I recently read an awesome post by Jeremy Shoemaker (a.k.a ShoeMoney) where he talked a little about about how Facebook’s relationship with Affiliate Marketers has changed over the years. If you haven’t seen it, head over here to watch his superb and informative presentation entitled Facebook Advertising Soup to Nuts Guide. For those of you without an extra 50 minutes to spare I have summarized his fantastic presentation here.
Facebook’s View Toward Affiliate Marketers
Facebook’s relationship with affiliate marketers has been hot and cold over the years. In 2007 advertisers were provided with direct contact information of an individual who could help them with any questions they may have. In 2010 advertisers can no longer contact them directly. No more personal touch. Not even for A-List marketers like ShoeMoney. All questions must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see how facebook’s perception with regard to affiliate marketers has changed throughout the years.
- 2007 – “We love Affiliate marketers”.
- 2008 – “Affiliate marketers know how to scale”.
- 2009 – “Affiliate Marketers know how to Exploit”.
- 2010 – “Affiliate Marketers are our worst enemy”.
Facebook’s current stance is that “Affiliate Marketers have no direct relationship with people they are advertising to and do horrible things with the data.”
In the first quarter of 2010 Facebook stopped allowing advertisers to promote “Free Stuff” (i.e. email and zip submits).
As a result, people started creating “events” on Facebook to promote these offers. This allowed people to make money without advertising (Pure Profit).
One guy made $250,000 in 48 hours by holding an event for a free iPad. He had 11,874 signed up to attend the virtual event and 636,666 registered as “Awaiting”. Three days later he was forced to take it down by Facebook.
Don’t do this as it will get you banned.
Facebook Ads according to ShoeMoney
In 2009 ShoeMoney’s company was the third biggest advertiser on all of Facebook. During that time they submitted approximately 180,000 ads. He also personally knows the #1 Facebook advertiser with whom he compares notes. He has a ton of data and here is what he found.
What is Important?
There are three components to a Facebook ad that an advertiser can customize. They are the title, the body text, and the image. According to the ShoeMoney Facebook Factor, their order of importance is as follows:
- Title: 10%
- Body Text: 20%
- Image: 70%
The takeaway here is if there is one thing you should spend the most time on it’s on image selection.
Got Boobs? How to Improve Your Ads Click Through Rate
In 2004 Google hired a company called Millward Brown to conduct a Google Ads Study focusing on images. They had 2,000 participants (1,000 men and 1,000 women) who were each shown over 5,000 random image Ads. When they analyzed the clicks here is what they found:
- Cleavage: (75%) of the images clicked had cleavage
- Recognizable Brands: (10%)
- Blended Images: (10%) – Images blended in with the content of the website
- Everything Else: (5%)
Interestingly enough, according to this study men are not the only ones drawn to cleavage.
ShoeMoney took this further and conducted his own study. He asked people to send in a screenshot of their adboard. He then created several adboard pages using an assortment of ads and asked participants to click on whatever interested them. He had 233,775 recorded page views, and though less scientific obtained the following results:
- Boobs: 60% – ShoeMoney makes a distinction between cleavage and boobs. His study suggests that a healthy chest (even if no cleavage is exposed) is just as effective at generating clicks.
- Recognizable Brands: 20%
- Everything Else: (5%-10%)
He then re-ran the test, this time taking three of the most popular images (that featured boobs) and changed the text in the title and body to that of a foreign language (German, Dutch, and Japanese). Keep in mind these ads were targeted toward English speakers and were competing against ads written entirely in English. His new foreign language ads still received a staggering amount of clicks (47%, 58% and 49%).
So does that mean you should run out and create ads with heavy chested women? The answer is, when it’s appropriate and done tastefully. Remember, Facebook is not a porn site. They have a brand to protect and they are not going to let advertisers do whatever and potentially tarnish their brand or offend their customers. Facebook Ads TOS are setup so that they can pretty much disapprove anything, and they do, even the squeakiest of clean ads.
If you are going to incorporate cleavage into your ad campaign it should be more of a subtle/subliminal thing. The picture should also be relevant to your product. If you are promoting an army supply store for instance, don’t put a picture of a random well endowed female. On the other hand, if the female is wearing a camouflage T-shirt you have a better chance at getting the ad approved.
The Basics of Copyrighting
- Call to Action: All ads should have a strong call to action that tells the user what to do. This call to action can be in the title, body or picture but it should have one always. (Examples: “Act now”, “Get Yours Now”, “Browse my Pics”).
- Association: Make it appear to look like it is part of facebook.
- Simple: Title should be short and sweet
Sample True.com offer that ShoeMoney Smashed
Browse My Pics (42) – That’s the call to action. The (42) is the Facebook Association look and feel. It suggests that there are 42 pictures left to view.
Click here and Lets hookup on true.com. I’m waiting.
- Results: It’s important to talk about results not features. For example: A feature for a teeth whitening product might be “get whiter teeth”; the result is: “feel better about yourself”.
- Call to Action: (Examples: “Act now”, “Get Yours Now”, “Browse my Pics”)
- Scarcity: Limited Supply, While supplies last, this week only.
Sample Case Study
A local dentist contacted ShoeMoney to help him target women ages 25-45 because they book appointments for the whole family. ShoeMoney asked, “What can you give?” to which the Dentist replied, “teeth whitening” because it cost nothing. The trays are like pennies on the dollar. This is the resulting ad.
Lincoln white teeth – The dentist was in Lincoln Nebraska.
Free teeth whitening for women 25-45. Feel more confident about yourself. Only 5 left. Act now.
Super interesting stuff!
To me, trying to understand human behavior is one of the most appealing things about affiliate marketing. What do you think? Have any marketing observations you care to share? I’d love to hear them.