Affliate Marketing Takes to the Mobile Life

Mobile sales took a whopping 27 percent of all affiliate sales links in December, highlight the growing power of portable devices for Internet marketers. Affiliate networks are also experiencing the shift to mobile with increasing sales numbers and click throughs.

Some affiliate marketers are deploying mobile only campaigns, and are yielding immediate results. One marketing firm experimented and generated $20,000 in 20 days.

You may be asking, “What is affiliate marketing?” Affiliate marketing is the referral of business to a merchant for a percentage. There is usually one or two intermediaries, a network and/or the publisher.

What differentiates mobile affiliate marketing from the traditional approaches towards affiliate marketing? For starters, applications are beginning to offer affiliate marketing opportunities for driving web traffic and sales. For example, Winner.com is offering affiliate marketing opportunities with its UK-based gaming applications.

Another is text sales. Businesses who have ample amounts of mobile numbers in their database can offer affiliate text links. When sales occur, revenues go up.

Several mobile affiliate networks provide opportunities to affiliate market for publishers and advertisers alike. Some traditional methods that can be repurposed for mobile media, too. Content, ad spots, search ads, social media and rich media (video and pictures) can all provide link opportunities for mobile revenue.

A critical issue that should concern mobile brands interested in offering affiliate opportunities is analytics. Most sites don’t have affiliate tracking available unless they are using a network.

The analytics problem is particularly difficult for app based opportunities that use Google Play or the iTunes store as an intermediary. Analytics need to be recoded with a Software Development Kit and the app needs to be refiled with the store to ensure usage numbers are tracked accurately.

Are you considering mobile affiliate ads as a part of your 2014 marketing efforts? What opportunities and challenges have you encountered?