automated monitoring

Automated Monitoring is key against advertising fraud

In the digital age, brand protection is more complicated than it ever has been, but also more essential. Making use of automated monitoring systems to protect your brand against advertising fraud is a great way to preserve your brand reputation for a future of growth.

Customers are becoming increasingly aware of how their personal data is being used and abused online. Over a third of people are reporting a distrust of adverts on both social networks as well as in search engines. People are beginning to realise that the top adverts in a search engine result are not always the best result, and consumers are significantly less likely to pay attention to adverts if they do not already recognise the company name, meaning that adverts are becoming less and less effective.

Increase in Fraudulent Behaviour

This means that businesses are needing to take more time and care with their branding and advertising to promote integrity and protect themselves against fraud, particularly advertising fraud.

If a third party organisation is using a company’s intellectual property without proper authorisation, customers can end up confused and not know which is the real company, resulting in significant potential harm for the company. Customers are likely to not know what businesses are actually offering or the company values.

Throughout the digital era, advertising fraud has become increasingly prevalent. This can be particularly noticeable in marketing strategies such as affiliate marketing. When used right, affiliate marketing can be extremely beneficial however it comes with several risks which should be addressed.

Affiliate Marketing

Working with affiliate partners is a highly effective marketing technique used by companies of all sizes and standings to improve their reach, conversions and audience engagement. Affiliates offer companies the opportunity to create long-standing relationships with wider audiences through the affiliate partner who has taken the time to build up a loyal audience.

However, paid searches can be an area where affiliate marketing and traditional marketing channels can collide given the competition which occurs between the two forms of marketing. When affiliate marketing campaigns appear alongside paid marketing on a search engine results page, the two links will compete with one another and could result in customers being put off by not knowing if the links are trustworthy. Although the company is still ultimately gaining a sale, this competition can also drive up the cost of traffic, with more people clicking the affiliate link companies are required to pay premium affiliate fees rather than the cheaper cost-per-click (CPC) rates found in paid marketing campaigns.

There are also a lot of instances where affiliate marketers have been seen to hijack adverts that are already being used by brands, which means that the users are seeing nothing out of the ordinary but the brands are experiencing a significant increase in costs since they are having to pay affiliates more and their paid advertisement is going unused.

As well as the financial cost to businesses of this kind of advertising fraud, companies can experience a reputation loss amongst other affiliates which can reduce the opportunity to work with quality affiliate partners in the future. Affiliate marketing agencies tend to spend a lot of time working on positive, sustainable relationships with brands, and brands which feature well-run and easily accessible affiliate channels are the ones which are likely to attract the best affiliate partners. These partners are ones which effectively help brands to reach new audiences through promotion and endorsement.

If businesses take more care to monitor their brand and their advertisement techniques properly, it can reduce the chances for customers to be distracted, meaning that customers are led straight to where they are aiming to be, making a more positive experience for customers as well as a more efficient, profitable customer journey for the business.

Protect your brand

Brands themselves should be the ones taking precautions against advertising fraud, rather than leaving this task up to the customers. Businesses should be making sure that they are making decisions based on the information they have and are taking active steps to reduce the risks of advertising fraud. This includes researching how these risks may present themselves across a number of channels and identifying and implementing ways to protect their brand.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, companies should monitor their affiliates to stay trustworthy and efficient. This can be done through manual monitoring or automated monitoring.

Manual monitoring involves someone using a search engine to search for a particular set of keywords and monitoring which adverts are appearing. This, however, takes up a lot of time and can still actually be ineffective due to the lack of variables captured by carrying out these searches from just one location, as well as the fact that these fraudulent adverts can often look almost identical to the real thing.

Automated monitoring, however, is a much more time-efficient way of ensuring that all affiliate partners are monitored constantly, with any false advertisement able to be identified and removed extremely quickly. This helps to preserve the customer journey as well as keep marketing costs low for the business itself.

Automated monitoring also allows for brand reputation to be preserved, allowing companies to work with successful and trustworthy affiliates in the future, which promotes the brand further.

Brand protection is more important than ever in the digital era, now that there are more opportunities for fraudulent activity, however, there is also now significantly more room for brand improvement as well.

If you want to learn even more about affiliate marketing, come along to the Elevate Summit. Hurry though, the event takes place next week so it’s your last chance to grab tickets!

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