Long gone are the times when the location of your business was a key component to its success. Frankly speaking, there’s no need for securing that perfect spot anymore… especially if you’re an affiliate advertiser. However, paying close attention to where you show your ads should become your primary focus.
Let us tell you all about different tiers of traffic in affiliate marketing, and why geo-targeting matters.
Read on and scale your business using industry insights below!
Table of Contents hide
1. What are country tiers in affiliate marketing?
2. Why is geo-targeting essential for digital advertising?
3. Where to invest your advertising budget?
4. Actionable data and statistics.
5. Geo-targeting and optimization tips for successful campaigns.
Programmatic advertising allows for targeting your ads at users all over the world. To make your life easier, all these countries have been divided into three groups — tiers — based on a number of factors, like:
This allowed for identifying three main areas that share similar characteristics, called TIER 1, TIER2, and TIER3 GEOs.
Sometimes there are also mentions of Tier 4. In that case it’s usually made of the worst-performing GEOs coming from Tier 3, or simply countries with unstable political situations, that makes advertising there even harder.
So what countries belong to each group? Well…if we were to include them all you’d get tired scrolling down. That’s why you can check the full list here or have a look at the shortened version that we’ve prepared for you below.
(Tier 1 and 2 in full, Tier 3 shortened)
|TIER 1||TIER 2||TIER 3|
|Australia (AU)||Austria (AT)||Afghanistan (AF)|
|Canada (CA)||Belgium (BE)||Albania (AL)|
|France (FR)||Cyprus (CY)||Algeria (DZ)|
|Germany (DE)||Czech Republic (CZ)||Argentina (AR)|
|Italy (IT)||Denmark (DK)||Armenia (AM)|
|United Kingdom (GB)||Finland (FI)||Azerbaijan (AZ)|
|United States (US)||Greece (GR)||Bangladesh (BD)|
|Hong Kong (HK)||Barbados (BB)|
|Iceland (IS)||Belarus (BY)|
|Iran (IR)||Bolivia (BO)|
|Ireland (IE)||Botswana (BW)|
|Israel (IL)||Brazil (BR)|
|Japan (JP)||Cambodia (KH)|
|Kuwait (KW)||Chile (CL)|
|Luxembourg (LU)||China (CN)|
|Malaysia (MY)||Colombia (CO)|
|Netherlands (NL)||Costa Rica (CR)|
|New Zealand (NZ)||Cote d’Ivoire (CI)|
|Norway (NO)||Croatia (HR)|
|Portugal (PT)||Cuba (CU)|
|Qatar (QA)||Ecuador (EC)|
|Russia (RU)||Egypt (EG)|
|Saudi Arabia (SA)||Eritrea (ER)|
|Singapore (SG)||Estonia (EE)|
|Slovakia (SK)||Georgia (GE)|
|South Africa (ZA)||Ghana (GH)|
|Spain (ES)||Hungary (HU)|
|Sweden (SE)||India (IN)|
|Switzerland (CH)||Indonesia (ID)|
|United Arab Emirates (AE)||Iraq (IQ)|
|Puerto Rico (PR)|
Why bother with targeting various tiers instead of reaching them all, though? Here’s why.
Geo-targeting is a very important part of any digital advertising strategy. It was designed to help advertisers optimize the efficiency of their campaigns by showing ads only where relevant, leaving out all those countries and regions where people wouldn’t be interested or… simply couldn’t understand the ad’s message.
Precise targeting and careful optimization are paramount to the success of your affiliate campaigns. That’s why you need to think of geo-targeting as a key component of your marketing strategy and deliver the message to potential customers only where it matters. Which is often based on your target audience’s geographical location.
Thinking strategically and analyzing your audience’s preferences can get you far in affiliate marketing. And geo-targeting allows you to learn more about your ads’ recipients than just where their IP addresses are from. You can actually assume their:
How? Just check the Google Trends, look for information on most frequently used keywords or search phrases per country or language, check what ads are already shown there and which receive the most traffic — that’s what spy tools and the Internet are for.
Basically, targeting it all, without any bigger plan, or showing your ads to people who aren’t even able to understand what’s written there (and why would they if it’s not in their native language) is simply a waste of time and money.
While talking to the right people, at the right place, at the right time, about the right things, and in the right way… is a way to go in marketing. And affiliate marketing allows you to do it all while sat on your couch.
Once we’ve established the basis as to why geo-targeting is an essential part of your business, let’s have a look at each tier and discuss its characteristics, pros and cons, as well as what areas are especially worth focusing on.
US, UK, AU, CA joined by FR, DE and IT. What a party, huh?
As mentioned already, Tier 1 consists of the English speaking countries plus the three Western European ones. These are definitely rich countries, with a huge spending potential, high technological advancement, and broad mobile devices adoption. All this makes them a very attractive target for affiliate advertisers.
But it also means that the market is highly saturated, the competition is tight, bids are higher than with other tiers, people are more conscious of your ads, and often how to avoid them or simply tend to block them completely.
