How to Effectively Use Facebook Audience Optimization Tools

In January 2016, Facebook Audience Optimization tools were released as a tool to organically help publishers better reach their target audiences. Facebook Audience Optimization tools help publishers by providing the following features:

  • Publishers are able to add interest tags to their content so Facebook can connect that content with interested parties
  • Publishers can limit post visibility by location, language, and gender
  • Publishers can monitor the performance of each post based on the interest tags specified

Facebook is seeking to help publishers with the ever-shortening attention spans of their followers by providing the tools to build better relationships with their customers. This, coupled with the recent additions to Facebook Messenger for business, and there’s no question why Facebook stays at the top of social media updates all the time.

Why Facebook Audience Optimization Tools Are Important

Facebook has 1.59 billion active users in any given month. The Facebook Audience Optimization tools are aiming to target engagement rather than reach. That is a much more SEO-like approach. So when you hear the experts talk about social media and SEO going hand in hand, it is ringing more true than ever in Facebook news.

Anything that helps you know, focus on, and target your Facebook audience more effectively is worth your attention. You may not always use such tools, but you should stay on top of social media updates for this type of news to see if it is useful to you. When we are talking about being able to target your audience based on filtered criteria like interest, location, language, and gender, that is huge. That means that Facebook is only going to show that specific post to people who meet criteria that you control.

How to Access Facebook Audience Optimization Tools

The only other place I’ve managed to find this information is on Facebook’s blog on this topic, so let’s get to how this whole thing works. They tried the tool initially with a few big media players, like The New York Times and MTV, who actually saw more engagement than normal.

To access the Facebook Audience Optimization tools:

  1. Go to your business Facebook Page.
  2. In the top-right corner, click Settings.
  3. Click the General tab in the left navigation.
  4. Click Edit beside Audience Optimization for Posts.
  5. Click the checkbox and the Save Changes button to being using Facebook Audience Optimization tools.

Now you will see the tool added to the following areas of Facebook:

  • Page post composer
  • Graph API
  • Third party publishing tools
  • Instant Articles

Additional Information On The New Facebook Audience Tools

These new Facebook Audience Optimization tools replace the old Interest Targeting tool from before. In tests, the tool has proven to drive engagement upward while the organic reach of a post stays about the same, so it’s a limited boost to the previous limits on organic results.

When using interest tags with your content, the maximum number is 16, but Facebook suggests only utilizing between 6 and 10. The new Facebook Audience tools aren’t currently available on mobile. They must be accessed using the desktop website. It is also not currently available in languages other than English and Facebook has no plan to expand it linguistically at this time. Should you decide to boost a post where you’ve used the Facebook Audience Optimization Tools, this will work as a regular ad and your settings and interest tags will not affect it.

If you want to learn more about how to best use the Facebook Audience Optimization tools, check out their Best Practices page.

Wrap Up

I really like to hit the source for information about new features like this and Facebook always does a nice job of explaining things and providing customer support. I recommend that you try pretty much anything Facebook puts out to help businesses because it’s usually really great stuff. Let me hear from you in the comments about how you’re using these new Facebook Audience tools with your pages.

 

Vick Strizheus’ Affiliate Network Platform Evaluation

I’m writing this affiliate network platform evaluation in response to people who ask me all the time, “Vick, what’s the best affiliate network to get started with?”

It is Click Promise hands down because it’s so easy to get started. the application process is simple, and the affiliate network platform has a ton of tools to make it easy. A lot of people want to say that it’s because I’m affiliated with the network, but actually I’m not directly. My partner, Jason McClain, owns Click Promise.

The longer you’re involved with Internet marketing, you slowly begin to replace the products and services you use on a regular basis with your own that you’ve developed. This is what I refer to as the authoritative level of marketing. This is one of the areas that Jason and I are passionate about because it allows us to give our audience full service. Click Promise is a huge part of that.

Is It CPA, Affiliate Marketing, or What?

Some people consider Click Promise a Cost Per Action (CPA) network because many of the offers pay out based on sign ups rather than product sales. We do consider it to be an affiliate network because we do have many of our products available for promotion on the site. Anyway, the important part is that regardless of the type of offer, they all pay out well. Another reason that Click Promise is my favorite affiliate network.

How to Apply

Applying for Click Promise is easier than with most networks. Simply follow the link and fill out the form completely. It’s that simple. Many times, you will see how-to articles on the long process of applying for other affiliate network platforms.

People tend to have a couple of common problems as they are applying:

  1. They are presented with  log in page instead of a form
  2. They don’t know what to put in the company name and URL fields if they have neither

One thing to remember when you are applying to an affiliate network platform, they most likely aren’t that concerned with all of your information. They just make all of the fields required so they can ensure they have all of the information they need to get you started. So, things like your company name and URL can be ironed out later. Just because the fields are required doesn’t mean they are required to be eligible.

