Soundcloud: A banner you can hear and click on

SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings. In order to help promote musicians using their platform the company has given the standard display banner ads a new approach. The SoundCloud team set out “to create a twist where audio comes first,” according to Mark Dewings, Head of Brand Communications at SoundCloud. “The team looked for ways to make banners work for sound, by applying elements from our iconic waveform, product references like the play button, and our brand imagery.”

What makes the new advertising campaign interesting is that SoundCloud developed – internally – a sound banner. A sound banner is a radical new format developed by SoundCloud’s Creative Technologist to broaden brand awareness by maximizing the power of audio, SoundCloud’s signature waveform, and the visualization of sound. Audio is at the heart of the message, is in alignment with the company’s “sound first” outlook, supplementing the visuals in the banners.

The sound banner uses an advanced audio-enabled HTML5 specification and CSS3 animations (vs. Flash). The infrastructure of the sound banner uses the same SoundCloud SDK as our widgets, allowing them to easily communicate with and pull sounds from their wider platform.

soundcloud banner 1 soundcloud banner 2

Banner ads definitely are not dead!

Every few months a new article gets published talking about the demise of the banner ad. The difference between making money online and just getting people to do window shopping is how you use it. It all comes down to presentation and this is clear from the example used here. Incorporating sound is the ideal way for them to show of their product offering.

It is a matter of horses for courses. When you do affiliate marketing you also need to look at a couple of things:
1. What is my site about?
2. What type of visitor am I trying to attract?
3. Am I serving them affiliate offers that they would be interested in?

Those three points sound extremely simple, but are often not followed by site owners. Publishers with websites on “how to train your dog” are often seen promoting life insurance. Sure the life insurance offer is a financial affiliate offer that will bag them a nice commission, but their visitors are not there to find out about life insurance.

Online advertising set to reach a total value of $400 billion in the next 5 years

Despite online advertising being a $100 billion a year industry it’s still a drop in the ocean compared to the traditional advertising industry that brings in a cool $800 billion per year.

Of course the balance of power is rapidly changing with estimations that by 2018 online advertising will account for 50% of all advertising budget spends.

For this change to happen something powerful needs to come along for advertisers to take notice. Google Chief  Business Officer Nikesh Arora believes that something is Internet-connected televisions, or smart TVs, an area in which Google Inc has not been wildly successful to date. However, he argues that in the coming years, smart TVs will go from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” in the minds of consumers, forcing marketers to allocate more ad dollars online.

Online advertising trends indicate a huge rise

Arora has a vested interest in this with  YouTube shaping up to be a huge winner here as Google continues to transform the site into becoming more desirable for users and advertisers alike. Through the use of channels, Google is hoping it will improve the experience by connecting users directly with content, aligning more closely with the traditional TV experience.

Not only are YouTube channels more convenient for users to connect with relevant content, the value preposition for Google is tremendous. According to YouTube head Salar Kamangar, packaging a video within a niche-specific channel has the potential to bring 10 times more in advertising spending per 1,000 users than if it were stand-alone. The justification here is that marketers have better odds of targeting their intended audience.

Technology will continue to play a deeper role in how the world consumes media. As more content continues to be consumed online, advertising dollars are likely to follow suit and inviting the potential for targeted advertising. Arora reckons that if a user just purchased a car, they wouldn’t want to see an advertisement for a new car. Eliminating this waste creates more value for marketers while simultaneously improving the user experience.

We’re hoping to see a world where contextual advertising really works and advertisers get smarter targeting and even better returns than they currently.

The humble banner ad is 1.5 times more effective than SMS

According to a survey by leading researcher people are more likely to make a purchase based on a banner ad than an SMS.  The company surveyed 29,000 people with Internet access from 58 countries.

The findings indicate that a mix of media and word of mouth advertising bring about the most success in raising consumer awareness, and the most persuasive awareness drivers include a mix of activities like in-store discovery, TV, print advertisements, advice from family/friends, free samples, searching the Internet, and professional/expert word-of-mouth advice.

more likely product is the banner ad

“Consumers increasingly find the Internet and mobile are compelling vehicles to get information about new products,” the firm says. “However, potential reach and ease of execution varies substantially.”

We’re not convinced that in Africa this is entire accurate but as you can see, all other methods listed are more effective than text messages. It appears that marketers may be better off reaching consumers on their mobile devices via Internet channels like search, websites,articles, forums, social media, video sharing sites, and even banner ads.

Download the rest of the report here.

The banner ad is still the affiliate’s friend

The study helps to prove the fact that it is still a very useful tool in the arsenal of any affiliate marketer. The use of these ads are however the biggest difference between making money online and making little to nothing.

Affiliate marketing campaigns are more often than not aimed at the whole population. You as a publisher should make sure that you target the correct consumers with your affiliate marketing efforts.

