opinion

Traffic Equation: It’s Just Arithmetic

Stewart Tongue

Looking forward to 2014, traffic trends emerge from two central points of view, often with significant overlap among them. On the one hand there is a strong consensus that mobile will become increasingly dominant, in terms of raw numbers and in terms of conversion ratios when compared to traditional traffic. On the other hand, there is a growing sense of confidence that the line between adult traffic and mainstream marketing will become even more eroded or completely obviated over the next 12 months.

All of that opens up the logical premise that 2014 may be the start of marketing campaigns that use mobile adult content to sell mainstream products successfully.

Marketers are finally starting to see that when traffic is scaled up to a great enough degree, there is little difference in the value of adult or mainstream traffic because it tends to be the exact same people. -Clement, VideosZ.com

“In traffic we will continue to see an increase in mobile, whether it be phone or tablet,” said Wizzo of JuicyAds. “Everyone should have a mobile strategy for online business, or they will end up going the way of the Betamax. I’d also agree that we will continue to see more and more crossover from mainstream into adult. Whether that be mainstream affiliate networks having adult offers or mainstream products being offered on adult sites.”

“From my perspective, mobile traffic is trending to account for at least half (if not more) of the adult traffic that lands on adult sites,” said Joey Gabra, Managing Director of Affil4You.com “It’s going to become absolutely essential for businesses to have a full blown mobile strategy in place before the end of the year.”

For some it becomes a simple matter of arithmetic.

“Marketers are finally starting to see that when traffic is scaled up to a great enough degree, there is little difference in the value of adult or mainstream traffic because it tends to be the exact same people,” said Clement of VideosZ.com “I strongly expect 2014 to be a breakthrough year in both directions, with more mainstream companies accepting adult site affiliate traffic and more adult traffic brokers selling to large mainstream brands.”

When you consider how many consumers are visiting massive adult free sites and paysite properties each year, the population of the planet simply isn’t large enough for all of those people to somehow be a different group from the people who visit Amazon or any other massive mainstream site. The math itself proves it’s the same people, and marketing to all of them with a multi-channel approach is likely to yield better results than pretending there is no overlap in demographics among high volume websites from different sectors.

“Working in adult and mainstream gives you an opportunity to compare and contrast the trends in social marketing as they affect both markets,” said Lauren MacEwen of 7 Veils. “Often the goals for the two markets are much the same: increase brand exposure and drive traffic to the site. However, adult companies tend to excel at providing a variety of unique ways in which to drive traffic to sites. Mainstreamers tend to be more comfortable with focusing on branding over CTR (click through rate). That’s probably why the most successful campaigns are usually a hybrid of the two. The brand that is able to adapt to the social marketing trends and be responsive to their audience are the ones that have the most long term successful comprehensive campaigns.

‘Ultimately, whether you are in mainstream or adult, you need to have a long term vision when it comes to social marketing that is more than just branding or just CTR. Social is most successful when it is robust and encompasses SEO, branding, customer service, CTR, and works in tandem with your existing marketing strategy.”

The other side of the traffic equation is actually being able to convert it, unless you plan to sell clicks at a higher price than it cost you to acquire them. Marketers continue searching for products to sell in the free porn era which are capable of overcoming the drag caused by piracy, and that leaves some frustrated by the narrow approach too many affiliates take.

“I’m annoyed to see people still thinking the only two alternatives to selling porn are cams and dating,” said Richard Excoffier, CEO of TotemCash.com. “Desktop strippers have been making webmasters rich for 15 years now, they can’t be tubed effectively and remain a terrific option for converting traffic — hint, hint!”

In the year to come, identifying multiplatform traffic sources and finding ways to interconnect your adult interests with previously prohibited mainstream brands is likely to create a lot of lift for forward thinking adult site owners who are able to adapt.

Online poker becoming legal in more states may be just the tip of the iceberg for those who have suitable traffic to sell to mainstream ad buyers, and sites that ignore responsive design techniques or their mobile visitors may not be here in 2015 to discuss those short-sighted mistakes.

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