Aside from a couple hangovers, an over abundance of sausage and cabbage, hundreds of business cards, two bags of industry swag, and nearly getting hit by 3 buses, I got to meet some really cool people in Berlin that I have only skyped for the last few years and I met tons of potential partners.
One of my main objectives for Berlin was to find more “Whitehat” Facebook affiliate offers, and DAMN did I ever find a ton of people who claimed they had what I needed.
Can you see the trend? The traffic is superb, it’s enormously scalable, and gives you the ability to target just about any niche market on the planet. All that being said though, they change things frequently so you constantly have to keep up with the changes.
The Cloak of Death…
I sat in on a presentation from those who actually work at Facebook. They shared what is happening in their realm, and how we can improve our own performance as affiliates. I thought it was funny when one of them said “stop fucking cloaking” (or something along those lines) to a crowd of over 300 people. Yes she dropped the “f-bomb”, and silence spread throughout the room. It was no laughing matter.
Cloaking ads so you can bend the rules is going to be dead soon. If you are not on the hunt for real whitehat methods on FB then your days are getting numbered. It’s definitely time to start looking for long term strategies if you want to continue running FB traffic.
I know people have been saying this for a couple of years now, but if you ask anyone who is cloaking lately, many will tell you it’s getting harder and harder to run non-compliant ads. Accounts are dying faster and faster.
I was happy to attend the Facebook Ad Buyers Meetup, but next time they need a bigger spot. The place was packed solid, so we met a couple people who run the same style campaigns as we do, and ended up taking off to a more relaxed location to talk a bit more about ways to scale.
So what methods and tactics can you apply to your business to help preserve your Facebook accounts and still make money as an affiliate?
If you didn’t know already, Facebook is ALL about user experience. If your ads are giving users a bad experience then your accounts risk receiving the “ban hammer”.
This is also why you see affiliates and even legit people who run whitehat campaigns still getting banned. Even if we run whitehat offers we still need to follow the Facebook guidelines for ad creatives and landing pages. Of course this may sound obvious for many people, but really the line is very VERY grey.
The challenge most of us affiliates are seeing is that the line is not clear between being aggressive enough in your ads to get actual conversions, and making Facebook users happy enough to not report you.
Here’s What WON’T Work on Facebook
Facebook is working on wiping out all of those clickbait articles that you see everywhere. They are constantly adjusting their algorithm to detect them so they can issue the ban hammer. You know the articles you see like – “Ten Reasons Why the Mole on Your Back is Going to Explode” kind of stuff.
I think it is a GREAT thing to get rid of and some ad buyers are claiming they are already seeing less competition and cheaper clicks for their own affiliate campaigns. This is likely due to the massive amounts of account bans recently. (tough luck to all the arbitragers out there – but you knew it was coming).
What’s a Good Starting Point for Affiliates on Facebook?
While Facebook is not the ONLY traffic source of choice, here are a few tips for those affiliates still looking to bank from it.
Ecommerce, Lead Generation (CPL) and Cost Per Install (CPI) are all still huge and profitable areas to focus on.
In lead gen (CPL) you can collect your own leads first and monetize them more aggressively in your back end email follow ups, or CPL directly to the advertisers or networks who own them and get paid instantly for leads you generate for them.
There were a TON of advertisers/merchants who had CPL offers that were looking for affiliates at this event. Many of them in the financial, mortgage, insurance, gaming niches.
These offers I can see myself testing. It will require a lot of data and spend at first to be able to accumulate enough data to make it profitable, but in the end I can sleep knowing my Facebook accounts will likely stand the test of time.
I have also been testing a lot of campaigns doing my own lead generation and it is a better way to go in my opinion. If you want to build something that you truly own at the end of the day then collect your own email list.
You Need to Track Conversions and Use Their Audience Features
If you want to achieve any type of long term success on Facebook traffic, making use of the Facebook pixel and audience capabilities is an absolute must. You need to be able to place the pixel in your own funnels or within the advertiser’s funnel at the point where the conversion occurs. If they are not helpful in placing your pixel then you may need to seek another company who will do it or at the very least get a piece of their audience from them.
OK Enough About FB – What are a Few Other Take Aways?
Native traffic is still big but bots continue to be a huge issue. One thing to consider though is that since FB cracked down on arbitrage, this may reduce competition on native ad networks like Revcontent.
While many companies will say they have systems in place to reduce bots, it is still always going to be important for us as media buyers to eliminate placements we think are bots.
For affiliates in CPA there is still a TON of money to be made in native ads. To avoid spending money on BOTS you need to have solid tracking systems in place. (I use cpv lab) We have done a complete course on Native Ads for CPA affiliates at http://cpadisplayacademy.com
It seems every conference I go to there are at least 10 new traffic sources who have popped up. (no pun intended) Pop traffic is still big and many claim it’s working well for them. I will never run it myself, and wouldn’t even recommend it. Campaigns die fast, the offers that convert there are shady, bots are rampant and competition is fierce.
I am very careful in testing every traffic source out there since it can really eat up your time and budgets. I will be doing a few case studies inside the Powerhouse Affiliate Premium Members area on a couple new traffic sources and affiliate offers I found. You can see all my results.
Do affiliates really make $50,000 a day or more?
YES. Most of the biggest affiliates who do 10-50K a day in revenue or more (and even many of the medium sized affiliates) are working in teams or have a few strong minded employees doing their work. (AKA outsourcing) Effective outsourcing strategies are important, and many will only assign each staff a certain piece of the puzzle so not to expose the entire campaign to any one team member. We all know the industry is full of snakes who would rather steal your method than help you.
Finding a community of people who share the same common goals is important even if you are all new to the game. Making a team can mean anything from having one person to be responsible to create all the ad wordings and images for testing, one person to set up all your domains and landing pages, one person to email all your subscribers, one person to manage setting up the traffic source, optimizing, and collecting all the money you make. (That’s you 🙂 )
All of these tasks can eat away at your time, especially if you are trying to scale a few winning campaigns.
All in all there is no question that the trip to Affiliate World Conference is a worthwhile investment. I would recommend it. Just one hour of drinking beer with some of the biggest affiliates in the world can teach you more than any course online…and let me say there was a LOT of beer drank in Berlin..:)