Affiliate talks: Vladislav Bochkaryov
The guest of today’s interview is Vladislav Bochkaryov. Vladislav worked as an affiliate manager and then went on to drive traffic. He managed to work with Facebook (banned in the Russian Federation), SEO, teaser networks, and Twitter. Right now, the main source of traffic for Vladislav is TikTok. We talked about campaign tests, how to switch from Facebook to TikTok, ROI, campaigns, and many other things. Enjoy!
1) Hello, Vladislav! You used to work as an affiliate manager in an affiliate network. Tell us, at what point did you realize that you could start working by yourself and go solo in affiliate marketing? What were your first outcomes like?
When I worked as an affiliate manager, I never stopped running my own tests because I would not be able to help publishers in the best way without my own experience + I was always testing every difficult issue on my own, which only helped to expand my knowledge in affiliate marketing. First, I started with Facebook. At that time, it was much easier than now, it was possible to upload hundreds of accounts’ campaigns without using anti-detect browsers and proxies, and not be afraid of getting instantly banned. So, the profit was bigger and always came faster, especially for nutra. After leaving my affiliate program, I began to devote more time to tests and generating hypotheses, which allowed me to grow in profit by 4 times. During the work, I gained enough experience, so I needed more hands or time to apply it.
2) You have been working with Facebook for about 5 years. Why did you decide to switch to TikTok, despite five years of expertise in Facebook and despite the fact that Facebook is still the most relevant source of traffic for 60-70% of affiliates?
Since I love affiliate marketing and analytics, it has been very difficult for me to work with Facebook in recent years. Most of the time I wasn’t doing marketing but fiddling with accounts that were getting banned. Instead of advertising analytics, I had to analyze my own actions to a greater extent, which led or didn’t lead to bans. Therefore, after TikTok’s targeted ads came into the Russian market, I immediately began testing in the hope that there would be fewer bans and I could devote more time to advertising analytics. And so, it happened. Facebook is a large traffic source with the best optimization options, so it is popular among affiliates. I doubt that this will change in the near future. However, I believe that sooner or later, TikTok will catch up with Facebook in terms of optimization, which means I will have the skills to work with two top traffic sources. Although TikTok is not as big as Facebook, many affiliates already drive more traffic from TikTok than from Facebook.
3) What traffic sources other than Facebook and TikTok have you worked with? Perhaps it was the teaser networks, Google, Twitter, or anything else? Tell us about your experience.
For all my time in affiliate marketing, I managed to test:
A) Teaser networks – I started with them (Oblivki, AdvertLink).
B) Direct + Yandex Advertising Network – I used to drive traffic from this source to my products when I was an advertiser.
C) Twitter – I did dating offers spamming.
D) myTarget – I used to drive traffic from Odnoklassniki, it’s a good source in terms of traffic quality, but not quantity.
E) VKontakte public pages – those were good times when they hadn’t banned most offers yet.
F) SEO – I was promoting my websites for nutra but then I stopped doing that.
4) Tell us about the main differences between TikTok and Facebook. How can an affiliate prepare for a successful transition from Facebook to TikTok? What are the key aspects to consider?
Consider these nuances, be ready for tests, and your transition from Facebook to TikTok will be as comfortable and productive as possible:
A) On TikTok, optimization options are worse than on Facebook. Therefore, you should not expect that you will get to drive lots of campaigns and everything will be fine like it was on Facebook. I recommend conducting analytics of the target audience before running campaigns and creating groups according to the identified criteria of the target audience, taking into account the results of the analysis.
B) TikTok works with different creatives, direct-selling formats show worse long-term results than native approaches in the video review format. Therefore, test a diverse number of different hypotheses, video sequences, and approaches – this is what will lead your campaign approach to a good ROI.
C) If the product in the creative doesn’t match the product on the landing page (even if it’s different in color), then your creatives will be blocked, so be prepared for this.
