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Switching to Mainstream – from Adult to Mobile Media Buying

ati01Google has been doing plenty of evil as of late, forcing many SEOs to quit altogether. I know, because I am one of them. I didn’t give up my ventures in affiliate marketing, instead I looked for a solution. I wanted a way to disconnect from Google, waive my middle finger to Matt Cutts, and be in charge of my own traffic.

So I begun my research and studying to find out what I can do to stop relying on SEO, google constantly penalizing my sites, and not being able to sleep properly because of all the stress they caused me. Then I found the solution, mobile media buying!

This was over a year ago and today I make mid XX,XXX per month doing mobile media buys. I sold all my tubes, killed most of my blogs, and divorced google once and for all. For anyone who wants to feel liberated from the claws of evil, I highly recommend you read on!

So what is mobile media buying?

Well before we get into it, let’s just say it is the most dynamically growing part of paid advertising at the moment. Google around, and you will find confirmation of this everywhere, stats, flow charts, reports, you name it!

NOW is the RIGHT time to get into mobile media buying – if you ever wanted to switch from porn to mainstream, then do it NOW. Now the industry is in its infancy, there’s huge money to be made!

Mobile Media Buying is buying paid advertisements (banners, text ads, flash ads, etc) and showing them on mobile phones (Android, iPhone, etc) tablets (iPad, Galaxy Tab, etc). You then link these ads you bought to a tracker link (using a software like Voluum CPVLab, etc) and from there to a CPA Network (Sponsor) who then pays you money.

Before I get into types of stuff you can advertise on mobile, and what you can make money from it’s uber important to clear up some things. One of the biggest things for me when I was in the process of switching from adult affiliate marketing to mainstream was the lingo. In adult they have their own ways of referring to stuff, and in the mainstream world this is completely different.

So here’s a quick thesaurus of Adult vs Mainstream terms:

ThesaurusSPONSOR = CPA NETWORK, affiliate network
PPS = CPA (Cost per Aquisition) or CPS (Cost Per Sale)
Revshare = rebill
Paysites = Offers
Niches = industries, niches
Support = account manager or AM for short (you get a dedicated one in mainstream you can talk to on skype, phone, video, whatever)
SALE = conversion

Here’s a quick dictionary of terms commonly used in mainstream AM.

CVR = Conversion Ratio
EPC = Earning Per Click
CPC = Cost Per Click
CPM = Cost Per 1000 impression
eCPM = effective Cost Per 1000 impression
CTR = Click through ratio
DSP = Demand Side Platform
RTB = Real Time Bidding Platform

Moving forward, I am going to use mainstream terms – so be sure to pay attention. I’d like to give you as much value as possible from this post, so I’ll quickly go over how you get into mobile media buying, and what are the typical steps of getting going.

#1 – Selecting a CPA Network to work with

MundoMediaWhen getting into mainstream affiliate marketing, it is important to pick the right CPA Network, while I could write 2 pages on what goes into evaluating what makes a CPA Network good or bad, for this introductory post, let’s keep it simple:

ClickDealerThe big ones are usually the best because they have the offers direct. I work with ClickDealer and MundoMedia exclusively; two huge players in the mobile marketing space. They are a great place to start and welcome newbies.

#2 – Picking the right offer to test

The most popular types of mobile offers you can promote right now are:

-Mobile content billing/subscription PIN submits
-Mobile dating (adult or mainstream)
-Mobile game/app installs
-Mobile PPC (Pay Per Call)

Their payout is different across the board from $0.20 all the way $100+ per sale. Yes I did say 20 cents payout! That might make you wonder, how the fuck can you make a profit? Well, you can – we made over 30k PROFIT in March promoting a mobile app install (which is now gone) that paid 21 cents!!

You pick an offer by asking your AM to send you a report on what’s doing good on their network. You then pick a few offers from their list based on EPC/CVR do some due dilligience and base your final decision what to test on this. But more in this later, I don’t want to get too ahead of myself anc fonsue you.

#3 – Setting up your plan of attack after you picked the offer you want to test

A – creatives – banner designs – landers

You will have to come up with banner designs, and lander designs. To do this, you can out source or do all the work yourself. Be ready to test dozens and dozens of creatives; it all boils down to finding the right one that yields the best CVR at the highest CTR.

B – tracking

This is vital and no we aren’t talking about web stats like piwik or google analytics or w/e! To become a pro media        buyer you MUST KNOW what ads performed, what kind of handset model, what operating system (Android, or Iphone, Symbian, or Blackberry or w/e), what country, what time of day, etc the conversion came from.

Without tracking you will be throwing money away, and not running a tight ship. There are many good trackers out          there, some more expensive than others. I use voluum, it is cloud based and since LATENCY (ping times) is of major importance in mobile media buying, it’s best to use voluum which ensures no matter what geo your visitors              come from, they will be quickly taken care of.

C – traffic sources

There are a shitload of places you can buy traffic from, however you really have to check the offer restrictions to make sure you don’t waste time setting up a campaign (offer) on a traffic source that is forbidden. They take cheating extremely seriously in mainstream, and you can lose all your money and get banned from the CPA Network and many others – a lot of the CPA Networks interact with each other, and reps are best buddies so remember that.

I prefer to run on DSPs and RTBs because they provide the biggest volume all in one place. In mobile volume is the key to big profits, another golden nugget for you to remember. Here’s a link on my blog about some great ones -> http://iamattila.com/media-buying-101/mobile-ad-networks/more-mobile-cpa-traffic-sources.php

D – campaign setup

Every traffic source is different right, so ask their reps what are the best banner sizes to go with for starters. You ideally want to pick the one that gets the most volume, because time is money and we only have 24 hours a day ( no matter who you are, this one is static and same for all life on planet earth )

When setting up campaigns its very very important to use ad network tokens with your tracking platform. But more on this later.

E – optimization

Optimization is the part of the campaign where you evaluate what is working, what isn’t. While I won’t give away how I optimize mobile campaigns, I can tell you that this is the bread and butter of what makes people successful, vs the people who fail.

To help you understand how hard it is, it took me many months of losing thousands of dollars before I found the way, the AHA moment that lets me run any campaign, and optimize it to profitability. Lots of variables are in play when you optimize, that is why every person who gets into mainstream affiliate marketing must find his own way of optimizing.

In Conclusion

The success in mobile media buying in mainstream comes from testing, testing, and testing some more. You have to be cut throat, willing to lose a lot of money at first, put in a lot of time. There’s no magic formula to riches. That is the truth.

 

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  • Bang on the money man. Well done.

  • Evan

    Gotta say you have some really great content recently. Probably one of the better ones these days!

    • Thanks, a lot has been going on lately – I feel good when I share!

  • How do you handle if you have several top offers in several networks: do you create separate campign for each CPA network? As for me I had inserted them in one campaign in voluum and is waiting for result.