When we began to plan our latest series of webinars, we asked Advidi clients what they most wanted to see discussed. We were inundated with thoughts, but by far, the most popular topic was Dating Creatives. It wasn't a surprise - this vertical is notoriously varied. In fact, when speaking to affiliates who come to the Dating Vertical, from others, such as Nutra and eCommerce, they often tell of their surprise at the range of offers and diversity of landing pages available in this space.
With the increasingly lucrative GEOs now operating across the Dating Vertical, we thought there was no better time to take a deep dive into matching creatives with offers.
The webinar, which was hosted by our program director Maja Mitovic, details the considerations that should be made by those who operate in or are entering the Dating Vertical. Maja was joined by Advidi Senior Account Manager, Marina Baskaric and Ovation Media Buyer Ewa Galina who share their own insights on how best to win in this space.
So, let’s dive in; Where do you start? What do you look at and what do you test? Here are some of the top takeaways from the webinar, but be sure to tune in to hear more of the indispensable knowledge shared.
What comes first, the creatives, or the offer?
Like the chicken and egg before it, it’s a question that doesn’t have a simple answer. For the user, it’s the creative (banner and pre-lander) that comes first and sets them on their journey towards the offer. For the advertiser, they of course, start with and focus on the offer and from there, look at how to monetise the users. It’s the affiliate's job to unite the two by producing new, or adapting existing creatives, choosing between the combination of banners or pre-landers which funnel traffic to the offer.
At Advidi, affiliates are trusted to build their own creatives. This usually translates into a visually attractive banner that incorporates their personal expertise and knowledge of what is resonating with users in the Dating Vertical. That cycle is then completed with the pre-lander. However, as both Ewa and Marina pointed out, we see time and again, testing plays an important role in this cycle and there’s huge value in looking at what users do and do not respond to. It is an ongoing cycle of optimization. You start with the offer, build the creatives, and adapt different elements with testing. For affiliates, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself a few questions before launching:
Do the chosen visuals suit the GEO that is being targeted?
Does the banner grab attention?
Is the copy and call to action clear and understandable?
What colour schemes may or may not work?
Where to start and what to consider.
For advertisers, there’s a huge amount of research that goes into the landers. From securing copyright of images to finding the balance between the trends in the Dating vertical and retaining their unique brand offer. But, as Marina says in the webinar, the real game-changer is affiliate feedback. Tweaking landers, for example, in terms of colours, copy, images or creating custom pages that align with affiliate flows is what brings the competitive edge.
There’s also no need to start from scratch when there is a host of research about what is working and what isn’t via spy tools. These are a valuable resource for affiliates that are new to the vertical, the GEO or for those who want to regain that competitive edge. They help assess what is working, however there are limitations with that. If a banner is successful, it means it can become saturated and therefore lose its impact. So, we suggest employing spy tools for inspiration and avoid a copy and paste job.
Ewa reminds affiliates that banners are made up of lots of elements - copywriting, images and layout - so experiment and assess what resonates with the end-user. Use spy tools to gather intel, look at what is working by observing others but never lose your unique point of view. By experimenting with the various layers of your banner, you can create fresh creatives while reflecting the needs of your offer.
Looking at successful strategies for dating creatives?
As is evident in all affiliate marketing, there is no-one-size-fit- all strategy for Dating creatives. Advertisers stay ahead of the game by launching new brands regularly to avoid saturation. They look at what is trending and ensure their lander features are up-to-date. With that, there is variation in advertiser strategy:
1) advertisers with 30+ landers that look recognisable with every brand
2) advertisers with only 1 golden lander per offer
3) advertisers that focus on custom affiliate solutions
4) advertisers that do all of the above
As advertisers test against what is working for others, naturally so do affiliates. For Ewa, this means also testing various offer landing pages against others that are less commonly used which gives affiliates a competitive edge and allows them to run something that is fresh. If a landing page is working well, it can easily become saturated, so testing to find the next winner can be essential. With that in mind, it is vital to ensure a constant flow. So, when a user clicks on a banner, they are responding to the CTA. This must be retained in the pre-lander in order to convert. Testing, once again, is crucial.
Conversion rates and quality.
In setting up your long-term strategy, it is imperative to take into account the balancing act which is front end conversion rates and backend quality. The aim should be to ensure that users signing up are engaged, interested and will spend more time on the backend. For this, frequent quality feedback from your affiliate manager, or the advertiser is essential.
In looking to optimise conversion rates, It’s a good idea to continuously compare your pre-landers and landers, and to remove any duplicate elements. After all, Ewa said, “you want to engage and inspire the end-user, not bore them!” Experimenting with split testing direct linking and pre-landers is also something to consider. Offers vary and it’s vital to look at what will work best in line with the offer available. Again, this comes back to the cycle of testing, and quality feedback.
As is evident, the world of Dating Creatives is vast and there’s lots to consider when creating your perfect match. This post has only just scratched the surface, so if what you’ve read has piqued your interest, be sure to check out the full webinar. The information shared is designed to maximise offers, ensure clicks become conversions and provide lucrative results for both advertisers and affiliates. Enjoy!