April 28, 2015
Applying the Google Mobile Algorithm to an Affiliate Program
With the most recent Google ‘mobile-geddon’ algorithm update, it’s more apparent than ever that mobile strategy is a must have when building out an affiliate plan. After all, 2015 is the year of mobile. With smartphone usage up 76% and in-app engagement up 52%* (the fastest growing sector of mobile marketing), a lackluster mobile affiliate strategy means missed revenue opportunity.
For the affiliate channel, this means re-thinking how to engage the consumer. Engagement moves beyond a traditional purchase and onto app downloads, app engagement, mobile video, in-store purchases, and so on.
What Type of Affiliate Should You Be Working With?
With the shift to mobile, smart devices have become shopping assistants. We use them more then ever for price comparisons, shopping advice, promotions, and offers. According to Google Shopper Marketing Council, 84% of smartphone shoppers use their phones while in a physical store. Affiliate partners like Valassis and Ibotta are tapping into this trend to marry the online to in-store shopping experience. The use of beacons in-stores is becoming more relevant as well. Stores can now connect with shoppers in real time to provide promotions, coupons, and maps all through their mobile device.
Advertising in-app has been happening for years, but just as of recent has it really scaled to a new level. Affiliate partners Tapjoy, Fyber, and Woobi have been working to perfect the in-app experience by providing native ads and engaging content. The great thing about in-app advertising is that you can target the right user at the right time and not be intrusive or annoying while doing it. New advanced targeting capabilities allow advertisers to hone in on their ideal customer. In-app also no longer just means app downloads, but also includes rich media ads, app engagement, retargeting, video, and much more. Users are able to choose who they engage with versus being forced to interact with an ad.
As mobile continues to become more prevalent more DSP’s (demand-side platform) will pop up in the market. These companies, like Deep Forest Media, help provide a technology that allows advertisers to personalize their mobile campaigns across devices, making it a true omni-channel experience. Expect to see a new level of targeting in the coming months.
How Can You Help Affiliates Optimize Their Sites
The Right Creative
With smaller screen space on mobile and tablet it’s important that you are providing assets to partners that are mobile optimized.
- Banners that are static, non-flash
- Better image sizes: 168×28, 300×50, 250×250
- Less noise
Mobile Optimized Site
Ensuring that your site is mobile optimized is not only important, but also crucial when trying to make it a seamless user experience. If your site is not mobile optimized you will be at a disadvantage.
- Categories are easy to click through
- Shopping cart funnel is clear and concise
- Affiliate tracking link is on all mobile check out pages
- Product and deep links redirect to mobile site
As companies become better at targeting expect to see a higher level of user engagement and conversion rates. Brick and mortar companies will also be expected to have a mobile app to engage while customers are in-store. Advertisers will begin to notice a bigger shift in sales coming from mobile and less from online, transitioning from eCommerce to mCommerce.
At Schaaf-PartnerCentric we want to help you stay ahead of the curve with industry trends. Having a mobile strategy in place is crucial and we want to help ensure you are acquiring new customers and providing an optimal experience for your users.
If you’re interested in determining how Schaaf-PartnerCentric might help your affiliate program, please request a consultation.
* comScore: The U.S. Mobile App Report, August 21, 2014
* Google Shopper Marketing Council, April 2013