Moscow Affiliate Conference by Leadbit

Hey guys! A few days ago I was contacted by Olga from Leadbit, they invited me to attend Moscow Affiliate Conference by Leadbit, in conjunction with the iStack Holding, Which is a global affiliate network who also own native ads network https://mediavenus.com ,https://mediavenus.com/, and wap-click affiliate program http://fbilling.com/.  The conference is being held on 30th of March and due to my marriage in early April I had to pass this opportunity.

The conference itself is dedicated to CPA marketing and will gather the TOP affiliates all over the world who are working with the international traffic. The best thing about the conference is that they are offering free entry for everyone.

iStack Holding, the parent company also owns Stack That Money forum, are one of the best CPA Marketing forums online and they also host multiple conferences all around the world. Their conferences are always the best, so I am sad to miss this opportunity, however hopeful this conference is going to be a big hit as well, for them!

For all affiliates, conferences are a great way to connect with other affiliates and find new advertisers and explore more traffic networks. The meetup sessions are one of the ways to connect who the leaders in the industry and learn from them.

It`s going to be a great place to find new contacts and nice parties to meet all the community people! Here are a few exhibitors and the sponsors of the event so far; Ads Bridge, Traffic Stars, Mgid, Traffic Hunt, Bitter Strawberry, Lead Bit, Click Dealer, CPA Matica, Yeah Mobi, Reporo, Kimia, Olymp Trade, Digital Raves, Avazu, Advert Star, Iq Option, E Payments, Media Venua, Pinoz, Gotzha, Mobio, Affiliaxe, Mobile Internet Solutions, Money syst, Binom , WAP.click and Cpaotalist.net .

I am sure there are going to be many companies you have never heard of before, and that’s the best thing about conferences! You learn about new new markets and traffic sources which are not saturated and you can easily take advantage of.

So, are you looking to Party, Learn and find new contacts? All the details about Moscow Affiliate Conference are available at their website : http://affiliateconf.com  . You will also get a chance to participate in a Crazy Russian afterparty, Porsche Award Ceremony and lots of sponsor gifts are waiting for you.

P.S They can also help you out with Russian Visa’s as well, just send them an email at visa@affiliateconf.com .

I am a bit disappointed I won’t be there but Hoping to hear from you about your experience in the heart of Russia – at Moscow Affiliate Conference this spring!

UnSubCentral Creates Preference Center for Improved ROI on Email Marketing

UnsubCentral is an email marketing company that has a strong focus on helping performance marketers reach out to potential customers.  They have been around for quite a long time and while they are not the largest provider of email marketing services, they are quite well known.  In an effort to help their customers improve conversion rates, reduce unsubscriptions and generally boost ROI, they have developed a new ‘Preference Center’ for those who subscribe to lists.

The preference center will make it easier for subscribers to customize what types of emails they get, and how often they are received.  In addition, it will help marketers to build relationships with their potential customers, rather than just sending them a lot of messages.  Another benefit is that it can help improve compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.

The newly designed platform will let consumers customize their preferences so they are getting only emails they actually want.  This is different than the way most email marketing platforms do it (and how UnsubCenteral did it prior to this update).  Most platforms give users the option to get the emails that marketers send them, or opt out of all the messages.

In many cases, however, users will want to receive only some of the messages.  Giving them the option to customize what they do and don’t get will help them to remain active on a list and may even increase open rates.

Since users will be more in control of what messages they receive, and when, they are much more likely to open the messages and actually read them. This, of course, will lead to an increase in clicks and sales.  Or at least it seems like that will be the case.

Todd Boullion, the General Manager of UnsubCentral said, “This is just the latest feature in the new UnsubCentral, as we continue to roll out new ways to help Fortune 2000 companies leverage the proven, effective email channel to engage with their target consumers.  We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact the new Preference Center will have on decreasing email opt-out rates and increasing subscriber retention.”

While it will take some time to get the information needed to see what type of benefits this system will bring users, it does sound like a great idea.  Helping to build confidence in consumers will almost certainly lead to an improved ROI and a decrease in unsubscribes to just about any email marketing list.