Tablet advertising to soon rule the roost

Initially tablets were purely for consumption but a recent study suggests that more and more, tablets are being used more actively, to research and buy all kinds of stuff – formerly the arena of the personal computer. This opens up the door to both advertisers and publishers to seriously look at tablet advertising and the opportunities it holds.

By the end 2013 tablets will account for 20 percent of Google’s paid search ad clicks in the U.S. Last year the average cost per click of ads served up on tablets rose 25 percent however there is still a gap of around 30 percent between the cost of tablet ads and desktop ads. By the close of 2013, the cost per click of advertising served up on tablets should equal that of desktops.

The mounting evidence is that for a growing number of people, the tablet has replaced the PC as a primary gadget for all kinds of computing tasks. That seems obvious to those of us who just bought a tablet, or have watched the fortunes of PC giants like HP and Dell flag.

But the big shift is that advertisers are seeing the evidence too, and are increasing the share of their search advertising budgets earmarked for mobile gadgets accordingly – almost doubling from 10 percent to 18.4 percent in 2012 alone. By the end of this year, mobile devices will account for one-third of search advertising budgets.

This begs two questions: Firstly if the tablet is becoming the PC as far as advertisers are concerned, what is the smartphone? Secondly, should advertisers be using the same ads for desktop as they do for tablets?

In our opinion, smartphone’s are still lagging behind and adverts are still fairly basic banners. With regards to the desktop vs. tablet debate it’s critical to consider the different types of inputs on the different devices. It’s pointless creating an advert that needs mouse input for a tablet so keep that in mind before investing in expensive creative that is not appropriate.

Offerforge launches Action-Based pixel tracking

As an advertiser you may potentially have the need to payout different amounts for different actions. For example, consider an advertiser who is collecting lead information for a home mortgage campaign. This advertiser may want to pay out more for leads that have higher credit scores than for ones with poor credit scores. This feature will enable advertisers to set up separate payout amounts depending on whether each lead’s action is designated “Good”, “Average” or “Poor”.

Another application example is in the casual gaming or micropayments markets where an advertiser wants to pay referral fees based on actions such as registration, activity or in-app purchase.

Action-Based Pixel tracking is the latest update to OfferForge’s current pixel structure that will allow for payout values to be set up on a per-campaign basis. The advertiser can set multiple levels of payout values and this feature can be useful for cases in which an advertiser would like to pay a different rate per lead/sale depending on the situation that is tracked.

To use Action-Based Tracking, you will first need to set up the actions that you would like to have available in your campaign. Next, each action should be assigned the appropriate payout. The actions tracked will then be viewable in the admin, affiliate, and advertiser interfaces of OfferForge.

Any lead or sale which you would like to receive an Action-Based payout will need to have an Action Keyword assigned to it at the time it is tracked. Currently this can be accomplished with pixel tracking and also for leads and sales imported through the advertiser interface.

In order to track a lead or a sale from a OfferForge pixel fire, your advertiser’s thank you page will need to append that value to the end of the pixel using the query string &action=[Action Keyword].

Open source ad server closed due to vulnerability

OpenX shutting down open source ad server

OpenX, the primary open source ad server used on the internet by sites ranging from personal blogs to major consumer publications, is opting to shut its OnRamp service suddenly after having shut the service down in early February due to a successful hacking incident.

The fundamental problem for OpenX’s OnRamp service is that it is a light-service model, operating on the assumption that a free piece of software and a thin layer of proactive protection can serve industrial-class websites. Not requiring people to pay for the web server largely foreclosed the opportunity to invest in fast-reacting security service and patch development.

OnRamp released a statement indicating that they closed due to, among other things, the “virtual impossibility of ensuring the continued security of OnRamp in an environment of increasingly sophisticated and powerful intrusions that exploit open source software, and the resources we would be required to expend to maintain the security of the service.”

The OnRamp service’s clients were shut out of their accounts yesterday, but today are enjoying access to their past performance reports. There are no ads being served, and OpenX indicates there never will be again.

OpenX does not say how many publishers and advertisers will be impacted by the decision; nor does it detail what information the hackers may have obtained when they infiltrated the site on February 9. On March 22, OnRamp will be terminated permanently.

Although OpenX lays the blame squarely on the vulnerabilities of open source in a hackers world, it also makes the case for open source still being a worthwhile thing: We have been long and proud supporters of the open source movement and we are deeply saddened that our OnRamp contribution to the movement must end due to this criminal activity, the company writes.

Conspiracy theorists are pointing to whether this was a free product influenced the decision to close down OnRamp. Without knowing hard user numbers its hard to say whether it was really a move to try to push more people to paid services, or whether the free OnRamp was cannibalizing the revenue-generating services. Assuming there was a hacking attempt its hard not to sympathise with OpenX deciding not to spend millions patching a vulnerability on a free piece of software.

