that don’t sell. With the affiliate marketing industry being so competitive today, it can seem like a dead end.
In this article, you will find the most comprehensive conversion-focused affiliate marketing guide to native advertising. We have interviewed some of our top Account Managers to determine the most common mistakes made by affiliate marketers.
But before getting into the nuts and bolts of this topic, let’s talk about the main protagonist of this affiliate marketing story: the native affiliate advertiser.
P.S. If you want to embark on the affiliate marketing journey right away, then you may create a personal account in the MGID dashboard and a dedicated Account Manager will reach out right away with an action plan to get started.
Who is a Native Affiliate Advertiser?
The short answer: a person who wants their ad campaigns to convert like crazy.
The long answer: a digital marketer who launches performance marketing campaigns to send traffic to previously selected affiliate products in order to receive a commission on each sale made by the end consumer.
With so many variables in play, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed – from choosing an affiliate offer to selecting the right set of ad creatives — you can never be 100% sure what will bring an enormous profit or a ‘drain’ to your budget.
That’s why it is absolutely essential to utilize the help of your personal Account Manager: they have promoted dozens of high-converting affiliate offers so they know a thing or two about how to turn your native ad venture into a success story.
Takeaway #1: leverage the knowledge of your Account Managers and apply their expertise to your native ad campaigns.
Native Ads Affiliate Marketing: The Biggest Problem
Working with affiliate marketers for the past 12 years, our Account Managers at MGID have learned that most mistakes boil down to the basics. The basics matter — because if done incorrectly, they can actively prevent affiliate marketers from achieving success with native ads. If you can’t get those right, then it will backfire quickly, resulting in decreased conversions and a low ROI.
It’s hard to imagine how much more affiliate marketers would make if they were able to avoid these mistakes (we say it could more than double their profit margins). But we can’t stress enough the one problem that affiliate marketers always get wrong.
What’s the biggest problem? The biggest problem for many affiliate marketers (especially for beginners) is they seek quick wins while success in native advertising can be achieved only in the long run. Remember, “it’s a marathon — not a sprint.”
“it’s a marathon — not a sprint.”
In the beginning, you don’t know if the particular affiliate offer or a set of ad creatives will work for your target audience. That’s why it’s imperative to dedicate a budget to running experiments: split testing and trying different GEOs are necessary prerequisites for achieving success with native ads.
Once you experiment, you will see what performs well (or poorly); only then can you double-down on the offers that generate the most profit. If an affiliate marketer doesn’t understand this clear principle — and as a result, doesn’t have a dedicated budget for running experiments — then their native ad campaign turns from a business venture into a game of roulette.
Takeaway #2: Don’t give up on your native ad campaign just because it doesn’t bring immediate results. Instead, budget for experimentation and double-down on those strategies that bring the most profit!
Native Affiliate Advertising: Good Examples
Have you ever wondered how much more successful your native ad campaigns would be if you followed the right strategy? As an affiliate marketer, you could be just a few steps away from making 3,4,5…6 figures with your native ad campaigns.
All you need to do is to listen to the experience of other affiliate marketers like Tom Towey: he is a typical affiliate marketer from the States who came to our global advertising platform with zero experience launching native ads.
His story is a common one: he relied solely on Google and Facebook ads when sending traffic to nutra offers. However, nobody told him that the same is possible with native ads! Growing tired of constant ad account shutdowns on social media platforms, he decided to expand his marketing mix and try native.
After a week-long communication with a dedicated Account Manager at MGID, he learned how to harness the power of different ad spy tools. With these tools, he took inspiration from many pre-landing pages and collected his own whitelist of successful offers for the U.S. market. He decided to basically “clone” the winning campaigns for nutra offers in the States and relaunch them in Brazil.
Over the course of 14 days he managed to make a profit of $1,920:
Takeaway #3: Buy an ad spy service for native advertising and analyze the best-performing affiliate offers for a particular GEO. Then, simply “copy-paste” these creative assets and localize them to fit new and previously untapped markets. If you don't have an ad spy tool yet, you may create an account here to claim an exclusive 40% discount from our partner.
How to Start: Good Affiliate Offers for Native Ads
Okay, so you’re an affiliate marketer and you’re just getting started with native ads.