FTC Releases Report on Proper Use of Big Data

“Big Data” is a buzz word that is tossed around a lot today and is typically used to talk about the collection of large amounts of data, typically from multiple sources.  That data is then used to make predictions, connections and assumptions that can be used to benefit your business.  The data that is collected is typically analyzed using complex algorithms that will produce usable information for marketing and other business efforts.

While big data can certainly be useful, the FTC has some concerns.  They have recently released a report that discusses how big data can and should be used.  Their main concern seems to be that some companies end up using this data in discriminatory ways that may not be legal.

Their report, titled, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” was made as a recap and review of a public meeting they held back in 2014 to discuss and learn about potential issues related to big data.

In the report they discuss legal compliance issues including how big data can impact the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Opportunity Laws and the Federal Trade Commission Act.  It also looks at a variety of policy considerations that companies should look into when analyzing how they use big data.  This could include things like determining whether or not there are missing sets of information that could cause them to misuse the data, reviewing the data, including humans in the process of analyzing the data and much more.

This report was released for people in all types of businesses, but those who engage in digital marketing of any type are some of the biggest consumers of big data.  With that in mind, it makes sense to take a look at the report and see what types of things the FTC is going to be watching out for in the future.

You can view the entire report from the FTC HERE.

Facebook Audience Network Now Open for All Advertisers

Facebook has been texting and expanding their Facebook Audience Network (FAN) for well over a year now.  It started out with the option just to run advertisements using their network in a wide range of different mobile apps.  To build on that success they have been running a closed beta test that would allow advertisers to use FAN to run ads on mobile websites.

They have just announced that they are opening up the network for all advertisers to run their ads on mobile websites as well, in addition to the app ads.

This is very significant news for the 2.5 million advertisers who currently use Facebook’s ad service as well as many others who will likely begin.  In fact, some experts are calling this a “Google AdSense Killer” since it will largely open up Facebook’s ad network to compete in most of the same areas that Google has formerly dominated.  Google will, however, still control the shrinking desktop ads.

While I don’t see this move as being able to ‘kill’ AdSense, it will certainly give it some very stiff competition!

Facebook has also done an exceptional job at making it easy for mobile publishers to join their network.  They use a simple HTML tag rather than an SDK integration.  This means that new publishers can be using their system the very day without any trouble.  Whether they will make more money switching to FAN or continuing with AdSense remains to be seen.  Of course, many will choose to use both networks to attempt to maximize their earnings.

In Q3 2015 Facebook earned 78% of their $4.49 billion in ad revenue from their mobile ads.  With this move we will almost certainly see that number shoot up considerably.

Whether you are running a mobile website and want to add another income stream or you are a marketer looking for exciting new advertising opportunities, the Facebook Audience Network just became more attractive.

You can learn more about this move from Facebook’s announcement HERE.

Native Advertising Guidelines Released from the FTC

Using native advertising practices has been one of the most effective options for marketers for quite some time now.  The reason they are so effective, of course, is because they look and feel very similar to the rest of the content on the page.  Even if consumers can see that it is a sponsored post, the content has the same feel as the rest so they naturally seem to trust it more.

Unfortunately, many marketers don’t go far enough in ensuring that the visitors to their page can easily see whether they are reading a normal post or it is an advertisement.  This is where violations to laws and regulations can come into play.  Unless you have an attorney to review every native ad you post, however, it can be hard to determine whether you are in compliance with laws or not.

To help address this concern, the FTC has just released a new guide called, “Native Advertising: A Guide for Business” that will go through this potentially complex form of advertising to help marketers learn what they can and can not do.  According to the FTC this report was designed to, “help companies understand, and comply with, the policy statement in the context of native advertising.”

Any marketers who are using native advertising will want to go through this report to learn whether or not they may be in violation of any laws.  It is written in an easy to follow format that will allow you to quickly gain the information you need without having to waste hours of time (or hire an attorney) trying to figure it out.

Director of the Bureau Consumer Protection, Jessica Rich, said of this report, “The FTC’s policy applies time-tested truth-in-advertising principles to modern media.  People browsing the web, using social media, or watching videos have a right to know if they’re seeing editorial content or an ad.”  This set of guidelines will help make marketing using native ads much easier and less risky.

If you are a marketer who uses, or is thinking about using, native advertising make sure you take some time to read through this new set of guidelines.  It can be found on the FTC’s site HERE.

