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Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 7 Mistakes to Avoid

Being the new kid in the playground isn’t always fun. Besides the fact that other kids just look at you funny, you’re not really sure what games they play or which variations govern the playground.

It’s not uncommon for new affiliate marketers to feel like the new kid in the park. And, because each industry, product, and objective requires a tailored approach, understanding the ins-and-outs of affiliate marketing is critical to success.

Remember that there is no universal tactic that suits all affiliate marketers. However, knowing what errors to avoid can save you a lot of time and heartache down the line.

7 Mistakes You Need to Avoid at All Costs

I know that guys at PropellerAds really  focus on delivering a sustainable marketing ecosystem that benefits both publishers and advertisers. So, instead of choosing arbitrary mistakes, I checked in with PropellerAds’ Senior Sales Manager Ariadna Butler and asked her which are the most fatal mistakes affiliates make and how you can avoid them.

PropellerAds Cover
PropellerAds Cover

Here’s Propellerads’ take on the 7 mistakes affiliates need to avoid at all costs:

1. Narrow Targeting

According to Butler, “it’s important to define your target audience. But many companies lose out on business because their targeting settings are just too narrow.”

As you can imagine, narrow targeting simply means that you’re not getting enough traffic on your site due to your location, device, and other filters. In addition to not getting as much business, it also means you won’t have enough information to optimize your campaign or carry out proper A/B testing.

Instead of choosing very specific targets, try to take a broader approach and use the information you collect to identify what really works. Once you have enough data, you’ll be able to efficiently narrow your targeting (with city targeting or user activity targeting, for example)  and increase your profit margin.

2. Low Bidding

Bidding is very important in affiliate marketing. Placing low bids may seem like a smart idea, but this could actually hurt your campaign.

“A lot of affiliates want to save money and stretch their budget so they place extremely low bids, but that doesn’t usually work out. Campaigns that have low bids don’t get the exposure or statistics they need to have a significant impact” said Butler.

Use the bid calculating tools you have available and avoid low-balling your offers to give your campaign the best chance of success.

3. Repetitive Ads

Creativity has always been a pivotal element of marketing. “Consumers may not seem receptive all the time, until something annoys them. And they hate repetitive ads with a passion.”

Instead of bombarding your target audience with the same ads, crank up the creativity and update banners, graphics, texts, and rich media on regular basis.

4. Poor or No Optimization

One of the wonders of affiliate marketing is the ability to measure your campaign’s statistics and see how it’s performing in real time. Not only this, but you can optimize your ads, in other words, make adjustments that improve their overall performance.

In Butler’s words, “optimization isn’t an option anymore. All competent affiliate marketers are optimizing their campaigns and anyone who isn’t doing so is missing the point of digital advertising as a whole.”

5. Underestimating the Importance of Quality Content

“Another reason why a lot of marketers are not successful is that they focus on their paid ads and completely disregard content. They need to provide their clients with quality content in the form of blogs, downloads, how-tos, and ebooks and give them something besides an ad.”

So publishing quality content and sharing knowledge will help your current and future customers while building a better reputation for your brand.

6. Setting the Wrong Expectations

Before launching your campaign, you need to define goals and expectations. Remember that this is how you’ll measure your success, so avoid setting yourself up for failure. Set reasonable goals and establish the right expectations that truly measure the success of your campaign.

Butler warns us that “affiliate marketing campaigns can be extremely profitable, but thinking that you’ll get rich immediately is a grave mistake”.

7. Picking an Unreliable CPA Program

According to Butler, “even when there is a perfect setup, simply operating within the wrong ads network can silently sabotage your entire campaign”. Make sure you pay a lot of attention before accepting cost-per-acquisition (CPA) program or offer.

To find a great CPA offer you need to identify companies that give you the resources you need to effectively advertise and assess all the specific details that appear on their small print.

Creating a Successful Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Building a successful affiliate marketing campaign depends on many different elements. I strongly recommend PropellerAds as a reliable ad network simply because the choice of a network is one of the keys to success.

In my next article, I’ll spell out how you can create a winning campaign with Native Push Notifications advertising format. Expect to see lots of tips and pro hacks. Stay tuned!

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