Are you wondering if you should use Facebook ads to promote your affiliate marketing offers? Does Facebook allow affiliate links? Can you promote Amazon, Clickbank, or other affiliate programs on Facebook?
Facebook is the biggest social media of them all so is natural that brands, marketers and entrepreneurs like yourself to want to use it to reach their their audiences, get some of that juicy traffic and turn them into paying customers.
If you have been asking yourself these questions, then this article will help you clear up all the doubts and show you what you should and should not do to be successful using Facebook ads for affiliate marketing.
Plus, I will tell you how I lost $2,000 with Facebook ads so you can avoid making the same mistake.
Facebook ads for Affiliate Marketing: What You should know before starting
Before we get started with the step-by-step guide to create a profitable affiliate campaign, let’ get some doubts of the way and mention some key factors that will help you set yourself up to success.
1. Facebook Ads and Affiliate Links
Affiliates, especially newbies, often wonder if they can place their affiliate links directly on their Facebook Ads.
The answer is yes BUT you shouldn’t . While technically there is nothing on Facebook advertising polices that prohibits it, things are different in practice.
Most campaigns with affiliate links are often disapproved automatically, and the ones that get approved initially, end up getting cancelled anyway, which is worse because that can also get your account banned.
So, how does one use Facebook ads for Affiliate Marketing?
While you can not include your affiliate links directly as the destination URL of your ads, that doesn’t mean you can’t use Facebook ads at all.
In fact, it just means you get to do it properly and in a more profitable and safe way: using your own landing page.
2. Using a Landing Page for Facebook Ads + Affiliate Marketing
Creating a landing page that exists in between your Facebook Ads and your affiliate link will allow you to use Facebook Ads without any issues and without putting your account at risk.
A landing page is a simple stand alone page where you will direct your Facebook Ads to and where you will place your affiliate link so you can direct people to your offers.
Below is a visual representation that explains it better that words can do.
Besides allowing you to use Facebook ads for affiliate marketing, using a landing page gives you many other benefits such as:
- Allows you to grow your email list while you make money
- Increases your profits short and long term
- Allows you to automate your selling and create passive income.
I will explain how to create a landing page easily and quickly later on the article so don’t worry if you have never done it before.
3. The money is on the follow-up
Did you know that the average consumer needs to ‘hear from you’ 7-8 times before they make a purchase?
This is why expecting to make a profit from people who visit your offers for the first time is setting yourself up for faillure and dissapointment.
People who get into affiliate marketing with a get-rich-quick mentality, want to cut corners and think that by sending traffic to their offers and they’ll start making money.
While it is still possible to make a profit from what is known as ‘cold traffic’, most of your sales will not come from there. In the contrary, most sales come from retargeting and following up with people who already saw your offers which is why you don’t want to ignore this piece.
Now let’s look at how to create a Facebook ads campaign for Affiliate Marketing the right way and make the most money with it!
Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing Guide
In the following guide, I will cover how to set up all your affiliate campaigns including your Facebook ads and landing page.
I will explain the Facebook Ads first and then the landing page since that is the order in which users will experience it but I suggest reading through it all once and then start by creating your landing page.
1. Set Up You Facebook Account
Note: if you already have your Facebook Business Manager and Ad Account set up please skip to the next section.
If you don’t have a Facebook Ad account follow the next steps to get started:
1.1: Set Up Facebook Business Manager
The first step to being able to run a Facebook ads campaign is to create a Business Manager account
- To begin, go to the Business Manager home page and click Create Account. (Facebook changes the interface quite often so it might look a bit different)
- Next, enter your business name and email to set up your Business Manager account. When you’re done, click Next.
- Enter your business details in the next form. You’ll also need to choose whether you’ll use this Business Manager account to promote your own business or to provide services to other businesses (like an agency). When you’re done, click Submit.
- Check your email for a message with the subject line “Confirm your business email.” Within the message, click Confirm Now.
1.2 Add your Facebook business page
Once you have created your Business Manager account, you’ll need to add your Facebook Business Page. This page will the one you will use to run your ads so make sure that the name and profile picture are related to the affiliate offers you will promote.
If you haven’t create your Facebook Business Page yet, you can follow this guide and come back here to add your page to Facebook Business Manager when you’re done.
To add your Facebook page to Facebook Business Manager:
- From the Business Manager dashboard, click Add Page.
- Then, in the pop-up box, click Add Page again.
- In the next window start typing the name of your Facebook page in the text box, select your Facebook page and click Add Page.
- Your page is now added to the Business Manager!