One more thing to keep in mind is that if the FTC has taken the time to put together this set of guidelines to help marketers, you can be confident that they will be taking a closer look at digital marketing practices in this area in the coming months.  Marketers who continue to violate their set of standards will likely face fines of some sort.  The publishing of this from the FTC may be a signal that they will be taking greater enforcement efforts against violations related to native advertising in the near future.

Focusing Your Digital Advertising on Top Ten Smartphone Apps of 2015

When planning a mobile marketing strategy you need to make sure that any ads or posts that you make are going to be seen by as many people as possible.  While there is an almost endless list of apps and mobile ad networks that you can use to get your message out in front of an audience, it is important to make sure that you focus a significant amount of effort on the biggest players in the game.

Nielsen has just released their latest report that lists the top ten smartphone apps of 2015 based on average unique users.  This is an important report whether you’re in the app marketing industry or you’re just trying to get your ads displayed where they will be seen by the largest number of people possible.

smartphone app report

You can see in the above chart from Nielsen that Facebook and Google owned apps are dominating this list.  In fact, other than #9 and 10 which are run by Apple, there are no other companies involved.  This this may seem like a bad thing at first, it can actually make marketing a little easier for the average person.

If you want to get in front of the millions of users that are accessing these apps each day, all you have to do is run ads on either the Google ad network, the Facebook ad network or both.  When you do this you can take advantage of their advanced targeted options as well, which will help you to not only get your ads displayed but also ensure they are shown to the right people.

Also included in this report is that the total smartphone use in the US has reached 80% of adults.  This is a 2% uptick over the September report from ComScore.  It seems that this saturation level is starting to level out, which is not surprising at all.  The fact that it is growing at all is really quite impressive.  In the report you will see that 53% of smartphone users are on Android devices, and 43% on iOS devices.  Three percent are using a Windows phone and .7% are still on BlackBerry smartphones.

This report is widely seen as the most accurate and effective on this topic available.  The data is gathered from a monthly survey of 30,000 mobile subscribers in the US.  They also gather data from a measurement app installed on about 9000 users handsets (with their permission of course). You can see the full report from Nielsen HERE.

Pinterest Shoppers Buy More than Other Users

Marketers are always looking for the best ways to attract new customers, and that is especially true on Black Friday.  In addition to being one of the biggest shopping days of the year, however, it is also going to be one of the bigger advertising days of the year.  With millions of marketers trying to get their products in front of perspective customers, it is important to know where to go to get the best return on investment.

Businessman drawing ROI (return on investment)

According to Pinterest, their users are going to be shopping more on Black Friday than the average users.  This means if you can get your ads shown on that page, you’ll have an increased chance of it converting into a sale.

Pinterest has released new stats that support this claim as well.  Of course, most marketers know that when done properly, Pinterest can really do a great job at generating sales.  The trick is to make sure you’re marketing to the right groups of users (of course, that is the trick with any marketing).

According to the information released, Pinterest users are spending four times more than the average user on things in the ‘toys and games’ category. This is a massive number when you really think about it, a 400% increase over the average internet user.  That’s not all though.

Their users are three times more likely to spend money on housewares, clothing and accessories.  2.2 times more for electronics and media.  Another interesting point is that those using Pinterest are 50% more likely to spend the most on their Black Friday shopping at specialty stores and local businesses.

This is all very interesting information that can help marketers learn where they should be investing their ad dollars.  For an affiliate marketer who is promoting a wide range of different products, for example, putting ads up on Pinterest may be a great idea.  These ads can be for those categories mentioned above and can help to generate a much higher ROI than would otherwise be possible.

Of course, many different platforms will have great results, but finding those areas where you can get even a small bump over the competition can help in many ways.

If you’re not already an advertiser on Pinterest, it may not be too late to get your account set up and ads running for Black Friday.  You’ll have to hurry though as this major shopping event is just around the corner.

Innovative Data ‘Co-Op” Now Offered from Skimlinks Affiliate Network

The UK based affiliate marketing network Skimlinks has just announced the launch of a new ‘data provider’ service to affiliates promoting products through them.  The interesting thing about this new service is that they are using their own publishers to help collect the data, which is then aggregated and distributed back out for use in advertising and other efforts.

big data word cloud

The service is being called, “Audiences by Skimlinks” and is an advanced programmatic ad targeting service that can be used to improve the results from a variety of types of ad campaigns.

