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    Top affiliate traffic sources for 2017

    Where to get high-quality traffic? This is an eternal problem in affiliate marketing both for new players and experienced marketers. Here Dmitrii Zotov, co-founder of Affise Performance Marketing Platformtakes a look at the best ways and places to get the traffic you need

    Actually, there is no common answer to this question, as it depends on so many factors such as your niche, geo you are working in, your target audience, and so on. That’s why one and the same advertising campaign may have success on one traffic source, and be an absolute fail on the other.

    For example, YouTube is a huge traffic source from where you can drive a great number of potential clients to your offers. What you should realize is that all these people have one feature in common: they consume videos. So if your offer doesn’t contain any video content, then probably YouTube is not what you are looking for. And vice versa: if you are offering high-quality and informative video content, YouTube will be the right place from which you can drive traffic.

    So the message is: the more you understand your potential client – who are they, what they do, where they live – the better traffic source you can find for a particular type of audience. And don’t be afraid to test different traffic sources. Even though you may be losing some money on A/B testing in the beginning, you will definitely benefit much more once you understand what is working for you and what is not.

    As there is an enormous number of traffic sources nowadays, sometimes you may get lost while choosing a perfect one for you. But basically, they can be divided into two major groups: paid traffic and free traffic.

    Free traffic is the most tricky one. It may sound good, but it demands a way much more efforts and time from affiliate marketer. You can get free traffic by doing SEO, driving traffic from your personal blog or improving your social media or email marketing strategy. Practically, it may take you years to rank a site on page of search results or make your blog this popular so that it becomes a traffic source itself.

    Unfortunately, in affiliate marketing it’s not a good option at all. Affiliates can not wait for so long, as in several years the offer may no longer exist. So in this article I will concentrate on “must try and use” paid traffic sources, as they can help you get highly targeted traffic fast and receive much more conversions.

    Social Media Traffic

    Social networking websites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, WeChat, Weibo, QQ, VK – is one of the most popular traffic sources with a huge number of users. Almost everyone on Earth uses one or another social network, so the engagement rate there is really high. Social media companies collect a scope of their users’ information and allow advertisers to use it to target their campaigns in the most efficient way. That’s why there you can find the exact audience you are looking for. Moreover, people use social medias very often to find interesting articles and information, communicate with each other, or just to consume video and other entertaining content. The users are relaxed, thus it is much easier to sell them a product or service that they are into.

    Paid Search

    When we talk about paid search we usually mean advertisements that are placed on Google, Yandex,  Bing, 7search, Yahoo and Baidu. The last one is perfect when you are dealing with Asian market, by the way. Paid search has also high engagement rate, as every day we use one or another search engine to find necessary information. That is why the audience there is already prepared to buy something and just looking for best solution for themselves. So you may be the one who can solve their problems by offering your good or service to them. That is why the conversion rate is pretty high. However, such kind of advertising is quite expensive and you need to know how to work with it. Thus if you are a new player, I recommend you not to start with this particular traffic source, as you may lose your budget in no time if something goes wrong.

    Some affiliate marketers refer YouTube to search paid traffic as well. I can not help but agree with them as tons of people are visiting it to find some information or just enjoy their time. As I have already mentioned, Youtube has its own unique audience, that differs from those of other search engines in the way that they consume only video content. But still YouTube is a great place to be and the traffic is really cheap in comparison to the other search engines.

    Native Advertising

    Native advertising looks and works as a content on the website. It means that if it is Facebook or Twitter, it would look like an ordinary post in the news feed; if it is an entertaining or news media, native ads would match its format and style and look like an editorial content. That is why users are more likely to rely on the information it contains and become more loyal to a particular product or service that is advertised.

    Surely, you can create advertising content to a particular website on your own, which will be the cheapest way. But in this case you always risk that it would not match that perfectly to a website. Another way is to contact editors of the website you would like to place your ads to, as there is an increasing number of those who have their own Native Advertising Departments. For an advertiser it means not only a very high-quality content, but also a huge cost for it.

    But there is a happy medium. Outbrain, Taboola, ContentAd – these are native advertising networks, that offer their services of both high quality and good price.

    Mobile Traffic

    If you need to drive mobile traffic to your offer, you should consider working with the largest mobile advertising networks (InMobi, Millennial Media, Google Admob, Go2Mobi). As they deal with a huge number of app publishers, you will surely reach your target audience there. Moreover, all the networks use generally accepted standards for creatives, so you may use one and the same creatives in several different ad networks. Provided you have chosen the right advertising space and approach, your offers may be very profitable. For example, video format has become a real trend in mobile advertising. Unlike banners, video delivers much more information in one message, thus facilitating higher engagement rate. There are even separate ad networks that are concentrated on displaying videos at mobile apps and sites: Vungle, Adcolony, Fyber etc.

    Pop Traffic

    Pop-ups, pop-unders are such advertisements that open up in parallel with a web-site a user is visiting. So when you close the current page, you automatically appear at the advertising one. This kind of traffic is relatively cheap, but there is a bad news about it: you can not target the audience, so very often your offer pops up to absolutely irrelevant users.

    Basically, pop traffic is not really popular among affiliates, as this kind of traffic is considered by the users as vigorous marketing. Nevertheless, it does pretty well for some offers in different verticals. So if you suppose that it may work for you, here are some great pop traffic networks you may try: Zeropark, PropellerAds, PopAds, PopCash.

    As you can see, there are so many traffic sources in affiliate marketing, and this number is increasing from year to year. What was working ten years ago may not be useful in 2017. So don’t be afraid to test different traffic sources, both listed above and other, and wisely choose ones that meet your requirements, goals and budget. Best of luck to you, guys!


    Dmitrii Zotov is a co-founder of Affise Performance Marketing Platform. With over 10 years’ experience in the affiliate marketing industry Dmitrii has a profound background in creating and developing affiliate programmes and traffic analysis platforms as a software engineer. Having passed the way through media buying and working as a CTO and CEO of his own affiliate networks, Dmitrii is now a real expert in all the spheres of the industry.

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