When we say “advertisement“ or simply mention ads, we will usually receive two types of immediate reactions, depending on the target’s position.
One is the position of a provider: business owner, seller, vendor, or creator of a product. From a provider’s angle, strategic promotion of a product is vital for reaching out to potential clients, seeing that it boosts public awareness and interest in the product, which further ensures revenue from successful purchases.
On the other hand, we have a regular Joe, or a consumer. But at the mention of ads, they will at the very least roll their eyes or make an irritated grimace, making it clear that ads are something that should be endured at best, and blocked at worst.
Nevertheless, provider and consumer are mutually dependent and neither would be able to get what they need – if not for marketing. It is a complicated relationship that endures, mostly thanks to constant demand and marketers’ imagination.
The number of consumers is constantly growing and technology is ever progressing, which results in more and more different products, which further results in a growing number of ads. Everyone needs to market their business in order to have any actual gain, and not only that – they must be smart and tactical enough to overcome the competition. Consequently, media outlets are oversaturated with advertisement, making it hard for consumers to determine what they actually want.
There is also the sensitive matter of false advertisement – “malvertising” and click fraud being the most prominent and the most dangerous. People are additionally wary of falling into a trap and this lack of trust initially applies to all ads, especially ones that appear on newly visited websites. Depending on the quantity and intensity of ads on a website, visitors may deem that place as dangerous. And if ad-blocking apps don’t help, this unease will only intensify.
Advertisement has gradually transgressed from a useful marketing tactic into furious elbowing for space and visibility. This situation inevitably brings us to the elephant in the room: ads can be incredibly annoying.
The annoyance factor
Sensibly viewed, something that causes a negative reaction certainly cannot seem productive. The annoyance factor triggers when an ad is forced upon us, and I know there isn’t a soul out there browsing the web who hasn’t experienced this. Annoying ads can appear in many different forms: a huge popup, sudden commercial burst, an autoplay video with the sound on, obtrusive banners, “suggestions” while downloading a certain product, etc.
However, the internet had trained us to tolerate a lot, especially if we are frequenting a website or social network that bears great interest for us. In truth, ads that we perceive as truly bad are primarily those which are utterly unrelated to what we are doing at the time.
Misplaced ads are an undesired interruption, an obstacle, and ultimately, they have little to no connection whatsoever to our interests. If you’re watching a video about animals, it would be very off-putting to suddenly see a commercial that features skin care products. If you’re browsing a gaming website, a banner that notifies you about fishing equipment on sale is more than out of place.
Moral of the story? Dealing with ads from the perspective of a marketer can never be truly substantial if you don’t include the circumstances of the consumer. In order to truly figure out how to deal with ads, we need to get acquainted with the product they feature, and that involves its creator, the advertiser, and how it will impact the audience.
Being a Provider
A provider of a product can be an enterprise or a solo entrepreneur, and they are the seller, vendor, merchant, a brand, even the product creator themselves. As a provider, you will normally have your own website – your store that is home to your products, and the destination of all your marketing links.
This store will have to be well organized, attractive and easy to navigate for customers. If your online store isn’t visually appealing and straightforward, visitors won’t be all that interested in making a purchase, no matter how good your products may be or how many ads you put out there.
Creating a crossover between an online store and a social network is a great way to build brand loyalty and valuable connections with clients. This is possible to achieve with WooCommerce Integration if you wish to get the best out of both worlds at the same time. Your product can be literally anything, from household tools to booking trips. But if you are specifically focused on digital merchandise, Easy Digital Downloads Integration will satisfy all your business needs while supporting the homey feel of a community.
A “socialized store” will leave a highly positive impression on all new visitors who followed up on your ads from elsewhere. You can never go wrong with an interactive, friendly atmosphere where everyone is able to gain.
In order to put your well-organized website and your products on the map, a sound marketing tactic is essential. There are two general approaches: organic marketing and paid advertisement.
Organic marketing features the product in blogs and other written content on social networks, where it’s mentioned contextually. Services and software can get the most of this approach because deeper understanding of their application will ensure more interest, and attract clients who will be able to further recommend it.
Paid advertisement is focused on performance metrics, where the goal is to get a positive return on investment. It’s pretty straightforward and widely applied. Also, ads can be used to boost organic marketing by directly implementing them into written content. This approach can increase brand awareness, you can gain better understanding of your targeted audience, and the content will generally have higher performance.
Being a Publisher – Marketing Affiliate
If you wish to monetize your website, social network or channel, becoming an affiliate is a sure-fire way to do so. What you’re doing is basically promoting the provider’s product in an appealing way to your audience, which in turn brings you a cut of the revenue.
