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Diversification in Paid Media for Affiliate Marketers: From Concept to Execution

May 22, 2023 by Serena Wong, Sr. Director, Commercial Commerce, Conde Nast

Feeling stagnant with your current acquisition strategy and revenue sources?


Below we present overviews of different paid media options that can drive incremental profits to your affiliate business. 

While paid media can add incremental high-intent users, revenue and share of voice it can also drive up the cost to purchase these placements. To mitigate this risk you must constantly test which tactics open up a meaningful opportunity to scale your affiliate program. To execute it is crucial to set aside a budget and tracking to that you're willing to learn from.

Before you scale paid media, it is important to identify your evergreen traffic sources that bring consistent traffic. A consistent base of traffic allows you to start testing paid media options with less risk. 

With any new traffic source it is critical to run an upfront cost analysis to get a rough estimate on volume and revenue. Many platforms offer audience and keyword estimates to help understand scale before you dive in. Run these tests until you have confidence in performance. Then bring in additional sources to test. 

Once you have a strong sense of your consistent sources, it’s time to start testing! Paid media can take many forms outside of traditional search engine marketing (SEM). According to paid media is “…external marketing efforts that involve a paid placement, such as pay-per-click advertising, branded content and display ads. Paid media is an essential component of revenue growth and brand awareness for online businesses.”

I have had tremendous success using native advertising, direct CPC partnership deals, CPC affiliate networks, and social media marketing. Below is a brief overview of each.


Native Advertising (Traffic Source)




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