The system collects data from all the publishers who are participating.  The data is pooled and made anonymous, then aggregated into useful formats so that it can be used for targeting ads.  The revenue generated from this service is then shared with all the publishers who contributed to the system.  The revenue share is based on the amount of data each publisher provides.

The Skimlinks network collects information about clicks and conversions from publishers in their network.  They say that this includes 1.3 billion unique users from around the world.  The data is pulled from about 55,000 publishers and 20,000 merchants.

Last year Skimlinks had about $625 million in e-commerce revenue generated.

The idea to involve publishers in this system was developed based on an effort to break into the big ad data system that is currently dominated by major players like Facebook and Google.  Those systems are naturally able to collect massive amounts of data because of the huge number of users they get.  This had effectively eliminated the ability for other companies to compete at a similar level.

With this concept from Skimlinks, however, thousands of publishers can contribute their unique data to the co-op, which will then compile it so that the total amount of data can rival the big players.  While they are certainly not there yet, this is far more than just a proof of concept.  As the total number of publishers and merchants sign on, the amount of data will continue to grow.

This is not just a co-op of small publishers either.  Skimlinks reports that they have large, high quality publishers on board including Time Inc, Huffington Post, Gawker Media and many others.  Interestingly, however, it will likely be the fact that they are able to draw data from publishers and merchants of all sizes that will make this system the most powerful.  While big name publishers get the largest volume of data, the smaller sites can contribute unique data as well.  Most people visit a variety of types of sites both big and small, so this collection format will produce a more accurate picture of what users are actually doing.

While this system is still very early in its efforts, the results are looking very positive.  If it continues to grow like this in the coming weeks and months it is very possible that the Audiances by Skimlinks platform will be a major player in the industry.

Record Breaking Digital Holiday Season Predicted by Adobe

Most people think about Adobe as the company that makes their favorite PDF readers, but they are much more than that.  In fact, Adobe’s marketing cloud is used by the vast majority of the top online retailers in the US.  Using the data gathered from this, Adobe puts together a report each year that predicts the digital shopping trends for the holiday season.  This report, titled, “Adobe Digital Index 2015 Holiday Shopping Predictions” is used by many marketers to help them make advertising decisions.

This year’s report was just released and it is looking very good for retailers, brands and marketers.  Last year’s digital holiday season was record breakings, and this year is shaping up to be even better.  The report predicts an 11% jump in total spend for the holiday season, bringing it to $83 Billion.

There is a ton of information in the report, which is a total of 63 pages.  As you go through it you will see there are predictions and information about the holiday season as a whole, and major shopping days such as Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and more.  Looking at this information you can make more educated decisions regarding your marketing efforts.

Thanksgiving Shopping

One of the biggest points in the report covers Thanksgiving day shopping.  The shopping on this day is expected to go up by 18% year over year to a total of $1.6 Billion.  This is a massive jump, and one that some people weren’t expecting.  There is something of a pushback going on concerning Thanksgiving shopping right now, but that is primarily focused on people wanting retail stores to not be open on the Holiday. This clearly doesn’t apply to online shopping.

Black Friday Shopping

Next, Black Friday is also expected to get a big bump.  Shoppers are expected to spend about 15% more this year than they did last.   This will bring the Black Friday total sales to an estimated $2.7 Billion in online sales.  This will be the second largest online shopping day of the year, according to perditions.  Of course, most of Black Friday’s sales will be generated offline, so it will remain the strongest total shopping day of the year.

Cyber Monday Shopping

Cyber Monday is predicted to be the biggest digital shopping day of the year.  Total sales are expected to go up by 12% to a total of $2.9 Billion.  Marketers will need to get their ads set up and scheduled to go live for this day well ahead of time as there will undoubtedly be massive demand for all types of digital ads.

Overall, the digital shopping for this holiday is looking extremely strong for the 2015 holiday season.  The strong growth will generate many opportunities for marketers throughout the season, but especially during the biggest shopping days mentioned above.  The report does have a lot more information that can help marketers to make the best decisions for their businesses so make sure you take a look if you haven’t already.

The Adobe report can be found HERE.

You’re Screwing Up Your Black Friday Marketing!

