September 7, 2018

GENERAL

Amazon consolidating their ads business

Amazon announced it would restructure its ad services to make buying and managing campaigns easier and under one name.

Functionality and organization will stay the same. Here is what you need to know:

  • Instead of selling ad products through three separate advertising services – Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), Amazon Media Group (AMG) and Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) – Amazon is consolidating everything into one marketplace called Amazon Advertising.
  • Amazon Advertising Platform is being renamed Amazon’s DSP (Amazon’s demand-side platform).
  • Headline Search Ads have been renamed Sponsored Brands.
  • The Amazon Marketing Services Console is being renamed the Advertising Console.
  • Amazon Advertising now encompasses all ad products including Amazon’s DSP, video ads, display ads, stores, Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Amazon’s measurement solutions.

Amazon realized the need for simplifying things as advertising has grown in importance for the platform, now worth $2.2 billion in revenue, a year-over-year increase of 129 percent.

It looks like Amazon is serious about challenging Google and Facebook for digital marketing budgets.

Here’s what not to do in affiliate marketing – unless you like wearing stripes

Everyone knows that in affiliate marketing, there are con-men out there. Fake Affiliate Marketing Training, Get-Rich-Quick Offers, Pyramid schemes or even Domain Name scams back in the day.

But have you ever heard about convicted affiliates? Today, we bring you 3 affiliates that were arrested, sentenced and jailed.

Starting off with the most recent one, Christiaan Alexander Van Dalenwas sentenced to six years in prison last year. What did he do? He stole €153k from his former employer, Betsson Services Ltd, a gambling website. How? With fake sign-ups.

He steered real people onto the gambling site, from which he earned a reported 25-50% commission rate. He then used their data to create fake accounts and create more revenue for himself. He was later charged with a variety of charges, including money laundering and fraud.

One of the more famous ones is an eBay affiliate duo. Shawn Hogan and Brian Dunning. They used the eBay affiliate system to their advantage back in its early days, like many did. But when eBay got under the radar of Commission Junction, the middle-man between eBay and its affiliates, things took a dark turn.

The duo was using “cookie stuffing”, which meant that even without action, the affiliate still got his revenue. Which was a no-no under Commission Junction rules.

eBay, according to both Hogan and Dunning, allowed this, promoted it, and wrote the cookies themselves. It’s even the standard in today’s affiliate system. Still, eBay tried to sue them and said that they didn’t know about third-party-cookies.

After years of back and forth, Dunning pleaded guilty to be only sentenced to 29 months, and not 7 years. Hogan settled it with eBay by paying a “small” fine and 5 months in prison.

Bonus: Vitaliy “Vick” Strizheus was sentenced to 3 months of jail time back in 2007. He got $30 000 in commissions from selling life insurance to…people that didn’t exist!?

After that, he ran a lot of “training” schemes like “The Big Idea Mastermind” or “High Traffic Academy”. Both of which were pretty much useless and turned into scams. Now, he got the “4% Group”. There are many reviews for you to check, be careful.

Our tip for you as an affiliate marketer? Play by the rules, and don’t get caught in a fake program. If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true at all.


FACEBOOK

New standard events

Facebook has long offered standard events (Add to Cart, Purchase,..) as a way of communicating actions that happen on your website to Facebook, so they can be used to inform ad targeting, optimization and measurement solutions.

In the coming weeks Facebook is rolling out new standard events:
Contact, Customize Product, Donate, Find Location, Schedule, Start Trial, Submit Application and Subscribe. 

A few of them are only interesting for brick and mortar stores, like ContactFind Location and Schedule but the majority is mostly relevant for online businesses. Here you can find a more detailed description of standard events.

There are also two new app-specific events: Ad Click and Ad ImpressionAd Click and Ad Impression help apps that monetized with ads understand how people coming to their app from Facebook are engaging in-app.

The idea behind the new standard events is simple. Make it easier for businesses to track and understand customer engagement.

How FB is sometimes weird with spending your budget

It’s pretty common among advertisers to think of Facebook as quite hard to predict when it comes to one ad set or campaign.

That’s because it is… Facebook advertisers know that they cannot just put up a proven campaign and watch it perform like you would on pops for example.