You’re probably thinking, “great, but what's next?”
The first thing you need to do is find a good product to promote. It’s absolutely essential that you pick a product from a reputable affiliate program.
Here are four main ways you can find good affiliate deals:
#1: Find the right match
Affiliate networks (where you find product offerings) and native platforms (where you launch ad campaigns) tend to both provide a free support manager.
The idea here is to talk to both parties and compare their recommendations. For example, let's say an affiliate network manager recommends 3 affiliate products and 3 GEOs, and an MGID Account Manager also recommends 3 affiliate products & 3 GEOs. More often than not, their recommendations will contradict each other.
But should you notice an “intersection” of those recommendations, then it’s a great sign you should go for that offer!
#2 Balance payout vs CPC
Stay away from affiliate offers that display a very low CPC or an overly high payout rate. For example, many affiliates think if the payout is high, then they will break higher profit margins. Vice versa with CPC, advertisers don’t like high CPC because that usually means higher costs for them.
However, a low CPC may simply mean that other affiliates have already promoted that given affiliate product, which could indicate that particular audience is used up, and there’s no point in going for that affiliate offer.
Bottom line, be careful when you see either a low cost per click (CPC) or an unusually high payout, these could be red flags. Or to use another expression, “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
#3: Network with affiliate marketers
The affiliate marketing industry is a competitive one that has been growing by leaps and bounds for many years. If you’re a lone wolf (unless you’re the lone “Wolf of Wall Street”), then it will be harder to compete with affiliate marketers who work in teams.
We highly recommend networking with other affiliates at offline events like Affiliate Summit, which regularly take place all over the globe.
In the event you find yourself to be working ‘solo’ (which is perfectly fine!), then you’d be better off joining online communities such as AffiliateFix or closed Facebook or LinkedIn groups and keeping an eye on hot affiliate deals that just begin to gain traction.
#4: Buy a regular spy service for native ads
With a spy service tool, you can track what kind of affiliate products, bridge pages and ad creatives work the best in a given time period. That way, you will find what’s profitable.
For example, let’s say that you want to advertise health nutrition products in Brazil. What you can do is see what type of affiliate nutrition products work the best in the USA. Then, you can take those very affiliate products and sell them in Brazil.
No need to reinvent the wheel and utilize the tools at your disposal.
Takeaway #4: With affiliate marketing being so competitive today, there is a little margin for error. Dedicate a great deal of time to discovering the right product offering; otherwise, you risk promoting something that can NOT be promoted.
How to Sell Your Affiliate Products with Native Ads
So now, you’ve found your affiliate product on a reliable affiliate network and you’re ready to give it a go on native ad platforms like MGID. Here are the five next steps you should take to actually sell your affiliate product with native ads:
#1: Plan your native affiliate strategy
Let's break down the best approach and ad campaign strategy for native ads for affiliate marketers. Once you have picked your affiliate offer, we recommend designing a content marketing funnel, as opposed to using a direct, hard-sell approach. Few people clicking on your native ad creative (if any) will be ready to make a purchase right away.
Bridge pages are a great way to introduce your offering and convey a sense of appreciation for a given product or service. One of our Account Managers brilliantly puts it, “What bridge pages do is they bridge the gap between what people want and what they get with your advertised product or service.”
“What bridge pages do is they bridge the gap between what people want and what they get with your advertised product or service.”
Finally, you can direct traffic from the bridge page to an affiliate product page; this is the place where sales are made. Sometimes, you can point people to your own website and retarget them with another ad campaign. Both ways work depending on your situation.
#2: Collect ad creative materials
The general rule of thumb is to create clickable (yet not clickbait-y) native ad teasers. We always try to use a direct-response marketing approach: never show the product, show the value it creates.
As for presell landing pages, your job is to help people see the value of your product or service by designing engaging formats such as quizzes, advertorials and interactive prelanders. You can make them on your own or seek the help of MGID’s Creative Department who assist advertisers on a day-to-day basis.
Affiliates often opt to make a Video Sales Page instead of writing a presell article, believing that video content is a great way to grab attention and boost sales. However, based on our experience, these pages don’t perform well and we usually advise against using them.
