Three Best Practices to Avoid (or Possibly Eliminate) Fraud in Campaigns

Campaign Management

 

Nothing pulls at your emotions like a well thought-out campaign that underperforms. You made sure the copy was effective, the creative was spot-on, and you chose the right platform, but the results you receive somewhat feel “off” as if they were… fraudulent.

Unfortunately fraud happens all too often in advertising and marketing because you are only given so much data; it’s still a lot of data that is collected but it’s not always that all the pieces are there. So then what could one do to avoid (or possibly eliminate) these fraudulent moments so money isn’t wasted and the campaign is reaching genuine individuals?

Here are but a few of the best practices you should keep in mind for your campaigns.

Qualifying Traffic Sources

Have you ever launched a campaign and noticed an influx of clicks coming from regions you have no business to do with? Did your campaign suddenly gain an influx of likes and shares from individuals that have a shell of a profile? It’s likely that the traffic source you chose to use tends to send unqualified traffic which inflates the numbers and have no real impact on the ROI other than making it look like the campaign is gaining traction.

To dodge the issue:

  1. Qualify the traffic source by researching what others have to say or by conducting a limited campaign to collect data of your own.
  2. When creating the campaign be sure to select a scope which forbids traffic from particular geographical regions, demographics, income, and other factors.
  3. Specify which traffic sources you personally ban when handing over the campaign work to a third party service provider.

In doing these your campaign should be delivered to the ideal parties that will provide an accurate conversion rate (rather than click spikes that can throw off your data).

Variety in Tracking & Tools

Advertising platforms generally provide ad & campaign tracking (though not sure why you would choose to go with one that doesn’t but they’re out there). However, do you want to place your complete trust in their tracking? What if they skew the numbers? You would never find out.

To avoid fraudulent clicks and conversions it would be within your best interest to use multiple tracking systems so that you may compare data and validate the traffic, clicks, and conversions.

You may place trust in your service provider but do take the time to use additional tracking tools of your own such as Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, or ClickTale.

Likewise, you may want to invest in fraud detection tools such as Ad Watcher or Click Tracks which can monitor click patterns and generate reports to help you understand whether your advertising & marketing efforts are being the victim of fraud.

Consider the Investment

It’s likely that much of your campaigns will be done so through PPC or CPA means but these are obviously the ones that are the most common advertising methods to fall victim to fraud.

You can’t rightly dodge them completely because you would miss out on incredible opportunities. What you can do is be smart about your investment into these advertising types.

Make these a rule:

  1. Always start with small scale tests
  2. Always ensure the campaign is highly targeted
  3. Always work with reputable service providers
  4. Always scale after analytics have proven the platform effective
  5. Always monitor your competition leverage their research

By keeping a level head when investing in your advertising you will be able to avoid many fraudulent issues that come with the attempts. Simply put: If you don’t want to lose a great deal of money on a campaign then start off small, get your data, and then make a logical choice versus believing the hype and giving the full-go with the budget.

 

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