If you want to accelerate the growth of your affiliate marketing business, paid advertising should be a vital part of your traffic generation strategy.
Using Facebook Ads, in particular, can be a game-changer and put you ahead of your competitors who’re relying solely on Google Ads (something most affiliates do)
But what’s the right way to use Facebook Ads for affiliate marketing?
Does Facebook even allow direct affiliate promotions?
And even if it does, is it a cost-effective way to generate sales?
In this detailed article, I’ll answer all these questions (and many others) so that you know exactly how to leverage Facebook advertising for affiliate promotions.
Sounds interesting? Keep reading.
Can You Promote Affiliate Offers With Facebook Ads?
First things first, can you even run affiliate ads on Facebook?
The short answer, yes you can.
There’s nothing in the Facebook ad policy document that forbids you from running affiliate promotions.
Unless you’re promoting gambling or adult products, you should be able to run affiliate ads on Facebook.
However, we know from experience that affiliate ads, especially the ones that directly promote affiliate links, have a high rejection rate on Facebook. Facebook also regularly suspends the pages and ad accounts that promote direct affiliate links
From this, we can conclude that Facebook doesn’t like direct promotion of affiliate links. This is probably because it gives them little control over the content that’s being promoted.
Irrespective of the advertising platform you’re using, promoting direct affiliate links is not the best strategy anyway.
The much better and long-term way to run affiliate ads is by sending the ad traffic to a Facebook Page or an opt-in page. This not only helps you grow an audience but also reduces your cost per lead in the long-run.
How exactly can you do it?
I’ll explain that in the rest of this article.
7 Steps For Using Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing
Running a successful Facebook affiliate ad campaign isn’t rocket science.
But it does require research, testing, and continuous improvement.
You won’t create the best performing ad in your first attempt. Instead, you’ll do all the necessary research and start with a good enough ad. You’ll then learn from the audience’s response and keep improving.
Here’s how you can create a highly profitable affiliate marketing ad campaign on Facebook.
1. Analyze The Affiliate Product You’re Promoting
The first thing to do before creating your ad is to analyze your product and determine exactly what kind of campaign you need to run.
For example, the strategy for a product launch that’s just 3-4 days away will be different from a product that’s always available to buy.
For an urgent product launch, you can’t route people to a Facebook Page, engage them with entertaining posts for a few days and then make your offer.
You also need to see if the product offers any promotional material for affiliates like email sequences, landing pages, banners or social media posts.
Most digital product owners offer those things on platforms like ClickBank, CJ, JVZoo, etc.
But if you’re promoting Amazon products, physical products from some other retailers, or even SaaS products like web-hosting services, etc. you’ll need to create all the stuff yourself.
Then you have the audience research part.
Based on your product, you’ll first need to identify exactly who your target audience is.
2. Evaluate Competing Affiliate Ads With Visto The next step is to perform competitor analysis.
What types of affiliate ads are your competitors running? Are they promoting affiliate links directly or sending the traffic to a landing page? What kind of language and visuals are they using to engage their target audience?
Visto is the fastest way to answer all these questions. (and its Free)
Login to your account and head over to the ads search section in Visto
Let’s say you’re planning to promote a diet program as an affiliate and want to see the kind of ads the other affiliates in this niche are running.
Here are the search filters you’d apply in Visto
As you can see, I’ve applied the filters to search the most liked affiliate ads in the “Diet” vertical that ran between 12-Jan-2019 and 11-March-2020 and targeted the customers in the US.
Here are the resulting affiliate ads.
Let’s explore one of those ads that received more than 27K Likes
The product they’re promoting is actually an eBook about the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.
You can’t tell from the outside that this is an affiliate ad but Visto can detect it base on their AI technology exploring huge database of ads and affiliate offers allows Visto connect different ads with their landing pages (plus all the other Facebook Pages promoting it) and find out if it’s promoting an affiliate offer or an independent product.
Why did this ad get so much engagement?
Let’s have a closer look.
If you look at the ad’s copy, it’s written in a highly engaging tone and cites a personal experience to pitch the product.
There’s no direct selling here, only a small reference to the guide they’re promoting.
They also don’t clearly reveal what the product offers inside.
All you see is a very excited person who has found ways to use Apple Cider Vinegar that can make your life much better.
Now look at the image of this ad, its headline, and the call to action.
“Why I soak my feet in apple cider vinegar” - Guide is now available
The headline and the text, both evoke more curiosity and persuade people to click on the “Learn More” button.
The ad image shows the product in action and helps the target audience understand its application.
But still, no hard selling, just curiosity and an invitation to get more information.
This is one of the best affiliate ads I could find during my research because it’s so different from the usual in-your-face kind of desperate sales pitches.
No wonder it received more than 25K engagements.
It also gives you a really good idea of what kind of ads work in your niche.
But this is just one ad.
Visto can find hundreds of them for you in one click.
Make sure you analyze the best performing ads and take notes so that you can apply the learning to your ad campaign.
3.Start With A Brand Awareness Ad Campaign
If your product launch is more than a week away or if you’re promoting an evergreen product, the best strategy is to grow your Facebook Page first.
If you already have one, create a promotional campaign to attract more Page Likes.
Why do I say that?
Because doing so will help you grow your audience and build a relationship with them before pitching an offer. Plus, you won’t have to run an ad the next time you want to interact with your followers.
If you send the traffic directly to an affiliate offer, you might get sales but you’ll never be able to grow an audience and will have to run ads every time you need to promote a product.
