There's a $1bil crypto fund happening. More sales? Yes, please! Facebook's trending category is gone and Instagram team decides to set the record straight on its algorithm.
20/01/2019  - Images not loading? No problem, just read in browser.

"New week, new me!" - adjusted for affiliates because things move that much quicker. Instagram let's us know what's true and what's false about it's algo. Super straightforward but powerful conversion boosting tips for e-commerce, digital advertising threats and Binance's crypto fund.

By the way, our Friday, June 1st newsletter went out later than usually, because ActiveCampaign had an issue with processing and sending. Apologies! Check it out, we had some super good tips from Patrick Dermak of AdBaker!

Demystifying the Instagram Feed

Users and advertisers alike know that for a few years now, Instagram no longer shows content in chronological order.

Instead, it also uses a ranking algorithm, not very different to the one Facebook News Feed uses.

How does that algorithm work? Magic, of course!

OK, just kidding. Facebook actually invited a few reporters to their office to explain how Instagram works.

Ranking criteria

The algorithm learns from your past behaviours. Even if two accounts follow the same accounts, they will have a different feed.

The key factors taken into account are:
  • Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post.
  • Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts over weeks-old ones.
  • Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.

Then there are three additional signals the algo accounts for:
  • Frequency: How often you open Instagram, as it will try to show you the best posts since your last visit.
  • Following: If you follow a lot of people, Instagram will be picking from a wider breadth of authors so you might see less of any specific person.
  • Usage: How long you spend on Instagram determines if you’re just seeing the best posts during short sessions, or it’s digging deeper into its catalog if you spend more total time browsing.

At this presentation, the Instagram team also provided a list of myths and explanations to them.

  • Instagram is not at this time considering an option to see the old reverse chronological feed because it doesn’t want to add more complexity (users might forget what feed they’re set to), but it is listening to users who dislike the algorithm.
  • Instagram does not hide posts in the feed, and you’ll see everything posted by everyone you follow if you keep scrolling.
  • Feed ranking does not favor the photo or video format universally, but people’s feeds are tuned based on what kind of content they engage with, so if you never stop to watch videos you might see fewer of them.
  • Instagram’s feed doesn’t favor users who use Stories, Live, or other special features of the app. Instagram doesn’t downrank users for posting too frequently or for other specific behaviors, but it might swap in other content in between someone’s if they rapid-fire separate posts.
  • Instagram doesn’t give extra feed presence to personal accounts or business accounts, so switching won’t help your reach.
  • Shadowbanning is not a real thing, and Instagram says it doesn’t hide people’s content for posting too many hashtags or taking other actions.

These are things the team says - we’ve heard affiliates disagree, both with Instagram and with things Facebook said about their algorithm.

Take everything here with a grain of salt - as the saying goes: "Always be testing!"

Especially if you have products suitable for Instagram marketing (paid or not).

Trending wasn’t trending?!

Have you ever seen that Trending section on Facebook? No? You’re not alone. That’s why Facebook is removing it completely.

It will instead provide 3 other features for "news experiences".

  • Breaking News Label - Being tested with 80 publishers across North America, South America, Europe, India and Australia. It lets them put a label on their newsfeed posts. There’s also a "breaking news" notification in testing.
  • Today In - It’s a dedicated section on Facebook that connects people to the latest breaking and important news from local publishers in their city, as well as updates from local officials and organizations.
  • News Video in Watch - A dedicated section on Facebook Watch in the US where people can view live coverage, daily news briefings and weekly deep dives that are exclusive to Watch.

What does this mean for affiliates?

Well, it mostly means Facebook is maturing and recognizing its role as a trusted news source. This goes hand in hand with their attempt to block the spread of misinformation.

Things will likely not change from one day to the other but all signs point towards being harder and harder to mislead Facebook.

We recommend you get a group of white hat FB advertisers, go out, pay for their drinks, and ask them about their secrets. Naughty stuff will get harder and harder.

Two simple but super effective ROI boosting tips

There are plenty of small changes with big impact in the e-commerce game.

We’ve brought you 2 super cool tips from Purple Knowledge Lab Group that came about over the weekend.

Phone number at checkout to add trust

Bo van Wijngaarden tested this out in his store’s funnel and got great results.

"Adding a phone number to the order page upped my CR by about 20%"

The number is just linked to voicemail that says:

"Thank you for calling etc...
Check the FAQ for most common questions @ www. .... .
Other questions can go to info@ ....
Wholesale inquiries go to sales@...
Other questions after the beep."

Tool used? Sonotel.

Others in the group are already testing it, don’t get left behind.

Non-intrusive scarcity at checkout

We all know those in-your-face countdowns. Well, people are catching on so there’s something better worth testing.

Muhamad Rasid has tested out including the items left in stock when the customer chooses their shipping option.

It’s quite creative but so simple - the customer will look there anyway.

Not just that, but e-commerce superstar Mohammed Ali Aguel chimed in with his own tip on the topic.

Instead of just saying "X items left in stock" he offers the option of priority fulfillment. As he says "The idea is stock is running out, we will move your order to the top of the list."

Check out the post to see what other options he implements to make priority perform so well.

What are the threats digital advertising is facing in 2018?

We’ve talked about the good parts from the Internet Trends 2018 report. We didn’t think about the threats.

Luckily, we ran into this article that touches on that side too.

You can imagine that for affiliates, doing non-compliant stuff will just get harder. It will probably never be impossible but it’s a never ending cat and mouse game.

A game that will have more and more serious consequences so you should tread carefully. That’s just us talking, not the author of the article.

Aside from that, AI is taking a more central role but tougher privacy laws could make it less effective.

It’s also a threat that the market is still dominated by two players, Google and Facebook.

There’s also an unfavourable comparison to 2008 - in the US, unemployment rate is low, debt is high and consumer confidence is also very high.

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
Get finance from Binance!

The very popular crypto exchange, that took the whole space by storm, is creating their own fund.

And it’s not just any fund. It’s a $1 billion fund.

And it will give out DOGE.

Just kidding, it will be BNB, Binance’s own coin.

This is part of the exchange’s Binance Labs arm.

This initiative "will focus on startups working with public blockchains, decentralized exchanges, custody/payments/wallet, stable digital currency, and compliant alternative trading systems or security token platforms."

Coincidentally - and we mean it, no sarcasm here - the crypto market is up about $20 bil (or just under 10%) over the weekend, after seeing another downturn earlier.

If affiliate marketing alone is not swingy enough for you, pitch your crypto project to Binance and exponentially grow your swings!


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