D) Be sure to keep analytics for all your actions and tests. Analytics is 20% of your actions that will bring you 80% of the result. Tested the native approach? Then write down the test results. Tested multiple pixel events? Then write down the results of the test. Completing this step will speed up your transition and help you beat your competitors faster.
E) The more creatives you make for different approaches, the more effective your tests will be in any of the traffic sources.
F) TikTok is a balance-dependent traffic source: the more money you have in your account, the more traffic you can get.
5) What’s TikTok’s ROI like? With Facebook, you can make ROIs of 150-250% or more for nutra offers in foreign GEOs. What is the maximum ROI that’s possible in TikTok, in your opinion?
ROI depends solely on the campaign approach and hypothesis. Therefore, I believe that there are no differences in the sources – there are differences in the experience of each affiliate. If you know how to create profitable campaign approaches for Facebook, then with the proper TikTok approach, your ROI will be no less than you used to get on Facebook. Also, answering the question about the maximum possible ROI on TikTok, I would say that there are no limits there, there are no average values, and everything depends on experience and approach. I believe that you can get a juicy ROI in any traffic source if you know how to work with the source.
6) You wrote that you are actively working with agency ad accounts on TikTok. Tell us, where do you get these accounts? Why work with regular accounts if there are those for agencies? How to drive traffic from agency ad accounts and what are the pitfalls there?
A) Any public and private agencies give out agency ad accounts for white offers, there are no problems with this. Also, most affiliate networks give out their agency ad accounts, you just need to ask the manager.
B) In addition to agency ad accounts, I work with personal accounts when I drive nutra traffic. But when working with nutra currently, I don’t use agency ad accounts. It’s because the majority of agencies no longer give their accounts for nutra traffic goals, and those that do, live an average of 2 days. After a Business Center ban, your money is frozen in your account, and you have to wait for the Business Center to be unbanned in order to get it to a new account and run a new campaign. There are no such problems with personal accounts, they can be created in unlimited quantities, so I recommend working with post-pay personal accounts.
C) To work with nutra through personal or any other accounts, I recommend following these rules that will help prolong the life of your campaign approaches:
C.1) Your creatives must be relevant to the white page you’re using.
C.2) Do not skimp on the cloaking service, TikTok moderators are witty and can break through poorly configured cloaking.
C.3) Don’t be creative, it’s better to risk your conversions but that’ll pay off due to a longer account life.
C.4) Use one account for one campaign approach. This way, when your account gets banned, you won’t lose all your traffic at once.
C.5) Use different supplies for different accounts: domains, cards, white pages, etc. This way, your campaign approaches on different accounts will not overlap and will last longer.
C.6) Use trust payments and you will forget about micro spends.
8) When talking about TikTok, what is the best payment format for nutra offers: CPA or CPL?
Any of the possible ones. I repeat – it all depends on the approach, the main thing is to keep in mind that nutra accounts don’t live long, the primary task is to squeeze all the juices out of the account in a couple of days. With this in mind, choose an offer that you can take the most from, use one account in a couple of days in the most effective way possible.
9) How difficult is it now to make up creatives for TikTok (because there are very few spying services for this source)? What are the ideal CTR rates for nutra there?
There are very good spy services for TikTok. Making creatives is no more difficult than doing that for Facebook, it’s just a mix of different hypotheses and approaches, and their implementation depends on your experience in making creatives. Plus, no one forbids spying and improving other people’s creatives on TikTok. Whether you do white offers or nutra, I recommend aiming for a 1.5% CTR.
10) Vladislav, tell us about your algorithm for testing offers for TikTok, what indicators you look at, what matters most, and what you can you neglect?