Affiliate program for Photographix International launched

Photographix International has decided to launch their affiliate program, which is a cost per sale program, through

Brendin presented and lectured in Digital Photography and Photoshop courses in England and would like to pass on his vast photographic knowledge to budding and amateur photographers in South Africa and to anyone interested in Photoshop, photography, Low light & Flash photography or who just want to learn how to take that prize winning pic, by offering photography courses in South Africa.

The courses are designed to give you a good grounding and foundation into the fundamentals of photography so that at the end of the course you should be able to pick up any camera and take an exceptional photograph. You don’t need a camera for the course and we give advice on which camera to buy depending on what type of photography you are interested in.

photographix international affiliate program

Your referrals have to complete a very simple booking form for this affiliate program.

We look forward to paying you massive commissions every month!

This is a select campaign, click here to apply to run it today!

Cost per sale programs have the potential of earning affiliate marketers big commission. This offer would however need to be placed carefully as it would not appeal to everyone in South Africa. By being very specific about who you serve this offer to, you will increase your potential for sales.

Mjejane Game Reserve launches CPC campaign

Mjejane Game Reserve is situated on the banks of the Crocodile River where lush riverine forest is home to a stunning variety of birdlife, green pigeons fluttering among leaves in search of wild fruit, the haunting cry of the fish eagle and the scarlet flash of a purple-crested lourie in flight.

The 4,000 hectare reserve is located within the Kruger National Park fence and borders the southern boundary of the Park. Mjejane comprises unspoiled indigenous bush with over 10km of river frontage and the area is renowned for its superb game viewing.

Ownership option prices starting from R11 133 for a mid-week and R22 266 for a full week. Monthly installments from as little as R288 per month. Prices vary depending on the Lodge size and time of year. All purchases can be financed by the developer over a maximum period of 72 months at prime interest rate + 3%. This is the most affordable piece of Kruger anyone can own.

The key objectives of this campaign is unlock the enquiring mind and expose the end user to this unique opportunity and drive enquires. Apply to run this campaign now and start earning and get your piece of the Kruger. Your referrals have to complete a very simple form.
For an example of the form, click here.

One of our accredited consultants would like to meet with your visitors to discuss any of the issues above at a convenient time and place. All information provided will be handled in a professional and confidential manner at all times.

We look forward to paying you massive commissions every month! Travel is always a huge opportunity for affiliate marketers and this one is a gem

Start earning today by picking up this campaign.

Mjejane Game Reserve CPC affiliate marketing campaign

SIXT Car Rental launches CPS campaign

If you are looking to promote the best best car rental brand and experience then SIXT believes in listening to your fellow consumers to what they have to say about their service. This is definite if your audience are thinking about renting from a company for the first time. With customer reviews you can learn what a company is really about.

The Cost Per Sale (CPS) affiliate campaign offers you the chance to promote one of the most respected car rental brands in the world. It will especially work well on any site with a travel theme.

SIXT car rental CPS affiliate program on Offerforge

Therefore SIXT have published some of the Car Rental Reviews from all of their rental locations. We hope that with these testimonials that you will learn a lot about Sixt and how we serve you.

As Germany’s leading car rental company, SIXT is on successful Expansion course all over Europe and worldwide. Together with our Partners and Licensees, we are globally represented on more than 2.400 Service outlets.

Sixt brand name stands for:

  • The most advanced fleet of modern Cars for the best possible conditions
  • The largest Mercedes-Fleet of Cars worldwide
  • First-class partnerships with 29 renowned airlines and leading hotel-groups
  • Innovative solutions for online-services and e-commerce
  • Efficient marketing and powerful communication tools

Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with our full Publisher Agreement,

We look forward to paying you massive commissions every month!

Start earning today by picking up this affiliate campaign.

Dial Direct launches affiliate offer

Dial Direct has been an industry leader within the South African insurance marketplace. Year on year, the continued growth of Dial Direct remains the soundest proof that the philosophy of simple, smart insurance really does work.

Their affiliate program runs on a cost per lead (CPL) basis and you will earn a set cost for every qualified lead that you send through.

Dial Direct affiliate campaign: cost per lead

Dial Direct has the backing of holding company, Dial Direct UK, an established, reputable player in the European insurance market for almost a decade. This international expertise enables them to offer South Africans an international standard of short term insurance, with a nationwide, South African infrastructure. It also allows them to constantly keep abreast of trends abroad, bringing regular product innovations to the South African market.

Start earning today by picking up this campaign.

The affiliate offers available in the financial sector are always lucrative to affiliate marketers. Working on a cost per lead basis you will get paid for every lead generated.