Top 10 Tools for Mobile Media Buying

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This blog post is written by Morgan Coudray. He has been active in digital advertising since 2006 and has been focusing on mobile affiliate marketing for the past 2 years. He worked as both a media buyer and senior account manager for MobPartner from 2011 until mid-2013. He was very successful as a mobile affiliate on his free time which pushed him to do it full time. He now offers his consulting services in mobile affiliate marketing to companies and individuals.

 

After two years as a mobile affiliate marketer, here are what I consider to be the top 10 tools which every mobile affiliate and mobile media buyer should use. Some of those will save you a lot of time while others will help you become a better affiliate.

 

1. Your affiliate manager (free) – He/she is your most precious source of information. Remember that you are one affiliate amongst hundreds which means that you’ll want to find a way to stand out. Being cordial and respectful at all times will go a long way. When asking him/her for the top campaigns to promote or for some targeting tips you want to be as specific as possible. You don’t want to ask them for “their best campaigns” you would rather inquire about their “top 3 dating campaigns in the UK based on EPC”. Help them help you.

Tip: you want to get personal with them to build good rapport. In my days as an affiliate manager, I used to receive postcards from one small affiliate (money-wise) and believe me he got the level of service no others got!

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2. Pixlr (free)– this free online picture editor is great for quick edits to banner size, quality and weight. It is light and can also be used to create simple custom banners.

Tip: each creative’ weight impacts a lot the loading time hence the display time for the ad that you are purchasing – especially when buying 3G traffic. Affiliate companies and networks rarely have time to optimize the size nor the format of their creatives. Therefore, even if your creative is under the allowed weight limitations, it is recommended to reduce its weight to the lowest that is visually acceptable.

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3. Google Adwords Keyword Tool (free) – another free Google tool that every affiliate promoting on Google Adwords or Microsoft Ad Center needs to generate keyword ideas efficiently. This tool is great to generate a lot of specific keyword combinations. You want to start with as many keyword combinations as might feel accurate at the beginning to increase your chances of finding a couple “gems” or niches. In other words you want at least 30 keyword combinations to start with. Minimum.

Tip: when using Adwords, make sure to track the efficacy of each keyword by tracking it with Adwords’ dynamic token for keywords which is {keyword}. Input it in a target URL’s subid parameter in order to track which of the keyword combinations converts best. You can then easily retrieve this valuable data in your affiliate network’s stats dashboard.

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4. Semrush (free – premium version available) – this SEM competitor tool is great to get relevant keyword ideas. Input the brand name of your campaign and you will see what all other keyword marketers are buying for similar campaigns. I have found this tool to be great to help diversify my keywords. This tool has clearly helped me a few times find some lucrative keywords.

Tip: use this tool before using the Keyword tool as you want to get all your keyword ideas before generating keyword combinations.

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5. OfferMobi Preview (free) This is a good all-in-one comprehensive mobile emulator. This is a great way to get a preview of the offer you are promoting on various phones. A proxy option is available. All you need to do is enter the target URL of the offer you want to test in the main field of the emulator, then select the phone model that you want to emulate, and finally press “process”. Please note  that if there is MSISDN detection on your offer you will not be able to visualize it at all.

Another great mobile emulator: Emulator by Pixmobi

Tip: If testing an MSISDN offer, you should request a screenshot of the campaign to your affiliate manager. Never promote offers blindly.

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6. Esponce (free) – this QR code generator allows you to quickly visualize an offer on your phone. All you need to do is swiftly generate a QR code on your computer with the offer’s target URL and scan it with your phone’s QR code reader. Abracadabra, the offer is up on your phone’s display.

An alternative free QR code generator: Kaywa

Tip: Do note that MobPartner already put a QR code on each campaign’s page to save you some time.

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7. Proxy Apps (free) — great to visualize an offer in another geography. It is a must-have for promoting CPI/CPD offers that are not available in your country. You can use it in combination with QR code generators.

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8. Microsoft Excel ($109.99 for one license) — this is your best friend when a/b testing and split-testing offers. It is the only tool that allows you to do proper “pivot tables”. I cannot delve into the “how-to” but those are the most powerful ways for you to create unweighted cross tabulations, in other words making sense of one of the metric you want to analyze (say ‘keywords’) against all the others (say ‘operators’, ‘creatives’, ‘countries’….).

Tip: I will soon publish a full explanatory post on how to use pivot tables to optimize your mobile affiliate campaigns. In the mean time, you want to begin collecting as much information about each of your conversions as possible. In other words, ask the network where you are buying traffic from to provide you with dynamic parameters for as many targeting criteria as possible (ie: keywords, telco, country, device…). Then input these parameters into the subids of your target URLs. You can subsequently retrieve this information from your affiliate network’s statistic dashboard. All this precious information will then be processed through pivot tables in order to optimize your campaigns.

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9. Quantcast Measure (free – premium version available)– This tool will give you an overview of a site’s segmentation. This should help you better gear your targeting as you generally want to target the predominant segment of any site, app, or service. Moreover, there is an “audience also likes” section which I find very useful for additional keyword ideas.

Tip: Make sure that the targeting that you choose is in-line with the creative that you have chosen. The more correlation there is between both, the higher your conversion rate.

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10. WhatRunsWhere ($1 trial — $150/mo) – This is a spy tool. Those are great for experienced affiliate marketers. It will allow you to know which offer others are promoting, on which network, and using which creatives. WhatRunsWhere is great to snif mobile ads, to get ideas as well as to evaluate how saturated a network is with certain campaigns.

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Those are the tools that I believe can help  you become a super-affiliate. It can take a little time to master some of them but some are very powerful. Finally don’t forget to spend time on blogs & forums as it is crucial to stay up to date in such a fast moving industry. Happy promoting to all of you!