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How to choose a geo

We all know that relevant targeting is able to enhance the power and success of webmasters in affiliate marketing. Besides defining hobbies and gender of the target audience, you need to focus on their location. Choosing the right country of intended users will significantly influence the amount of coming traffic as well as your income.

In addition, you’ve probably noticed that many advertisers in their offers list the countries they’d like to get traffic from. So if you ignore geo in your targeting and offer traffic from undesirable regions, advertisers have an absolute right to skip the payment for this conversion.

That’s why it’s in your own interest to decide which countries you’ll target.

Now you’re wondering how to choose the right geos for your advertising campaign. We know the answer, so let’s dig in.

Tier of Traffic

Have you ever heard of tiers searching for the merits of different geos? Or maybe you’ve seen the requirements of the advertiser’s offer where he or she wrote: “Tier 1 countries only”? That’s what we’re going to learn right now.

First, it’s important to realize which countries will help your business grow successfully and fast. Usually, countries in marketing are classified based on tiers, depending on the overall development, political stability, financial situation, customer’s purchasing power and cost of advertising.

Mainly there’re 4 sets of countries, that are divided into Tier1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 locations. Let’s consider all of them.

Tier 1 countries

These are the wealthiest countries with the highest purchasing power, so most affiliates struggle to work with these geos. These markets are the most challenging, expensive but have the highest Return On Investment (ROI). They also have a wide variety of traffic and most countries speak English.

Tier 1 countries include the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Ireland, Iceland, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and others.

Although these countries are seductive for affiliates in terms of a huge amount of traffic sources and profitable offers with high payouts, there’re dozens of challenges a webmaster will definitely face:

Traffic in Tier 1 market is overpriced due to the fierce competition — everyone wants to get traffic in developed regions and already prepared extraordinary creatives.

The competitive market also implies that customers are overwhelmed with thousands of similar offers, so you have to be innovative and creative to survive there.

Furthermore, Tier 1 countries have strict regulations regarding personal data, so be careful and attentive to avoid blocking your ad by regulatory agencies.

Tier 2 countries

As you may guess in Tier 2 market there’re fewer regulations (but it’s changing quickly), less advertising cost and fair competition. Although purchasing power in Tier 2 countries is a bit lower than in the first one, it hardly ever gives your business opportunities to grow significantly, because the conversion rate is not so high.

Tier 2 countries include developing EU countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Slovenia, Portugal, Cyprus, etc.), Israel, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, some of the CIS countries (Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, etc), South America countries (Brazil, Mexico) and other countries with similar purchasing power.

Consider that these countries and their culture are very diverse, so you have to thoroughly plan your marketing campaign in terms of customization to fit their unique preferences. For example, you won’t be able to advertise adult products in countries like the UAE or Saudi Arabia.

Tier 3 countries

Since Tier 3 countries are underdeveloped, there’re almost no regulations, low purchasing power and little competition. Obviously, the traffic is very cheap and not high quality. Technology penetration is low too, so some verticals aren’t profitable.

Moreover, to enter this market you’d better be very careful with personalization because it’s even more diverse in cultural and religious values than Tier 2 countries.

Tier 3 geos are many countries of Africa (Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia…), India, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Jamaica, Dominica, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iraq, Cambodia, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and other developing countries.

Tier 4 countries

These countries have almost no access to media channels due to political restrictions, so it’s very difficult to penetrate these markets without physical presence.

The countries are Afganistan, North Korea, Syrian Arab Republic, Haiti, Niger, Mali and others.

What geo should you choose?

Let’s conclude and determine what geo will be more profitable for you.

Is it worth to advertise in Tier 1 countries? Yes and no.

If you just started your affiliate business you won’t survive in this severe competition and dozens of regulations. Instead, beginning from Tier 2 and Tier 3 geos will allow you to test your campaign and strategies with much lower investments and risks.

In Tier 2 you can also use niches that are prohibited or strictly regulated in Tier 1 countries. In addition, you can maintain stability in your profit because of lower competition in Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries.

Thus you’ll prepare your campaign (by testing and analyzing) for the highest and more challenging level of affiliate marketing in Tier 1 countries.

Useful tips to increase engagement of specific geo traffic 

• Try to concentrate on several markets (e.g. on Tier 2 and Tier 3 in parallel) to test and change your hypothesis quickly and efficiently.

• Learn and analyze thoroughly the audience with chosen geo regarding its cultural, religious and national values.

• Quality and new content is a must because search engines are smart enough to push down websites with repeated and boring content. So no Copy Paste!

• Add the preferred location in your links and meta data.

That’s all about Tiers and marketing in specific locations.

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