Igor Gubin, Head of International Publishers Admitad: the main trends in the world of publishers


Times change and so do publishers and Internet marketing tools. Only the best of the best trim their sails to the wind: Admitad Head of International Publishers Igor Gubin is speaking about the most topical trends in the world of publishers.

– How should relationships with Russian and western publishers be built correctly in your opinion and is there any difference between them?

–The main difference between Russian and western publishers is their mindset and approach to work. Western publishers view cooperation with us in the long term, they do not expect any instant results and a million dollar income as soon as tomorrow. They calculate each figure of the budget spent on advertisement and the income they may obtain from a CPA advertising campaign depending on the business model of their traffic source.

– And what about Russian publishers?

– I have dealt little with our publishers but I can say that they often want a short-term result and do not always comply with rules of attracting traffic specified by advertisers.

– How have publishers changed globally within the past 3-5 years?

– First and foremost, our international partners are well educated now. Everybody we have dealt with knows what CPA marketing is because our competitors in the Western world have been using this system for a long time. Particularly, we started entering the international market about eighteen months ago. The department was officially opened on January 1 last year and has grown from 3 to 30 people. We started working with a limited number of business models such as coupons, cashback, landing pages and comparison shopping sites. Nowadays, we are working with approximately 22-25 business models including SMM, messengers, dropshipping, YouTube reviews, blogger reviews, emailing, influence, etc.

– How would you describe the process of engaging a publisher to cooperation with our company?

– First of all, we attract them by our service as in our western competitors’ affiliate networks it is far from perfect. They do not provide personalized approach to each publisher and their segments, whether it is a small Facebook group or a big cashback service.  If a publisher has a problem and contacts a western affiliate network, our competitors, for help, it will take a week or two to get an answer. As for us, there is the following rule: if a publisher has a problem, we have to reply within 24 hours. This applies to all channels wherever we receive a request from a publisher: email, WatsApp, Viber or any other program which is convenient for the publisher. We are also distinguished by the frequency of payments: in foreign affiliate networks publishers are paid once or twice a month while we pay weekly.

– OK, you have attracted a publisher. What is going to retain them and motivate them to stay with us and be more active when choosing offers?

– First of all, this includes relationship between Admitad personal manager and the publisher: the manager’s activity, way of dealing with the publisher, notifying about our advertisers’ new promotional campaigns, the way they present discounts, coupons, tools or new business models for working with the affiliate. This work is done by our account managers (business development managers) with each publisher individually. This is what western affiliate networks lack. There, publishers work on their own after their enabling, while our managers help them develop, earn more, consider their business models, suggest available coupons and propose the newest promotional materials.

– We have what is called “scout team”. For example, there is an advertiser who says, “I am launching a so-and-so offer. I have viewed all the publishers who contacted me. They are OK in general, but I believe there are some better ones.” Can we help the advertiser with this and search for publishers throughout the world, encourage them somehow and engage them for the offer to meet the selection criteria perfectly?

– Yes, of course, there are sometimes situations when we search for publishers for a certain advertiser. We have a special tool for seeking publishers.

– What tool is that, unless it’s top secret?

– SimilarWeb.

– An open type tool that shows transparent statistics.

– Yes, they are publicly available tools: Google, SimilarWeb, etc.

– And how often do you receive requests for engaging a particular publisher?

– We receive requests for engaging particular publishers each month. And requests for finding publishers in general are usually received once or twice per quarter, depending on the program. You cannot find publishers for all programs and not all programs are suitable for our audience. We mainly focus on e-commerce and travel. If we get a request for, say, a cryptocurrency offer, we will hardly be able to find traffic for it.

– What types of publishers could you distinguish in the past year 2017? There are “cash cows” such as cashbacks or coupons. And are there any that are asserting themselves as a promising trend? Influencers, perhaps?

– I can even rank them by priority. The first category is dropshippers, small stores engaged in reselling of goods. They create a store, stock up, set their own prices and sell goods under their own brand.

The second category is international YouTube reviewers. They often cooperate with some stores directly. If they cooperate with us, we send them a product for review and in their description they provide links to all our working stores where the products can be purchased, thus offering a choice to their audience.

– International reviewers are those having channels in English aren’t they?

– In all local languages.

– But how can one be an international reviewer if his or her channel is, for example, in Italian? It will be watched by Italian users only.

– All Italian speaking users.

– Roughly speaking, the more widespread a language is, the more likely the reviewer is to be ranked as international?

– Yes, this is why we have a special division of the main Romance and Germanic languages.

– I see. Who’s next?

– Next come messengers. Let’s take Telegram as an instance. It’s quite popular not only in Russia and the CIS countries but also in Spain. There are some Spanish Telegram channels with as many as one million participants. Administrators monetize the channels by using them for some promotional offers with coupons or discounts provided by different advertisers present in our system. The outcome from messengers is great. There are an enormous number of users there. People are now addicted to smartphones and social networks and they mainly shop using their mobile phones though messenger groups.

– That’s interesting! Who’s next?

– Another great niche is content projects. They may be ordinary news websites with a special section for coupons and discounts. Or, for example, we are cooperating with Israel post service at the state level and they have introduced a solution of this kind into their official website. They created a special landing page for their cashback in cooperation with us. This means that any visitor of the post can buy something with a cashback. They had not had the solutions before we started cooperating, they had only had an ordinary post service website. We offered them the solution allowing them to earn an additional income by making a cashback page where their users can buy something and even get some cash back.

– Are there any more interesting examples of our cooperation with publishers?

– There is Aviro, antivirus software. After the software is installed, a window appears to offer promotion. There is also a special search box. And there are our advertisers and our links on the home pages.

– What trends do you notice in the world of publishers? And what is their impact on interaction with us in future?

– I think the coupon market is in decline, at least at the international level. Coupons are not as attractive as they used to be. They have their own audience but they find it difficult to attract new people.

Cashbacks are working as before, though it is not easy for them to attract new audience as well. But they start cooperating with different charitable organizations, such as Red Cross, for example. Or, we can come to them and say, “We can help you raise money for your charity faster. For this purpose, a landing page with cashback has to be created on your fund’s or organization’s website. The money you get as cashback can be donated.” This means that when some goods are purchased on their website, the cashback is spent on some charity depending on the fund and whom it helps. This is the offer we made to some Spanish charitable organizations and one of them has already implemented the cashback. This is a very interesting concept and a step forward.

Influencers, YouTube reviewers and all who have their own audience and influence are going to develop faster and faster. They should be cooperated with under CPA conditions to offer choice to their audience. And not like this: “I am Samsung, I deal with a single reviewer and who will advertise Samsung only and provide a link to Samsung only.” YouTubers we are working with more and more often provide choice to their viewers and place links to all the stores where a particular product can be purchased. Their viewers, in their turn, can choose the delivery option or price which suits them best.

As for the dropshipping market, as I have already said, it is growing quite intensively. People start their own stores, stock up, for example, from AliExpress, change the names on the packages and sell the products under their own brand name. About 30-40 stores of this kind appear daily.

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