The greatest hits of 2017 in mobile marketing
2017 was another strong year of growth for the affiliate business based on the feedback from publishers, advertisers and mobile affiliate networks. There is no doubt that the industry was tumultuous this year, with some networks riding the cash wave and taking a bold approach with their businesses.
For publishers and media buyers (or ‘affiliates’), CPA programs offered the ability to generate significant revenue with the right traffic. This is why, most networks have made many changes and improvements, developing AI tech tools for monetizing traffic which kept them at the top of the affiliate business in 2017.
The introduction of additional technical tools and the fresh thinking in AI and Machine Learning technology consolidated the affiliate channel’s position as one of the most, if not the most cost-effective mobile customer acquisition option.
For BitterStrawberry, for example, the year began with the development of three new revolutionary monetization tools that have the capacity to improve the whole domain of affiliate marketing, regardless of whether we are talking about publishers, advertisers or networks. In less than 12 months they launched:
- A MoneyPlace with over 14.000 original pre-tested, exclusive offers
- A new revolutionary way of monetizing mobile traffic, The HybridLink
- A unique fully-customizable solution, powered by Artificial Intelligence that will help analyze your media buying data and target your most profitable users with free in-depth tracking and stats: The Performance Tracker.
It’s true that for many years the industry has been heralding the arrival of a true ‘mobile’ era, but winning on mobile marketing is much more than just being there. Quick pathways to conversion are imperative because if you don’t close the sale quickly, the lead is lost, and maybe forever.
This is why it’s imperative to test and integrate mobile marketing campaigns in order to create optimized funnels for every affiliate, publisher or media buyer business model. And to do this, you’ll need the tools like the ones we described above.
In the end, what makes a great affiliate network is having a mixed variety of merchants and products, providing you with options which cover nearly all of your mobile affiliate marketing needs in one place.
The world of affiliates was lacking a truly global affiliate solution that marries technology with services, while offering transparency through enhanced standards. We’re pretty sure their efforts will continue in 2018 and that they will take the best elements of local market expertise and combine them to raise the bar.
With the stringent controls that took place in 2017 across the EU region (regardless of Brexit), the grey areas of complexity were around data protection. Consumers had more power to decide what happens to data; and fines were huge for non-compliance, which was a massive issue for cookie-based mobile advertising models. We predict that this time next year this will be considered one of the number one issues for everyone involved in e-commerce.
Some companies, like BitterStrawberry, announced having their very own e-commerce offers starting in 2018, together with exclusively owned Nutra and cryptocurrency offers.
We all know how Bitcoin was the fastest-growing asset in the world last year. Economists have even compared bitcoin’s meteoric rise with past bubbles, such as the tulip mania of the 17th century and the dotcom bubble that began in the late 90s, with the Nasdaq index in New York and burst in 2000. So, having cryptocurrency offers will definitely attract more buyers in the year to come.
If publishers identify traffic that converts particularly well for a certain type of offer (e.g. cryptocurrency) then they can generate a much higher eCPM or overall revenue using affiliate advertising than typical cost per click based ads. In addition, smart affiliates or media buyers can make a margin by buying traffic and optimizing it to generate arbitrage between its cost and the value generated through the CPA offers. However, achieving this can be challenging on mobile given the large number of parameters (device, operating system etc.) that need to be tracked and managed.
This is why, in 2017 advertisers closed the loop on mobile app tracking. Cross-device tracking was no longer a nice-to-have feature, but a foundational component for analyzing performance. Additionally, the ability to track which online publishers drive consumers to convert in-store began to be critical to truly measure success.
The Performance Tracker developed by BitterStrawberry is a fully-customizable solution, powered by Artificial Intelligence that will help publishers analyze their media buying data and target their most profitable users with free in-depth tracking and stats, turning raw data into winning decisions.
2018 will continue to be about harnessing data — from using attribution to recognizing how affiliates contribute at each stage of the funnel, to using data across channels to better your display and paid search campaigns.
Similarly, as more dedicated mobile apps become available on the market, publishers can be employed to encourage app downloads and in-app purchases. Having tracking in place to capture these mobile conversions will be integral when analyzing mobile app performance.
In 2017, BitterStrawberry helped publishers and advertisers check their campaigns with more ease than ever, launching one new and improved app and one new web interface that will keep them updated along the way. Just investing heavily in aligning themselves as truly consultative partners, networks manage to consolidate their position on the market.
Both of them are user-friendly tools that you can use to find merchants or affiliate programs to join. You also get daily news on the latest promotions and newly added programs. There is also a browser plugin that you can use to create deep links and grab your affiliate links for the selected products or offers. The dashboard shows a comprehensive view, with real time reports, and it is updated every 24 hours to bring you up-to-date results.
In 2017, the winner was mobile social advertising model. In the affiliate world, the trend was no different as social destinations or social platforms that leverage a network of influencers continued to grow with merchants and consumers.
Basically, there are 4 big sources of audience: search (e.g. Google), social (e.g. Facebook), display (e.g. ad exchanges) and publishers/influencers (e.g. affiliates). The affiliate value proposition of pay-for-performance whether on a sale or lead is very valuable to an advertiser. This is especially true when that sales volume at scale comes at a low-risk Cost per Action and the eCPA is relatively attractive versus search and social, which are both getting more expensive.
In 2017, BitterStrawberry was chosen by the prestigious jury of the International Performance Marketing Awards as the best CPA network focused on performance on a global level. Being a mobile-only CPA network, which enables publishers of all backgrounds to monetize their websites through a number of ad formats, this network has a referral program offering 10% of a new publisher’s commission to the group that referred them. This could help a user reach the minimum payout of €100, available through PayPal, wire transfer and web money as well as a bitcoin and a few more options.
There were more than 40 mobile marketing conferences to attend in 2017, events that allow you to extend your network with affiliates, affiliate managers, advertisers and agencies. There are still a couple of shows yet to take place in 2018 and we hope that you won’t miss them as well!
Overall, 2017 was a great year for affiliate marketing in general and for some performance networks in particular and their progress won’t stop here. We’re all moving into the future and we are happy to show you the way!
Article written by Bitter Strawberry.
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