This interview with MGID is the first of a series of interviews that we are going to have with important representatives of different Native Sources. The goal is to have an official opinion about how each traffic source works, and what are the best practices when it comes to optimization, scaling and testing new contents.
All the interviews will be then published to this blog, and will be also part of our weekly newsletters.
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(Chief Marketing Officer North America, MGID)
Q1: First of all thank you very much for your time. Let’s start with a very generic question. What makes Mgid different from other native sources? How easy is it to get started and why chose you?
MGID has a well-established international presence. In 2017, the platform reaches more than a billion unique visitors every single month in the European region (31.2%), Asia Pacific (27.2%), LATAM (19.7%), North America (15,8%), and Middle East (6.2%).
About 70% of its traffic is smartphone-generated which makes the platform a great choice for mobile advertising.
The system works on CPC pricing model (you are charged only if users click on your ads).
What separates us from other native ad networks is our customer focused approach. We provide each client, who chooses full-support service, with an account manager who can help with all aspects of campaign management. Any client can work hand-in-hand with our in-house creative team that deals with all ads free of charge giving our clients more time to focus on other important activities.
Also, we allow A / B testing of creatives and preldenders. We are well aware of the needs of performance marketers because we made the best in the market tracking options that include a symlink integration that allows you to set up tracking in 1 click with tracking systems such as “Kochava, Cake, Voluum, Hasoffers, Adsbridge etc.”
We have the most flexible system on the market that allows you to get more for less money. We can change the price not only for individual teasers (in most of competitors’ systems the price changes only for a campaign) but also for different regions and for each individual AD, also you can change the price at publishers IDs level and our completely new feature – you can change it by publishers sub-ids. Of course, bids could be adjusted manually at anytime.
MGID is one of the main Native traffic sources globally. Compared to competition, we provide the most targeting options in the industry, including OS, browser (+versions) and Language (browser locale).
MGID facilitates wide diversity of verticals ranging from Health and Beauty, Weight Loss, and Dating to Online Games, Lifestyle and Entertainment, Finance and politics.
MGID requires $100 as the minimum deposit to launch a campaign. However, we recommend that you have at least $500 in your account, which guarantees a dedicated Account Manager. MGID’s account managers do all the “dirty work” for clients, including campaign set-up, optimization, creative requests and ongoing optimization.
It’s very easy to get started.
All you need is sign up on MGID.com (you can do it here https://dashboard.mgid.com/user/signup/hash/307049d6500cf71c7772040c478c1818)
To create a campaign on MGID, you need to go to the Advertiser section of your account and click the Add Campaign button. It’s the only green button you’ll see. The campaign creation process consists of 7 steps.
Step 1: General Info
If you have actual products or services, you need to choose the “Product promotion”. In case you want to draw attention to articles on your website (arbitrage), go for the “Content promotion”.
Then, you must decide which Category suits your campaign. There are 25 of them, so you are guaranteed to find the one that matches your offer. Additionally, there are sub-categories to get even more granular.
Keep in mind that each of two Campaign Types has different categories and requirements (check all creative requirements here: https://www.mgid.com/creative-guidelines)
Finally, you choose the Language of your campaign. Note that you can choose only 1 language per 1 campaign. If you want to promote a multi-GEO offer, you should create separate campaigns for each GEO-targeting. Your creatives should be designed using the specific language of that region as well.
Step 2. Targeting
In this section, you adjust your offer to targeting your desired audience.
MGID’s targeting options include:
– GEO (country + region)
– Browser (11 options available now)
– Browser language
– Devices and OS (Desktop, Mobile and/or Tablet and the respective OS version)
Although you can’t select a mobile carrier for your campaign, you can ask your manager to create a whitelist for IP ranges for a carrier you’d like to target.
Step 3: Dynamic Retargeting
“Dynamic retargeting” may sound like a fancy phrase, but the idea is very familiar. Have you ever noticed that whenever you’re browsing a webpage you are offered ads related to products or services you googled? This ad strategy is called dynamic retargeting. It allows MGID to personalize every ad impression. Our sensors remember the user interests and offer ads featuring recently viewed or relevant products or content.
How to configure it on MGID? In fact, the idea of dynamic retargeting implies creating two campaigns. Initially, only one of them – the main campaign – is displayed to everyone. Once the number of your users has grown to a minimum required level, you can launch the second campaign with specific targeting settings that will show ads only to the relevant users.
