AWA 2017 Interview Series: Niket Shah
Do the Mobidea Academy people have yet another amazing Affiliate World Asia Interview to share with the eager public?
We chatted with none other than Niket Shah, the man behind Accelar8 Labs!
Ready to watch this wicked video?
Check the interview in written form, then!
Niket Shah Interview at AWA 2017
1. Tell Us About Yourself
My name is Niket Shah.
I co-founded Accelar8 Labs.
I’ve been in the industry for about three years.
I spent the last five years of my career working at Facebook.
And the last two and a half of that managing the performance marketing vertical for the business.
I think that you need to understand that Facebook is different than most other platforms.
Facebook is built around people rather than clicks.
It’s really about the user experience.
Most affiliates think that what works on another platform may also work on Facebook.
But what Facebook is looking for is to make sure its users have a good experience of the platform.
2. What is the Best Strategy for a Newbie?
Verticals and niche.
You must always make sure that you’re providing a product or a service to someone that is of need.
You should use Facebook targeting to make sure you get to the right person.
The verticals that I always choose and that I like?
Good quality E-Commerce products.
Lead Generation is really good as well.
I think those are good offers to start with.
3. Biggest Challenge for an Affiliate Marketer
The biggest challenge is to scale.
I think it’s really hard to scale.
You see a lot of people talking about how…they’re making it seem like it’s very easy to scale, to get to five figures a day in spend in your first week or your second week.
I don’t think that’s accurate.
To get to that level?
One, you have to maintain a CPA that makes sense and is profitable and then find a way to continue to grow that CPA.
I think scale is the biggest challenge.
I think a lot of people take it for granted.
How hard that is to do.
4. What Skills are Needed to Become a Super Affiliate?
One of the biggest skills is actually being okay with failure.
Being able to make mistakes and learn from them.
And become able to continue to test.
I’ve talked to a lot of affiliates that have spent a hundred dollars and they just don’t believe their traffic source works anymore because they’ve only spent 100 dollars.
I think that’s giving up.
Don’t give up that early.
I know it’s an investment.
But I know there are ways to make things work.
If you work hard enough, you can make anything work.
Instead of chasing the quick money, chase the longevity of the business and I think that’s what super affiliates have always done:
It’s to continue testing, continue to pound it.
Then, make it scale.
5. What Would You Tell Affiliates Who are Experiencing Difficulties?
I think that prices are gonna continue to go up.
Just because there are more and more people using the platforms.
Whether it be Facebook or mobile or any other platforms, there’s more and more eyeballs on those platforms.
More and more people are getting handheld devices.
The price is naturally gonna go up.
This is a trend we’ve seen across other marketing platforms as well.
It’s a common trend.
On the product side, the conversion rate is really based on how you sell it.
It’s about making sure you’re offering value to the people that are seeing that product.
If you are able to provide value, provide images, provide content that adds value or that makes the product seem like it’s really good for whoever is on the other side of it, I think you won’t have to worry so much about the pricing and the auction because you’re gonna get a lower price.
People are gonna engage with your content more and hopefully – in turn – you’re gonna see your conversion rates go up and the cost of the auctions go down.
6. Tools and Resources
I think competitive intelligence is a tough one.
I think that looking at market trends is important.
I think looking at what consumers are looking for and market.
Not always looking for the one product that’s gonna last for a month but looking at where consumers are going.
Being able to spot trends.
Taking yourself to a 10.000th view.
Instead of focusing on a specific niche, look at where everyone’s going.
What are the big macro trends that are happening in the industry.
Five years ago, mobile was one of those big trends.
Being able to predict those kinds of things and starting to plan for that.
I think that’s really important.
Platforms like Facebook have offered you the ability to see what pages are running now.
From a competitive standpoint, you can always use what’s publicly available on Facebook rather than having to get a second spy tool or something like that.
I think those kinds of tools will help you understand what’s working well.
Focus on your strengths and then look at macro trends that are gonna change the industry.
7. Affiliate Marketing Mistakes
A lot of affiliates come to shows like this and they see all the success that everyone else is having.
They assume that it’s gonna be easy.
There’s a lot of learning that goes into it.
There’s a lot of nuances that most affiliates don’t know about.
There’s a lot of great networks that help a lot of the back end that affiliates don’t necessarily see but I think most affiliates coming into the market think it’s gonna be easy.
It’s not necessarily easy.
Don’t get me wrong:
It might be easier than some other industries but it’s definitely a grind.
I think affiliates just need to keep trying and just need to keep making it work.
8. Favorite Traffic Sources
I focus primarily on Facebook just because I know that platform the most.
