Why Cloaking is not Good for a Long Term Affiliate Business

In the past  2 weeks, I have been contacted by almost 20 people on facebook and through emails, basically asking for a way out, As they are tired of the regular cat and mouse game with traffic networks.
First of all, cloaking itself is not bad and can be a very effective tool against bot traffic and to prevent your competitors from spying on you..

The concept of Cloaking

The concept of Cloaking is very simple, using cloaking you can redirect the unwanted traffic to another page or website. For example; let’s say I don’t want traffic from a certain country, city or a traffic source on my blog, I can easily redirect them to another website based on their visitor data.

How affiliate marketers use traffic

In affiliate marketing, cloaking is mostly used to deceive traffic networks. Let’s say I want to promote an offer which violates Google/Facebook advertising policy, using cloaking we can show a legit offer but in reality promote the offer which violates the traffic network policies to people.

For example, let’s take  a scammy Offer like  “forskolindietdr.com”. If I promote this offer directly on Google adwords/Facebook ads, my campaign will never be approved by the traffic networks, as it violates their advertising guidelines.  In order to promote my offer on these networks I would have to use cloaking, which simply means I will redirect Google/Facebook reviewers to a reputable website, something like this NHS Article.  This website is for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, I can easily get away with it and get my campaign approved; where all Google/facebook reviewers and Bots are redirected to the NHS website, and all the other traffic ( visitors ) are sent to the scammy weightloss offer.

affiliate Cloaking

How affiliates use Cloaking

Why Cloaking works

The main reason people tend to go for such offers is the over exaggerated trust that people have on sites such as Google and Facebook. This relates more to the older generations, because they are less aware of scams and how the internet is used to manipulate people into spending money. For example, grandpa’s and grandma’s  are more susceptible to buying things online, without researching, as compared to younger generations. To some, the internet is still fairly new and a large group of people are still unaware how internet works.

Another reason is the attractive ads, the colors and the pull element to them. Advertisers are aware of what their users are searching for and what they want, so they appeal to that nature. Like any ad. For example weight loss consumers will want imagery, and information about how “quick and effective” the products are, they are less likely to read the fine print, because they have already been lured by the attractiveness of the ad. these offers are more likely to focus on attractive ads rather than factual information, their aim isn’t to gain the trust of their consumers, but to just make sales.

Why Cloaking is Not Worth your time

Now let’s talk about cloaking in 2017, have you noticed cloaker prices are falling down ? There were days when cloakers used to charge thousands of dollars! These days you can easily buy a cloaker tool for $200 per month. The reason is that the good days of cloaking are gone, now everyone and their dog has a cloaker account and the competition is getting higher and higher.. Apart from that, traffic networks are coming down hard on affiliates using cloakers, which has caused the account ban rate to increase … It’s really hard for the affiliates to make sure they have sufficient supply of ad network accounts as compared to the ban rates by the ad networks.

So if you are thinking to just enter the world of cloaking, I would advise you to save your time and efforts and use them on something better, long lasting and completely whitehat, instead of shortcuts like cloaking. Just like the last stage of blog networks, they were a big thing amongst affiliates a few years ago, until google wiped them out completely. Yes there are still blog networks, but only those who know their stuff. All those who were in the market who had no real skill got wiped out, I am sure that’s what’s going to happen here soon. Especially with tech giants specially focusing on Artificial intelligence, it won’t take long… Facebook has already started; Read this  : News Feed FYI: Addressing Cloaking So People See More Authentic Posts Adding to this, Google is already working against cloaking behind the scenes and they have  shifted their anti cloaking preparations to a new office ( un confirmed source).

Focus on Long Term Business Goals

I have been working in this industry for 7 years and i have seen many shortcut methods like this which play with systems. Again I would like to mention private blog networks as one of the best examples. If you are serious about an affiliate marketing business, you should always try avoiding shortcuts which play with the system. You might make some money for a while but at the end of the day you will learn no real skills and once your method dies down you will have to start again from zero.