Step 4. Schedule
This setting allows you to set time when your campaign will start running and when it should be stopped. Additionally, you can select certain hours and days of the week when you want your campaign to be active.
Step 5. Limits
MGID provides ability to set caps not only by budget, but also by number of conversions or even clicks. Actually, by limiting your campaign by the number of clicks, you won’t exceed your expected budget.
Step 6. Tracking Tags
Use it in case you need to set up UTM tags. If you want to set a Postback in the next Step, add a click ID token from your Network in the custom tracking tag.
Step 7. Conversion Sensor
There are two ways to track conversions with MGID. If you have a content promotion campaign, you can place a code on your pages. Another option is using a Postback URL and setting goals for your campaign.
If you decide to use a tracking code, just click on the “Get Tracking Code” button to generate your sensor code. Then, copy-paste it in the source-code of every page you want to track conversions from.
Use Postback option if you’re not a direct owner of an offer and don’t have access to the offer page source code.
That’s all! Once your ads are approved, your campaigns goes live.
Q2: How is your traffic % distributed between affiliates, arbitragers, brands, other?
Major portion of the demand comes from performance marketers, followed closely by content arbitrage. Branded content is well represented as well, and utilizes both static and video formats.
Q3: What have been the top 5 geos and what verticals (products) have dominated then on the last 3 months?
Currently, the best-performing verticals are healthcare, bizopp, dating, gambling, desktop gaming, etc. The strongest GEO’s are United States, United Kingdom, Viet Nam, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Italy
If we talk about specific GEO and best match verticals for them, here is a short list for each:
- US – Investments and bitcoin trading, Consumer products, Health&Beauty, Dating
- Thailand – Weight loss, Binary, ED
- Germany – Online games, Gambling
- Italy – Dating
- Romania – Weight loss, Health&Beauty offers.
- Indonesia – Forex, Anti-age creams
- Viet Nam – Weight loss, Money making, ED
- India – Hair loss, Casino, Moneymaking.
Q4: Many affiliates have difficulties understand how long to let a campaign run. So they often finish by giving up too early or let it run too long in the hope it will eventually get better. Can you give us some advice on this? When would you call a test completed (min days running, spending, number of teasers tested, etc)?
Usually, for test campaign we recommend 14 days with 10-15 ads for starters. This period lets us gather required data to properly optimize client’s campaigns. The budget itself highly depends on the number of GEOs and offers the client starts with. Though, $1,500-$2,000 is typically enough to test.
Q5: You have a different bidding structure compared to other sources. Your final bid is a combination of Teaser CPC + Widget Coefficient. What is the best way to play with this 2 variables and is there a bidding strategy you can recommend?
The prices depend on the GEO’s and devices you are targeting. In order for you to acquire high quality inventory you should be highly competitive on the market. There is no sense in starting a campaign with small bids since you will end up buying only remnant traffic, and not allow yourself a chance to truly test quality placements. Setting optimal bids (or even a bit higher) at the beginning will allow you to get good volumes of traffic right away. Thus you will gain high CTR’s and you’ll be able to slightly decrease the bids/set coefficients on the go based on the overall performance of specific placements. It’s the most efficient way to squeeze the most from the sources your ROI’s sky rocket from and paying an optimal price to have a fair profitability on lower performing once. Selective bidding is super flexible tool which in good hands will help maximize ROI’s from every cent invested.
Q6: Cloning an existing campaign vs adding new teasers? Which is the right way to go?
We strive to be the most flexible network on the market and give our clients a lot of solutions that allow to experiment and find the best conversion rates and volumes. Copying active creatives within the same GEO and categories doesn’t help the performance marketers to earn more.
It must be remembered that the audience majority are real people with real-life problems. They are eager to solve problems and want to pay money for this. The one who finds how “trigger” the audience using new approaches always wins. By copying someone else you will never achieve the same results.
MGID continuously works on implementing new solutions to simplify the moderation process for advertisers. We have currently launched an automated image De-duplication. This system limits impressions of identical teasers. So we give the opportunity to do A / B testing, but always encourage our customers to create new approaches.
Additionally, we are working on solution that allows our customers to check teaser’s potential CTR at the time of adding a creative.
Q7: We all have heard that Native systems are based on learning algorithms which after a testing period decide which ads to show and which not. Can you give us some more insights how Mgid’s learning system works and what is the best way to create “algorithm friendly” content :)?
Each network trys to keep algorithms in hat. It helps to generate the largest profits for publishers, provide the most relevant recommendations for the audience, and guarantees the highest level of conversions / results for their advertisers.
