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Events — 15 Nov 2022

Affiliate Marketing Awareness Tips for Brand-safe Advertising

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Affiliate Marketing Awareness Tips for Brand-safe Advertising

Brand-safe affiliate advertising doesn’t only bring purchase-oriented customers to the offer. Harnessing the power of affiliate opportunities increases brand awareness as well. It’s another way of getting the upper hand over your competitors to help make your business a success.

Read on to discover how to manage safe affiliate brand awareness campaigns and boost brand performance.

affiliate brand awareness

Why is brand safety important?

Brand-safe audience access should be the priority if you want to establish and maintain a good brand name. Attracting quality audiences that are aligned with your brand is much more profitable for your company.

If you advertise in a brand-safe, contextually-relevant environment, aimed at an audience that matches your brand identity and targets, you will have greater success in engaging potential customers. Should the brand message be sent out correctly, you can be sure to become a potential customer’s first thought when they need your product or service. And that should always be your priority. Though there are communication ethical issues that you need to be aware of, such as scammers using VoIP to spoof their IDs, and their location, or to more easily flood people with spam calls.

Boost brand awareness to gather more conversions

Digital marketing is not always focused on making sales, but in most cases, this is the end goal. And, by creating a community of leads aware of your products, it’s more likely that these users will eventually become customers.

Even if your audience doesn’t convert right away, your brand awareness strategy should be a tool for anchoring your brand in people’s thoughts. And affiliate marketing is a perfect way to do this and build trust in your brand. 

46% of consumers complete purchases based on trust. And to be trusted, people need to be sure that you provide a quality product or service – for that they will either need to have good experiences with previous purchases, or they’ll need to be approached correctly. It’s important to think about:

  • Who exactly should be aware of your brand?
  • What is your unique selling point?
  • Which affiliate marketing formats and strategies will allow you to target your audiences?
  • How often should you contact your potential leads to keep them engaged?

Doing so will help you target the correct audience for your brand and increase your chances of building a community of repeat customers.

building a community

Which affiliate targeting option is best for achieving brand awareness?

Narrowing down your target audience is the most important part of optimizing marketing endeavors. Cutting off any underperforming targets provides a boost in ROI and CR (Conversion Rate). By this, you create a dedicated user base you can target with campaigns.

It is a major upside of programmatic advertising when compared to traditional posters or billboards – you get control over what type of demographics you are targeting. The rest can be omitted or cut down during optimization.

Top-tier ad performance agencies allow advertisers to set granular targeting settings while conducting campaigns. This way marketers who represent brands can create a portfolio of meticulously chosen users. 

Targeting options that are the most beneficial for conversions and brand awareness efforts are:

Contextual targeting 

Interested and purchase-driven audiences will be more likely to engage with an advertiser’s offer. Topic-savvy customers will also probably spend more per sale.

Keyword targeting 

Optimizing keywords for your brand awareness campaigns will allow you to target users who have already searched for related queries – so, you’ll be reaching more proficient leads.


Some markets will perform better for your brands, and some will do worse. Knowledge of which regions, countries, and even cities should be targeted will be beneficial while creating a marketing strategy. But, do not forget about catering to lower-performing audiences, too, when building brand awareness.

Source targeting 

With the best affiliate ad performance platforms you’ll be able to handpick the traffic sources that you find most valuable. Monitoring which ones are underperforming will provide you with valuable data. You can then decide which sources to disregard, and which should be better approached. 

Device targeting

The device your audience uses tells a lot about their possibility of converting. Whenever you notice that your campaigns bring the best results for a certain type of device, narrow your targeting down to it!

OS targeting 

An operating System that your audiences use is a rather granular piece of information, but it proves to be highly useful at the highest level of marketing endeavors. Never neglect it, if you’re able to access this data.


Specific ad placements in specific browsers are yet another way to find the best-converting customers.

Adult filtering

Make sure to properly label your campaigns in the ad performance platform – whether it should be available to all audiences, or maybe for adult ones only. Providing compliant content in your campaigns is the key element of maintaining good relationships with publishers and feed owners, so bear that in mind.


As with geolocation, remember to approach international audiences in the most appropriate way. Although English is universally used worldwide, it will not be efficient at all times. That is why targeting language-relevant audiences will make your affiliate campaigns stand out. This way you are also cutting spending on underperforming sources.

Which ad format is recommended for building awareness?

This part, as with everything in affiliate advertising, can be a bit tricky, as there is no universal strategy that can be copied. Every marketing specialist needs to come up with the perfect recipe for their purposes. But this does not mean that AdTech is unknown territory – solutions allow the desired scalability, performance, and what is more, safety. And these are, unarguably, some of the most important factors while building brand awareness.

AdTech offers new solutions and the projections claim that it will reach $1 billion of global annual revenue in 2030. This is more than double the figures for 2021 when AdTech revenue passed $400 million. Experiment, but avoid intrusive and forceful ad formats. Annoying the audience has never been an optimal strategy.

ad format
Source (globaldata.com)

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can advertise your brand.

