Online adult entertainment has become more and more diverse over the years, and for those who are experts at affiliate marketing, there are many different types of websites to promote. With content-driven membership sites, affiliates are typically promoting downloadable or streamed erotica.
But with interactive adult sites such as live webcam sites and dating sites, affiliates are typically promoting sites in which the customer is more than a passive observer. And while there is no reason why an affiliate who promotes one type of adult site cannot promote another, it is important for affiliates to understand the subtleties and nuances of different types of affiliate programs.
Ultimately, it is important to have a wide variety of options available to create a good mix of content and interactive offerings that is appealing to the type of users that make up the traffic stream. -Josh Torrey, CM Productions and BaDoink.com
Josh Torrey, traffic manager for CM Productions and BaDoink.com, told XBIZ that the quality of traffic is a major consideration regardless of whether affiliates are promoting content-based sites, interactive sites or a combination of the two. But affiliates, he stressed, must understand how much the goals of different types of sites can vary.
“One of the hardest parts of mixing interactive marketing with a strong knowledge base of content marketing is that with content marketing, there is typically one goal: to get a sale,” Torrey explained. “Once the sale occurs, you get paid. For interactive marketing, there are a number of different goals such as acquiring leads, sales, upsells, etc. that can all come into play based on the type of traffic. There tends to also be a much longer tail. A tail is the sales that come from leads — sometimes two days, sometimes two weeks, or even sometimes longer than two months down the line.
“Bringing the tail into the equation can complicate the traffic optimization to a whole new level compared to content marketing. Ultimately, it is important to have a wide variety of options available to create a good mix of content and interactive offerings that is appealing to the type of users that make up the traffic stream.”
Torrey added: “To run an effective affiliate program for content offers, it is important to have the ability to niche out the landers. For interactive offers, it is important to have a variety of different styles and presentations of the landers that demonstrate the interactive nature of the offer.”
Sarah Jayne Anderson, affiliate manager for HustlerCash.com, told XBIZ that for affiliates, the ultimate goal is the same with both content-driven sites and interactive sites: conversion.
“At the core level, for the affiliate, the mechanics of marketing content-based sites versus experience-focused sites such as dating are the same,” Anderson observed. “You are still looking to harness traffic and filter it so that you are sending it to the offer with which you feel it is most likely to convert. Just like with the traditional adult video-focused membership sites, dating has markets and niches within it. And so, to some degree, marketing is marketing — which isn’t to say that they don’t have their differences. Both can have their battles to be fought.
“Dating is a lot harder to tube, for example, but in a post-Tinder world, consumers are increasingly used to getting their hookup experiences for free. So again, very much like with content-based marketing, it becomes about convincing the consumer that you have something that is worth paying to see or experience.”
Asked how great the learning curve is if someone has extensive experience with affiliate programs for sites specializing in downloadable or streamed content but not with affiliate programs for webcam or dating sites (or vice-versa), Anderson replied, “I don’t think it is all that much of a learning curve apart from having to spend a bit of time learning the slight differences in how the models work. Reading terms is always important because techniques which might be commonplace in one sector can be frowned upon in the other.”
Anderson added: “At a mechanics level, you will often see different payout structures in the content-based affiliate programs than you will with interactive programs. For content, it is usually going to boil down to PPS or CPA payouts or revshare. The interactive programs may differ by adding in a pay-per-lead, or PPL, option. What exactly constitutes a lead and how much you will get paid for it will change with each program, but typically, it means the site visitor provided some contact information but didn’t actually join.”
Yuval Kijel, who heads the cam-oriented Streamate.com’s affiliate program Cambuilder, told XBIZ that with cam sites, affiliates need to be aware of all the promotional tools that are available. “With live cam sites, affiliates get a much wider variety of promo tools — mainly those promoting live action,” Kijel noted. Examples of such tools, Kijel said, can include “a live IM banner showing the actual stream from a live room or a live pop-under showing a live stream from a room. These types of promo tools are way more engaging and are more likely to result in a successful conversion.
“On content sites, promotion is limited to an animated banner for very short videos. So basically, you see the same thing every time,” he said. On the cams promotion, you see a different model every time. So it’s more likely users will click it, as it’s new, fresh and different.”
Catherine Dunn of MindGeek told XBIZ: “I wouldn’t necessarily say there is a huge learning curve from streamed to interactive.” Nonetheless, Dunn stressed that affiliates must “have a fundamental understanding of your intended audience.”
Dunn observed: “Downloadable or streaming content is primarily based on genres or types of fantasies that the viewer prefers to watch. One of the strengths of video content is that it allows you to drill down to select the specific fantasy or preference of a given set of users and target them with a tailored marketing campaign. The flexibility you get in promoting hundreds of fantasies is a key asset and, when used properly, can be quite successful in affiliate marketing.
“Webcams and dating sites offer an entirely different experience. In this model, you are playing to consumers that are looking for real-world interaction with another human being,” Dunn said. “Your primary goal as an affiliate in this space is to trigger an emotional connection with the girls or guys performing live on the site. Both options can be equally successful as long as there is great marketing behind it.”
Paul Acevedo, director of marketing for the DDF Network, told XBIZ that affiliates who are promoting content-based sites should not shy away from promoting interactive sites as well.
“As an affiliate,” Acevedo advised, “it’s a smart move to promote both, as it really depends on the mood of customers and what they will be into. If they need a quick fix and know what they are looking for, streaming or downloadable content is going to be their choice. If they have more time and want to have a little fantasy experience, then cams can be really mind-blowing. Additionally, cams can be expensive, so there’s that aspect as well.”
Acevedo added: “Being from the content side, yet promoting interactive adult sites via white-label and partner offers, we’ve found that in both instances, having the best content possible works best. For instance, on the content side, you may have tons of fresh new movies regularly, but you need to really keep track of the very best as well as the best stars and keep them in your tours and landings regularly — even if they’ve been released a few months ago.
“You have brand new customers coming to your site; so show them the best, which is not always the latest,” he said. “And these scenes should be the material affiliate marketing tools are made of. On the interactive side, the best girls should always be present as well, rotating with fresh new faces who appear quite often.”
In the adult dating sector, Adult FriendFinder continues to be an interactive leader. AFF maintains a large affiliate program, and affiliates have a variety of dating sites to promote. A webmaster with strong gay traffic, for example, could promote GayFriendFinder.com or OutPersonals.com, while a webmaster with robust BDSM traffic could promote Alt.com. And AdultFriendFinder.com and HotMatch.com, both major destinations for heterosexual hookups, have strong affiliate marketing appeal as well.
Shirley Lara, chief operating officer for the cam-oriented Chaturbate.com told XBIZ that affiliates with experience promoting content-based sites should not hesitate to promote cam sites as well — although they need to understand how much variety there is within the webcam sector.
“There are so many cam sites online, but there are two different business models affiliates need to know about,” Lara explained. “Some cam sites are geared towards private shows, and others are geared towards free chat and tipping. It is the affiliate’s responsibility to know their traffic and spending habits to differentiate which is the best fit for them. And just as paysites can be niche-specific, so are broadcasters.
“All cam sites offer blondes, big boobs, teens, redheads, etc. If your site revolves around a niche, highlight the chat rooms under that niche. Many times, broadcasters are willing to work with affiliates to get more traffic. They know that the more people who come to their chat room, the better chance they have at making more money.”