Internet fraud has become increasingly prevalent with the rise of performance marketing, and it’s important to learn how to avoid it. While not all performance marketing campaigns are fraudulent, many are, and it’s impossible to tell the difference between the two without careful screening and research. This guide is prepared after listening to a webinar by Faisal Abidi that will teach you how to avoid fraud in performance marketing so that you don’t lose money or your reputation on an unethical campaign.
Do your research
Just like any other industry, performance marketing has its fair share of scams and frauds. The best way to avoid these schemes is by doing your research on an advertiser before signing up with them. Look for companies that have been around for a while, which means they’re more likely to be trustworthy. Also, check how long it takes them to pay out—it should be under 30 days.
Use different networks
The rise of advertising networks has led to a large increase in demand for ad space. Unfortunately, many of these publishers are fraudsters who use spam bots and other methods to artificially drive up traffic and revenues. By using different ad networks you can help ensure that you won’t fall victim to these scams; if one site starts offering high bids but your site isn’t seeing an influx of legitimate traffic, consider blacklisting it immediately.
Check blacklist sites
Before you sign up for any affiliate program, it’s important to make sure you won’t be paying for spam or a scam. Check out blacklists sites like Scambook and The Biz Council as well as social media reviews on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be aware that you might have to purchase something from an offer through one of these sites before seeing negative feedback about it.
Buy accounts from reputable sellers
Buying accounts from reputable sellers is one of your best options for avoiding spam. Reputable sellers don’t flood their accounts with spam; instead, they tend to have a high percentage of real followers who are engaged and active. You can also protect yourself against fraud by joining performance networks that verify their users’ identities, so you know you aren’t being tricked into working with spammers.
Use the official website for buying traffic
Buying traffic from unofficial sources is a risky business. We’ve all heard tales of bots, geo-targeting errors, and other issues that can plague your advertising efforts. While each campaign has unique risk factors and mitigating strategies, it’s always a good idea to use official sources for buying traffic when possible. If you must go outside of these channels, be sure you read up on current fraud trends and seek out companies with solid reputations before making a purchase.
Don’t buy fake YouTube subscribers
You may have heard by now that a lot of channels buy fake YouTube subscribers. Why? Because they’re cheap, they boost your channel’s appearance and can give you instant credibility. Here’s a tip: Don’t do it. These aren’t real fans—most of them are bots—and you don’t want to spend money on these guys. Instead, spend your money on tools and marketing strategies that work, such as Facebook ads and influencer marketing partnerships.
Trust your gut feeling
It’s easy to get excited about landing a big ad campaign with a legitimate business; there are plenty of horror stories, though, about agencies that over-promise and under deliver. If your intuition is telling you something doesn’t feel right, listen to it. Be especially wary if an agency is only prepared to deal with you via email and won’t give you a phone number or address.