How I Use Framing Theory for Affiliate Marketing

June 20, 2023 BY Ted Kemplen - Get free updates of new posts HERE

I heard the adage a picture is worth a thousand words the other day. Whenever I hear this, I add that the frame is worth a thousand more. Because from my perspective, the way a picture is framed also dictates the story it tells.

Thinking about the way an offer is ‘framed’ can be of benefit to advertisers and affiliates. In this post I’m going to explain why.

I have an 18-month-old daughter and she’s starting to draw. She’s just scribbling but she’s having fun and learning.

We sat down to colour in a farmyard scene recently. I asked her what colour a pig was, and she chose to use pink.

She had not done this before. Therefore, her handy work to me was now a masterpiece!

How would we marvel at this achievement? How would I promote it? By sticking it to the fridge in a prime position with the strongest and most recently purchased holiday magnets of course!

Why? So that I could show visiting Grandparents and friends our young Picasso’s perfect piece! In a way, I framed it on the fridge. 

I apply framing theory when helping advertisers reach affiliates. As an offer needs to be marketed with the correct ‘frames’ to succeed.

The roots of framing theory are often attributed to the sociologist Erving Goffman who argued that interpretive designs constitute central elements of cultural belief systems. Goffman called these interpretive designs frames that we use in our day-to-day experience to make sense of the world. 

Simply put, Goffman argues that frames help us understand what is presented. Take Christmas as an example of a cultural frame. In a couple of weeks, you’ll probably hear someone say its x number of days until Christmas!

Saving for Christmas adverts will start on the TV whilst you’re still wearing shorts. Because the fact is that from the 26th of June, we’re closer to the coming Christmas than the last. There will be some groans, but a Christmas promotion is accepted because of the time frame.

Ergo, the public view of the marketing plays a pivotal part. 

We also place frames around different traffic types in the affiliate marketing space. We know what’s driving revenue to specific verticals and what’s not.

So, an in-depth understanding of the types of traffic or the marketing frames if you will, and how they’re perceived by different audiences, can only enhance everyone’s efforts. 

Take a promotion for Solar Panels as an example. An advertiser will input what the audience is that they’re seeking. Homeowner, household income, age etc.

I often ask advertisers what is working well for them. Because the ‘what’ helps answers the ‘why.’ The ‘why’ is usually the key selling point. Such as most cost-effective solar panels.

But, considering framing, I also explore ‘who’ they are seeking. They’re homeowners wanting to cut costs but also better their carbon footprint. They’re informed, smart and will likely research before purchasing.

By analysing who they are, I gain valuable insight on how the framing of the offer will be received. I then take a step closer to how we can help best.

How they’re marketed will influence their spending decision. Let’s compare SMS to blog traffic as an example. SMS is suited to concise messaging – it’s a Short Messaging System after all.

Blog’s, (like this one!) provide facts, research, and opinions. Solar power is complicated stuff so the audience will be wanting to buy via referrals.

They will want to take in expert commentary and all the data they can before they buy as it’s a big financial decision.

Strong performing solar power brands explain the science, the savings on energy bills and the setup. It’s a complex instillation that requires vetted installers and there’s many reputable manufacturers.

That would be a lot to convey in the form of a text, right? An SMS promoting solar power would perhaps be viewed as somewhat behind the times and could be of detriment.

Had I stuck my daughter’s picture to the bottom of the freezer with subpar magnets, grandparents and friends probably wouldn’t notice it and perhaps would have thought it wasn’t a big deal. They might think Dad coloured the piggies in.

Considering how the audience will use their frames when working on an affiliate marketing campaign, you could say, helps bring home the bacon! 

Written by Ted Kemplen