This, however, is an oversimplification of the matter. Being a successful affiliate is a process that requires some serious thought and careful planning on your part.
The best foundation would be having a theme that your site revolves around and thus attracts targeted users of a certain niche. You are gathering people that follow a distinct lifestyle, or you’re focused on a hobby, or a topic that inspires and drives both you and like-minded individuals. For overall better impact on your community, you need to show that you are truly invested in that particular theme. Be active, be involved, and make sure that you are using plugins that will make your site truly shine.
Depending on the nature of your theme, you will be able to decide which product you should capitalize on. For example, if your site is focused on pictures and imagery, you can implement ads that feature software for editing images, or professional cameras that could capture the best views, or even photography courses and similar educational programs that concern visual arts. Think about all those helpful tools and means that make your sphere of interest possible, and you will know the type of ads your community will find appealing and useful.
Once you figure out what kind of products you’d like to advertise on your site, you will know what kind of providers you need. Yes – you can engage with more than one provider. You can find various marketing programs on the web by simple means of organic search. Affiliate marketing programs are sites that act as middlemen between a provider (merchant) and affiliate (publisher) – in this case, you. As a publisher, you will contribute to provider’s business by making their products visible to the right audience, and you’ll make money without actually being the seller.
Affiliate marketing types
For the publisher, the main point of being a marketing affiliate is the reward. And as affiliate, how you advertise the product directly dictates how you’ll earn that reward. There are three different ways of advertising, or more precisely, getting paid:
- pay per sale
- pay per lead
- pay per click
These types of advertising/payment also represent the types of marketing programs you’ll want to look into. Depending on how you’d like to get paid, you’ll seek out the intermediary website where you’ll be able to find a merchant who meets your requirements. Let’s break down these types so you’d have a clearer picture about their application.
Pay per sale is pretty straightforward: once the customer purchases the product, you will receive a percentage of the sale price, determined beforehand in the deal you’ve made with the provider. This type of advertising works the best if your audience shows great interest in the product you’re promoting, its price is acceptable, and its quality is acknowledged. In other words, you are sure that there will be buyers within your community.
Pay per lead is something like a more complex version of “pay per sale”. Your job here is to persuade customers (members of your community) to get properly involved with what the provider is offering. They should be interested enough to visit the provider’s website, register there, go for a trial version of the product, subscribe to newsletter. You may already suspect that this concept would be best suited for software, based on the customer’s engagement. Besides the ad itself, your own personal comment on the product can do wonders, likewise a well-composed blog or a video. Pay per lead actually combines organic marketing and paid advertisement for the best conversion rate.
Pay per click is (seemingly) the simplest of the bunch: all the user needs to do is click on the ad, which will redirect them to the provider’s website. The frequency of clicks, or more specifically, increase in web traffic on the provider’s website will in turn increase your pay. However, to achieve this simplicity, your ad’s placement should be both immediate and unobtrusive; remember the story about the “annoyance factor”? As a criterion, try to recall which ads you had clicked in the past, how they were presented to you, and why you thought it was a good idea to click on them. If an ad isn’t appealing to you, it probably won’t be appealing to your users either.
Be a wise publisher
It is entirely up to you which type of advertising you’ll choose. Still, don’t decide lightly. The factors that influence this decision are primarily your own circumstances and possibilities, and you should weigh them carefully.
Do you have enough interested members to ensure the desired revenue?
If your community is still new and underdeveloped, forcing ads upon it may actually chase away what little members you have instead goading them to make a purchase. They may perceive you as money-grabbing opportunist instead of like-minded individual who provides a haven for those interested in the same topic. Yes, creating a website is an investment in itself, but if you’re properly organized, you will have a return eventually. If your community is still small, try to stick to donations until it gets bigger. People expect ads on sites with thousands of members, let alone more, because as the number of members grows, so do the costs of maintenance. Be patient, rely on logic and smart planning – not on greed.
Did you pick the right product?
No matter how good the product might seem to you, if your users don’t show interest in seeking it out, it might fall flat. Look into their activities and try to single out the things they talk about the most, what makes them tick, what they’re using the most in regard to your site’s theme. Even though digging through piles of content may be a bit tedious, you might find a golden goose somewhere among those posts.
Is your provider reliable?
You should always do some research on the merchant before you “shake on it”, as well as the very product you’ll feature on your website. You really, really don’t want to find yourself doing anything that falls under the dreaded false advertising. You wouldn’t lose anything in the material sense – at least not immediately, but you’ll lose the precious trust of your community members; not only will many of them leave, but they’ll also blacklist your website on other social media. In business, reputation is often everything. Again, do some research, look into the most recent reviews of the provider and their products on the web. And if you want to be completely sure of your decision, be prepared for a smart investment: buy the product in question and see for yourself whether it’s worth it.