I always advise people to start with whitehat methods , It could be slow, but will teach you skills which you can use anywhere in your life. It also often takes the same effort as Black Hat methods. However once you are established you have skills that  can yield better results, as compared to shortcuts like cloaking. It also depends on your own morals as well, if you want to sell scammy products to people or if you want to make a living by promoting legit products. That Decision is yours …

Fp Traffic Tutorial and Review

Fp Traffic is something which always caught my eye however due to busy schedule I always kept on delaying my plans to check it out, Finally last week after reading one of the Luke’s Posts I decided to give this tool a go and signed up for it, As I was looking to increase the engagement rate for my Dubai Blog’s Fan Page. This was a project I started as a hobby and because of which I always get free hotel stays and free opportunities to check out stuff related to travel industry for free ( I will talk about it some other day in a separate post) . Anyways one of things I always faced was lack of following on the blog’s fan page and wanted to build its following up so that’s how I come to Fp Traffic.

I have been using buffer for twitter before to schedule my tweets before and it gave amazing results however one thing I noticed that they only allow you to add tweets they have chosen into the schedule which limits everything however one thing I learned from buffer was that posting regular and engaging content is crucial for growth, And to keep on posting regularly either you will have to use Buffer or Hire some one for this job which is not an economical option considering you just need someone who keeps on posting content for you on social media .

This led me to try out Fp Traffic and the results I have got so far have really surprised me, Not only with engagement rate but also with how it helped me to decrease my advertising costs on Facebook.. Along with that there are plenty of guides from Luke available about fan growth , monetization and Facebook advertising as well as they have a separate Facebook Group where users share their experience about Facebook advertising and monetization .

Here is a quick video I did for this tool where I share my experience with using Fp tool for my blog fan page , Hope you will find it helpful ..

fp traffic stats

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Social Kickstart- To iron out all your Facebook “Neck Pain”

Facebook is one of the biggest ways to connect to people these days and as professional digital marketers our job is to connect to people! Today I want to talk about how Facebook helps us, the processes we go through to get connected to people and how Social Kickstart can help you save so much time!

So first up, why Facebook? If not the millions and millions of users that use it every day, then the vast amount of tools and marketing activity one can get from Facebook! There’s the obvious Facebook Ads that EVERYBODY runs these days, then we have Facebook pages, groups, Events, Posts, Shared media from Other media sites… Facebook is a one in all package for all your marketing needs right? But wait… What is the most important thing to a marketer these days?

TIME!!

Our time is so precious these days that we are always looking for ways to save time but not cut the corners right? Before I go into any detail about how you can save time let me go through a few of the tools that Facebook offers and why they are beneficial to YOUR campaigns, how they can help you monetise.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads

Facebook has become very commercial over the years and their privacy policy is shooting out the roof these days, but for us marketers, thats excellent news! Facebook will record users data and interests, track what they like and don’t like and follow up on what each user does in and out of Facebook using their mad crazy softwares and god knows what else… but the point I am trying to make is that Facebook is like any other traffic platform, you just need to input your data, tell Facebook who you want to see your ad and they will hunt those people down for you.

Facebook Fan Pages 

These little beauties will keep your sales floor open 24/7, re-targeting at its peak. If you can create successful fan pages n your niche and get people liking,sharing, posting and interacting…. you are well on your way to monetising your campaigns.. but is ONE really enough? (To be discussed later). Fan pages allow you to offer customer service and not just spam mail or spam post or spam in general, you can offer insightful information and updates about the product/service you are trig to sell, you can create a group of people who are genuinely interested in your product/service and what it has to offer. It is also great for brand awareness, but be sure to keep the page updated to get your brand to the skies!

Viral content marketing

Facebook Events 

Now the thing about events is that it excites people, we ran a survey amongst Facebook users about these “Event pages” and we learnt that Events excite people! You could be hosting an event, co-hosting, it could be a product launch, an event you will be speaking at? Let’s say it’s a product launch, You have ran some ads, got some traffic “Attending” Your virtual product launch, whats next? You need to throw some content their way sister!! (or mister). You want to keep them engaged, get them pumped and ready! Let’s say you are launching a service launch for a new dating offer? Why not create a “I’m getting lucky” Event, get people talking, throw some love potions about, talk about how this amazing dating site has a “special offer” , make them feel as if it is a REAL event, not just virtual?

