If you ever watched Lady Gaga's video, “Telephone”, you've probably seen it.
More than likely, you've been hearing about it.
It's been on magazine covers, featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Today Show, CNN, FOX and hundreds of others.
It's becoming or should I say, already is “the next big thing“!
For those who haven't heard, POF (Plenty Of Fish) offers a streamlined and highly targeted dating platform that's 100% free.
Of course, this magnetic lure has attracted millions of members.
In 2012, POF is hauling in 2 billion page views each WEEK.
What's of special interest for affiliate and web marketers is that POF offers a self-service advertising platform (ads.pof.com) that gives advertisers easy access to over 30 million users!
What's more, POF ads are displayed above the fold and are limited to only one ad per page.
Better yet, instead of talking dollars per ad, in the rich oceans of POF we're talking cents. This makes it a low-cost alternative to PPC advertising. You can pay as little as 10 cents per 1,000 impressions, which can work out at only a few cents per click – depending how good you are at creating attention-getting ads.
Before I give you a quick run down on how to set up income producing ads in this low competition and cost environment, let's consider a few different offers that should bring in a good catch here.
Despite its no frills approach, the POF advertising platform can exploit incredible depth and accurate demographic targeting. Instead of using the shotgun approach, you should be able to find perfect matches for your offerings using variations of these targeting options and their various subsets.
Here are a couple of scenarios.
How about targeting age, income, gender and body type for your new weight loss product?
A bridal boutique site owner may select “Looking to Marry Soon” and Zip-Codes across a pre-determined radius.
Affiliate marketers looking to promote to professionals in the real estate game (or to a myriad of other professions) can get right in front of their target markets face.
Perhaps by targeting Smoking Habits you may be able to pitch your “How to stop” campaign.
If you want to know more about how this works, feel free to dig a bit with this tool.
The possibilities are endless. No matter what you offer, you should be able to get very close to right under the nose of your target audience.
Enough of that. As Click Through Rate (CTR) is said to hover around 0.15% (about 5-10 times higher than social networks), here's how to get it happening quickly with POF and in a way that should improve your odds for success.
1. First head down to http://ads.pof.com.
Simply click “Create Your First Ad” and fill in your details. Of course, if you already have an account just log in.
2. Next, give your campaign a name. Once accomplished, add your appropriate targeting.
It goes without saying and this is why it must be said, step two is arguably the single most important factor in determining your campaign's success.
Can you answer the question, “Who?”
Almost half of the members of POF are women, so, is your product or offering for men, women or both?
What age group? Students or professionals? What type of professionals? Geo-targeting… Is your service localized?
If you own a hair dressing saloon, just tap into a radius around your postcode.
How about national or international?
What countries are more attuned to desire your goods, services and/or offers?
Matching what you have to the right target audience pays dividends, so don't hasten too fast through here.
3. Now down to the ad creative.
It's pretty straight forward but I'll throw in a few pointers for free. 🙂
Never underestimate the need for a solid call to action. A well-crafted ad can inspire and compel response.
Use enticing content such as “free trial,” “click here now”, or “outrageous” to scream to your users.
You've simply got to get their attention first!
If you know your target audience well, be sure to talk their lingo. Match their vibe.
Consider applying scarcity. In others words… “Time limited offer”. I've used variations of this to push my CTR up by 2 and 3 times. The sense of loss or missing out is a powerful motivational force.
Remember, try to focus your content around reasons. Buyers today need good reasons to part with their hard earned cash. Also, try to go for their emotions, not just their head. Sell the sizzle not the steak!
Of course, a picture paints 1,000 words. You can spruce up your POF ads so that users can see the real benefits of your offerings. Visually stimulating images can grab their attention fast. There are plenty of good images to be found at istockphoto.com.
As you input your text, you'll see exactly how your ad will appear in the creative preview, on the bottom left side. The image you upload, however, will not be viewable until after you submit it.
A special note: The POF adverting platform has a few advertising guidelines that you must adhere to. If you're considering fringe marketing, check it out as everything is manually approved.
4. Now simply add some dollars to your account and your ad status will switch to “pending approval”.
By the way, there's also an auto replenish function. A purely optional feature for those who want to make sure their ads don't stop running the moment their balance runs dry. But use with caution.
The POF Advertising home page or dashboard (whatever you want to call it) is where you'll be directed to after you add your funds. It's also the landing page you'll hit immediately after logging in.
From here in good old fashioned AdWords style you can select all, pause, resume, cancel, edit, run reports and create new campaigns.
A simple yet functional graph can be manipulated to reveal essential metrics such as cost, impressions, clicks, CTR, eCPC and CPM per day and for life.
Beyond reporting, you can manage and edit existing creative just by clicking on the campaign name. You should also find in there your approval status including the reason why your ads were not approved should this occur.
That's all there really is to it. Pretty simple.
As far as an interface goes it's not the flashest or the most advanced by a long shot but you may find its simplicity quite refreshing.
Wrapping it up
I trust that some of the information here will help make your POF Advertising experience more enjoyable and more profitable.
To be honest though, I'm not a POF Advertising expert. In fact, I'm just a dabbler. A newcomer who is hungry to learn and grow. So now I hand this writing space over to you.
If you've had some experiences with POH Advertising, why not share them with us?
We're keen to discover:
- What sort of results you've achieved with POF?
- Tips and ideas that have helped improve your CTR?
- What offers and markets work better than others?
- Any other suggestions you can make.
Wishing you great success with POF advertising. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.
UPDATE 2012: One important thing to consider… People visiting Plenty of Fish have dating/match-making/you-know-what on their minds, so if you're promoting a non-related product, you're likely to find it tricky achieving an immediate sale, because that's not what is on their mind. Unless you have an outstanding sales pitch, you may get traffic and few sales.
So it's best to persuade them to sign up for your newsletter or autoresponder series. Then you have multiple chances of making sales to them later when they are thinking about your product, or affiliate product. For tips on how to create an effective landing page, see our interview with Steve Scott in which he gives tips on how he creates effective squeeze pages.