A great example of a reliable provider is actually PeepSo itself. Consider checking it out 😉
How long do you want to advertise a certain product?
Trends are ever changing, and so do the needs of consumers. You should carefully track interests of your community, and offer new things as interests change in time. You can even create a poll about what they value the most in tools or gear they use, related to your website’s theme, and from their answers figure out the type of products they’d be interested in the most.
So you’ve figured out what kind of ad you’d like to publish, you’ve found a great provider and an appealing product, you’ve chosen your type of advertising… Now is the time to actually apply it.
Simply slapping the ad onto your website and hoping for the best isn’t gonna cut it. Any kind of marketing requires strategic thinking, and your job here is to use it to the fullest.
Visual presentation is important, but again, don’t forget the annoyance factor and how in-your-face method will likely decrease interest instead of doing the exact opposite. You must always give your users room to function as they normally do on your website. If you implement an ad in the form of an autoplay video, or a popup that covers the majority of the screen, you’re automatically blocking your users’ normal functioning.
People will expect to be interrupted and sidetracked on large websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., because those sites are extremely popular and they cover a huge amount of different topics and interests – and even there it’s rather off-putting. It’s like crowded traffic in the city center: almost everything is taken in stride, even advertisement. However, your website is something like a resort for all the people who just want to dedicate themselves to their precious niche.
Advertisement and membership
Here’s an experience I had with a website I’m frequenting as a member, where registration is free.
Over time, as the community evolved, I noticed a growing amount of ads in the form of dynamic banners, positioned at the top and on the side of pages. Since the website is dedicated to gamers, those ads are featuring various video games. I wasn’t interested in any of them because of my particular and refined RPG taste, so they were outright bothering me. I used an ad-blocker to get rid of them, and then I noticed a different banner that informed me about the nature of those ads: the website is using them to fund their functioning and my use of adware was undermining their efforts. I didn’t want to harm the website I love to visit, but I also didn’t want ads to ruin my whole experience.
Fortunately, I was presented with paid membership plans. Seeing how initial registration is free, I was eased into the matter of paid membership because it is an option with understandable conditions. People generally love options, and dislike being forced into anything.
For a small, fixed amount, I could get rid of ads forever, and earn the title of a Supporter. I have to admit, and I think many would agree with me, having a VIP title within the community I care about is deeply gratifying. For a different amount that I could pay on a monthly or yearly level, I could become a Premium member: I’d be rid of ads, and also enjoy super-fast downloads of files shared among members of the community. Both options are great, but seeing that I wasn’t so much into sharing files, the former was more appealing for me. And so, I’ve Supported the website I love, and I don’t have to put up with annoying ads anymore. Win-win!
This combination of optionally paid membership and advertising is excellent if your website supports free registration, and it has outgrown the donation concept. Moreover, if users are frequently exchanging files of considerable size, you have to think about your bandwidth and server cost. You can condition users in this non-aggressive way, so you’d be able to pay for maintenance and even earn money on the side. Your community members will be happy to help, they will fell good about themselves for supporting the place they love, and it will show in their titles.
Balanced, smart advertising on your social network can be easily achieved with Advanced Ads Integration. You can place ads so they’ll seamlessly fit into your community, you can regulate them whenever and however you like, you can exclude VIP members from seeing them by the aforementioned recipe. All in all, this plugin will make your Affiliate role much, much easier and I cannot recommend it enough if you wish to be smart about monetizing your website through advertisement.
If seeking out providers through affiliate programs sounds like too much of a hassle, but you’d still like to make money through marketing means, there is another option. You can be the “affiliate” for your own community members! They’ll advertise their stuff on your website, or seek out the things they’d like to buy, and you’ll be the intermediate who makes their connections possible. You’ll be able to earn by charging for the service of being an intermediate.
Your website doesn’t even have to be strictly classifieds site; we’ve already covered the benefits of having a community along with business. Instead, you can integrate WPAdverts into your existing social network. Ads can feature anything your community members wish to sell or buy from each other, depending on your niche. All you have to do is make sure your website runs smoothly, and the users are able to easily reach out to each other, as intended.
Before every significant project, you always need to have a plan, preferably long-term. Earning a quick buck can get you exactly that – something quick and not exactly substantial, but being smart and methodical about business can get you a long way. Weigh your goal and your options carefully before you make a decision that concerns making money.
The one thing that will always be an undisputed advantage in digital ventures is a solid foundation: your website. Make sure it’s up to the task.
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