"Looks great. Organic traffic has been holding steady at Feb/March levels when normally it declines from April onwards. Because of the seasonal nature of the business it is difficult to measure the exact impact, but I can tell you our organic traffic is currently almost 3 times what it was this time last year. All down to you guys! The trick for us is to try and sustain it throughout the summer, keeping our slow season as short as possible!" Ivan L.

Firstly, we covered off a little bit about what viral marketing is – other than one of a long line of buzzphrases that we’re so fond of in this industry of ours. Then we shared a few of my favourite examples of viral content, and finally, we left them with a playbook of sorts that aims to offer some guidance on how to go about creating earth-shattering virals!


Partner programs typically have a much more rigorous admission process than affiliate programs and come with some legal obligations. The admission processes can included paying fees, going through a certification program and/or attending training sessions. Due to this rigorous process partners are able to state officially that they are associated with your company and may be listed on your company website as a way of vouching for them.

Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.
The disadvantages to consider with viral marketing include the nuisance factor. Due to the large amount of email people receive daily, viral marketing messages may be viewed as spam. Another consideration is negative marketing buzz. A message may not be construed as intended, and could be discussed in a negative manner. Viral marketing can also be hard to measure. 
This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

A successful customer referral program can become the lifeblood of your business, but it won’t do anything if it’s not backed by the proper resources. The program should be strategically planned out, regularly measured, and managed on an ongoing basis. When you invest in your program, you can see unimaginable growth through this marketing channel (just look at the ROI of referral marketing by different industries). You can’t achieve success if you’re treating your referral program as an afterthought. Successful programs need structure and commitment from within your company. For this reason, many brands choose automated and streamlined platforms to ensure ease and satisfaction from both a consumer and company perspective.


Digital marketing is probably the fastest-changing marketing field out there: New tools are being built, more platforms emerge and more channels need to be included into your marketing plan. How not to get overwhelmed while staying on top of the latest marketing trends? Here are a few tools that help you scale and automate some parts of your marketing routine making you a more productive and empowered marketer: Tools to Semi-Automate Marketing Tasks 1.
Another way companies research what consumers want is through customer surveys. Most of these surveys simply ask the customers what rewards or incentives would be most likely to get them to participate in a referral program. Marketers brainstorm a list of possible rewards to include with surveys, and also ask customers to offer their own alternatives.

Viral marketing includes any strategy that encourages the individual to expand the marketing message to others, creating the potential for its exponential growth in terms of availability. Like viruses, such marketing strategies use an advantage of the fast multiplication to deliver the message to thousands or millions of people.
Twenty years ago, the reach of an average person was relatively small; for the most part, referrals were made face to face or over the phone. Today, with social media and review websites, the average person’s audience is enormous. They can reach hundreds if not thousands of friends and acquaintances in a matter of minutes with a simple Facebook post, Yelp review, or other public-facing review.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon.[45] The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
In fact, the biggest challenges of video marketing in 2017 are strategic: How to build a solid and effective video marketing strategy, how to create content that people want to consume, and how to create engaging videos that get shared. Additionally, video content marketers need to have a solid understanding of metrics, and how they indicate a video’s success and areas for improvement.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, attempts to improve a website's organic search rankings in SERPs by increasing the website content's relevance to search terms. Search engines regularly update their algorithms to penalize poor quality sites that try to game their rankings, making optimization a moving target for advertisers.[51][52] Many vendors offer SEO services.[24]:22
Social media marketing on its own is free to use, as is content marketing if you’re creating and managing the content yourself. Several email marketing platforms have free plans for your first few hundred or thousand subscribers, giving you time to get your revenue increasing before you have to start paying. There are even free keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner that can help you optimize your site at no cost.