It’s the one that I’ve spent the most time with.
I have a good understanding on the back end and on the front end.
How it works.
I’ve seen a lot of people use things like AdWords with great success.
I’ve heard of a lot of people using Native with great success in the last couple months.
Those are some of the ones I’m definitely hoping to try as well.
9. How to Develop your Skills?
There’s a lot of great forums available online.
STM forum, Mobidea.
I think that coming to conferences like this one is great.
I think you meet a lot of great people here that you probably wouldn’t get to know behind your computer screen.
Meeting people face to face is always more valuable than talking to someone on a forum.
I also think that there are some great training courses out there.
Facebook’s got their own course called Facebook Blueprint.
That’s free and available for everyone.
Just sign up and learn more about the Facebook advertising ecosystem.
10. Should Affiliates Read a Specific Book to Succeed?
The one book that helped me a lot – even when I left Facebook – is a book called “The One Thing.”
I forgot the author’s name but it’s got a white cover.
It’s really helpful in terms of focusing on one thing that I’m trying to solve rather than getting confused.
When you come to conferences like this, there’s probably 250-300 booths here.
I’ve heard so many different speakers talk.
It’s hard to get focused around what is it that I’m gonna accomplish.
I think that book is really good in helping narrow that focus down and really allows you to understand why it is so important to focus on one thing and do one thing well.
11. Affiliate Marketing Trends
I think affiliate marketing is gonna continue to rise.
I think a lot of traditional companies are starting to realize that this is kind of like scale marketing.
You don’t necessarily have to have all of your marketing coming from one team internally, especially for direct response products.
I think affiliate marketing is predicted to rise from the studies that I’ve read.
I think it’s gonna continue to be a big trend.
As long as affiliates continue to offer value, the bigger companies are gonna start creating more and more affiliate programs.
I think they’re gonna see an opportunity to drive more and more traffic.
12. Surprises in 2017
An interesting one has been the transparency around products or tools like affiliate marketing.
There’s obviously a lot of talk in the news about politics and the elections that have happened.
I think that’s brought a bigger magnifying glass onto this affiliate industry.
I think there’s gonna be a whole lot more transparency that comes from it over the next couple of years.
“What exactly is affiliate marketing?”
“How is it working?”
I think that’s the biggest shift.
I didn’t expect that to happen over this past year.
It’s a good thing.
I think more eyeballs in the space is great.
It means more quality offers, more quality brands looking at affiliate marketing as a way to grow their business.
I think it’s gonna be positive going forward.
13. Opportunities & Threats
The next big thing is gonna be immersive experiences.
For affiliates to think beyond just doing link ads, or photo ads, or what everyone else is doing.
I think a lot of companies have come out and started doing great things in Augmented Reality.
All these companies are developing a lot in terms of immersive experiences on their platforms.
Affiliates can take that and actually create offers, create products, and create messaging that plays to that really well.
It’s gonna be the next big trend:
Understanding how that works.
I think mobile was a trend we talked about from a couple years ago.
I think this is gonna be a trend going forward.
Voice is another one.
I think it’s really good.
Knowing how to do search voice.
We’re using things like Siri or Google Assistant a lot more than we’ve ever used before.
How do affiliates tap into that?
Understanding how they can have their ads and their messaging coming in the search results like that.
14. Why Did You Decide to Speak About this Topic?
The reason why I picked the topic is because I think a lot of people at this conference have been saying great things about optimization and understanding the nuances of Facebook.
For me, it was really important to help people understand.
Coming from a big company and how close to the similar hack mentality or hack culture is to affiliate marketing.
It’s actually not that different.
A lot of what I learned at Facebook has helped me in my current business which is acting like a startup.
The ability to wear multiple hats.
Actually being able to do every aspect of my business.
Trying to do it as best as I can.
But also moving really fast.
Rather than trying to sit behind and waiting for someone else to create a product or create a way to do it.
For someone else to put an ad out before I can take it.
Really try to move fast and do that.
I think the lessons that I learned at Facebook really helped me become a stronger affiliate marketer right now.
I think it’s gonna help a lot of other people as well.
15. Future Plans
I’m gonna continue to consult with a lot of companies.
I spend a lot of my time consulting with companies that are looking for growth strategies.
E-Commerce companies that are looking to continue to grow and then overall business strategies.
I’m gonna continue to focus on that in 2018.
You’re a true affiliate marketing pro packing a whole lotta knowledge!
As for you, our readers, stay tuned to the Mobidea Academy because we’ve got some more great content to share!
Get ready to check an insanely informative interview with Charles Ngo and learn from the ultimate affiliate marketing master!