Search traffic and vertical searches

With the changing behaviors of the standard Internet user, it is safe to say that we’re noticing the shift in how the queries are being searched for. Although major search engines like Google or Yahoo are still undisputed leaders of the market, new opportunities are emerging – also for affiliate advertisers. The third decade of this millennium marks the rise in popularity of vertical searches – more user-facing and allowing precise contextuality. A perfect environment for affiliate campaign placements.

For advertisers, this means that it’s now possible to find new customers and build brand awareness without the need to compete for their attention within major SERPs. See how the likes of Booking.com or Klarna have developed in the last few years. And for affiliate marketers, it’s a great chance to reach specific and thematically-interested audiences. These are exactly the people who should be highly aware of your brand.

Influencer affiliate marketing

Not many strategies will become more powerful than an endorsement from a trusted influencer. Find people and profiles that will match your brand’s needs, and provide the audiences with open communication about how your offer matches their interests. Think of it as a combination of keyword targeting and a perfect example of social proof.

Firstly, your message will be delivered to an audience focused on a thematically-relevant persona, who’ll use their authority to deliver your message. Secondly, affiliate influencers are always happy with a quality partnership. Overall, it’s an enormously efficient solution for advertisers to reach relevant audiences and become household names.

Referral programs

Word-of-mouth is an age-old method, and frankly, it’s evergreen. To make sure your offer is recognized, you may want to engage your audiences better to share the message. Companies have long ago discovered that referral programs bring amazing possibilities. Dropbox grew 3900% since launching friend-referral programs!

referral programs

Tips for brand-safe affiliate advertising

Make sure to follow the below advice when designing and optimizing your affiliate brand awareness campaigns.

1. Stay contextually relevant

Your advertising efforts should always be contextually relevant to your target audience. Using keywords in the campaigns allows affiliates to place their ads on contextually relevant pages, so they are matched to specific queries. This way the risk of exposing the completely uninterested audience to the ad, is reduced. It saves your time and budget, as well as boosts your Conversion Rate and ROI.

Make sure that you regularly check the performance of keywords in your ad performance platform. Optimize them by whitelisting ones that bring you good results and blacklisting keywords that are not relevant. Ideally, you should have a keyword set that converts well and puts your brand in front of the most suitable audiences.

2. Match user intent – find interested people

People are already looking for solutions you offer. That’s the truth. Affiliate marketing is often connected with convincing people to convert, but the reality is that modern shoppers are already looking for purchase opportunities. So, in order to succeed you don’t always need to build a need from scratch. And surprisingly, a big chunk of the industry does not realize that. 

Letting relevant people know about your existence should be enough. As they are already in the process of finding a purchase opportunity, you can become the solution to their needs and problems. Why try to convince your audience that they need to make a purchase when advertising solutions give you a chance to target customers by their intent?

Influencer endorsements and vertical searches give you access to affiliate traffic that consists of purchase-driven visitors. Providing a good message and presenting a brand boosts awareness within contextually-relevant audiences. These easily become customers. And, by becoming more visible, you get a foothold in the desired market.

3. Present your expertise with content marketing

Always position yourself as the top-tier specialist in your field. Content marketing is a powerful tool you should be using to boost your performance and reach new users. Never underestimate the power of SEO optimization and well-crafted content for your page.

This way you will attract more potential customers who are already interested in your solutions. All you have to do is to find a problem they might be facing and present them with a clarification and a way to fix it. Of course, as a small business or even a medium one, you will not be able to compete with the likes of Coca-Cola or Nike (or whoever is the leader of your niche). So, avoid general and broad keywords – focus on the specific ones, but at the same time, ones that offer promising volumes of users.

Solving people’s problems, presenting engaging content, and even building community are the most effective ways of creating brand awareness. Search engine organic traffic is an almost inexhaustible source of valid users – thus it would be a big mistake to neglect it.

Social media posts, podcasts, guest posting of articles, hefty content partnerships, or a series of LinkedIn guides – there are many things you could do! Real-time marketing is also an option, you just need to feel the trends. Finding an in-fashion hashtag, and coming up with a creative way to use it on social media platforms is an evergreen strategy.

Also, it’s free… well, almost. Being creative, and successful with producing content will not cost you much. It requires time investment and marketing knowledge, but you do not need to pay for the organic traffic you attract!

content marketing
Source (visual.ly)

4. Reach the audience before your competitors

Your target market may be dominated by global players, but spreading your voice in some alternative channels may greatly help with brand equity-building efforts.

Don’t be afraid of influencer marketing opportunities, and always seek ways to stay a few steps ahead of competitors. New platforms and affiliate formats always mean new audiences. Filter them, test out whether you want to engage more with them, and work hard, so that your brand becomes a household name.