The first step is finding out what would be considered valuable to your clients. This can vary based on your clientele and the nature of what you’re offering. If your clients are part of an interactive online community you might consider something that differentiates them from their peers. For example, if you’re in the video game industry you could offer a character armor set as a referral incentive. If you feel like your clientele/fanbase is ravenous, you can offer referrers early access to your new products. Dropbox offered additional free storage to clients who convinced friends to sign up for the service.
Firstly, we covered off a little bit about what viral marketing is – other than one of a long line of buzzphrases that we’re so fond of in this industry of ours. Then we shared a few of my favourite examples of viral content, and finally, we left them with a playbook of sorts that aims to offer some guidance on how to go about creating earth-shattering virals!
Cost per action/sale methods require that referred visitors do more than visit the advertiser's website before the affiliate receives a commission. The advertiser must convert that visitor first. It is in the best interest of the affiliate to send the most closely targeted traffic to the advertiser as possible to increase the chance of a conversion. The risk and loss are shared between the affiliate and the advertiser.
Before the challenge, ALS was known to much fewer people. But things changed after the challenge, and it was everywhere on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, news, events, etc. The reason was the visibility created by the campaign. You need to create awareness about your brand through various marketing channels. People will prefer to buy from you only if they know about you.

Many customers may not be willing to take part in referral marketing program simply because they don’t know how the personal details collected will be used by the company. It is better to build rapport with the company by asking them to rate your product or subscribe to newsletters. Before announcing the referral marketing program, privacy clauses and confidentiality clauses should be communicated to them so that they feel confident about referring people to you.
"IMN has been awesome to work with and my experience so far has been great. You guys have exceeded my expectations and I just wanted to share my opinion of IMN and the team you have. Your group as been transparent, delivered on the goods and gone above an beyond. I just wanted to thank you for the call today, for the work you've done so far, and let you know that I am very excited about what you've done so far and what we can do together in this niche space together. We will be working on the tasks on our end and look forward to expanding on our relationship next year. Great service deserves recognition and anything I can do to help promote IMN please let me know! Let's kick some ass together this year!" Mark B.
Monetary or Non-Monetary Incentives – Choosing the reward for your referral program should not be approached simply. You need to understand what your users are motivated by and then offer prizes designed to reward that behavior. For example, they may be more interested in having access to premium features, getting company swag or even funny things like a dancing cat.
Viral marketing can be less expensive than traditional marketing campaigns, yet grow faster — especially with the help of social networks as a "force multiplier." Since it can receive so much traffic in a short time, it can also lead to mainstream media attention. Social media can also cause viral marketing efforts to misfire, as messages are altered, misconstrued, considered spam or called out for missing the mark. Viral marketing success can also be hard to measure.
Old Spice is still the king of viral marketing with its humorous and out-of-the-box ad campaigns. It came out with its brand character, the Old Spice man who appeared in “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign in 2010. The Old Spice man Isaiah Mustafa created a stir with his ad, which was created to appeal to the female audience and give a subtle message to men to buy Old Spice. The ad video got amazing positive reviews and YouTube views, garnering more than 54 million views to date on YouTube.
At this point, the consumer is weighing their options and deciding on the purchase. Therefore, the goal of this kind of video is to make your audience visualize themselves using your product or service — and thriving. There’s a reason 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Videos are able to display functionality and leverage emotions in ways a product description never could.
Definition: Unique Selling Proposition or USP is the one feature or the perceived benefit of a good which makes it unique from the rest of the competing brands in the market. It is that very reason which motivates a buyer to purchase that product even though it might be costlier than other products. Description: Unique Selling Proposition or USP is a very important concept used during the time when a company promotes its product through its advertisements in both TV as well as print media which eventually attracts a consumer to buy a particular product. The key to boost the sales of the product effectively through advertising is to highlight the USP of the product prominently. Unless you highlight the USP, consumers will not be tempted to buy your product. Every product should have its own USP, which makes it stand apart from other products in the similar category. USP is different for different products. Let’s take an example of a restaurant which is very famous across the world for its quick Subway Sandwiches. The company makes the sandwiches healthier for consumers. Consumers who are looking for a quick meal can walk into any subway outlet and get a quick sandwich made, which contains nutritional value. In this way the company is able to create its own niche market across town in India. The USP of the product is a nutritious sandwich at an affordable price. USP is a very important component in developing the product. A strong unique selling proposition makes you stand apart and also plays an important role in branding your product. But, USP alone can guarantee to a product’s success. Superior product quality and at par service, both before and after-sale are very important in creating the foundations of a market for a product. Always remember, with a distinct USP, the company doesn’t even have to bother about competition because if you have developed something which has not been developed by others, then you are the only player or a market leader in that specific product category (Example – iPpod by Apple).
The new digital era has enabled brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer's recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services,[38] This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era.
"YOU ROCK JIM! I took the advice you gave me and made the changes you recommended to our website. You said it would take a little more than one month for the updates to take effect, so I stuck with it and didn't make any additional tweaks even though our rank went down. I just checked our rankings after Google's latest update and we're [edited out]. THANK YOU! In the amount of time we had together you gave advice on my on page optimization and content, and gave linking advice, and it worked beautifully. I can't wait to learn more from you." Jason H.

