As affiliate marketers, we cannot ignore social media, given its increasing influence.
Why Social Media Marketing Works
People in general love to talk about themselves. And social media offers the perfect opportunity to do that. While in the real world, one may be called a bragger or selfish, in social media it is OK to describe every part of your day in details, because everyone is doing it.
So basically people are always on social media, talking (posting) about themselves and devouring their friends’ posts.
Hence, what better way to reach out to your audience as an affiliate marketer than through social media, because that is where people are.
Besides, when friends recommend products and/or services on social media, people are more likely to try those. That’s a double benefit for affiliate marketers.
Facebook- the first Amongst Equals
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest are the more popular social networks & highly lucrative traffic sources, though not the only ones. But clearly the first amongst equals in social media is Facebook.
As of September 2013, Facebook subscribers crossed 1 billion people.
Affiliate marketers, ignore Facebook marketing at your own peril.
Evolving Facebook Marketing – Organic Results Vs Paid Ads
There are several ways to use Facebook for enhancing your affiliate income, including non-paid ones. You could create an awesome Facebook page for your offers, gather thousands of fans makes sure that your posts are liked and shared extensively by these fans and hope and pray that all of them come to your site (via direct link or via a squeeze page) and take the desired action.
Or you could invest in paid ads on Facebook and achieve better results.
In fact, now Facebook itself is suggesting that paid promotional efforts are more effective than relying solely on organic reach. Click here to read the entire article.
So Facebook ads are a good strategy for affiliate marketing, that’s for sure.
Facebook on the Verge of Rolling out Several Ad Changes
Facebook is constantly introducing changes in its ad guidelines and formats. These changes are intended to
- Enable marketers to target the audience they want to. This will obviously ensure higher conversion rates.
- Make the entire process of creating and executing an ad campaign on Facebook simpler.
- Cut down the number of ad formats by clubbing together several formats that were meeting the same goal.
So clearly these ad changes are not just random but aim to ensure a better ROI for you. Read on to know more about these changes and how you can capitalize to increase your affiliate earnings.
Facebook Ad Changes and How you Can Capitilize Them
1. Questions and Offers Ad Formats No More
If you have been conducting polls to initiate conversations and engage with your fans, you cannot do it anymore.
Ditto if you have been using Offers to offer something exclusive to your fans.
Facebook recommends that the better alternative is to simply post a question with a link to your site and let your fans answer in the comments.
Similarly, just mention your offer in the post with a link to your site.
With this new format, chances are higher people will actually click through and reach your website /or landing page. The returns are higher with this method.
2. It’s Goodbye to Sponsored Stories Too
The Sponsored Stories ad format essentially highlights an action the user took to his/her network on the Facebook sidewall or Newsfeed. The drawback of this format is that you are restricted to targeting only the user’s network and not a wider audience. Besides this is a touchy issue and people were unhappy about how their actions/information was being used for advertising. In fact Facebook had a settle a lawsuit on this issue.
The biggest advantage of Sponsored Stories was that it brought in the element of social context into the ad. And as per research by AC Neilsen and comScore, social context results in better conversions and ROI for the advertiser.
Now the Good News- Social Context has not Gone Away
Facebook has incorporated the social context element now into its Page Post ad format.
So when you create an ad based on a page post, the social context in terms of likes and comments will get displayed. Thus Facebook will automatically add the social context to the ad to boost performance.
3. Varying Formats Combined into One
Facebook has combined its Page Post Like, Page Post Comment and Page Post ad formats into one unit. And this ad will display the social context on the top.
As an affiliate marketer, the advantage to you is you don’t have to grapple with varying ad formats. Plus enjoy the benefits of social relevance, which increases engagement and conversions.
Other Page Post Ad Changes
Page Post Ads have been one of Facebook’s most popular ad formats. And the proposed changes make this particular format even more effective and simpler.
The most important change is that you can create a Page Post Ad without having to create a post first.
This gives you the freedom to create highly targeted ads catering to specific niches with your audience. For instance, if you are promoting a clothing store, you can have copy created and posted separately for men and women’s clothing lines.
More precise targeting obviously means greater conversions.
4. Create Custom Images to Make Higher Impact
Earlier in the Page Post Ads, Facebook would upload a default image from the posts that you were promoting in the ad. Now you have the option to create custom images. Go ahead and make the most of it.
5. A More Consistent Look for Ads
Facebook is also working on creating a consistent look and feel for the ads across devices. This will obviate the need to create multiple campaigns for varying platforms, enabling you to better optimize your campaigns and enhance the ROI.
While these are the various ways you can utilize Facebook’s changed ad guidelines for your affiliate offers, keep in mind some research insights.
Nanigans, a software company that specializes in Facebook marketing discovered via research that the Page Post Link Ads offered 53% ROI, while a Page Post photo ad had an ROI of 24%. So always include a link below your copy and image, rather than incorporating the link within the image.
In conclusion, actually Facebook is on your side. These ad format changes are intended to help you create more targeted ads, so that Facebook displays them to the right and relevant audience. This ultimately increases your ROI.
How Affiliates Can Capitalize With FB
Many affiliates are using combinations of free and paid advertising on Facebook. This means setting up pages that are highly professional and attractive and introducing some interesting posts and comments in efforts to make it viral. At the same time adding in advertisements via the new “News Feed” ads which can gather a ton of clicks in a short period of time. The news feed ads also allow you to place larger and more attractive photos which can skyrocket your CTR and get you insanely cheaper clicks if your creative.
If you are stuck on ideas for affiliate promotions it’s time to gather some competitive intelligence. That can be done with tools like Social Ad Ninja. Or if you are extremely bored and want to do it manually you could always set up a few Facebook accounts with different demographics and see what ads are running or hire someone to do it for you. Of course the amount of money or time that takes is probably more valuable than a one month membership to any competitive intelligence service for FB.
Have you had any success with the new Facebook ad formats? Do let us know.