1.3 Add your Facebook Ad Account
Next, you need to add or set up your Facebook ad account. If you don’t already have a one, here’s how to set it up.
- From the Business Manager dashboard, click Add Ad Account, then Create Account.
- Enter your account details, then click Next.
- Finally, Indicate who will be using the ad account (on this case is your own business), then click Create.
Note: You can only create one ad account right from the start. Once you are actively spending money in your first ad account, you will be able to add more based on your advertising spend.
1.4 Add your Payment Method
Before you can start running any ads, you’ll need to add a payment method to you ad account by following the next steps.
- Open Business Settings.
- Click Payments.
- Click + Add.
- Enter your payment information.
- Click Continue, to save your payment method.
Note: You can not delete your payment method without adding another one first. If you have entered multiple payment options, you can choose which one’s primary and you can also delete the others.
You are now ready to create your first Facebook Ads Campaign for Affiliate Marketing!
2. Create your Facebook ads for Affiliate Marketing
Before we start creating your ads, is important that you know that the structure of a Facebook ads campaign has three levels:
- The campaign level: here you will choose the goal of your campaign. Facebook has 11 different objectives you can choose from but the one you’ll be using more are Traffic or Conversions.
When you selected a goal, Facebook will then optimize your ads so they are shown to users who have historic tendency to perform those actions based on Facebooks data.
- The ad set level: here you will you define your targeting strategy by choosing audience characteristic like location, gender, age and interested. You can also create a budget, set a schedule and choose your placements.
All the ads that you create for this ad set or ‘ad group’ will share the same targeting and budget strategy. This means that if you want to compare how two or more different audiences perform, you need to create two or more separate ad sets.
- The ad level: here is where you will choose the media you will use for your ads (images or videos), text, links and call-to-action button.
In every ad campaign is important that you use several different media option so you can eventually learn which type of media, videos and text works best for your audience.
2.1 Create your first affiliate marketing ad campaign
- From your Business Manager Dashboard, click Business Manager on the top left and choose Ads Manager
- Under the Campaigns tab, click the green Create button.
- Choose your campaign Objective. Now this is when thing get interesting since there is not a rule or unanimous opinion on what’s best.
If you use the Traffic objective Facebook will show your ads to people who click on lots of ads and if you use the Conversion objective it’ll show your ads to people who are most likely to perform that conversion, such as purchasing of your product.
To put it another way, with Traffic you can get clicks for cheaper but with Conversion you get a ‘better’ type of audience.
- There is no doubt that the Conversion objective is the best to make sales BUT some marketers think that you should begin with Traffic and only after you make some sales, change to Conversion.
When you are just starting with Facebook you don’t have any data yet in your pixel about who your typical buyers are. This is why some argue that by choosing Traffic first you can get cheaper visits and ‘warm up’ your pixel.
Others think that it is best to choose the Conversion objective from the beginning since then those who visit your page will are more likely to buy from you anyway.
The final choice is yours but I have found the Conversion objective to work best for me in 80% of cases so that is my recommendation. You can also create two different campaign and compare which one performs better for your offers and audience.
2.2 Create your adset
- After selecting your campaign objective, it’s time to create the ad set. At this level, you will choose what audience you want to target, the placements (e.g. timeline, side bar, messenger, etc.), budget and dates.
The target is one of the most important parts of your ad sets and finding audiences that convert for your offers is the first step to a successful campaign.
Start by setting up the location, gender and age of your audience based on the affiliate offer you will promote.
- This will also depend on the conditions is the affiliate offer and where is it available. If it is available worldwide, I’d start with the 4 main markets which are United States, UK, Canada and Australia.
The gender and age will also be determined by the affiliate offer. Some programs will even provide you with some data on their buyers’ demographics.
- The next step is called Detailed Targeting. Here you will have the option to select different interests and behaviors as a way to segment the audience you want to target.
- You can choose between generic interests such as ‘fitness’, ‘cooking’, ‘languages’ or you can also use brands in your niche who you think your audience might be interest in. This way Facebook will then show your ads to people who have shown interest in such topics or brands in the past.
You can also stack up or exclude interests, this is where your imagination and craft as a marketer will come to play. For instance, you could choose to target people who are interested in both meditation and yoga, but exclude people who are interested in hot yoga.
- On the right column, Facebook will show you the size of your audience based on the targeting you have set up. You want it to be at least 2 million (or close) so you can play around with your interests until you get there.
Create at least 5 different adsets so you have more opportunities to find a winning one.
