The number of mobile device users globally has risen substantially ever since smartphones became popular. It was not long ago that mobile device users overtook desktop users in numbers and the gap has only got wider from that point forth. This has mostly affected the e-commerce side of things—in the United States alone, experts estimate that more than 50% of e-commerce will be done via mobile platforms by 2021.
Affiliate marketing—the basic premise of which is one party promoting the products or services of another party in exchange for a cut in profits—has quickly evolved to incorporate mobile platforms into its practice, a category called mobile affiliate marketing. With mobile device users constantly increasing, affiliate marketing in mobile is all about establishing a presence in that platform too. The purpose is to use the growing number of users, all of whom are potential customers, to their advantage. In this guide, get a comprehensive look of what mobile affiliate marketing is, what makes it work, how it differs from traditional marketing and ultimately the best programs available.
How Does Mobile Affiliate Marketing Work
As is the case with affiliate marketing, the mobile equivalent works in the same way in that a company that sells products or offers certain paid services uses an affiliate (usually another company or an influencer) to promote said products or services for a commission. In other words, the affiliate puts an ad on their website/platform, customers see those ads and click them (which may or may not lead to a sale), and ultimately conversion rates are tracked to see how effective the process was and to determine sales rates. Based on the final data, the affiliate receives a portion of the money its own customers spent on the promoted product/service. This may get confusing to some and understandably so. The process, if not downright the same, is awfully similar to that of affiliate marketing.
Obviously, the line has got blurrier but mobile affiliate marketing meaning, in essence, is affiliate marketing targeted at mobile devices. Same practice, different platform. In the end, it is that simple. Nevertheless, one key difference that deserves to be noted is that between advertisers and affiliates there is a middleman in mobile affiliate marketing. Called mobile affiliate networks, these are mobile platforms that offer performance-based advertising.
Simply put, these networks have a huge amount of daily traffic that they can offer to advertisers. The huge traffic is a major appeal to advertisers who can choose to publish and monetize their ads on those networks. It sounds counter-intuitive but the mobile platform, as far as affiliate marketing is concerned, is one that has not been over-saturated with competition yet. On the contrary, there are only a handful of great affiliates on the mobile platform worth their salt, which creates issues from a supply-demand perspective. This is not the case with its desktop counterpart, though it is what makes affiliate marketing on mobile phones so advantageous currently.
Mobile Affiliate Marketing Definition
As established before, mobile affiliate marketing is when a company that is in the business of selling products or services finds an affiliate who promotes the other company’s products or services and gets a share of the sales in return. Mobile affiliate marketing is exclusively directed towards mobile device users and uses tools and platforms specifically designed with mobile platforms in mind.
Mobile Affiliate Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
Both marketing methods share some elements in common. The end goal is to advertise something and sell it to a client. Traditional marketing on the internet works in various degrees. At times it is effective, other times not so much. There is a certain level of uncertainty that advertisers have to work with any time they choose the traditional methods.
Traditional website marketing has two main tools—Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). PPC is by far the easiest one to set up and run. It is also far easier to track as the data is readily available. However, a major problem with PPC is that only 35% of the ads run by this method are seen. The rest is kind of ignored as they vanquish into oblivion in pages that do not see much traffic. SEM, in comparison, provides desirable conversion rates and great results instantly. The drawback it suffers from is that once keywords become hot, it gets increasingly expensive to run ads through them.
Compared to traditional marketing, mobile affiliate marketing—albeit very much having the same purpose—offers new solutions to existing marketing problems. The level of uncertainty—which can be attributed to people being suspect of advertised products—is mostly gone, as advertising is done through an affiliate which creates some form of initial trust between the client and the product. Think of it this way—would you buy a certain product trusting an ad or someone who you know recommending it to you?
The answer is obvious. Word of mouth and initial impressions matter. An Internet influencer, who serves as an affiliate in this context, has the necessary following and goodwill among people to endorse your brand in a positive light. And people are more likely to purchase a product to which they are referred rather than through a traditional ad.
Most importantly, from a business perspective, it makes sense to engage in mobile marketing as you pay for advertisements only when they convert into results. In other words, you do not pay for people to see your brand, you pay when people buy from your brand. This benefits both the advertiser and the affiliate.
Affiliate Marketing for Mobile Apps
Affiliate marketing with mobile apps is gaining traction all over the world. It makes sense, really. The mobile app market is on a tremendous growth trajectory. Millions of apps are downloaded on mobile devices every day and many more millions are spent in them. Using this opportunity for affiliate marketing is a logical step that advertisers use.
It is not as invasive as other advertising methods and benefits all parties included. Affiliate marketing on mobile apps allows app creators to gain revenues from their apps without distracting their own users with third-party ads. Most of the time, affiliate marketing uses relevant and appropriate ads to the customer for best results. This allows for strategic partnerships to be formed where both the advertiser and the affiliate benefit mutually.
Moreover, you can cut down on marketing costs by using affiliate marketing on your own apps. Using referral programs you incentivize your customers to bring in new users for your other apps.
Mobile Affiliate Marketing Programs
There are a lot of great mobile affiliate marketing programs on the Internet which you can use to improve your business marketing strategy. The following list that we compiled highlights some of the best programs out there.
- Apple App Store Affiliate
- Amazon Mobile Associates
- Cash App