Last week, PPC.biz’s Barman tweeted a Wired article about the video content creation strategy of Demand Media, which holds lessons for marketers: bank on the first mover advantage hard, especially if you want to grab market share and mind share.
That’s not to say that you should put out the poorest quality stuff you can just to get a campaign out the door. But on the internet, speed accounts for a lot, but not everything. (Just ask Windows about their Vista operating system or Apple about their Newton PDA).
The lesson here is if you’re the first in the space, whether it’s with FB ads, MySpace MyAds, or the recently launched Plenty of Fish (PoF) self-serve ad system, you’re going to have leeway and freedom to see a period of fat profits (together with a bout of accompanying frustration with broken features, tracking).
An affiliate has said of PoF’s ad “I could shit diarrhea more consistent than PoFs traffic” alluding to an ad which reported 3,000 impressions, 500 clicks, though the network stats reported 60 clicks.
At the same time, other affiliates are reporting profitable campaigns on the system, so you’ll have to roll with the punches. It also helps that PoF founder Markus Frind is actively monitoring the PoF ad system thread on the WickedFire affiliate marketing forum and has progressively rolled out enhancements and fixes to the system, sometimes within a matter of hours.
So if you’re looking for stability in the industry, especially if you’re marketing CPA offers, you might need to shift to promoting pay-per-sale offers instead. Ryan Eagle, founder of Eagle Web Assets, sent out an email alerting affiliates that the network had hit its monthly cap for a high lucrative offer. If you had been relying on that one offer as your main source of income, you’d be pretty much slapped in the face till you had another campaign going.
During the second world war, the German’s Blitzkrieg (meaning lighting war) tactics meant that the allied forces were taken by surprise and sustained heavy losses before they developed effective countermeasures.
Likewise, within the affiliate marketing world, the first mover advantage (even with the poor tracking and broken features) can give you a blitzkrieg advantage. But if you fail to move up the value chain and increase the sophistication of your campaigns, you could be caught up in the repercussions, as the recent/current spate of affiliate Adwords account bans have shown.
If anything, take a leaf out of Justin Dupre’s experience of having his Facebook Ads account banned (as well as recently losing his Adwords account). He’s moved on to testing new traffic sources and making the business work.