To run a Page Likes campaign, click on the Promote button on your Facebook Page.
In the next screen, choose the “Promote Your Page” option.
This will take you to the ad center where you can create an ad to get more Page Likes.
Keep the audience targeting and ad creation insights in mind that I talked about earlier in the article.
I recommend starting with a small daily budget of $5.00 for a CPM campaign that charges you for impressions.
This should get a few hundred likes on your Facebook Page. Analyze the results and improve the targeting to run a few more ads if you want.
The objective here is to grow an audience that starts engaging with your page and already knows you when you make a pitch.
Make sure your page has at least 5-10 posts, a cover photo, a profile picture, and the other details like description, industry, etc. before running your ad campaign.
4.Create A Targeted Lead Magnet For Your Affiliate Campaign
A lead magnet is a free resource like a video or an eBook that people can access by sharing their email address.
You will use a lead magnet to grow an email list of people who’re potential buyers of your affiliate offer.
How’d you do that?
Suppose you’re promoting a weight loss program as an affiliate.
To attract relevant people, you will create an eBook about “11 Little Known Ways To Lose 5Kg Per Month” or a video training on “7 Easy Exercises To Lose 5Kg Per Month” (more lead magnet ideas here)
You’ll offer this for free.
In return, you’ll only ask for the visitor’s email address.
Anyone who downloads this lead magnet is a potential customer for your product.
And not just the product you’re promoting right now. You can use this same audience to promote some other weight loss related product in the future.
You can’t do that if you route people directly to an affiliate offer.
Create a landing page for this lead magnet where you’ll route traffic from Facebook Ads later. Don’t forget to install Facebook Pixel on the landing page because that’ll allow you to retarget your audience later.
Here’s a really useful guide on creating landing pages.
5. Create An Email Auto-responder Series To Pitch Your Offer
Once a visitor downloads your lead magnet, you’ll send them a series of automated emails.
What’s the purpose?
In the first 1-2 emails, you’ll strengthen your bond with the subscriber by sharing more free weight loss tips or some motivational advice that encourages them to take action.
In the next few emails, you’ll gradually move them towards the actual affiliate product you’re promoting.
You’ll start with an email about a case study where someone who had lost all hope managed to shed the extra weight because of a training program.
By now, your subscribers trust you because you’ve already shared so much free info with them.
Now’s the time to make a direct pitch and share the product you’re promoting along with your affiliate link in the email.
Send a couple of more emails that share social proof and stats about the product and highlight its benefits.
Close with a final pitch with a special discount offer (if you can negotiate it with the product owner).
Here’s a detailed guide on creating an email autoresponder series.
6. Use Facebook Ads To Drive Traffic To Your Lead Magnet
Now that your lead magnet and email series are ready, it’s time to send traffic to your landing page and start gathering email subscribers.
Just like the Apple Cider Vinegar example, create an ad that evokes curiosity and pitches your free eBook as a valuable resource for anyone who wants to lose weight (refer to this step by step guide for creating Facebook Ads)
If you already have a Facebook Page with an engaged audience, promote the eBook to them first. If not, promote it directly using Facebook ad targeting options.
Start with a small daily budget and a relatively broad audience. After 1-2 days, start a separate ad to retarget your Facebook Pixel audience.
The more traffic you drive to this landing page, the more people you can retarget later.
As people start downloading your lead magnet and joining your email list, they’ll start getting the automated emails that’ll pitch your affiliate product to them.
7. Keep Your Audience Engaged To Drive Repeat Sales
Using this strategy you can grow a huge email list of people interested in a certain niche (weight loss in this case).
You don’t need to run Facebook ads to target them the next time you have a similar offer. You can just send them an email with your affiliate link and the sales will start coming.
However, to keep them engaged with you, make sure you send them regular emails with free tips and valuable resources so that they know you’re not always after their money.
Ready To Run Your Next Facebook Affiliate Ad?
Most affiliates like to take the shorter route by sending traffic directly to their affiliate links.
But as I’ve shown you in this article, using Facebook Ads to grow an email list and pitching them affiliate offers via email is a much smarter approach that not only results in higher conversions but also dramatically reduces your advertising costs in the long-run.
And with Visto, you don’t need to guess what kind of ads you need to create
So what’s stopping you from jumping into affiliate marketing and starting your first Facebook Ad campaign?
The time to act is now!
Affiliate Marketing With Facebook Ads - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I use Facebook Ads for affiliate marketing?
Yes, Facebook advertisements are a vital traffic source for affiliate marketers.
- Can I directly promote affiliate links with Facebook Ads?
For some products and affiliate networks, you can send Facebook Ad traffic directly to your affiliate link. But for many others, you can’t.
- What’s the best way to find competitor ads on Facebook?
Visto is the simplest and fastest way to find all the active and inactive Facebook Ads by your competitors.
- What is the right way to promote affiliate links with Facebook Ads?
The right strategy is to create a lead generation landing page with a lead magnet and route Facebook Ad traffic to it so that you can grow your email list. You can then promote affiliate offers via email.
- Why are most affiliate marketing experts against directly promoting affiliate links with Facebook Ads?
Becuase Facebook Ads with direct affiliate links have a high rejection rate, plus it’s much harder to generate repeat sales with this strategy.
- What is the benefit of growing an email list for affiliate marketing?
Growing an email list gives you the chance to engage your subscribers, build a relationship with them, and send them multiple affiliate offers and drive repeat sales.