So the solutions here are simple. If all you see is a log in page when you go to apply at Click Promise, scroll down. The form is below the fold. If you don’t have a company name or website, simply fill out these fields as follows:

  • Company Name – Retype your name
  • URL – You can use anything here. Facebook.com, ProjectBreakthrough.com, or HighTrafficAcademy.com. It really doesn’t matter. The information can be updated at a later time

How It Works

Once you are accepted, log into your affiliate account. Click Available Offers and click the Request Offer button next to any offers that interest you. None of this should take longer than 24 hours, so if you encounter a delay, make sure to contact support. Once you are approved for offers you’d like to promote, they will appear in your account under the My Offers tab. You then have the option of grabbing your affiliate link and/or using some of the creatives provided to promote your chosen product and start earning. Click Promise pays out monthly on the 15th of the following month. For example, your earnings for May 2016 would be paid out on June 15, 2016.

Wrap Up

Whether you are new to affiliate marketing or a seasoned veteran, Click Promise has something to offer you. I stand behind it fully as an affiliate network and as my preferred affiliate network platform. I’d love to hear from you in the comments about your experiences with this affiliate network.

 

Improve Your Facebook Ad Performance with Facebook’s New Guide

Is your Facebook ads performance suffering or even nil? Facebook feels your pain. When your ads don’t perform well, it’s a knock to the reputation of their platform. In order to help you succeed, they released a Facebook guide for better ads, video ads to be exact. This is something I’ve noticed about Facebook. They are pretty supportive of their users and if you look around, you will find a ton of free training and more to help you get the most out of Facebook.

All The World’s a Video

100 million hours of video are devoured by users each day on Facebook. That’s a lot of video, so your content better stand out. If it’s an ad, that’s a whole new can of worms. Your Facebook ads need to grab attention quickly as people scroll their News Feeds. You have about a quarter of a second to get the job done.

With the onslaught of services like Periscope, Facebook Live, and others, you better on your video-making game. The days of being camera-shy are over. If you don’t like to be in front of the camera, you better be a good cartoonist or something that will translate over to eye-catching video. If you are creative, then you know you don’t always have to be in front of the camera. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with screen capture.

Facebook Does The Research on Facebook Ads

Facebook began a study in the 4th quarter of 2014 and ran it for 1 year through the 4th quarter of 2015. They selected 850 English language video ads. Then they recruited their control group of people without a creative or advertising background to evaluate each of the Facebook ads.

The study was quite thorough. Each of the Facebook ads were evaluated twice using 19 questions grouped under the following 4 dimensions:

  • First impressions
  • Branding
  • Messaging
  • Video features

Facebook was then able to develop a Facebook guide for better ads to help advertisers improve Facebook ads performance.

Information I Learned From the Facebook Ad Guide

First and foremost, your Facebook ads need to bring your brand to the front. Your brand message should be clear at the very start of your video ad without the benefit of sound. From personal experience, I’ve noticed a lot of people caption their videos since even if the video autoplays, the sound is always muted. This is exactly Facebook’s first suggestion based on their study: include captions. 46% of the ads evaluated didn’t have a clear brand message.

Adapt your Facebook ads for News Feed viewing so that they get results:

  • Showcase – Make your service or product visible for the majority of the 30-second Facebook ad
  • Conversation – Don’t rely on conversation to convey your brand message
  • Brand Link – Is the brand easy to identify? Is there a link?
  • Sound – Again, the brand message should be apparent even without sound
  • Message – Should be concise and memorable, but not too long or detailed

Overall, for marketers, the Facebook performance guide had some great stats, information, and suggestions. There is an industry-wide demand for video that compliments other aspects of online marketing. The days of throwing together some text and links and slapping them everywhere possible are over, my friends.

Facebook suggests that you design your Facebook ads with the screen in mind while understanding how people interact with content on different devices. Don’t be afraid to cater to the scrolling News Feed environment. It does have its advantages. Then, be ready to adjust for better Facebook ads performance.

Wrap Up

So, if your Facebook ads that contain video have disappointed you, you now have a guide direct from the source to help you optimize your Facebook ads performance. No one said online business was easy! I’d love to hear about your ads in the comments. Do you use video?

 

 

 

Affiliate Marketing Round-Up: May 2016 Edition

Things are reaching a fever pitch in the online space with news and change and affiliate marketing is no exception to that. Affiliate marketing is a $4.2 billion a year business that is expected to hit $6.8 billion by the year 2020. This alone is a good enough reason to wake up and pay attention to what is happening in affiliate marketing news. Let’s round it up!

Affiliate Marketing Has Disrupted Mainstream Marketing

Recent buying and selling of affiliate assets between some major marketing players such as Commission Junction and Rakuten to name a couple is driving the disruption in a good way. The main contributing factors to the growth of affiliate marketing is social media and the growing e-commerce craze. It’s to the point that 80% of advertisers and 84% of publishers are finding effective ways to include affiliate marketing in their business efforts.

Affiliate marketing strategies are among the most low-risk out there. While earnings are mostly commission-based, there’s a sort of unspoken rule that says if you don’t make a sale then you don’t pay for the exposure and advertising. Who’s to say it won’t lead to a sale in the future? Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to making money online and I have broken records with this model.

