Media Buying Beginner’s Mistakes – Part 5 of 5

Here’s the last (but obviously not least) part of our guide for media buying beginners! We’re sure it’ll help you avoid critical mistakes on your way to the top!

Did you already read some super useful articles in our series on how to become a successful media buyer? If no, check them out now!

Let’s start with the tips that are gonna help you become the most successful affiliate marketing expert in the world!

1. Check What Others Are Doing

When we were kids, our parents taught us to ignore schoolyard bullies. But when you’re being bullied by a digital media competitor, ignoring them isn’t exactly the right course of action.

In the digital marketing world, competitors can actually teach us a lot and may be able to save us resources!

In order for this to happen, you need to master the art of beating your competitors and you’ve gotta be able to spy on them like a Cold War secret agent! By analyzing what they do, you’ll be able to create a strategy and be more profitable than they are!

AdPlexity is one of the leading mobile ad spy tools. By entering the platform, you can check many different things:

  • Which offers affiliate marketers are running on a certain segment (country + operator + OS) and what promo materials they’re using
  • Which promo materials (banners + landings) were used to promote a specific offer type
  • How affiliates run a particular offer
  • What and how affiliates are running on a specific website

AdPlexity is the greatest spy tool on the galaxy, but there are more out there in the market and you may not even need a high cost spy tool to monitor your competitors.

2. Test Like A Crazy Person

That’s right: you should never be afraid to test a lot!

There’s nothing worse than pumping investments on your campaigns when you haven’t tested them. It’s like throwing your money into burning coal. Perpetually testing is the only way to ensure a campaign is in a constant state of evolution and adaptation.

First of all, test as many sources as you can so as to find the perfect match for the offers you’re promoting. Just bear in mind that there’s no magic traffic: visitors will never spend their entire paycheck on every offer presented to them, and you’ll never convert 100% of all your traffic.

Continue searching, though! You’ll be getting closer and closer to it!

Moreover, every experienced marketer knows that you should ALWAYS split test.

Why?

Because it’s gonna help you determine the best combination of offer+banners+landing to use.

You can test several different angles to find out what works best in each environment by going through a process called A/B testing.a/b testing media buying

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is an experimental process that tests different variables against each other.

What does that mean?

That you’ll be testing to ascertain which aspects of your campaigns make your audience do what you want them to do.

How to go about it?

Easy! Just test one single parameter at the time, keeping all the others unaltered in order to accurately record the change.

For example, a landing may not work if combined with some banners and a specific offer, but a split test can help you discover that this particular lander is indeed very good – it just needed to be matched with different banners.

Finally, by discovering what works best for your audience, you’ll improve the effectiveness of your campaigns, simultaneously reducing time spent on future designs.

A/B testing is a continuous learning process. After starting an A/B test, you’ll find this process to be a little bit like a never-ending experiment that can provide a business with an infinite amount of ways to optimize.

Never forget: even your best angle will “get tired” after a while. That’s why it’s better to always have a good replacement!

3. Don’t Ask for Pay Bumps After 10 Leads

You’ve just started testing the offer. You’ve got something like 10 leads on it and notice that the ROI would obviously be much better with a higher payout.

Should you talk to your account manager and ask to increase it?

Our advice?

Always be conscious of the questions and favors you ask!

In this case, instead of asking for the payout increase, you can ask your affiliate network manager for some sweet advice on the best traffic source, or what works for this offer, or the best creatives they can suggest to help with campaign optimization. Ask your Affiliate Manager for support and take advantage of their expertise.

In case you wanna get that delicious payout increase, you need to send a decent amount of traffic first and then get plenty of conversions on this offer. That’s how the advertiser/affiliate network will have the opportunity to estimate your traffic quality.

What if the feedback is positive?

Then you’re surely gonna hear some awesome news real soon!

Still have doubts about why the payout bump can be good for different market players?

Since you’re a Media Buyer, you must understand that a payout increase is the easiest way of increasing your ROI.

Plus: This will allow you to scale the campaigns like a true affiliate marketing pro!

What about the affiliate network?

Those guys will certainly want you to become a super affiliate, as they gain money if you do so. This means that the more money you earn, the better it’s gonna be for them.

That’s why affiliate managers are always ready to give you precious tips which will help you grow.

Does the advertiser benefit from a payout bump?

Sure!

With the increase of payout for affiliates who drive good quality traffic, they’ll receive even more traffic and eventually more conversions, which will result in a cool number of quality leads.

That being said, there are other things you need to take into consideration other than the payout. We’re referring to fast payments or unique offers.

Be sure to ask your account manager about the deal that’ll make you more money like it ain’t funny!

4. Check What Matters

It’s way too easy to call a successful campaign a failure if you’re looking at the wrong metrics.

That’s why you’ve gotta be careful and check what really matters both when choosing the offers to promote and when it’s time to analyze/optimize your campaign.

When choosing an offer, you need to know that the payout isn’t exactly the best metric.

Most of the times, the high payouts you see are for offers that hail from top tier countries, which means that buying traffic from these countries will be more expensive and you may spend a lot of $$$ before the first conversions get in!

There ain’t no metric that can possibly beat the ROI or the eCPM, because these are the only ones that consider the offer’s full performance.

