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How Smart Affiliate Marketers Are Buying Traffic (And How You Can Capitalize On It)

Become an Affiliate

As an affiliate marketer, you know you need to get your content in front of as many people as possible. You know how vital good Google rankings and loyal followers are.

You also know those things take time to build. You’re working on climbing the Google rankings. You’re building up followers through your site and keeping them. Unfortunately, it’s moving slowly.

You need clicks now. More importantly, you need to make sure every penny is working hard.

All of that is why smart affiliate marketers are buying traffic. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can capitalize on paid traffic. You’ll learn how to get the most out of the two biggest sources of paid traffic.

Once you have these down, you’ll have a broader reach. That way, you can fill in the gaps while you’re building that loyal audience.


First, let’s talk about AdWords. Google and Bing use AdWords, which is good news for affiliate marketers. Why? It means you can decide which to use based on your audience.

With Google, you’ll be reaching a bigger audience. As of December 2020, Google had 91.38% of the market share in search engines. Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day worldwide. No matter what your niche is, your audience accounts for a good chunk of those searches.

With so many searches and users, Google AdWords will get you quick clicks. However, you’re likely to spend more. The average cost-per-click can be up to 70% lower in Bing than in Google.

On the other hand, with Bing, you’ll have less competition. Bing only accounts for 2.69% of the market share. So being at the top is a less hotly contended position. However, Bing still records 400 million queries per day, so you can always reach your audience. To put it in perspective, Amazon’s Alexa uses Bing for all its searches. Many people also use bing in the workplace since it’s the default search engine for all Microsoft products.

Bing may not be a household name to the degree that Google is, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering it for your AdWords. There’s a surprising amount of overlap between them, with over a third of Google users also using Bing.

Regardless of the platform you choose, there’s one fundamental way to capitalize on AdWords – you have to know your audience. What are they searching for, and how?

Knowing your audience’s language is vital. If you know the words they use, you’ll be able to target your AdWords effectively. Autofill is a helpful way to see what your audience is searching.

For example, when you type “healthy” into Google, these are the first five suggestions:

  • Healthy people 2020
  • Healthy food near me
  • Healthy snacks
  • Healthy dinner ideas
  • Healthy breakfast

When you type “healthy” into Bing, the first five suggestions are:

  • Healthy benefits plus
  • Healthy snacks
  • Healthy
  • Healthy recipes
  • Healthy meals

In this case, there’s a lot of overlap between the two. In some cases, there won’t be. That’s why it’s important to research beforehand. You’ll also need to keep a close eye on changes to make as you go along.

Otherwise, you could have the best content in the world, and it wouldn’t matter. Unless you’re reaching the right audience, you won’t see a return on investment.

Your audience’s language or most frequent searches may shift over time. It’s important to use the most recent data. This way, you won’t waste time and money on campaigns that don’t reach your audience.

Social media

Speaking of shifting tastes, social media is another avenue of paid traffic. If you like to test frequently and tailor content to specific audiences, this is the way to go.

Social media can be trickier than AdWords. Trends come and go, and you might find audiences that interacted with your campaign vanish overnight. Platforms update their terms frequently, and a campaign that did well for weeks can suddenly get blocked.

However, you can reach users in a way that seems more organic and intimate. To reach a user over AdWords, they have to be searching for you or something related to you. In a social media feed, you can reach your user before they start looking.

Every second, 11 people use social media for the first time. In 2020, 3.8 billion people used social media - more than half the world’s population. That’s a huge audience. So how do you narrow it down to make sure your campaign is reaching the right people?

It’s simple, but not easy. You need to make sure you match your campaign to the right platform. Let’s look at Facebook and Instagram as examples.

Facebook is a comprehensive platform, with 1.62 billion active users. The majority of Facebook users are 65 and older, with teens making up a minority. So, it’s no surprise that 53% of Facebook users don’t understand why content shows up in their feed.

If your goal is to capitalize on a Facebook campaign, you need to be clear and concise. Your ad should be transparent to avoid confusing this audience.

Something else to keep in mind is that 94% of Facebook ad revenue comes from mobile users. If you want to capitalize on a mobile campaign, make your content mobile-friendly. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck in that 6%.

If teens make up a minority on Facebook, where are they? Instagram. Facebook may own Instagram, but it has a different demographic. It has 1 billion active users, and the largest demographic on Instagram is 18-24 years old.

For an Instagram campaign to be successful, you need to be aware of current trends and slang. To reach this younger audience, you have to take an approach that feels organic and subtle.

Instagram is becoming more and more popular among brands for the discovery portion of the funnel. 83% of users discover a new brand through Instagram. Like with Facebook, creating mobile-friendly content is essential since most Instagram users are fully mobile users.

Facebook and Instagram aren’t the only two social media platforms. We only looked at them here because they have the highest user base. Now that you have an idea of what to look for, you can use this knowledge to experiment with any platform you feel works for your brand.

Expanding your reach through paid traffic channels

Smart affiliate marketers know it’s crucial to use bought traffic in their strategy. However, this doesn’t mean you should neglect free traffic. Having diverse routes for reaching your audience is essential. This way, if one is taking longer to pay off, you have something in the interim. If one of them dries up and needs work, you have time to adjust your course without worrying that your audience will suffer.

Paid traffic is useful if your goal is to expand your reach. Use paid traffic to expand customer bases quickly — or experiment with age demographics. Sure, it requires a monetary investment, but that can pay off with frequent adjustments and solid research.

Free traffic is better long-term. You can use free traffic to build loyalty over a lifetime. It requires an investment of time but can pay off in the long run with consistency.

Both kinds of traffic have their pros and cons, and a good affiliate marketer knows how to leverage both. Now that you have some tips on bought traffic, you’re on your way to capitalizing on both kinds of traffic in the best way possible.

Want to work with an affiliate network that helps you make more predictable revenue through more diverse channels (such as paid ads)? Join MaxWeb! We’re the world’s fastest-growing affiliate network because we focus on maximizing results for affiliates and advertisers. Our offers are thoroughly vetted and provide maximum commissions — you’ll get payouts up to 3 times a week. Click here to see if MaxWeb might be a good fit for you.

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