Pro tip: Make sure to uncheck the option that says “expand interests when it may increase conversion at a lower cost’. It messes up with your targeting and never in a good way.
- Next, choose your ads placements. There is a lot of option here including Facebook and Instagram feeds, stories, in-stream ads in videos, etc.
In my experience the best performing placements are feed and stories so if you have no experience with Facebook ads I would advice to choose between those. Keep in mind that you need a different size of images/ videos for each placement.
- Next, set up your budget and schedule. You can choose between a daily budget or a lifetime budget. I would advice starting with $20-$30/day per adset so you can get some significant data and can get rid of the adset that are not performing well at the end of the day.
2.3 Create the adverts for your affiliate offer
Now for the moment we have all been waiting for: creating your very first affiliate ads. This is where you will choose the images (or video), headline and body text.
You can choose between and existing post or creating a new advert. For the purpose of this article let’s assume you don’t have any posts yet so we will create a new ad. (Which is what I recommend doing anyway).
- Choose the type of ad you want to create. Facebook currently offers 5 different formats for adverts, which also change depending on the objective of your campaign.
The most commonly used are single image and single video so I would suggest starting with one of those.
- Once the format is selected, you need to add the images or video and the copy. These elements will play a huge role in determining your ads performance.
A very important factor to consider is to keep to make sure there is congruency along your ads, landing page and affiliate offer by using the same message, colors and images. This way the user can have a seamless journey and won’t be distracted wondering if they have landed in the right place.
- Upload the images or videos you want to use for your ad. Be sure that your ad’s media fit Facebook’s ad specs—otherwise, they could be blurry, cut off, or rejected.
You can also check for the recommended specs on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- Next, write your ad copy, including your headline, description, and Call To Action (CTA). Once you complete the fields, you can see how your ad will look with the live ad preview.
- Finally, you will need to add the website URL where you want to direct your ads. Since you can not use your affiliate links here, you want to use the URL of your landing page.
In the next section, I will show you how to create your landing page and then you will have the URL ready to paste it in your ads.
3. Creating a landing page for your affiliate offer
As I mentioned before, you can not direct your Facebook ads to your affiliate links so this is why we will use a simple landing page to serve as a ‘bridge’.
Now for this page, you can really let your imagination run, try different things, angles, images, videos, etc.
But if you are just beginning, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The best way to test an offer is with a simple page and an intriguing message that incites that visitor to want to know more.
3.1 Creating your first affiliate landing page
Nowadays there are many drag-and-drop builders that you can use to create a landing page in a few minutes without the need for any coding or design experience.
For the purpose of this article, I will use Clickfunnels which is what I use for all my landing pages. I particularly like that it has an automated email feature that allows you to follow up with visitors who didn’t buy and recover a lot of sales on autopilot.
The first thing you need to do is grab a free 14-day trial in Clickfunnels.
- Once you have created your account, go to the menu at the top, click on the Clickfunnels Button and select funnel.
- Click on Build New Funnel and on the next tab choose “Collect Emails”. Clickfunnels will create Landing Page that collect emails and a Thank You Page (you might not use this one since you will redirect visitors to the affiliate offer)
- On the left column, you will see what page you are editing and you can now choose between hundreds of templates that Clickfunnels has available so you only need to customize them according to the affiliate offer.
When I am first testing an offer I like to use a template with a video screenshot like the one below so I’ll show you an example of how I’d do it.
- Once you select the template, click on the edit button and it will open the page editor
- To edit an element simply click on it and you will be able to edit change the text, colors, margins, etc. You can also add another element from the menu on the right by simply clicking on it.
- This template already has a button included where you’ll want to add your affiliate link. To edit the button, click on it and it will open the settings. Here you want to choose the button action to be ‘Go to website URL‘ and add your affiliate link as the destination.
- Once people opt in with the emails and click on the button, they’ll be taken to the affiliate offer and if they make a purchase you will receive a commission.
- Below is an example of a landing page I created for an offer for Diabetes. As you can see my bridge landing page is very similar to the offer page. You want to make sure there is congruency along the visitors’ journey so there are no doubts or distractions.
3.2 Get more sales and profits on autopilot
Now that you have your landing page and ads running, it’s time to create your email sequence to follow up with those who opted in but didn’t buy.
When I first started with affiliate marketing I made the huge mistake of leaving this for ‘later’. I created my landing page, started running ads, and boom! sales started to happen. I was ecstatic but couldn’t find a way to be profitable.
