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Tag Archives: digital marketing

ByDustin Peterson

Social Media Marketing – Quality vs. Quantity

With social media marketing on the rise there are a lot of agencies out there with different methods to help you grow your audience. Some of them are extremely effective and others are not. When we work with companies on social media audience strategy we always focus on quality. Getting quality at scale is possible, especially if you have a decent advertising budget. Getting quality in social media marketing without a large ad budget is also possible though, if you are consistent and stick to best practices.

One of the more popular method in recent years is buying likes or followers. There are a lot of different services out there that can in fact grow your audience to be very large rather quickly. This comes at a price though and I often question whether or not that price is worth it.

The reason is that buying followers or likes is not a good long term investment. There are a few reasons for this, but in the interest of time I’ll give you the 2 most important.

  1. Purchased followers are typically fake accounts created by media companies. These profile farms are composed of people who are paid to click, like or follow or sometimes can be completely automated.
  2. Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram regularly purge their systems of phony accounts. One day you might buy a couple thousand followers for a great price. Then a week later all of those accounts will be deleted by the platform.

We discussed how the fraud ecosystem works at length in our video “The Wonderful World of Fake Traffic” a lot of the principals discussed here apply to social media.

For Businesses Social Media Marketing Should Be About Relationships

“Long-term relationship building is the cornerstone of any business and brand. Here, I think more than ever, organic and authentic conversation wins out over forced social media sharing through strategic plans and content management systems.”

The above statement from Jeremy Harris Lipshultz’s recent article at Huffington Post sums up the key to great long term, effective social media marketing. We tell our clients “think like a farmer” because a farmer has to get up and do a long list of things every day to keep their crops growing and produce a good harvest. Social Media marketing & content are no different. There are key things that you should be doing each and every day to help grow your audience.

So while you can “cheat” and buy followers or likes the value in that is greatly diminished. The numbers are impressive on the surface but once you look past that you will clearly see they are not real people. For a business if you’re going to invest in real social media marketing, you will want quality over quantity. Real, genuine conversation and interaction between potential and existing customers will win the day even if it comes in small amounts.

ByApex Digital Media

Fraudulent Traffic in Digital Advertising – The End is Here

If you’ve ever had a website you’ve no doubt seen people buying & selling traffic – or even done it yourself. There’s an entire LinkedIn group dedicated to it. (I am a member but admittedly haven’t used it for a long time). For years there was an entire market for cheap, sub-penny traffic / clicks via XML feeds and pop-unders. In recent days though these sources have come under intense scrutiny due to the fact that they are on the whole – fraudulent.

The fact is that traffic is money online. If you are a publisher who commands a large amount of traffic you should be making a decent amount of money from it, and rightfully so. Internet traffic is the modern equivalent of TV viewers or radio listeners. Advertisers will pay a premium for it and it’s what makes the world of “free content” go round.

With anything that has a profit motive, there is an incentive to cheat. If the goal is to make huge sums of money and you can do it easily through a loophole… why not? This mentality and the incentivization of traffic created a cottage industry for fraud that has thrived for several years. Myself and a lot of my colleagues in the online industry helped to perpetuate it, advertising agencies helped, even the brands spending the budgets – whether knowingly or unknowingly – helped to perpetuate it… but “it’s over Johnny,” and world of digital advertising will be a better place for it.

That’s not to say we see a day where fraudulent traffic will ever be completely eliminated. As long as there is profit attached to traffic there will be people cheating it. As for it being a cottage industry though, those days are over. We put together a video overview of how the world of “online advertising arbitrage” works. This video essentially explains why and how fake traffic is perpetuated.

The acquistion of Spider.io by Google, Gov’t raids of huge botnets like “Zeus” and pieces by Bloomberg Business and The Wall Street Journal seem to signal the end of the road for wholesale fraud. Along with technology, people’s willingness to look at the numbers has also helped. In a world where hundreds of websites were claiming to “have audience upwards of 100 million uniques per month” The actual real world web numbers don’t add up. As of 2014 there were approx 280 million internet users in the United States and about 3 Billion Worldwide – that would mean only 30 websites could legitimately say they had “100 million uniques per month”. So a large percentage of the hundreds of websites claiming to have 100 million uniques per month were either fudging their numbers, or buying A LOT of fraudulent traffic.