A New Frontier: Affiliate Marketing through Facebook Ads

By Affilorama Group
A New Frontier: Affiliate Marketing through Facebook Ads


I was really inspired about Facebook advertising yesterday after listening to a discussion from the Affiliate Summit West 2009 between three affiliate industry experts: Zac Johnson of MoneyReign, Jeremy Schoemaker, aka Shoemoney and Alex Schultz, head of the internet marketing team at Facebook. Although Facebook advertising isn’t honed to perfection just yet, there are plenty of reasons why you should seriously consider advertising you affiliate products there today. I highly recommending listening to the full discussion on Shawn Collin's blog , but if you don’t have an hour to spare, here are a few highlights!

Why advertising on Facebook is good for affiliates

Not only can advertising through Facebook allow you to reach out to this online community of 150 million ACTIVE users (people who log in at least once per money. 50% of that figure log in daily), but it allows you to target extremely specific groups of people who might be particularly interested in your product.

The ad system allows you to target by:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Education (including where they went to school)
  • Workplace
  • Relationship status and relationship preference (i.e. interested in)
  • Language
  • Keywords (which can target interests and groups the user is associated with)

As you can see, this allows for extremely precise targeting, which should mean higher click-through rates, lower cost per click (some have reported getting down as low as 3c to 10c per click) and an overall higher conversion rate.

The ability to target geographically is possibly one of the most powerful, yet underutilized functions, particularly in non-US locations. For example, Italy is one of the largest growth markets for Facebook at the moment, while the cost per click for targeting Italy is still very low.

Probably the most popular and successful affiliate campaigns via Facebook right now are weight loss and dating products. And as we often teach here at Affilorama, if there are lots of people making money doing something, there's no reason why you can’t get a slice of the pie as well. That said, there is enormous potential to be the first to come up with a great idea using Facebook's targeted advertising to reach an entirely new market.

Facebook also allows you to post a picture (resized to 110 by 80) in the ad, which can add to the visual appeal and the effectiveness of the overall message. This in addition to a standard 25 character headline and 135 character body. So this gives you a little more room to play compared with Google.

One of the best things that I can see about Facebook advertising is the implications it could have for the rest of your online marketing activities in terms of great market research data. Say, for example, you create an ad targeting Males aged 18 to 25 in United States who are in to Star Trek (52,800 users, at time of writing) . After running the ad for some time in order to gain information, you may be able to find out what other interests this particular group has in common – for example, they also listen to electronica music. Not only could this help you create a second ad targeted at this interest, but it has given you a further insight into your customer that you can use in other advertising campaigns off Facebook.

The Downsides

Unfortunately, advertising on Facebook isn’t all plain sailing just yet...

  • Incredibly stringent advertising guidelines - and perhaps even more annoyingly, the inconsistent application of those guidelines (you may have an ad rejected only to find the exact same thing allowed by someone else). Virtually everyone seems to have ads rejected by Facebook and if you plan to advertise there, you will almost certainly encounter this. Unfortunately a few spammers are wasting a lot of Facebook staff time, slowing down development for the rest of us.
  • Launching multiple simultaneous Facebook ads is rather tedious, as you have to do each one individually. A proper editor with better functionality is expected next year.

Despite these inevitable growing pains, there is still a great deal of opportunity within Facebook ads for those who are willing to invest in experimenting. As long as everything you do is strictly legit, you should have no real problems. One thing that Facebook apparently excels at is feedback, so if your ad is rejected or doesn't work, they might be able to give you a helping hand – in certain cases when they reject an ad, for example on grammatical errors, they will actually fix it for you and give you the option to use their edited version.

Have you given Facebook a whirl? I’d love to hear your experiences (and frustrations!) with this emerging advertising heavyweight.

Tom 14 years ago
I tried several times to get ads approved and failed. I was trying some ads related to skiing and could not get approved, meanwhile Facebook was running these criminal ads for Acai Berry and Government Grants. I just don't get it. Their approval process is 100% broken.
Mark Davies 14 years ago
Very Interesting, i m gonna go check out thier advertising program, thanks for the great information!
Franck Silvestre 14 years ago

I will get more into this type of ads. It's in my to do for the month.

Your post comes at the right time
Quentin 14 years ago
I also found the following frustrations:

- billed in USD every few days, with bad invoicing reconciling
- cannot change anything with the ad once approved - need to pause it, copy it and resubmit. If only the demographics are being changed then in most cases it won't need reapproval.
- since the timezone works on PST (8AM-8PM), and I'm in NZ, I have to ensure that I get the creative sorted, and ad submitted to line up with that timezone
- pausing an ad and then resuming it sometimes stops the ad from picking up any impressions and I have to "copy" the ad and create a new campaign in order to get it to run
- poor reporting
- changing the CPC after approval sometimes stops the ad from running, so I have to do the above
- have to keep bids low to provide a good ROI with CPA offers, which means that you can get a low CTR in some countries

It does have some good advantages over Adwords, such as being able to use an image, select demographics to target your campaign, have a low CPC (around 5c), etc.

Some tips:

- don't change CPC after approval - rather pause, copy and create a new campaign (from my experience)
- always use a URL redirect for the landing page URL so that you can change it later if need be, track it, etc
- let it run for a full week before deciding on whether to keep or pull it, as traffic varies dramatically during that time and you need a weeks worth to gather enough stats

Well, that's my 2c worth, hope it helps :)
Chris Goddard 14 years ago
Quentin, fantastic advice! Thanks for sharing your experience! It's always great to hear from people who are out there and doing it.
Joan Campbell 14 years ago
I tried it i think a bit hard to use you do not have control of your ad or payment. I hope Mark is going to teach about it in this course.
Jason Holland 14 years ago
Great Post! I've been debating whether or not to advertise on Facebook. This affirms that it might not be a bad idea to try.
JOI-WEB 13 years ago
Paul HF 13 years ago
Great post! I'm eager for knowledge about Facebook advertising and your post is a big help. Social networking sites are definately a way forward for the affiliate. Thanks. :)
Brandon 12 years ago
I want to start an online bsuiness and I am not sure what is the difference between a wholesale supplier and affiliate marketing. I understand that wholesale companies will dropship for you and affiliate marketing is based on sales. Which one should I do? Should I do a combination of both? Also, do you need a shopping cart for an affiliate marketing bsuiness?? Thanks!
sam ffazer 10 years ago
I have a fb page... have an affiliate link on my page. fb will not approve my affiliate ad.
can some one who may have simular issues with fb drop me a few lines telling me how to resolve this issue ?.
It appear fb think affiliate business stinks.. Business is business .i would hope so..
I cant read their minds any more
sam f