Will The Mobile App Reinvent Affiliate Marketing

When affiliate marketing was created, the web wasn’t available on mobile devices. Since smartphones have become the norm, affiliate marketing has been forced to adapt. The process is somewhat incomplete. While affiliate marketing tools and networks made do with mobile sites and responsive web designs, it is now poised for a huge overhaul that will allow web-to-app marketing and deep app linking.

Deep linking is an affiliate marketing industry term that refers to deep linking to a websites internal pages like a category or product page. This idea inside of retail apps will be designed to drive customer re-engagement. Savvy affiliate marketers will want to stay on top of these developments so they can adjust their business accordingly. Mobile is where everything is happening these days.

Mobile websites may not be good enough anymore. It really seems like signals in the industry are pointing to everything being in-app which means there’s also a huge market for bringing app development to a wider audience and simplifying the process. You know, a kind of Shopify for apps. People are spending 85% of their time in apps on their mobile devices. You don’t go on the mobile web to view Facebook, you use their app!

With all of this app-centric momentum on mobile with e-commerce, it’s only natural that affiliate marketing follow suit to stay relevant. Expect to see a load of new affiliate marketing tools and strategies emerging this year. What a time to be alive!

Affiliate Marketing Reduces Customer Acquisition Cost

With all of the interest lately in e-commerce and so many new stores popping up all over the place, shop owners are using affiliate marketing to drive their sales. It makes a lot of sense. When you open up a new e-commerce store, having a small army to promote it is a novel concept. Better yet, you don’t pay unless they sell. That is the beauty of affiliate marketing. From the affiliate marketer’s side, they are usually so skilled that making money isn’t a problem. It becomes a win-win for everyone involved.

Affiliate Summit East 2016

More than 7,000 affiliate marketers attend this annual festival. They released the list of speakers last month. The summit will take place in New York city July 31 through August 2. The early bird period is over, but you may still be able to get tickets.

Wrap Up

Let me know in the comments if you’re attending the summit! As you know, I’m getting ready for the annual HTA Summit 2016 also happening in August. If you’d like to know more about affiliate marketing, please check out the free course that my partner, Jason, and I put together recently called Project Breakthrough.

Twitter Campaign Management Gets New Addition With Ad Groups

Twitter launched their ads editor last year to help advertisers with their Twitter campaign management. The editor allowed users to create and manage multiple Twitter ads at once. They have now expanded the editor by adding ad groups where users can split up their audience and message them separately. This is something we’ve been doing with our email lists as well, so it’s a great concept.

How Do Twitter Ad Groups Work

Basically, Twitter ad groups add another level in the hierarchy of the ad editor. Advertisers are then able to measure the success of their Twitter campaigns using more criteria. This allows them to assess which Twitter ads work the best and which ones need tweaking. Ultimately, the new Twitter ad groups help cut down on the time spent on Twitter campaign management.

Simplify Your Twitter Campaigns with Twitter Ad Groups

The main focus of the ad editor is ultimately to simplify things for advertisers. This new tool carries this another step by giving advertisers the ability to categorize their ads and audiences to further diversify their Twitter campaigns. So when an advertiser has multiple Twitter campaigns running, they can view and edit them sorted by ad groups.

Both the Twitter ad editor and the new ad groups allow for an insane number of variables, so you can test and tweak as little or as much as you like. Inside the Twitter ad editor dashboard, the new ad groups are specified by a blue badge. When you click it, you can then view the performance of your Twitter ads by ad group.

The feature is obviously designed for brands who run a lot of Twitter campaigns, but ease of use means smaller users could give it a try to help with their Twitter campaign management as well. This is an interesting offering coming from Twitter when you consider all of the negative Twitter news over the last couple of years. The company really has a tough time with funding and getting the public to see the utilitarian value in the platform. I hope to see Twitter stick around for a long time to come.

It seems their downfall has always been because of where they fall in the scheme of things as a social network. They often suffer in comparison to giant, Facebook, and that’s not really fair given their smaller stature on all fronts. They have proven that they are here to stay and innovate and offerings like the ad editor and now Twitter ad groups confirm that notion.

A Better Enhancement To A Still-New Twitter Ad Management Tool

The Twitter ad editor hasn’t even been out a year. It launched just last August 2015. For an update to come out so soon is phenomenal to those using the platform. Ad groups really is a great enhancement because while it targets larger brands, it’s also viable for the little guys. The biggest take-away though is definitely the ease of use and the ability to really zero in on the performance of your Twitter campaigns.

Diversify Your Pay-Per-Click Portfolio

You know if you want to get anything done online quickly, PPC is the way to boost your efforts. The new Twitter ad groups can help you diversity your PPC experience. I like social media PPC because it’s easy to make it effective and it’s cheap.

Just imagine being able to laser focus your Twitter campaigns toward ad groups sorted by:

  • Location
  • Gender
  • Device
  • Language
  • Interests
  • Keywords

That is just to name a few! Then you are also able to measure the results with improved Twitter ads tools as well. You just can’t beat it.

Wrap Up

I’d love to hear how your Twitter campaigns are doing. Do you think that Twitter can benefit businesses, brands, and consumers alike? I feel there is so much value in sending those little 140-character text messages to the world. After all, the Library of Congress feels they are important as well.