2012 Affiliate Predictions, By Yours Truly…

2012 Affiliate Predictions, By Yours Truly…

I hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend!

Since we’re less than a week out from 2012,
I thought it’d be fitting to put out three predictions
of what I think are going to be key considerations
going into the new year.

These are primarily going to be relevant to affiliates,
but if you’re into buying traffic for your own offers
I think you’ll still get something out of it.

I’ll preface by saying these are simply my opinion, nothing more.

Let’s get started:

#1 – Facebook Ads will become more of a pain to deal with than Google.

The writing is on the wall for this one.

More and more, Facebook has been tightening up on
advertisers. Sure, their ad approval team have always
left something to be desired, but I think we’re going to
see more and more accounts disabled simply due to
disapproval ratios, and retro-WOT (mywot.com) ratings.

Keep in mind that Facebook will be going public soon,
and they can’t have a bunch of affiliates running around
with low budgets, uploading countless ads with scantily
clad women in them.

They have direct advertisers with massive budgets such as
AXE and Victoria Secret to do that, without having to worry
about optimizing for conversions.

Yes, when you bring millions in ad spend potential, the world
tends to open itself up for you.

With their new “in-feed” sponsored stories, they’re basically
allowing what FB spammers have done for a while.

Does this mean “affiliate marketing on Facebook is DEAD!”

Ugh, no, I wouldn’t say that. I can’t stand those types of
“sky is falling” blanket statements.

Focusing on promoting offers that Facebook is “OK” with,
keeping your ad approval ratio high, and understanding that
you can be retro-banned are a few steps in the right direction.

Also, collecting leads and building out a longer conversion path
will help in my opinion.

The good news is, unlike Adwords, FB still seems cool with
“bridge pages” and simple opt-in pages… for now.

#2 – Thousands of affiliates will jump to mobile in the search
for riches and get torched in the process.

The hype was at an all time high in 2011, encouraging affiliates to
jump to mobile advertising, pay-per-call, and the like.

Certain people will continue to hype it and profit off the hype, claiming
that mobile is “SO EASY” and that it’s the holy grail of affiliate marketing.

Owners of “mobile only” networks will have you believe that mobile is
“just like Adwords in 2003…”.

I’m here to yet again be the voice of reason and reality.

Mobile isn’t like Adwords in 2003, it’s not even like Adwords in 2009.

Some of the hype is real. Yes, there are far less restrictions.
Yes, the ad networks are much more accommodating. Yes you can do
decent direct linking. Yes, you can setup campaigns very quickly.

And yes, there is a TON of volume

But understand, the way you optimize is quite a bit different than on
traditional ad platforms, and margins are slim on a lot of the CPA stuff
you’ll probably run.

There is big profit potential here, just don’t go thinking you’ll be able to
just throw up a campaign with a tiny budget and expect it to work right
out of the gate. You burn through cash very quickly if you don’t do it
right. Question anyone building it up as an easy, hands off traffic source.

One are of mobile that I personally like though, is Pay-Per-Call, with good
old Google Search. Click costs can be high, but so are the payouts, and
conversions are strong for the top end offers. If you’re good with
search based marketing, you may want to consider pay-per-call.

So, understand that mobile, like anything else, will take work and heavy
optimization, typically.

#3 – More and more affiliates will realize how most offers pay off for
the offer owner, and they’ll understand the power of their own back-end.

I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the biggest challenges affiliates
have to deal with is their lack of margin.

Basically, merchants and offer owners can pay so much on the front
end for acquisition, because they have a back-end model in place.

I’ve posted on my blog several times about simple strategies you
can implement when it comes to building the backend of an affiliate
business, but really it comes down to building something.

That “something” can be a portal site, a targeted list, a site of celebrity surveys,
simply brokering or selling the leads you collect, creating your own
cheap front end product… etc etc.

However, at the end of the day, affiliates are starting to realize the
importance of acquiring data and having some stability.

Hunting once, and eating for a long time. Not always chasing your
next kill.

Simple metrics like “dollar per lead” will become your best friend
when you go this route.

In our Six Months From Today forums (http://www.sixmonthsfromtoday.com/trial)
I talk in depth on one of the most basic “somethings” you can build.

It’s a business model I call “The Pseudo-Merchant”, and I give
examples of how you can build quick funnels where you
promote several offers on the back end and immediately upon
capturing leads.

So that’s just one model of how to quickly do it.

Data and lead value will be where you want to focus. You’ll start
to understand that every lead you capture is worth $X to you.

This gives you numbers you can reference as you test out other
traffic sources.

Data (name, email, demographics, etc) is key… so unless you’re
purchasing that data from somewhere or acquiring it somehow,
then you best be generating it yourself.

What this does is allows you to build your own asset and not
be at the mercy of bi-polar traffic sources and offers.

So there you have it.

3 predictions that are simply my opinion, but I think they’re
something to keep in mind as you look to create lasting
New Years Resolutions, vs. just New Years Hallucinations.

Have a safe and happy New Years… talk soon!

Chad Hamzeh

P.S.: We’re currently running a trial for the Six Months from Today
forums. For $4.95 you can get access for 14 days! We’re at
just about 200 members now, and people are loving the content.

Plus, as a bonus, you’ll get my Profit101 course for free:

http://www.sixmonthsfromtoday.com/trial