Nowadays, affiliate marketing is dominated by affiliate networks, such as Amazon. But mobile affiliate marketing has opened up the playing field for publishers and brands as mobile ad networks remained fragmented. 

Affiliate marketing is already a billion dollar industry with the biggest growth being experienced in the mobile sector. 

Despite the simplicity of its model, many app developers and brands remain skeptical of its efficacy or even confused of what it is. 

Here, we’re going to explain what separates mobile affiliate marketing from traditional affiliate marketing and why it is such a growing industry.  

What is Mobile Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy for brands to drive traffic their products or service pages using third party affiliate platforms. 

Mobile affiliate marketing is the very same concert, but it’s concentrated solely on mobile traffic. 

Affiliate marketing is the same thing as advertising, but affiliates are paid based on specific actions taken on a landing page, as opposed to merely offering the real estate for an ad. For example, if an app developer hosts a link on its site that a user clicks on and the user ends up buying a product from that link then the app developer will be rewarded a cut of that sale by the advertiser. 

But there are varying degrees of traffic and conversion types that advertisers will pay for. If an affiliate drives a ton of unqualified leads to an ad, they still might end up receiving no pay if it doesn’t result in any conversions. 

Essentially, there are four actors in the affiliate network:

  • Users 
  • Publishers (Affiliates)
  • Advertisers (Brands)
  • Networks

What are Affiliate Networks?

There are two types of affiliate networks. Affiliates can either host products or services on their website (like Amazon) and split profits with brands or they can host a link on their website that sends them back to the native landing page on the brand’s site. 

Affiliate links can be hosted on a number of mobile platforms, including:

  • Websites
  • Social media networks
  • Native apps

Understanding Conversion Types for Mobile 

Most brands will only pay affiliates if users take specific actions. This helps them save money and only drive qualified traffic to their site. The most common conversion types on mobile include:

  • App installs
  • Product purchases
  • Service subscriptions
  • Form fills

The Role of Suppliers

App developers and website owners have a great opportunity to further monetize their mobile traffic flow. 

But there are strategies publishers can take, such as improving their mobile web interface, to increase their affiliate monetization strategy. Of course, this shouldn’t come at the cost of promoting your own native products. 

What Makes Mobile Affiliate Marketing Different?

This all sounds pretty simple and straightforward, right? Well, mobile affiliate marketing is a relatively new field and publishers or app developers can benefit the most from this. 

Mobile is starting to replace traditional affiliate marketing for a few reasons:

  • Mobile traffic outpaces desktop
  • Mobile ad networks are not concentrated (e.g. on Facebook or Google)
  • Over 80% of total phone usage occurs in apps 
  • Mobile devices offer more ways to reach people along the conversion path
  • Traffic remains cheap for suppliers at the moment

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks. For one, mobile conversions are lower than desktops because most people use their phones for research. 

But, mobile connections are arguably stronger between brands and leads. I mean our phones are in our pockets 24/7 and a simple push notification will remind you of that. 

For more information about mobile affiliate marketing or if you’re not sure it’s the right strategy for your app, contact us today and we’ll help you decide on the proper monetization and marketing strategies for your mobile products.