I decided to try a gaming vertical since I think I have a decent knowledge and really deep understanding of this niche. I already work with some networks as an advertiser in my daily job so I’ll be joining them also as an affiliate – Glispa, Ad2Games & iQU. I’ve been already accepted at A4D and I’m waiting for an approval at Wolf Storm Media.
1, Explore various offers this weekend.
2, Do a market research.
3, Decide what will be the first campaign – mobile / facebook / web are options right now.
Disclaimer #1: This is just for fun since I want to learn and better understand the AM business. I take my job seriously because we are a world-class game developer and there is no way I’ll be promoting our competition.
Disclaimer #2: I have access to some professional gaming marketing and analytics tools but I did not decided yet wether I’ll use them or not. I’m thinking about going #ballsdeep #mlg #noscope mode, it will be even more fun
Any feedback and suggestions appreciated
Games is def a good Niche, but again depends where are you planning to promote them..any input would be useful for suggestions.. All the Best !!
All three options are good given you’ll be promoting games. What sort of budget are you working with for this FA? That may help narrow down your choices.
Zeno’s written some excellent guides to games on FB recently – have a look back through his recent posts or check out the latest newsletter to read them.
Thanks a lot, I’m going to check Zeno’s guides right now. I’ll start with a few test campaigns for $10 each and I’m willing to spent up to $1k in the first month. My affiliate manager is trying to get an approval for one browser based game with a really nice landing page. Ad platform will be probably Facebook.
Question: Is it safe to direct-link an affiliate gaming offer on Facebook? It’s not casino/slot game, just a regular and popular browser-based title.
Yes, in general. However you should 1) not direct link to the affiliate link itself (but rather to your tracking systems link), 2) check the gaming offer on MyWoT.com to be sure, and 3) ideally have it so that, during ad approval, your tracking link sends people directly to the offer page, not an affiliate link.
Thanks a lot mate.
I know there are many tracking systems, but which one would you recommend for this particular campaign? I’m kinda lost and don’t know which one to pick. I like simple things that do the job, don’t need any fancy options.
Also, I should probably create a new ad account, right?
I don’t wanna risk anything since I have admin rights to our company’s ad accounts on my personal profile with total spend over $5 million, and they are even on a credit line. On the other hand, we are flagged in Facebook’s systems so if some random dude wanted to ban anything connected to my account they need to get through both our account and platform managers.
So now I’m thinking whether it’s an advantage but since this is just a for fun test campaign I don’t want to provoke anyone. Not sure what to do.
This sounds like an interesting follow along. Subscribed.
Zeno, you said:
"ideally have it so that, during ad approval your tracking link sends people directly to the offer page, not an affiliate link."
Isn’t this considered cloaking?
No, not at all. Cloaking is where you send reviewers and such to a different page than the one you send real users to, usually in an attempt to get uncompliant pages and destinations through.
Geo-redirecting and such is just sensible tracking. You are sending everyone to the same destination, only the redirect hops that happen in the middle (which people don’t see directly) are different.
As FB approval might not from US alone, they don’t use VPN or proxy to view the offer page, hence the offer page might get redirected during the approval process, therefore one way to solve it, is to redirected via a redirect script, which inside specified the offer page directly, after approved, swapped it back or toggle it back, if your redirect script support such feature, just some php code to make your life easier.
Redirect and cloaking are 2 different animal.
Just a short update: I picked 3 different game titles from iQU and gonna start my campaigns today/tomorrow. My AM didn’t give me a clear answer regarding tracking conversion yet :/
Tracking systems: I’d recommend using the STM Mobile Tracker.
It’s free (aside from $25 for the MaxMind database) and does the job!
With iQU you want to place a global server-to-server psotback URL – e.g. the one from tracking202. They can configure it to accept unique clickIDs (e.g. the tracking202 subid) in some form in your ‘PlayNow’ links – e.g. blahblah/?subid=US_M_13_something&uniqueid=12345, where the system then fires back that uniqueid to your tracking system upon conversions.