It’s truly a topic for a separate extensive article. However, I will try to answer briefly and clearly (if you have any questions – then text me in a PM or leave a comment):
A) Test algorithm: create at least 3 creatives for your offer, then create 4 groups and add 3 creatives to each group. Then, calculate the maximum cost of a lead, at which you will break even. During tests, disable groups if they exceed the maximum cost without leads, and leave those groups that bring leads below the marginal cost. We can scale campaigns with these groups by duplicating them. If none of the groups worked out, I advise you to change your creatives. This is a standard, not in-depth offer test. There are many variations, and it is difficult to fit them into this answer. The main thing is to understand one important rule: if you don’t succeed, then that means, in most cases, that you’re doing something wrong. Any offer can be turned into a profit, the main thing is to find an approach for it. The most important indicator for me is the cost of a lead. Even when having a high CTR, you can be left without leads and can get cheap leads with a low CTR, and vice versa. Therefore, I would recommend looking at the price of the lead, and all other indicators are secondary and are only needed to complete your campaign approach.
11) There are a lot of automation services for Facebook, while the situation is much poorer with TikTok. Tell us, what services do you use when working with TikTok?
None at the moment. The advertising account itself is enough for me. I don’t even use automated rules, because, as practice shows, when working with rules, I lose 20% of my income, because sometimes the rules are stupid, don’t work, and are too late.
12) How can a solo affiliate adequately scale a campaign approach on TikTok? Tell us, what are the risks and how much does ROI decrease after scaling?
You can scale only by using a dozen accounts – nothing else works. ROI always decreases when scaling, this is our sacrifice for bigger volumes. In my experience, ROI can drop on average by 15-20%. The fact is that not every account can have success with its campaign approach when you scale it, so you will lose money on such failed campaigns. Plus, automated bans due to low-quality supplies or any other flops are still possible.
13) Vladislav, as far as I know, you have been living in Bali for more than a month. Tell us how expensive life is there and how promising is this place to move to?
I lived in Bali for 3 months and recently moved to Georgia. If we compare the prices, then Bali turned out to be no more expensive for me than living in Samara. It is important to consider that I had already seen all the main sights and wasn’t spending money on long trips to other islands or volcanoes. For a comfortable life, if you live together with someone else, don’t cook for yourself, eat only in cafes, rent a villa with a pool and rent a bike, then 150k rubles will be enough. In Samara, I was spending this much to live in a month, too. For me, Bali is a great place for spending winters, but nothing more. You get used to the beauty around you so quickly and the problems that you face daily come to the fore: a lot of insects, laundry problems (they don’t have washing machines in every house), and a lack of decent medicine. And what is most unpleasant for me is the endless heat, because of which I never wanted to leave the house during the day. The heat also affects your productivity, you become too lazy to do anything and just want to lie on the bed watching TV shows. Living in Bali is not expensive, but I don’t want to live there for a long time, at the moment. Now, I’m testing Georgia as a place to live, which is more expensive than Bali, although at first it, doesn’t seem like it…
14) Have you had experience in launching training courses/lessons together with affiliate programs? Tell us, are you planning to launch your own full-on training?
I already have personal mentoring in TikTok. I don’t advertise it in public, I work with those who contact me themselves. Such an individual approach takes a lot of time, so making large-scale launches means losing the quality of my training.
15) Tell us a little about your blog. Why did you create it, what does it bring you, and why did you stop writing articles?
The goal: to make sure that everyone who subscribes to my blog loves affiliate marketing the way I love it. What it brings me: networking + students + the opportunity to share my life and thoughts with followers. Why I rarely write: I have more than 80 topics for posts, but I idealize posts too much and write them for several hours so that they are as detailed and useful as possible. It takes a lot of time, and the result of each post in the long term is unknown, which can reduce my motivation. I will try to optimize the article writing process in order to write more and not lose quality.
16) Give your advice to those who read the interview till the end.
The main advice that will solve all your problems in affiliate marketing: create a table in which you will analyze all the actions done, from testing offers to testing ad copies. Even if you don’t know how to drive traffic, analytics will help you learn faster and get better results over the course. Thanks to analytics, each of your subsequent campaigns will be better than the previous one. It is the extensive analytical base, collected over a year of work, that helps me to work with any offer and GEO without much difficulty.