Also, you must be wise and clever with your bidding strategy if going for Tier 1 countries. Don’t let your budget burn while you’re outbid by more experienced advertisers and with much bigger budgets.
TIER 1 CHARACTERISTICS:
TIER 1 INSIGHTS:
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it’s definitely worth the risk. Tier 1 countries require a lot of experience, dedication, proper budget, and a killer offer that people actually want to see. But when they do… it pays off well.
The second group is a mixture of the remaining European countries, Asian countries, and the better-developed countries from the African continent. Generally, people there aren’t as prosperous as in Tier 1. Although this may be a sign of a smaller spending potential, it varies heavily depending on a country. That’s why advertisers need to check how a particular country they’d like to target performs despite its Tier characteristics.
Nevertheless, Tier 2 countries convert well and are definitely worth giving it a go. The technological development (online payments and mobile adoption included) is strong there, making Tier 2 another prosperous segment of the affiliate advertising market. And most importantly, the bid prices and competition are much smaller than with Tier 1 GEOs.
Surprisingly, the Tier 2 countries tend to travel up and down the list. They either make it closer to Tier 1 regions, or are joined by the countries coming from Tier 3. Remember that the list is not fixed. It fluctuates, and things can get quite dynamic even within one tier of traffic.
TIER 2 CHARACTERISTICS:
TIER 2 INSIGHTS:
All in all, it’s a good segment of traffic for both — those more experienced, and those only starting in affiliate marketing. Still, targeting and creative optimization are required.
For some advertisers, the Tier 3 countries are the wild, wild west of affiliate marketing. There are little rules, lot’s of traffic for very occasional prices, many campaigns that wouldn’t even be accepted in other GEOs are scoring it big in Tier 3, and the competition is much smaller.
There’s a huge potential in Tier 3 GEOs that’s only waiting for takers. The technology has moved forward significantly in the last few years, and mobile adoption, as well as the online payment solutions, are only growing. This means more and more offers actually make sense to be run with Tier 3 countries.
Yes, it’s still volatile and fluctuates a lot as an advertising market, but there’s no other Tier that can offer you that much traffic for such low prices. And that’s exactly what you need for testing your campaigns, regardless whether you’re an affiliate pro or a newbie.
Note, though, that localization and languages might pose an issue sometimes. Also, adjusting your ad creatives to match the local preferences or cultural norms might be required for an ad to be accepted by the target audience.
TIER 3 CHARACTERISTICS:
TIER 3 INSIGHTS:
Tier 3 countries are yet to be fully utilised, and no one should write them off before at least giving them a try. There’s some great potential lying there and waiting for affiliate advertisers. Also, we’re quite curious to see how Tier 3 performance and popularity may change in the next few years when it comes to affiliate marketing.
To make your life even easier while deciding on the best geo-targeting for your ad campaigns, here’s a portion of actionable data and statistics.
It’s important to understand how much targeting a given GEO will actually cost you. That’s why we’ve prepared a handy cheat-sheet with top countries per tier and the average bid prices per given ad format in Zeropark.
Naturally, you can check every single GEO you’d like yourself! Just head to the Zeropark Traffic Calculator tool, choose a setup you wish to check and that’s it!
The higher the tier, the higher the prices — that’s something we’ve already established. Now, to help you understand why it’s better to go for Tier 3 regions if you’re only starting, here’s some food for thought.
Some Tier 3 countries, like the Philippines, offer lower CPC prices, smaller competition, big volumes, eager audiences, and still use English as their conversational language, so you don’t even need to worry about translation. What’s not to like compared to the crowded, expensive and highly demanding US market? Let’s do some basic math.
That’s 550% higher price per click for a Tier 1 country as compared to Tier 3!
It means that in order to buy 1000 clicks and test your campaign’s set up, you’d need to spend $40 for the US targeting, and only $7,2 on your PH campaign. Having a $100 testing budget allows you to gather way more data running tests on PH traffic rather than US.
Another thing is that, many of the countries outside of Tier 1 do actually use English. Often as an official language, or simply because the language adoption is high among its citizens. That’s why we’ve prepared this list with countries where English is commonly used as the set device language, therefore making it the preferred website (ad) viewing language should work, too. Also, you can find both the percentage of clicks coming from ads in English that these GOEs receive.
ALL CLICKS %
|PG||Papua New Guinea||EN||93%|
|AE||United Arab Emirates||EN||77%|
|TC||Turks and Caicos||EN||75%|
|TT||Trinidad and Tobago||EN||58%|
|IM||Isle of Man||EN||46%|
Advertisers need to be careful when choosing what tiers and countries to target, and that’s for a number of reasons. It’s not only about which region is the most profitable, or what’s better for more or less advanced affiliates. Geo-targeting and optimization tips for successful campaigns.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of top industry tips on geo-targeting and deciding for a tier of traffic. Have a look!