Well, I finally picked one game and my campaigns are already live. Since the game has also a Facebook version I’m able to work with some extended data from that Facebook app.
Here’s what I did till now:
1, I checked that app via MetricsMonk to get an image about user demography in UK – especially age and gender distribution.
2, I checked the affinity of the players. I listed games which are being played by people who are also active players of my offer.
3, I checked user demography of their Facebook Page with almost 1M fans via SocialBakers.
4, I used Social Ad Ninja to spy on some similar ads.
5, I set up tracking in Prosper and then 6 main campaigns on Facebook, each with budget of 10,- .
UK, Males 13-18, Like 1, Copy 1, 6 Different Images
UK, Males 19-25, Like 1, Copy 1, 6 Different Images
UK, Males 26-35, Like 1, Copy 1, 6 Different Images
UK, Males 13-18, Like 2, Copy 2, 6 Different Images
UK, Males 19-25, Like 2, Copy 2, 6 Different Images
UK, Males 26-35, Like 2, Copy 2, 6 Different Images
Let’s see what will happen…
Thanks. Right now I’m tracking only via SubIDs – I’ll have to manually enter them from iQU dashboard. I’ll send them my postback URL tommorow.
I’m actually kind of lost with this tracking, it looks like this:
1, Campaign names in Prosper are exactly the same as on Facebook.
1, All campaigns in Prosper have the same offer link with SubID parameter at the end so each click has an unique subid – ://blahblah/?subid=[[subid]]
2, Each campaign in Prosper have an unique tracking link which I use as a link for that particular campaign on Facebook – ://omglol/tracking202/redirect/dl.php?t202id=XY&c1=AGE&t202kw=
I suppose it should be enough the way I did it – Prosper will pass the SubID and if there is a conversion they will send me a postback with the same SubID and Prosper will known which click and campaign converted, right? Prosper will attribute that SubID to a particular campaign so I’ll know which one is converting.
What is UniqueID? Or should I be using both IDs? Why?
Also, I’m only supposed to send them this postback URL – ://omglol/tracking202/static/gpb.php?amount=XY&subid= and they will fill in the right SubID for each converted click I sent them, right?
Thanks a lot.
Great start magnetic and well done on doing your due diligence with demographics research.
Yes if you pass [[subid]] you can just give them the postback URL you stated and have the ‘…subid=’ part followed by the value you passed to iQU, i.e. the subid passed to them (this is why subid is a confusing term sometimes…).
I just made up uniqueid. It’s what I pass to iQU in the link and they append it’s value to the postback URL. So, I would have… uniqueid=[[subid]]. They have a custom built system so they likely can configure your links and the postback URLs as they please.
Great, thanks. So basically my setup should work just fine, right?
Also, there is a weird thing about my ads. They are approved and live for more than a hour, but still have zero reach – see a screenshot below. All the campaigns and ads have the same zero reach stats. Should I be concerned or is it just Facebook trying to distribute that 10,- € budget evenly for a whole day? Well, it’s still strange to not have a single impression at all.
Bid higher. Try 0.56.
Didn’t work, after the night still zero impressions. I’ll re-submit all the campaigns since I read it could be a bug.
Odd, yeah could be a bug. Could also try changing the budget and turning campaign/advert group on and off.
I tried turning it off and on, changed bidding methods from CPC to Optimized and CPM, even created a new campaign for a Facebook Page. All approved and active, all zero impressions. WTF. Trying to figure out now.
Weird… because I’m going through the same exact thing now with my FB ad acct. Just testing out my first FB ad to wrap my head around the platform. Put up some crazy max bid and set it to CPM, still no impressions.
Also thought it might be related to my Billing, so that reminded me to set a spend limit. But still not seeing any impressions after that either…
Exactly, I had no limit at all. I somehow managed to create second EUR account under my new profile and deactivated the former USD one. Maybe it caused the problem. I’ve just created a completely new personal account with a new ad account in EUR – let’s see what will happen.
EDIT: New account helped, campaigns steady and running. I switched to Optimized CPM for now, later I’ll bid for a click.