Mgid is no exception. We, as an industry pioneer, are probably the long-term innovating algorithms company.
We consider thousands of parameters to predict the relevance of the recommendation which helps us provide maximum CTR and performance results.
From a technical point of view, this is a complex algorithm, but you need to understand that the thumbnail is exactly what attracts people’s attention, whereas the headline is what stimulates to click.
To maximize the success of your teasers, we recommend you follow our guidelines.
We have detailed guidelines for all ad categories (PG/R/NC17/ NSFW). Your account manager can also help you with recommendations for specific categories. Here are a few tips to get started with:
- Use correctly translated language
- Make compelling creatives
- Don’t cloak. We have the property internal solution that saves the original pages during moderation and alerts us if any changes have been made after moderation. So do not cloak, it’s better to let the team know what you want and we’ll let you use it in the A / B / C test. We allow up to 10 landing pages in rotation for 1 teaser, but all of them must be approved by our creative team.
Also, you can look at the most successful teasers on Adplexity or other intelligence tools for ideas.
For content promotion, here are some common successful strategies to improve your advertising campaign
1.Define your goals for the campaign.
Every successful marketing campaign starts with setting clear objectives. This step is even more important when using paid channels to ensure you’re not wasting money on ad spend.
A content advertising campaign can be designed to meet any of the following goals:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic
- Generate leads
- Nurture existing leads
- Raise awareness about a new product or service
2. Target the right audience.
One of modern advertising’s key strengths is its granular targeting abilities. Use this to your advantage by targeting a subset of your audience with a highly customized piece of content.
When creating your ads, keep user intent in mind. Don’t bait and switch – if your content isn’t “as advertised,” you’ll risk ticking off your readers and wasting money.
3. Use your best content.
To win at content advertising, you first have to capture your audience’s attention with winning ad copy and graphics – and then deliver on their expectations with outstanding content.
The best content is comprehensive, visually appealing, and usually addresses a common pain-point or desire.
4. Maximize results with a marketing funnel.
Make sure your call to action is crystal clear – whether it’s to book a consultation, sign up for a webinar, or subscribe to your newsletter – so you can continue to nurture leads when the campaign ends.
5. Split test your ads and content.
The beauty of advertising is that you can change campaign elements with ease, track results, and keep improving on your top-performing ads.
Try varying the following elements of your campaign:
- Advertising copy
- Call to action
Experiment with different content formats, or different versions of the same content format. Here are a few content types to try:
- “How-to” posts or “Ultimate Guides”
- White papers
Understanding how to use content in your advertising campaigns translates to a better experience for your users, while giving you the technical advantage of a modern ad campaign.
Q8: I know this question was not on the list :), but can you give us a rough idea about your biggest spenders?
Our biggest spenders are product owners and Media Agencies. But obviously we have rock-star affiliates as our top clients as well. These people generate thousands of leads and sales with us for a variety of offers.
Q9: 2018 has just started and we know that the first 3 months of the year are always the most productive for affiliates (CPCs go down a lot and also less competition from brands). What do you think will be the trends for the new year?
If you notice a tendency don’t follow it, create your own trend. Pursue new verticals, try to work more with white hat offers, e-commerce, and any online education.
2. New Geos
Nowadays, booming Geos are Asia and Tier 1. But as practice shows the one who will be first to find a new GEO – receives the greatest profits in the new “El Dorado”
We recommend you to take a look at LATAM and Eastern / Central Europe. These GEOs promise to be THE NEXT BIG THING.
3. Focus on mobile
In 2017, Mobile accounted for 59.9% of all internet traffic. The share for desktop was just 40.1%. So it is expected the percentage of the mobile traffic to grow even more in 2018.
4. The rise of machine driven performance optimization.
Algorithms are still not able to replace people but can really help us.
Solutions like The Optimizer help thousands of performance marketers maximize their profits and optimize the spend of their budgets.
The machine learning becomes more effective in helping to earn more with less effort.
It’s very important to remember that you just need to use all your tools. There is not only a blacklisting and blocking of campaigns tools for optimization. In MGID there is also available to use selective bidding, per-sub-id blocking, flex bidding and other tools. If you do not use them and just block the placements – you will lose.
The more active publishers you have – the better CTR in MGID System and the more successful the WGW you can pay. Do not block a lot of publishers. Try to use selective bidding and periodically check your blacklists,cause we and our publishers are working on the placements improving their performance.