I was spending more money on ads than what I was earning on commissions. I thought I just needed to get better with Facebook ads so I continued to drop money trying to lower my cost per purchase and find the perfect audience.
I lost $2,000 and was ready to call it quits before I remember what I actually implemented what they had taught in the course about the follow-up sequence. I was then able to turn the table around and start making a profit in a few days. Moral of the story, don’t be like me. Set yourself up to make money from the beginning.
So, how do you actually set up a follow up sequence?
- Click on the Automation Tab of your landing page
- Click on Add New Email
- Get your affiliate skills into practice and write your Follow Up email. The goal is to remind people about the offer and invite them to finalize their purchase.
Here, you can include your affiliate link directly so they are taken straight to the offer and can make the purchase.
- You also have the option to add an Email Delay based on the time they opted into your page.
- I usually set up my follow up sequence for 1 hour after, the next day and 2 days after.
- As you can see all this process is now automated so you can make a passive income while you sleep or do something else.
Note: Clickfunnels email automation is limited with the standard plan. if you want to sell other affiliate products to the people on your list and generate a passive income for months and years, it is best to get an email autoresponder like Active Campaign. This way you can create sequences that last for as long as you want, track results, do a/b testing, and anything else you can imagine.
4. Track and optimize your Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing campaign
Last but not least, once your ads start running and you have some data about how all the pieces are performing, is time to evaluate your results and optimize them.
Even if you are making sales and getting profits, there is always room for improvement and a little extra margin can mean thousands once you scale your campaign.
Some factors you want to check when optimizing your campaign are:
- Your ads CTR (click to ratio), the better your click to ratio, the cheaper your clicks, and hence, the cheaper your cost per purchase. Yo optimize your CTR you can try different images, and copy variations.
- Your ads CPM (Cost Per Mil) meaning the cost per 1,000 impressions. If this is too high it will increase all your other costs and make it harder to be profitable. CPMs vary depending on the niche but I try to find Facebook audiences with a $10 CPM maximum. Try different targets to find the ones that work best for you.
- Your landing page Opt-in Rate, meaning what percentage of people who visit your landing page put their emails and visit your affiliate offers. In a similar way to improve your opt-in rate, you can try different headlines, images, and colors.
Note: You can see this in your Facebook Ads Manager and Clickfunnels Stats Tab respectively.
Once you have a good profit margin, you want to increase your ads budget so you can naturally make more money. But Facebook is quite jumpy so it is best to increase it slowly and gradually so it doesn’t mess up your results.
Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing Summary
Since this is a thorought and extensive guide, let’s review the key parts to make sure you have a clear idea:
- To use Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing you need to use a landing page.
- You can create a landing page easily using a drag-and-drop builder like Clickfunnels
- You can be as creative as you want with your landing page or keep it simple but you should always keep it congruent to your affiliate offer page.
- Most of the sales won’t come from first-time visitors so it is essential to be profitable to have a follow-up email sequence.
- Once you are running your campaign, it is important to keep track of your results and optimize every step of your process to increase profits.
- The best part about using a landing page is that you are building your own email list while you make sales and money.
Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing Pros
- On-demand immediate traffic.
- No need for a website, blog or content creation.
- Can be done with just a landing page.
- Works for a wide variety of niches.
- Can reach almost any demographic.
- Highly scalable
Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing Cons
- Has a learning curve.
- You need to invest money.
- You can lose money while you learn.
- High competition and ads costs
- You can’t use direct linking.
Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketing FAQ
Can I promote ClickBank products on Facebook?
Yes, you can follow the steps I teach in this article to promote Clickbank products with Facebook Ads. You can not use affiliate links directly but you can do it by using a landing page as explained above.
Can I use Facebook ads for affiliate marketing?
Yes, you can use Facebook ads for affiliate marketing. However you can not place your affiliate links directly on your ads so you need to use a landing page or bridge page ‘in between’ your ads and your affiliate offers.
Can I use Facebook ads for Amazon affiliate marketing?
While you can technically follow the same strategy I share to promote Amazon affiliate products, the commission rates are so low that it would be impossible to make a profit. I would suggest using Facebook ads for products with a commission of at least $20.
Check out this video to learn more about High-Ticket Affiliate Marketing
Facebook ads can be a powerful and profitable platform to run your affiliate marketing campaigns but they do take some time and money to master. If you have some money to invest and want to start making some sales quickly, then Facebook ads are a great place to start.
The best part about this strategy is that you are practically being paid for building your email list which is the ultimate money-making asset. Check out this article to learn how to make the most money from your list with affiliate marketing.