(Note: This post originally referenced an article by Entrepreneur about the future of mobile apps. It has been updated to reference the original source, the University of Alabama at Birmingham.)
Don't let the title fool you. Yes this is about monetizing your mobile site (or your mobile app, if you have one), but these mobile app affiliate programs are not only for mobile sites. You can monetize any site with them, as long as the mobile app is within your niche.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham created an amazing infographic about the future of mobile applications. The infographic points out that the entire industry is projected to grow, and by 2017, consumers will complete 268 billion downloads and generate $77 billion worth of revenue.
Think about how engaged you are on your phone, tweeting, updating Facebook, downloading new apps — maybe you've even purchased through your mobile phone. And you wouldn't be the only one. This KISSMetrics article details the rise in the mobile e-commerce.
Even Google is paying attention and has announced that more mobile-friendly websites will be given better rankings in search results. If your site is not mobile yet, then maybe you should look at making it mobile-friendly. And if your site already is, then maybe it's time to consider affiliate marketing for mobile, too.
So how do we go about promoting mobile apps?
Profitable Mobile App Niches: Is There Such a Thing?
Surprisingly, yes. And they are the same evergreen niches like weight loss and relationships/dating. There are apps for self-help too.
Just for fun, I checked out apps for gardening and aquaponics. Just to see if there are apps for these interesting but less popular niches, and there are! Well, nothing came up for aquaponics, but it is in discussion in some aquaponics forums.
While we can't say there's an app for every niche, you can be sure there is an app for the more popular niches, which you can recommend on your own site.
How About Keywords?
Keywords play a big part in targeting the right market and it's no different in the mobile apps niche. Since these apps are in the same niche your site is in, you'll be pretty much targeting the same keywords for it. If my site is in the weight loss niche and I am promoting a mobile app for weight loss, I will be targeting keywords like "weight loss app," "popular weight loss app," or "app to track weight loss."
The below screenshot shows keywords in the mobile app niche that have buyer intent like "best weight loss app" have the highest competition:
You can check our Ubersuggest.org for variations to your keywords. In this case, you not only get keyword variations but new keyword ideas too.
Mobile App Affiliate Networks
These are affiliate networks in the likes of ClickBank and Commission Junction, but unlike the usual affiliate networks, they cater not just to digital publishers but mobile app developers, too. These marketing and advertising providers are looking for affiliates who will help them promote their clients' products and widen their market reach.
Matomy provides publishers and app developers various online marketing services through web, social and mobile platforms.
The network offers affiliates a variety of categories to choose from: games, daily deals, downloads, and more. Affiliates are paid for every action, whether it's leads, app installs, or sales. Matomy doesn't state its commissions, but it claims high payouts for top affiliates.
Zanox is a European performance advertising network. It provides tools and services for businesses to promote their products and for publishers to market these products better.
The site does offer CPC, but this still depends on the product you'll be promoting on your site. If you have a mobile site or app, then you can earn some money using the Zanox suite of tools.
MobyAffiliates is more a directory of mobile ad networks, app marketing services and affiliate networks. This is like Offervault, only it is focused on anything and everything mobile.
If you're an affiliate looking for affiliate programs for mobile, or a mobile app developer looking to market your app, then MobyAffiliates should be your first stop.
Marketing on Mobile
The mobile app niche is no different from any other niche out there: You need to have a solid link building and inbound marketing strategy to get consistent, targeted traffic to your site.
You can lay out your strategy after the site is built, but I recommend you at the very least, draft a quick guide or jot down a few bullet points on what methods you would like to try. Having a this will help you jump into link building as soon as the site is up.
If you're recommending mobile apps for your niche, one of the best ways to do it is to write a review of the app you're promoting. Write about the pros and cons. Another is to write an article on the top 3, or 5 or 10 best apps for your niche.
Reviews and list-type articles take time to write because of the research that goes into them before you can actually write. This is where good content strategy comes in. It allows you to set time for the research and writing that goes into publishing content for your site.
Blog and Forum Commenting
Blogs and forums are the best venue for "word-of-mouth" advertising. People look for and share information on these websites regularly, making them one of the best venues for recommending products, including apps.
The traffic you get from blogs and forums is targeted, too, because these are people that are already invested into the niche.
Social Media Marketing
Of course, social media sites like Facebook are the best places to promote web apps. Similar to blogs and forums, there is plenty of information-sharing on social media sites. Take advantage of this: Write a quick shout out and link back to the relevant page on your site that contains your affiliate link for the mobile app.
If only it were that simple, though. For your shout-out to be effective, you need to have plenty of followers. That's the major challenge in social media marketing — gaining followers. There are ways to tackle this, though: try boosting your posts so that they will appear in the feeds of people who might be interested in your products.
The effort is well worth it, but like forum and blog commenting, it takes time.
Mobile App Affiliate Marketing: Install or Delete?
The mobile app industry is fast-rising and definitely lucrative. We don't have the exact payouts and commissions but judging from the competition and demand in this niche, they're well worth the effort.
If you're starting out in affiliate marketing and is considering this niche, I would say go right ahead. Select any niche and then look up apps to promote for that niche. Another way to do this is to create an app review site where you review apps in different niches and recommend the best ones, have an App of the Day, and the like.
You can find success in the mobile app niche, but like with any other niche, you need to have a sound game plan and the dedication to follow through.
I hope you find this week's niche helpful and enjoyable. Make sure to click on the share buttons below!
Are you considering going into the mobile app niche? Do you have any niche you want us to feature here? Leave us a comment and let us know!