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A plethora of choice: Advertising Mediums in Affiliate Marketing

The range of advertising options in the online sector is steadily increasing. Which advertising mediums are most important? In what areas do they work best? And what are their benefits from an advertiser’s and from a user’s point of view?

Advertising mediums in affiliate marketing – a colorful bouquet of possibilities

Advertising mediums in affiliate marketing – a colorful bouquet of possibilities

Text links

Text links inform. They disclose facts and do so while staying close to the text, which often corresponds to their own content as well. They are integrated into a user’s reading and into what the user is searching for, making them very effective and versatile. Text links usually appear in places where people are interested in that message.

Among publishers text links are especially popular for their efficiency. They can be directly integrated into the content of a page and are also convertible – the partner can adapt the text according to his needs.

Advertisers can create text links with little effort and use them to link all the relevant landing pages on their website via the affiliate program. The goal of text links is to hand over information to the right person at the right time. Apart from simple links there are also entire content elements, which the partner can use to give detailed information about the respective products and offers.

Newsletter templates are related to text links and help publishers, who know the relevant addressees, to provide them with the appropriate content. They are particularly profitable for special offers and prices.

To link the content at the right places means more work for the partner. Tools such as the QUISMA ContextAdEd can help here to automatically find the right place for a text link on the partner’s website.

Banners

Banners are generally a foreign body on a website and may have little or nothing in common with the content. Consequently the banner “struggles” for the user’s attention. If successful, it has to inform briefly and concisely in order to lead to an action. The viewer’s attention can be drawn to the banner by discreet GIF or Flash animations. In the meantime, banners have changed into different formats in order to move the user’s focus closer to the respective advertising medium:

Layer-ads, which spread over a page, forcing the user to look at them.
Pop-under ads, which open under a browser window and are seen only after browsing the web.
Video ads using moving images and sound.

The first two options are not very welcome since they involve a forced-click. (However, there are exceptions, such as for those that were created with the QUISMA LayerAdEd.)

Video ads are also currently not providing the potential that is often attributed to them. The content is rarely adapted to the brand’s needs, as it is expensive to provide bespoke video. It is therefore more logical to tailor the banner offer to the needs of the program. On the partner’s website the banners compete for surface, which is scarce on a serious content website. The banner offer should be adapted to both the potential partner as well as to his demands:

Image banners generally attract attention and can be used for all surroundings –including pages, where the content may seem to have nothing in common with the product at first sight.
Promotional banners are flexible and offer added value in terms of content, and can be beneficial in the right environment. Their offer is especially essential in the retail sector but they are also useful in other sectors. You can create banner sets, which can be updated with only a few clicks causing no additional expenditures for your partner.

The affiliate tool iAdEd provides individually adapted performance oriented banners to the publisher and helps to optimally use the lack of space on the partner website.

XAdEd allows a configuration of the advertised products in the banner. Therefore the partner can individually adjust the banner to the needs of his page environment.

Product feeds

Especially for retailers and in the travel industry product data is very important. They know everything about a supplier – at least everything about what they offer. Product code, picture, price – all the information is available and can be integrated into the respective offer.

However, fundamental errors on product data are often due to poor timing. The data needs to contain correct product descriptions, prices, and landing pages. All other information needs to be up to date. The more information the better: regular prices, product descriptions, pictures in different sizes and formats, and information about availability and shipping time for the articles – there can’t be too much information in the product data since the affiliate will pick out what is interesting for him. As widgets product data is polished and manipulatable for the affiliate. Timeliness of product data is also important for the merchants for another reason:
The newest court ruling stipulates that the client has to offer products at a lower price until the last search engine has the recent data.

Conclusion

For advertising material, a basic provision should always be guaranteed: text links, especially deep-links to the respective sub-pages, sufficient banners, which meet the expectations of the product offer, and product data as long as the range of goods is sufficiently large. With regards to the creation of banners, video-ads (especially), and similar links, it is very important to always keep an eye on the cost-benefit ratio!

Moreover, the offer depends heavily on the sector. In the retail and travel industry product data is indispensable and promotional banners should not be neglected. Sectors with more complex goods (such as finance or insurance) should create a broad offer, especially in the content sector, to inform the partners in detail about modifications.

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