I’m now running two titles, one is DOI download and second is SOI browser. I’ve already killed some campaigns and ads, whilst spending 37,- € yesterday for 5 conversions. Today I’ll check those remaining ads today to see how they perform and I’ll also try two new angles. Still didn’t set up proper postback setting with my network because of weekend, but for now I’m mostly testing creatives and angles… so whatever.
I’m actually using two ads account, each of them run one game. It’s because I created new one for accounting purposes in my company but it has low daily cap so until it will be fully usable I’ll stick with old one as well.
Today I’ll go through some learning. If you have any advice for a quality material regarding gaming vertical or Facebook affiliate, please lemme know.
Zeno’s been dropping some superb gaming tips recently – check out
Good to see you actually started getting some impressions!
These two accounts – are they using different funding sources? Be careful with managing multiple accounts. It should be fine if you are running only clean campaigns and different funding sources (FB only bills your primary so situations do arise where you need additional accounts to segregate billing).
They are completely separate accounts with different billings, one is my own personal credit card and the other is my company’s credit card. I’ll switch completely to company’s account once they will increase my limit there.
I run two games – World of Warplanes and League of Angels Tier4.
World of Warplanes
Payout: US and UK, $3.6
Spent total: $45
Targeting: Males 17-25 and 26-35
Not a single conversion.
Targeting: Likes World of Tanks
World of Warplanes
Epic aircraft combats from the creators of World of Tanks. Play now for free!
Targeting: Likes war planes games (Sturmovik, War Thunder, etc.)
World of Warplanes
Get airborne! Legendary planes and massive combats. Play now for free!
Then I tried the same angle at middle European countries Czech, Slovakia and Poland. I localized texts and used the same images. Again, 50 clicks and not a single conversion. Payout is $2 here, but clicks are much cheaper and World of Tanks is even more popular in middle Europe so I thought it should work.
The main problem in my opinion is a double opt-in and flow on their landing page. Landing page is geo targeted so there is no problem with language for users. However – https://eu.wargaming.net/play-wowp-1/en/ – that registration form with captcha is pain in the ass.
I ditched US and UK completely, it’s too crowded and expensive right now. I’ll focus on middle European countries with a solid payout and cheap clicks. I don’t really know whether my targeting sucks or the ads are trash, what do you think? I’ll also try a different angle – "fans" of world wars and real war aircrafts, maybe modellers. I’m also thinking about News feed ads – this game has some really nice artworks so bigger images should be much more appealing.
I mean, really… this game is great, it has nice graphics and everything. Look at the World of Tanks. This simply must convert somehow, I’ve just haven’t realised how yet.
League of Angels Tier4
Payout: SK, CZ, PL – €0.30
Spent total: €40
Revenut total: €15
Targeting: Males 17-25 and 26-35
Targeting: Likes MMORPG games, exclude WoW
League of Angels
The best MMORPG of 2019. Enter the world of fantasy and play for free now!
Targeting: Likes MMORPG games, exclude WoW
Beautiful Fantasy Women
League of Angels is the best fantasy game of this year. Pick your beauty and play for free!
The second copy worked obviously much better
It’s SOI and landing page is much more frictionless – https://passport.game321.com/api/lp/angels/N/lp1.php. I don’t know the exact conversion rate because my AM needs to send me SubID that converted (since I’m still waiting for a postback implementation). I know that working without tracking is like walking blind, but at least I’m trying out some creatives and angles.
The main problem is low payout, 30 euro cents. However I’m able to gather clicks for 5-6 cents which is fine. If I will be able to narrow down converting creatives and scale the campaign to other big Tier4 countries like Romania maybe there is a chance to earn some money. I’m also thinking about News feed ads since artworks in this game are pure orgasm.
So, any feedback is appreciated. I really want to make World of Warplanes work. What do you think about implementing news feed ads?