Alexis Pasquesoone noticed such a thing in his campaign – Facebook decided that it should already not serve traffic on certain hours of the day and then have a bigger influx later in the day, usually with poor traffic.

What could the reason for this be?

One, Facebook might have decided (correctly or wrongly) that his campaign doesn’t perform on those hours.

Another reason could be that there’s just way more and better-performing competition during those hours, therefore his campaign doesn’t win auctions.

If you know the solution, help Alexis out and let us know too. If you are running into the issue, try increasing your bid and keep an eye on the post for more info.


POPS

What’s new with pops?

There are a few things that our friends who run high volume pops have update us on… Not good news but news nonetheless.

First, Chrome 68 and newer have changed the way JavaScript alerts behave. And it’s not for the advantage of the aggressive advertiser. The alert will not activate the new window anymore.

In other words, pop-unders will not be turned into pop-ups with JS alerts. And this hurts performance for almost all typical pop verticals.

The second bit of information is that a very popular source for adult pops, Pornhub (you might have heard of them) does no longer allow pops for Chrome mobile.

Basically, Chrome mobile users don’t get pops on Pornhub anymore. And that’s a very big chunk of traffic.

So, that’s 2 pieces of bad news… And a sign that you should absolutely try to create a direct connection to users in some way.

Gather an email list, get phone numbers and approval to send SMS, get people to approve push notifications from you. Even getting people on your Messenger list is a decent step for now.

Otherwise, your traffic might be cut out because of a Chrome, iOS or Facebook.


TOOLS

Our favourite Photo & Video Editing Apps for iOS & Android

People in our industry might travel more than the average person. It’s only natural if you want to share your adventures on social media. Or maybe you want to create some ads on the go.

Either way, if you want to make sure your content looks nice, you can check out these handy apps, which we have personally selected and tested (and made sure they don’t slap a giant watermark on your things, of course).

Also, they’re all free! Let’s go!

1. Snapseed

Our personal favourite, Snapseed is a great tool for improving the quality of your pictures.

Adjust everything from colours to perspective, make shots of people look professional with the Portrait settings, and selectively adjust things like the exposure of your background to really make your subject stand out.

Choose from a number of effects and filters, and if you feel like it, add some text or a frame. Simple and easy to use, this app can really make a difference to your social media feed.

2. Pixlr

This app’s functions are a bit simpler than Snapseed’s, but what makes it stand out to us is its “Splash” option.This allows you to select a colour from the picture and turn everything other than that colour into black & white, while you can then also adjust that colour to be a different one.

We think it’s a really fun tool, and it also comes with a broader range of filters, overlays and frames. You can add text and draw on your pictures as well.

3. LINE Camera

For less serious purposes, LINE Camera has a variety of cute and fun stickers and frames you can decorate your photos with.Apart from its enormous selection of filters that allow you to enhance your pictures with one click, it also comes with a Beauty Mode that lets you modify your physical features, such as adjusting your nose and chest size.

4. Adobe Premiere Clip

A video editor. Its “Automatic” mode can create videos with your selected media automatically cut to the beat of your selected music, which you can then, of course, customize to your heart’s content until you get the perfect video.Alternatively, you can use the “Freeform” mode, where you can trim, time and edit everything yourself from the start.

5. Preview

This is not an editing app per se, however, we found it can be pretty useful if you’re one of those Instagram users who try to maintain a matching theme for their profile.Preview lets you upload your photos in a template that looks like your Instagram feed, so you can, as the name says, preview how it will look with your other posts once you actually upload it.

It even lets you schedule posts, which it posts automatically at the time you set beforehand, which can be convenient for things such as business purposes.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Here’s how we’re gonna play God all weekend

We’re gonna use this simulation by Keiwando and try to create the ultimate virtual runner.

The app uses a combination of neural network and genetic algorithm to have these creatures “learn” and improve at their given task, all on their own.

You basically create the model and then watch it evolve.

The tasks available so far are running, jumping and climbing.

You can play around with it in the browser or download an app on basically any major OS. Have fun, because we will!

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Stacked Marketer was built to filter through the daily noise that exists in the marketing world. It’s a digital marketer’s 7-minute daily read, jam-packed with the latest news, trends, tech and actionable advice.

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