Black Friday 2015 is quickly approaching and marketers are really starting to look closely at what types of things they can do to attract as much business as possible.  Unfortunately, if prior years are any indication, the chances are that most marketers will mess it up quite significantly and lose out on a lot of potential profit.

YesMail has looked at data from the last couple years regarding email marketing, Facebook ads and Twitter ads to see what people are doing and which ones are getting the best conversion rates.  The results might just surprise you.  Don’t worry though, there is still time to adjust your marketing strategy for this year if you act quickly.

Email Marketing Efforts

Over the past couple years most people have been sending out emails to their lists mostly on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday itself.  While this may seem to make sense, it actually isn’t going to get you the results you’re looking for.  According to the study, the best days in terms of open rates are going to be the Monday and Tuesday prior to thanksgiving.  The Wednesday is by far the worst performance day.

Look at the numbers for deviation from the daily average open rate during the week of Thanksgiving and you will be able to easily see just how important sending out your messages on the right day can be.  This is data from 2014:

  • Sunday Before Thanksgiving – 2% Greater than a Typical Sunday
  • Monday Before Thanksgiving – 10% Greater than a Typical Monday
  • Tuesday Before Thanksgiving – 9% Greater than a Typical Tuesday
  • Wednesday Before Thanksgiving – 23% LOWER than a typical Wednesday
  • Thanksgiving Day – 6% LOWER than a typical Thursday
  • Black Friday – 8% Greater than a typical Friday

Facebook Posts & Ads

Similarly, you can see a significant difference in engagement with Facebook posts during the week of Thanksgiving.  The report found that unlike email marketing, Facebook peaked on the Sunday before and went down significantly from there:

  • Sunday Prior – 157% Increase
  • Monday Prior – 24% Decrease
  • Tuesday Prior – 4% Increase
  • Wednesday Prior – 15% Decrease
  • Thanksgiving Day – 53% Decrease
  • Black Friday – 69% Decrease

It is quite clear that when discussing Black Friday sales during Thanksgiving week, you want to focus on Sunday to get the best results.

Small Changes – Big Impacts

The bottom line here is that marketers need to be taking this type of data into account when planning their Black Friday marketing campaigns.  Depending on the size of your email lists or Facebook followers you can get dramatically improved results by simply making sure you are sending out your messages on the right days.  Take some time to go over your marketing plans now to make sure you are maximizing your results.

Study: Marketers Don’t Understand Social Media ROI

Simply Measured has recently published the results of a new study that provides a lot of information and insight into the way marketers are using social media. The study looked at things such as what marketers hope to get out of social media programs, where they feel they are successful and where their struggles are.

Measuring Social Media Effectiveness

One key area that the study covered is how effective a social media campaign really is.  When asking marketers what the most challenging part of running these types of advertising campaigns, there were quite a few interesting answers.  You can see the results from the chart below.

As you can see, measuring the return on investment for this type of marketing is clearly the most difficult thing for marketers. While this is a big problem for marketers, there are others that may be even harder to overcome.  Tying social activities and business outcomes, for example, is often going to be a bigger challenge, even though fewer people are reporting that as a problem.  This may be because this issue is either a big concern or not at all.

Some companies, for example, naturally fit in with social media so tying their activities to their business outcomes is very simple.  Other companies, however, don’t naturally fit into a social media platform. This can make it more difficult to get the results you’re looking for or even plan out an effective strategy (which is the third most difficult area according to the study).

Social Media Marketing Goals

Setting proper goals is a big part of running a social media campaign.  If you don’t have the right goals in place, you’ll never be able to accurately access the return on investment.  For 71% of brands in the study, building a stronger brand awareness is their number one goal.  This makes since because social media is an ideal place to do just that.

Driving website traffic came in second place with just 48% of businesses reporting that as a ‘top three goal.’  You can see how the different companies in the survey responded to this question in the chart below:

There are certainly quite a few different goals listed here and getting a good understanding of them all is important.  While the question only asks about the top three goals, most marketers will have many other things in mind when developing a social media strategy as well.  Getting the best results out of each campaign will rely heavily on understanding the most important areas that you’re looking to make progress.

If you are interested in learning more about marketers and social media, you can view the entire report by clicking HERE.  You will undoubtedly find a lot of useful information that can help you develop a better and more successful long term social media strategy for your brand.