5. Consult your ad exchange platform

Find a dedicated support team that will help you optimize, control, and set up campaigns. There are many options, but we recommend partnering up with ad exchange platforms that offer the most comprehensive onboarding, account management, and compliance support. This way marketers can better control their metrics, use precise tools, and get advice and a second opinion. Providing detailed feedback will help every advertiser with future optimization and testing as well.

6. Trust automated solutions

Affiliate marketers’ and advertisers’ jobs became much easier when automated solutions became an option. Setting up rule-based optimization could save a lot of stress, as it allows you to sit back and watch what happens. Well, this is a big hyperbole, but automated solutions take a big weight off every advertiser’s shoulders as they minimize the risk of serious damage happening to a campaign.

It works based on a really simple sequence of cause and effect. The system analyzes metrics, and if it detects a requirement that was manually set up by the campaign manager, it automatically ignites a reaction. This protects your brand’s budget and will allow you to excel by automatically raising the bids for example.

The same goes for every other automated option out there. With these, your campaigns are more immune to fraud, and as a campaign owner, you can better and more efficiently control performance with in-depth data analysis and bulk actions. 

7. Avoid shady solutions and stay compliant

It is possible to build brand awareness based on controversy, of course. But it never proves to be a safe solution – rather a temporary one.

Always make sure that the affiliate advertising provided to any publisher is in line with the guidelines and policies of your partners. Breaching these will always be unwelcome, and you can expect various consequences. Among these are bans, account suspensions, chargebacks, or losing access to the feeds entirely.

Different ad formats and different publishers have different expectations. For that reason, we encourage all affiliates to stay vigilant and up-to-date with policies. You should strictly cooperate with the ad exchange platform’s compliance team at all times. This way an additional filter is being installed, so that campaigns are more secure and brand-safe.

This kind of approach should also open the gates to more effective advertising tools, and highly purchase-oriented audiences.

8. Clean your backlinks

To be perceived by Google as a quality page, you need to make sure your website is as clean in terms of SEO as humanly possible. Some unwanted backlinks may appear and lower the organic performance of the website. These could include adult website traffic, gambling, or low-ranked domains.

A good practice is to control backlinks that appear without your control. With SEO tools like ahrefs, one can extract exact link placements and access data about their quality. Then, after analysis, it’s of course possible to remove unwanted links without any harm and to boost website organic performance.

9. Optimize traffic

Finding the best sources for your marketing campaigns will bring optimal results to any marketing strategy. Cutting down underperforming or unsafe audiences will help you work on the brand image and attract new customers, potentially boosting your revenue.

Bot traffic or even wrongly-targeted audiences will never benefit your brand safety. Exposing yourself to inflated statistics without real chances of conversions (or at least with these drastically lowered) will never positively affect brand value. It also makes marketing budgets burn out fast and without any measurable success.

For this reason, all affiliates who run ads are advised to control all metrics in their campaigns to make sure that no disruptions occur. To be effective, you’ll need to learn how to make sure your campaign is protected from fraud.

10. Learn trends and good advertising practices

Make sure to be right where your customers want you to be. As the trends and reports suggest, marketers should be putting an even increased emphasis on social media presence. If you decide to go against the current, you might get into a place with no audiences, so keep your eyes open for novelties and new opportunities but make sure they are relevant to your target audience. 

Trends should be approached with some caution, you don’t want to invest all your advertising budget on something that lasts for a short time. But, they might also become a source of great inspiration. Do your research and see what people expect, and what their needs are. Look for trends that align with your brand identity and can help you engage with your audience. 

11. Do not forget privacy

Increasingly more people are becoming concerned about what happens with data collected online. Thus, maintaining the highest level of privacy protection should be a priority. Modern users appreciate companies that operate cookieless and without third-party user data violation. It’s a route that every brand and affiliate marketer should follow to win the audience’s trust.

Finding safe advertising formats will not only allow you to position yourself as user-oriented but will also put you on the path to the most up-to-date business operating.

do not forget privacy
Source (hp.com)


Let’s summarize the healthy practices that can only help you with reaching safe, effective, and healthy affiliate awareness advertising:

  • Optimize audiences and keywords.
  • Set granular targeting.
  • Stay up-to-date with trends.
  • Protect privacy.
  • Always track metrics.
  • Consult with ad exchange platforms and provide feedback.
  • Use content to engage customers and win organic traffic.
  • Find the best ad formats.
  • Use automated rules in your campaigns.
  • Be innovative and creative.
  • Be transparent and avoid non compliant content.
  • Remember clean SEO.

Brand-safe advertising and brand awareness marketing campaigns should be a priority.

Build your affiliate position and attract customers by showing them compliant and well-optimized ads!

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Łukasz Pośpiech

Written by

Łukasz Pośpiech is a Content Writer at Zeropark, a performance marketing platform providing incremental advertising solutions for marketers during the moments of the highest customer purchase intent. Łukasz is a member of a growth-oriented marketing team focused on providing the most up-to-date and industry-expert communication. Connect on <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/%C5%82ukasz-po%C5%9Bpiech-9019011bb/">LinkedIn</a>.

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