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The Facebook ads used by Russians in the 2016 election have been released, at least some of them. We found some tips on how to target better than them. STM Forum brings out a mega-report for what's working in affiliate marketing in 2018. Last but not least, ThriveTracker has a special offer for our subscribers!

Facebook 2016 Election Ads Have Been Revealed

This was like waking up on Christmas morning as a child! Our marketers senses were overly excited...

Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee have released thousands of ads that were run on Facebook by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA).

Nobody knows what impact these ads actually had on public opinion, but Democrats note that they were seen by more than 11.4 million Americans.

You can find all the ads here, though it’ll take some time just to download them - the files total over 8GB.

The ads targeted the far left and the far right, seeking to manipulate black activists, Muslims, Christians, LGBTQ people and gun owners with the goal to drive a wedge between Americans, and in an attempt to sway the 2016 election.

Facebook has reacted to the release of these ads, listing 10 changes they made already, including transparency, verification and intelligence sharing with government.

Target better than the IRA

We’ve asked a few Facebook affiliates what they thought of the data from the report and they said the Russians need to learn how to target.

Just kidding, we didn’t ask anyone.

They do need to learn how to target though, with a little thing called the Facebook Pixel.

Some talk about it like a mystic creature but it’s simply a piece of code that tracks visitors and lets you collect certain data in your dashboard.

The key with it is to feed it good data and create a good custom audience. There are 3 simple but good ways to do this.

1. Put the Pixel code on your website
2. Upload an email list
3. Run a video views campaign.

Charles Ngo goes into detail for each of these methods, with some extra tips in his latest blogpost.

Digital ad revenues up 21% in 2017

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is out with its 2017 year-end state of the digital advertising industry report.

In a repeat of the past several years, digital advertising revenue is up. There was growth across formats and devices.

Digital ad revenue in the US grew 21.4 percent to $88 billion in 2017.

There is a shift to mobile in all digital formats. In 2017 mobile traffic accounted for more than 50 percent in search, banner, video and audio ads.

Despite mobile’s ascendance, desktop revenues still grew 6 percent in 2017.

The IAB doesn’t release data on specific companies, but the top 10 companies commandeered 74 percent of total revenues.

Our guess is that Google and Facebook heavily dominate that top 10 - don’t you think?

What’s working in affiliate marketing in 2018?

We all know affiliate marketing is fast paced and ever changing.

Most of those changes are beyond the affiliate’s control so an affiliate has to be super agile in dealing with new events coming their way.

Something to help you with that recently came out of the STM Forum kitchen.

Vortex and Matuloo, the 2 senior moderators went out to create the ultimate report about what’s working in affiliate marketing in 2018.

They asked over 50 industry experts a few questions about this, then compiled all the information into a mega 138 page report, available for free for anyone.

One of our founders, Manu, aka manu_adefy on STM Forum, also contributed his opinion on the state of affiliate marketing in 2018.

Other names who contributed are Charles Ngo, David Atias and Besmir Bregasi (STM co-founder).

Go and check out the report right here.

Are your campaigns Thrive-ing?

Just 3 days ago, on May 8th we reported the complaints affiliates had from Facebook banning their clean ad accounts.

The very likely culprit seems to be redirects.

Well, the guys at ThriveTracker are ahead of the times and they've had a solution for this called the Landing Page Pixel.

With it, you can track campaigns without using any redirects. You just copy a small piece of code on your landing page - just like when using the FB Pixel.

So you can get a good night's sleep knowing that your tracker isn't getting your accounts banned.

What if you aren't running Facebook? Well, you probably know redirects can hurt conversions, especially when doing pops.

One more thing... #thriveon - 30 days free trial, up to 1 million clicks.

Give ThriveTracker a try for 30 days with no risk on you, and see if it's the right solution for your campaigns (and accounts).

Also, ask them about the special WHAT THE AFF discount they've put together for our amazing subscribers! ;)

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
Affiliates aren’t the only ones cloaking

If you thought the experts at cloaking are affiliates, think again!

A researcher at Pennsylvania State University, Amanda D. Hanford, has created a real cloaking device.

And unlike affiliate cloakers, this would not be used to hide web pages from unwanted visitors.

Hanford and her team set out to engineer a metamaterial that can allow sound wave to bend around the object as if it were not there, essentially making the object invisible to sonar.

"These materials sound like a totally abstract concept, but the math is showing us that these properties are possible," Hanford said. "So, we are working to open the floodgates to see what we can create with these materials."

Speaking of cool tech…

Boston Dynamics made you a running partner.

Now you can always rely on someone joining you for a refreshing jog when you take a break from the screen!

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