As the campaign runs its course, you’ll need to perform an in-depth analysis of your results. This empowers you to understand what’s really going on in a campaign and how to create improvements, making sure you paint that red campaign with bright green colors!

What do these Mobidea Crew gals mean by referring to the term “analysis”?

We’re referring to that super special, awesomely complete analysis of a campaign which includes all elements, beginning with landings and offers, and finishing with versions of operating systems and browsers.

The main thing to check when it comes to the device-type, operating systems, browsers and websites is ROI. Not CR, EPC, EPV, etc. Only ROI.

Simple!

Let’s check the stats referring to websites we’ve had for a real campaign. What would you think about Site 1 if you were only to look at the CTR?

beginners table

By looking just at the CTR, we can come to the wrongful conclusion that Site 1 is having a bad performance and probably is the one to cut.

However, CTR ain’t the only parameter to check.

In fact, you can check how many signups it allowed us to get with even lower costs than other websites.

How can you get this precious info?

By taking a look at what matters in the stats: eCPA (cost per signup), and comparing it to the payout of the offer you’re promoting.

Now guess what?

Once you do this, you can understand that Site 1 turns out to be the best one, indeed!

Finally, we can guarantee that performing a thorough analysis and optimization of your campaigns is the best way to achieve your goal!

5. Get Good Tracking

Tracking is the key to keeping a close eye on your investment. Traffic optimization is a deeply analytical process, so it should be based on detailed info. Did you meet successful media buyers who optimize only based on intuition? Neither did we!

Think your traffic source already provides you with some info for optimization? True! However, the info you’re getting is gonna be different for each traffic source.

Moreover, an affiliate tracking solution offers you more possibilities: stats per specific ad network, Geo, Carrier, OS, Device, Sites, banners, etc.

Information is gold! Make sure your tracks have got as much info as possible!

In addition, a tracker gives you an amazing opportunity to do split testing for your campaign, which means you can select different paths to send your user to.

Imagine you wanna find out which landing page converts best. All you need to do is create page variations with the relevant differences and set the percentage of traffic going to each of them to split.

With the tracker’s help, you’ll see which one has a better conversion rate and identify the winner. The tracker also allows you to test several offers inside a campaign. Based on the stats, you’ll see which offer performs better and become able to focus on it.

Here’s a secret tip for you to explore a tracker: use it to confirm stats and detection. The traffic detection of an ad network can be different on a tracker!

For instance, let’s say you’re buying Carrier traffic and wanna be certain that you’re getting what you’ve paid for. What can you do if you see some relevant percentage of traffic as Wi-Fi on the tracker? As the tracker offers you detailed info about tips, you can further include or exclude them from your campaign (if that’s available on the ad network).

Or you can simply complain to the Affiliate Network if you see the detection is defective. We really don’t want this to happen!

Getting a tracker is simply crucial to every affiliate marketer! There are many tracking softwares available such as Voluum, Funnelflux, AdsBridge, or Thrive. The prices and the info you’ll get differ a lot according to each solution.

Related: Voluum – The Definitive Guide – Part I

6. Don’t Walk Alone

This is super important! You should never walk alone and must ALWAYS contact your Account Manager!

Lots of affiliates rely only on themselves. They don’t try contacting an account manager before starting to do their thing in affiliate marketing. That’s just sad!

Account managers are gold! They’re the people interested in making sure you earn big bucks. By having a good relationship with your account manager, you can get consistently good advice, increase those payouts or even some private offers.

An affiliate network’s account manager is a very useful source of info! Moreover, it’s completely free. A good account manager already knows the business in detail and can help you find your way of making money, suggest the traffic source, the best offers per your request, and also supply you with the coolest (and already tested) creatives.

You may have a sharp analytical mind and even be able to play the game on your own. Even so, you should always contact your account manager because they’re gonna give you a fresh perspective of the industry and of the campaigns you’re currently running.

Some account managers are actually media buyers themselves, so they’ll be happy to check the targeting of your campaigns and give hints on optimizations.

That’s why having a friendly relationship with your manager really matters.

Start by sending them a message right now!

Never forget: balance is important! No need to register in every affiliate network you find. It’s normal that you’re now searching for better offers, fast payments, and a friendly support team.

You can find several good affiliate networks to test. Just don’t waste precious time testing them all!

Conclusion

This is it for our Media Buying Mistakes Series, folks!

From now on, if you follow all the awesome tips we’ve given you, we’re sure you’ll be able to avoid most of those annoying mistakes, save big, and bank hard.

Will you make other mistakes?

Probably. Nobody’s perfect!

However, you now have the tools to minimize the chance of awful campaigns that damage your ROI and you can also make your digital media buying path smoother and much more effective!

Editor’s Note: this article was written by Elisa Messidoro, an account manager from beautiful Italy who loves making it rain, and Tatiana Alshevskaya, a Belarusian queen who was born to be part of the Mobidea Crew and help affiliates increase their sweet profits!

  • i have read all of this tips, good work guys!

    • Thank you!

      Keep checking our other posts to make it rain on a daily basis!

      Cheers!

  • Wassim Fourkaoui

    Great Post, Thanks

    • Thank you, Wassim!

      Keep reading the Mobidea Academy for more content!

      Cheers!