And yea, I heard that first goal of many affiliates is to have $1 or $10 revenue per day. Blah blah, achievement unlocked. I’m not feeling any better tho
Becoming a real tryhard, let’s see the effect…
Day 3 Update:
With League of Angels I have 6% CVR. That’s too bad, I need at least 20% if I want to be profitable. I asked my AM if I can direct traffic to a LP with Facebook login only coz I saw some ads doing that. That would definitely help. I also narrowed down some creatives so looking forward to some improvements tomorrow. Anyway, I realised that 30 cents payout is too low even when I can get 5 cents clicks.
World of Warplanes is pure hell. Sent 240 clicks to a landing page today, not a single conversion. I targeted players of World of Tanks and World of Warships, similar games from the same company. I don’t get it, I actually asked my AM to double-check their tracking for me coz I can’t believe there is not even a single conversion.
1, Maybe my LoA targeting sucks? I’m targeting MMORPG and RPG players for LoA. Maybe I should target only browser games fans.
2, Maybe my World of Warplanes targeting sucks? I somehow anticipated that targeting World of Tanks and World of Warships players will work.
3, Is it possible to get profitable with 30 cents payout? What is your minimum payout to consider the offer attractive?
1, Try out News feed Ads.
2, Wait for my AM to check the tracking and finally implement my postback.
3, Rotate creatives that had the best performance today and test new ones based on them.
Good progress and presentation magnetic.
What approximate CTRs were you getting for World of Warplanes? I would use this to gauge how well you have connected with the audience. Above 0.100% CTR is really a must. However, you targeted people who like VERY similar, worse games. World of Warplanes has an excellent landing page before the registration page. Furthermore, you sent another 240 clicks from other targets. That taken into consideration, it is very odd that you haven’t gotten a single conversion.
So, ditch World of Warplanes. Targeting and ads aside the offer hasn’t converted well – and a good offer will convert to some extent even with crap targeting. Pick up again only if you find that there has been some tracking issues and conversions actually did happen. ~300 clicks to a gaming offer on FB and zero conversions is a sure sign as you can get to throw it in the "data purchased" pile.
Focus on League of Angels. It is hot right now, for a reason. They have excellent landing pages and game art – they are doing everything right in terms of making an offer work for FB traffic (e.g. lots of skin/ladies).
The LoA landers will make a big difference. Get as many of them as available, especially FB login ones, and rotate. They will likely have quite different EPCs per gender/age/targeting cluster. Data reveals all.
1. Your targeting could be an issue for sure – but it’s hard to say – there are A LOT of MMO’s to target and the audiences vary. It might be wise to target smaller, F2P MMOs in another campaign and see if they do better. Targeting other browser games, e.g. Wartune, would also be a good approach (of course split into another campaign).
3. Yes, of course but only in lower priced countries. I would consider $0.10 as about the lowest I would go on FB and that would have to be in e.g. Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.
For your next steps I would recommend trying to make sidebar ads work first with additional help from rotated offer landers and creatives, so you can optimise this crucial part first before adding ad-type variation into the mix. I would test newsfeed ads when I already know that an offer works or has potential based on my own data.
LoA is syndicated to I believe GTarcade and r2games – so you can get it from completely different publishers = more lead capacity, different landers, conversion flow etc.
With regards to creatives, the images are nice albeit they may be used heavily already. You need to be more aggressive, relevant and compelling with your ad copy. Here’s some examples I came up with ad hoc:
44 STR / 23 DEX / 27 INT
There’s more to me than my stats. Play me your way.
34 Dex. I am the Huntress
Watch your back – my DPS is not to be underestimated. Play me now.
Crush the Divine
Not all angels play fair. Become a demon or an angel in LoA, your new favourite MMO.
I look forward to your progress, this is turning into a great follow along!
Thanks zeno. I ditched Warplanes campaign and paused League of Angels since I want be able to direct traffic to a landing page with Facebook connect. I was approved by Glispa today so I’m currently running a Brazil mobile offer just for fun (needed some practice with Facebook NF on mobile) and my AM also suggested me a Wartune browser game offer so I’m thinking about it. It was a hard day today, hopefully I will post some fresh update tomorrow.
Awesome follow along so far… keep it up! I’ll be posting mine very soon.
Are you still direct-linking these offers? Have you set up any landing pages yet?