 

So you have all these pages, groups, Ads, But how do you manage them all? Isn’t a “Pain in the neck” to post on each one, share on each one, make ads for each one… everything gets ab it too much and before you know it you’re getting confused which pages is which… Learn to my friends, Social Kick start has come to the rescue to create that “Kickstart” Your pages need!

Social Kickstart is a software that allows you to scale out and manage your Facebook pages AND groups all in one place. You can schedule your posts for your pages and groups all in one place, all under one column. You can favourite content, drag and drop your Facebook ads, Link up your Tee Spring research… and much more…  This will allow you to focus on multiple campaigns or go ALL OUT for one campaign… and the best part is? YOU SAVE TIME, because we all know… TIME=MONEY!

Stay tuned and grab your Social Kickstart now, because We have secured a exclusive interview with Mark Thompson to discuss Social Kickstart, JUST FOR YOU GUYS!!

 

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR “KICK START” 

New Ad Option for Facebook Ensures 100% Viewability

Facebook has just announced that they will be allowing a new option for advertisers on their platform.  The new option will require advertisers pay for ad impressions only when it is 100% visible.  This is an interesting move, and one that is surprising to many since Facebook has long argued that even partial views are effective.  There is no word on exactly how much more it will cost for a 100% visible ad impression either.

In the announcement that was published on their blog Facebook said, “While it remains our belief that value is created for an advertiser as soon as an ad is in view, we also believe in offering advertisers control and flexibility over how they run their ads.  100% in-view impression buying gives advertisers the option to purchase ad impressions where the entire ad – from top to bottom – has passed through a person’s screen in News Feed.”

This is just one more option that advertisers will have when it comes to customizing which ads they will have to pay for.  Another option that has been around for a while now is to only pay when a video is seen for at least 10 seconds.  This, of course, helps to ensure marketers are getting benefits from their ads.

The new service will be ‘monitored’ by ad analytics firm, Moat.  Moat will track the video views and make sure that the numbers are correct when provided to the advertisers themselves.  This will help ensure that the program has full transparency and is enforced properly.

How popular this new option will be has yet to be seen. While it initially seems like a very good option for advertisers, that will largely depend on how much extra it costs per view.  Many marketers may find that it is better to pay for all the impressions, even if they aren’t 100% seen.  This will likely take some trial and error to see what the best way to do it on a case by case basis.

Two New Ad Types from Facebook Designed to Generate Direct Leads

Facebook has recently confirmed that they are testing two new types of advertisements that are designed to help marketers generate leads and even direct sales.  These ads will have a similar appearance to their existing ad formats, but with some important enhancements that are likely to help marketers and brands with optimizing their marketing efforts significantly.

Lead Ads

The first new ad format is being called ‘Lead Ads’ and is made specifically for mobile devices.  They will have the normal ad format including headlines, descriptions, text, images and a call to action button.  The difference, however, is that when users click the button it will populate an in-app form.  This form will be filled out automatically by information that Facebook has on the users.

The fact that it automatically fills everything out will make it much easier on the users, which should dramatically reduce the ‘abandonment’ issue that so many marketers face.  Once the in-app form is populated (which is virtually instantly) the user simply hits submit.  This is perfect for generating new email list sign ups or other similar advertisements.

You can see how the Lead Ads will work in this image from Facebook:

New Facebook Ads

Buy Product Ads

The next new ad type is called, ‘Buy Product Ads’ and this is one that is likely to generate a lot of buzz for marketers and larger brands.  It is set up to allow customers to complete a full purchase right form within the Facebook app.  Like the Lead Ads, users will see a fairly traditional looking advertisement for a product they may be interested in.  Rather than tapping to be brought to another website to complete the purchase, however, they can simply tap a buy button.

When they hit the buy button it will take them to another form within the app where their information will already be filled out.  Users will even have the ability to keep a credit card on file with Facebook so this information can be completed as well.  The user will simply have to review the form to make sure everything is correct and then they can complete the purchase with another tap.

For many businesses and marketers, this type of ad will create a great opportunity.  While it can be effective for almost any type of product or service, those with lower price points will likely perform best.  This type of Facebook ad will make it very easy for people to make ‘impulse’ purchases without having to take the time to think it through.  Things like T-Shirts or other fun items can benefit greatly from this type of ad.