What always performs well is the storytelling format! Remember to put the customer as the main hero of this story, not your product or service. Your product or service only guides or assists the customer and allows them to overcome certain obstacles or pain points. It’s super important to tailor your pre-landing page to the targeted GEO or country: currencies, photos and cultural nuances all matter here.
And once again, ad spy tools are always at your disposal to see what type of ad creatives convert the most for any given vertical. Another quote from one of our Account Managers goes, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
#3: Set up tracking software
Many affiliate marketers have the impression that ad-tracking software is some kind of rocket science. But, when you actually set it up, it’s pretty straightforward.
In fact, if you were to advertise on MGID, your dedicated Account Manager could help you with the setup and all its configuration.
Setup and configuration are vital before launching any kind of ad campaign, because only then can you get all the data on what works best: ad creatives, GEO and affiliate products.
#4: Launch, experiment & optimize
The important thing to keep in mind at this stage is to start small: experiment with different targeting options (GEOs, placements, browsers, devices, etc.) before expanding your ad campaign reach to high traffic volumes. Kickstart your native ad campaign at medium-to-low CPC rates changing only two metrics: placements and ad creatives.
Allow up to seven days for data collection and you will find that some ad creatives will work better than others. Your job will be to turn off those that are working at a loss and double down on those that are bringing in the most conversions.
MGID’s global advertising platform makes the job easier with the Selective Bidding and Price Recommendations features. The former automatically turns off the non-converting assets while the latter gives you AI-powered insights at what bids you should start your ad campaigns.
Useful tip: Voluum is the #1 tracking software for native affiliate marketers. If you wish to get this tool, then click here to claim an exclusive discount of up to 30% for any of their subscription plans.
Why Does Native Affiliate Advertising Work on MGID?
The table above shows how much a typical affiliate marketer makes per year on our global ad platform. Native advertising on MGID is a surefire way of starting your native affiliate marketing campaign off on the right foot! Our exclusive network of publishers ensures that no matter who your target audience is, you'll find them.
And with advanced targeting capabilities and sophisticated optimization options, you can be sure that your campaigns will be tailored to its needs. And we can’t help but remind you that with the help of an experienced Account Manager, you can trust that your campaigns are in good hands.
Here are five reasons why affiliate advertisers work with MGID:
- 24/7 Support Team. We take great pride in the advertiser support services offered on MGID: you can always consult with the dedicated support representative in case you seek help or advice. Nobody waits for help on our global ad platform. For example, when the Account Manager is not available due to time zone differences, you can always reach us on Live Chat to get immediate assistance in a timely manner. In fact, we see it as our unique selling proposition (USP) that other ad platforms can hardly match.
- Exclusive publisher network. Our global ad platform hosts 25k+ premium publishers, so you get access to unique local audiences around the globe. The total reach of MGID amounts to 900 million unique visitors per month so you can reach any target audience of your choice.
- Advanced targeting capabilities. MGID's AI-based matching algorithm connects users to products, showing ads and relevant content only. It’s then consumed by an engaged audience, with a high intention to interact with your value proposition.
- Free ad creatives. Our Creative Department at MGID consists of copywriters and designers who can help you with creative assets free of charge. Our experts will prepare your creative assets based on your target audience and market-specific requirements.
- Sophisticated optimization options. Your admin panel or a dedicated Account Manager will provide you with insights, so you are never alone with your ad campaign’s optimization. Our managers will be happy to assist you with any campaign configurations.
Native Affiliate Marketing: Conclusion
We don’t want to promise you the moon: when affiliate marketers first dive into native advertising, the learning curve can be steep and daunting. However, constant work and dedication will pay off with a sustainable income. Plus, our team of professionals will guide every step of the way to make sure you are on the right track.
With our exclusive publisher network, advanced targeting capabilities and experienced personnel standing by, we provide all of the tools and resources you need to maximize your campaign results and drive conversions.
For those looking to succeed in native affiliate advertising, many so-called affiliate marketing advisors recommend that "you sell the click." However, we stand by the ethos, "You sell the product, we'll sell the click."
"You sell the product, we'll sell the click."