Fraudsters aren’t picky when it comes to choosing their ad fraud victims. Big brands, small businesses, and affiliates are all ripe for picking. Affiliates, in particular, are vulnerable because they don’t think fraudsters would go after the little guy.
Money is money, and for affiliates who rely on commission; they have the most to lose monetarily. To minimize the risk of theft, here’s why affiliate marketers, or performance-based marketing, needs an ad fraud solution, too.
How Affiliate Ad Fraud Works
Performance-based marketers often use a cost per acquisition (CPA) form of marketing. Affiliates make their money in the form of clicks, leads, or sales. Not surprisingly, affiliates are most commonly affected by these two forms of fraud:
Cookie Stuffing. Affiliates make their money by talking about and selling a brand’s products or services. They use a cookie to track a customer who first clicks on the affiliate ad which brings them to the brand’s site. Depending on the arrangement, either the affiliate gets paid for the click, or paid once the sale is completed.
With “cookie stuffing,” fraudsters track an affiliate’s traffic by also using cookies. Then when a customer makes a purchase, the fraudster swoops in and takes part or all of the affiliate’s commission.
Influencer Marketing Fraud. Here, affiliates think they’re aligning themselves with a legitimate influencer, but in reality the influencer is fake. Another scenario: the influencer is real, but they’re using internet bots or buying followers.
With influencer marketing fraud, oftentimes the affiliate will get little to no real conversions. And it may even cost the affiliate money if they’re paying for the influencer to work with them.
How Ad Fraud Negatively Affects Affiliates
Unlike big brands who can absorb the cost of ad fraud, affiliates don’t have that luxury. Affiliates’ budgets tend to be tighter, making every penny count. So, when ad fraud begins affecting their bottomline, it could tip them over the edge and into the red.
Added insult: not only is their budget and revenue affected, but so is their brand safety. And for affiliates who are just starting out, any damage to their reputation can be devastating.
What’s the Solution
An ad fraud solution can offer an added layer of protection against fraud. Depending on the ad fraud protection platform, you’ll have the ability to identify and combat different forms of fraud.
While having an ad fraud solution would be ideal, that might not be feasible for some affiliates. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still protect themselves. By knowing the types and signs of ad fraud along with monitoring your analytics, you’ll have a good foundation for being proactive against ad fraud. Learn these signs and much more in our Affiliate Marketing Fraud 101 eBook or our Affiliate Fraud Whitepaper.