Still in Testing

Both of these two ad types are still in testing phases, but are expected to progress into wider use before long.  They will obviously have important uses for many marketers and will help Facebook to attract new advertisers. If successful, these types of ads can be very beneficial to Facebook, marketers as well as the consumers.

Powerful New Options for Facebook Advertising Announced from Teradata

Facebook advertising has been an effective way to drive traffic for quite some time.  The fact that Facebook offers so much data about their users makes it possible for marketers to really get their ads shown to the exact people they want every time.  Of course, to set this up it can take some time and experimentation to get it right.

There are so many different ways you can customize your advertising it can sometimes be overwhelming.  With that in mind, the data analytics and marketing company, Teradata, has announced a new digital marketing tool that will allow marketers to deliver extremely targeted Facebook advertising through their system.

They will set up full ad campaigns that that target customers through email, mobile, traditional web and now social media.  They have long been a leader in digital advertising, but with the addition of these new tools for Facebook, they will essentially be a one-stop-shop for marketers and digital ad managers around the world.

According to the press release, “Teradata’s new social advertising capability in its Digital Marketing Center enables marketers to draw on their wealth of customer data to create Facebook Custom Audiences that match their existing segments.  This improves marketers’ Facebook campaigns by providing more nuanced targeting of customers and prospects in ways that are contextual and highly relevant, rather than intrusive.  The end benefit is more relevant and revenue-producing ads optimized for best spend and results.”

This new addition to their existing tools will make them more effective than ever, and help to drive better sales or sign ups, depending on what the marketers is looking for.  The fact that these new tools will allow even greater targeting within Facebook (and outside of it too) will help advertisers to potentially get really high returns on investments.

The CMO of Teradata Marketing Applications, Lisa Arthur, said “Marketers are increasing time and money spent on digital ads, especially on social networks.  As a result, they want improved targeting and higher return on their investment.  Teradata customers can combine the power of Teradata Digital Marketing Center with Facebook Custom Audiences to produce stronger and more successful interactions and conversations with Facebook advertising.  Improved targeting of unique audience segments coupled with real-time relevance increases performance and return on investment.”

With this new service added to their already popular solutions they will likely continue to grow and expand to become a leader in digital advertising.  This is one of the best new services that takes Facebook’s already powerful advertising options and adding in great 3rd party options to make it even better than ever.  This type of thing will likely become more and more popular in the coming years as marketing agencies and ad tech companies start looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of every advertising campaign.

Organic Advertising on Facebook to take a blow in January

In a recent blog post from Facebook, which you can read HERE, they announced that effective sometime in January, they will be updating the way their News Feed displays content. The biggest change is that they will be throttling promotional content. What this means to the average advertiser is that it will be more difficult to use their Facebook pages to promote their business to existing followers.

Organic social media traffic from facebook pages

The post specifically said that posts that have any of the following points will be throttled (taken directly from the post):

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

The blog post states that they are making this change after surveying Facebook users. Specifically, they said, “…We often look to people on Facebook to tell us how we can improve. As part of an ongoing survey, we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

While it is likely true that Facebook users responded to the survey saying that they wanted to see less promotional content, it is not as clear that they were talking about posts from pages that they were following. In all likelihood, Facebook is likely making this change for much more selfish reasons.

If Facebook can limit the ability for marketers to use their Facebook Pages to interact with their followers, they will be more likely to decide to purchase Facebook ads so that they can get the desired visibility. Proof of this can be seen in the fact that despite the claim by Facebook that their readers don’t want to see as much promotional material, they are not cutting back on the frequency that people will be seeing ads.

Of course, actual advertisements on the social network are likely what most people are talking about when they complained about promotional content in their News Feeds. When Facebook users ‘like’ a company page, they know that they will be getting updates from that page, and that the updates will be primarily about the company and the products they are selling.

People like business pages precisely because they want to see the promotional content, which often contains special deals or other information that is useful to the person following the page. Ads, on the other hand are normally unsolicited and for pages that the user has not voluntarily ‘liked.’   Of course, Facebook does do a good job at targeting their ads, but that is entirely beyond the point.

At this point there is not enough data about this change to be able to determine exactly what effect it will have on advertisers who rely on organic Facebook traffic, it is very likely going to be quite a significant problem.