CHOOSE YOUR DESTINY!
Part 1 – Introduction
Welcome to part 2 of my series. Hopefully I’ve convinced you it’s better to specialize in a type of traffic source instead of bouncing around. Before I get too deep into this, I want to talk more about the traffic sources themselves and get familiar with them.
The main differences in traffic sources depends on where the traffic’s from, optimization variables. and offer matches.
Where the traffic’s from – Pretty simple. Is it from cell phones, social media websites, ads on Google. Different places have different audiences.
Optimization variables – Every single campaign has the same basic principles. Find the best offer, obtain higher payouts, test direct linking vs. landing pages, test which landing pages work best, etc. Optimization variables are the extra things to test which are specific to the traffic source. With mobile you have to see which carrier converts better. In Facebook you can test age and gender. Adwords brings something called quality score.
Offer Matches – Some traffic sources “fit” with certain offers better than others. Imagine you’re buying traffic from porn site. A large majority of the audience are guys so it wouldn’t make sense to try to send them anti-aging wrinkle cream. If there’s a gaming website with a large kid audience, advertising online casinos would be a very bad idea.
I can categorize most of the traffic sources into 7 different types and here’s a brief look at each of them and some of my experiences.
Introduction: PPV networks install toolbars on people’s computers (with their permission), and in exchange the PPV network advertises to their computer via pop-unders. Why would people allow these advertisements? Well the toolbars are things like wallpapers, weather, and other novelty things people install.
What happens is if Bob visits a site like bankrate.com, it could trigger a “pop under” from the traffic source. He won’t see it until he minimizes his browser. Another interesting thing to note is bankrate.com doesn’t receive any $, it all goes to the PPV network.
The beauty of PPV is the targeting. Advertising on a site like ESPN.com is very expensive, PPV allows you to target that demographic at a fraction of the cost.
Affiliate Marketing Example: An affiliate could have an offer for a free credit report. What kind of websites would people visit if they needed a credit report? Buying a home, buying a car, visiting personal finance websites, etc. Run traffic to those sites, eliminate the placements that don’t make money.
Traffic Sources: Traffic Vance, LeadImpact
Optimization Variables: Placements
Offer Matches: Credit Reports, Financial, Software downloads, etc. This type of traffic is very flexible and just depends on the placements you target.
Pro tips: You need a very strong server due to the amount of traffic you’re sending.
Introduction: Advertising on cell phones. Super high growth, especially in Asian and Latin American countries. The downside is that the optimization process involves a lot more work than what most marketers are use to.
Affiliate Marketing Example: Promote a debit card offer. What kind of guys are most likely to convert for this offer? Young broke people. What kind of carriers does this demographic use? They’re probably not using iPhones /w a $100 a month contact – more than likely they are using a feature phone and pre-paid phone carriers.
Traffic Sources: Mmedia, Airpush, Leadbolt, Tapit!, InMobi, Adfonic, admob
Optimization Variables: Types of ads (push vs banners), Carriers, Handsets, Operating System
Offer Matches: Sweepstakes offers (win an iPhone), mobile dating, mobile gaming, app installs, lead gens
Pro Tips: Proper Mobile tracking is a must. Mobaff & ImobiTrax are what the top guys use. Also for mobile, test all the ad sizes.
A great map of mobile traffic sources put together by the guys at IMGrind
Introduction: The benefits of advertising here is we have never had so much specific information on people. While most places you target by a website someone visits, social sources allow you to narrow in on who they are. The users voluntarily fill in their real age, gender, what college they went, what are their favorite shows, etc.
Affiliate Marketing Example: Gaming is always a solid niche on Facebook that you can direct link. Get really aggressive with testing the images to get a CTR as high as possible so that your clicks are cheaper. Be careful targeting kids under 18 as it could be hard for the advertiser to monetize causing you to get kicked off the offer.
Traffic Sources: Facebook, PlentyofFish
Optimization Variables: Age, gender, interests. POF has a lot of unique targeting options such as login count
Offers that work: Dating dominates PlentyofFish. For Facebook gaming / dating are quite popular. They actually don’t allow a lot of offers on the platform to provide a better user experience, however with properly cloaking you can get a lot of things through.
Pro tips: It’s all about CTR. I would say for a social ad Image > headline > ad text > call to action text. Don’t forget to mess with effects in the images – make them sharper, add a border, photoshop some effects, etc.
Introduction: Some people estimate that 30% of all internet traffic is porn related. Things have exploded the past few years due to youtube-style sites that offer free porn. With this large amount of traffic, advertisers and affiliates have been able to figure out ways to monetize it.
Affiliate Marketing Example: Casual dating offer + tube site traffic.
Optimization Variables: Placements, Ad Format (Banner, In-Video, text, etc.), Site Targeting (Choosing specific websites vs. every site on the network)
Traffic Sources: TrafficJunky, Exoclick, JuicyAds, Adxpansion, Plugrush, etc.
Offer Matches: Casual Dating, Male Enhancement Products
Pro Tips: If you’re doing casual dating then focus on lead quality. If things are too competitive and expensive on the popular traffic sources, explore some less saturated ones. Also, go international.
Introduction: This is where Google makes all their money. If someone searches for “car insurance” then they have a buyers intent and more likely to convert if they click on car insurance ads in the search results.
Affiliate Marketing Example: Lets say you wanna go with my car insurance example. Most of the top car insurance keywords are wayyy out of your budget due to competition with Geico, Progressive, Allstate, and the rest of the guys with large war chests. You’re more likely to be profitable by focusing on long tail keywords such as “Car insurance in Atlanta” or “Honda Civic Insurance” that have less competition and cheaper bids.
Traffic Sources: Adwords, BingAds
Optimization Variables: Quality Score, bids / position
Offer Matches: Pretty much anything works here due keyword targeting.
Pro Tip: Google Content Network is amazing. Lots of traffic and you don’t have to deal with quality score. Bing has a lot of traffic and are more affiliate friendly compared to Google.
Introduction: A combination of media buys / ppc. They feature either text ads or a image / text ad hybrid and you pay on a CPC basis. The main benefit of these networks is they have a lot of volume due to some of their placements.
Optimization Variables: Site placements, Ad CTR
Traffic Sources: Pulse360, Adsonar, Adblade
Offer Matches: Health & Beauty
Pro Tip: Not for the newbies due to higher CPC costs
Introduction: Purchasing display banners on websites. You can either do this through an ad network, or buy directly from a website for a flat fee. They always run on a CPM basis, and can have pretty high minimum deposits required.
Optimization Variables: Site Placements
Traffic Sources: Sitescout, Valueclick, TribalFusion, etc.
Offer Matches: Health & Beauty, Dating
Pro Tip: Get brutal with split testing your creatives and removing non-performing placements.
What to Choose?
Each one of these places there are guys making thousands of dollars a day in profit. There’s no “best” traffic source.
If you’re brand new then I’d suggest: Mobile, Social, and Adult. I mentor a lot of people and those are the places I’ve seen newbies succeed a little easier in. Another consideration is they’re relatively friendly if you have a small budget.
Stayed tuned for part 3 next week! Don’t forget to comment and share this article if you like it