The Facebook Ads Apocalypse, It Ain’t Over Yet

Game, set, match.

A little birdie told me affiliate marketing just died a sudden and cold death with the unveiling of a new policy change on Facebook Ads. As far as I’m concerned, the only way to kill affiliate marketing on Facebook would be to shut down the advertising platform altogether. I’m not going to rehash the same guidelines. Most of you, I’m sure, will have scoured through them by now.

The overwhelming feeling, as far as I can tell, is one of defeatist resentment. How dare they mess with my traffic source! Or you used to be so good to me baby, why you gotta go changing like that? While most affiliates have been busy launching their toys out of the pram, I’d like to point out that Facebook marketing isn’t dead. Your last great idea is dead.

The goal posts have been shifted, the interns have been fed new cram sheets, and life just got a little tougher for all of us. Maybe Facebook just shut down your one profitable campaign. I can hear you wondering out loud how it’ll ever be the same again. The answer is it won’t. You can continue moping, scamper away with the masses, and abandon one of the most lucrative traffic sources in the world. Or you can bide your time, let everybody else bitch and moan, while making the effort to adjust your marketing approach.

As far as I’m concerned, advertising on Facebook just became slightly more appealing. I’ve made no secret of my distaste for the way that the guidelines are so freely interpreted from intern to intern. The latest policy changes have tightened the noose. Or have they? Maybe they’ve tightened the noose around the most uncreative minds.

I honestly believe that Facebook users have become savvy to the techniques that we as affiliate marketers have rushed to employ. Banner blindness isn’t just a problem that confronts the dude with a campaign pushing in to it’s second month. It’s an issue that arises from the simple reality that every affiliate marketer and his god damn dog has had an investment in the marketplace.

As an affiliate who generally sticks to the more “white hat” Facebook campaigns, I favour any policy change that deflates the balls of 75% of my competition. Especially if it’s enough to make them piss off to brighter pastures unknown. I hate to be the one to break it to the world, but not all CPA has to end with a sour taste in the user’s mouth. There are genuine reputable offers.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I look over these new policy changes…it looks like some Facebook monster did off in to the night with the Affiliate Marketer’s A-Z Handbook of Tricks That Get Clicks. Yes, he came back and banned them all. So what are you going to do about it? Let your business die with yesterday’s old news? Or maybe you should shrug, accept that there’s a new system in town, and start working on those next tricks.

If there’s one thing I’ve had to preach over and over again, it’s that the key to your long term success is your ability to innovate and stay one step ahead. A lot of the time that involves seeing opportunity where other marketers see only a bunch of pixels. And their own broke reflection in the monitor.

We can only assume that many affiliate marketers will be driven out of town by these latest rounds of changes. Because all they’re willing to deal with is the knowledge they already have. The campaigns that worked from Day One, the concepts they’ve read about, the vague and uninspiring “How To” guides jacked from a thousand Internet Marketing blogs. God forbid anybody took the initiative to develop their own mailing list, their own product, their own hook…any kind of disguise to continue operations as an affiliate marketer in a market that just became infinitely less polluted by other affiliates.

I will agree with every blogger or journalist out there who has a bone to pick with Facebook persistently dicking on their affiliates. Considering the money we invest in to the platform, you would expect perhaps a little more courtesy and understanding of how such changes could completely alter the face of so many small businesses. But ultimately, do you really blame Facebook for implementing these changes? I find it hard to knock the intentions of a company that’s setting out to prevent users from being exposed to badly coded toolbars, notoriously misleading subscription plans and a bunch of other zip submits that have about as much truth in them as myself after seven pints.

If you still want to promote those offers, maybe you need to change your game plan. As I said in the last post:

“If there’s one success story you should be listening to, it’s not that some dude is banking five figures a day on dating ads in April 2010. It’s that the guy who did it FIRST…had the easiest ride.”

Well, now’s your big chance.

Facebook has moved the goalposts and everybody is in the same position. Be the one to find a concept that makes money and satisfies the new guidelines, and be the one that thousands of other affiliates are still ripping two years from now.

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About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

15 Comments

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  • Finch- quality post man, as always. I haven’t been in the game all that long but I can tell you one thing I have noticed- every 2 months or so something seems to happen with some traffic source that prompts 1,000 bloggers to start pronouncing “BRING OUT YOUR DEAD! Repent, for the end is upon us”….was it always like this? I mean, has this been going on for years?

  • I’m having trouble with this sentence: “While most affiliates have been busy launching their toys out of the pram”

    pram (plural prams)
    (New Zealand, British, Australian) A small vehicle in which a baby is pushed around; a perambulator

    Is that right? Finally that Billy Bragg song makes sense now.

  • Finch your sounding like Baldwin in Glen Gary Glenn Ross right now…

    “Put that coffee down… coffee is for closers”

  • Yet another reason Affiliate Marketing is not a long term business model.

    Every business changes yes but one where you need to completely change your strategy every month just isnt worth the effort for me. I value my time!

  • “God forbid anybody took the initiative to develop their own mailing list, their own product, their own hook…”

    Truth right there. The offer has always been important. If you own an optimized offer, the rest falls in place.

  • Hi,

    great viewpoint on what others see as a huge/fatal problem.

    Keep it positive and adapt to suit or, better yet, get ahead of the curve. Unfortunately the latter is more easily said than done!

    Cheers,

    Michael

  • I dont mind that the gravy train is coming to an end, I’m just sorry i never got a go on it! Seriously though, this was always just a matter of time until crap got cleaned up real good.

  • Nice post…
    Facebook is a potential social networking for some goals such as promotion or driving huge traffic. Stay tuned in a crowded community will give good chance to promote…

  • Awesome post finch, and I love people like you who don’t try to beat around the bush and just tell it like it is – no BS
    anyway how is Thailand treating you?

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