For example, digital purchases and physical product orders are treated differently. In general, any order that a customer places within 24 hours of reaching Amazon through one of your links is counted towards your commission. And, if they add something to their cart during this period, as long as they checkout within 89 days of their initial click through, you’ll receive credit for the completed transaction. 

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products. This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the amount of commissions you make and create a steady stream of revenue when building an affiliate website. 
An important step is to get out and talk to prospective publishers and business partners. Do they participate in affiliate programs already? What has the yield been in terms of performance? What are the typical revshares that ad networks are taking? What are typical conversion rates? What would be the incentive for publishers and business partners to promote your products and services?
In 2014, A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge was among the best viral marketing challenges examples in the social network. Millions of people on the social media started filming themselves, pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and sharing the video with their friends. The challenge was created to give support for fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. People finished the challenge and then nominated the next person they knew on the social media to take the same challenge. By following this trend, Ice Bucket Challenge became a 'fab' on social media with many online celebrities such as Tyler Oakley, Zoe Sugg and huge celebrities and entrepreneurs like Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates participating.[76] Until September 2014, over 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos had been posted on Facebook, and 28 million people had uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts. And about 3.7 million videos had been uploaded on Instagram with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge.[77] The ALS association didn't invent the ice bucket challenge, but they sure received a huge amount of donation from this activity. It raised a reported $220 million worldwide for A.L.S. organisations, and this amount is thirteen times as much donation as what it had in the whole preceding year in just eight weeks.[78]

Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[22][23] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
Within your channel itself, you can also organize videos into playlists, making it easy for your audience to search within your content. As a social platform, viewers can engage with your videos by liking and commenting on them, providing you another chance to interact with your audience. YouTube also offers a variety of advertising options for more sophisticated targeting.

"Convert" videos may include a webinar filled with tactical advice, product demos sent via email, landing page promotional videos, case studies, or more in-depth explainer and how-to videos. For example, while an "attract" video might provide a quick tip for nailing a sales pitch, a "convert" video could be an animated explainer video that breaks down the inbound sales methodology.
To scale your outreach efforts, Mediarails is a great affiliate automation tool. It allows you to filter websites by monthly site visitors, social followers, and other metrics to create a list of potential website partners. With this list, you develop an automated recruiting email series based on the website’s vertical. For example, your outbound messaging to a blogger may be different than your messaging to a coupon site.
Online advertisers can collect data on their ads' effectiveness, such as the size of the potential audience or actual audience response,[19]:119 how a visitor reached their advertisement, whether the advertisement resulted in a sale, and whether an ad actually loaded within a visitor's view.[59][60]:59 This helps online advertisers improve their ad campaigns over time.
NGDATA helps brands in data-rich industries such as financial services, retail, telecom, media/entertainment, utilities and hospitality, to capitalize on emerging opportunities in their customer data and to drive profitable customer experiences by supercharging analytics and campaign efficiency. The company’s Intelligent Customer Data Platform (CDP) puts people at the centre of every business via Customer DNA, which continuously learns from customer behaviour and context in real time. NGDATA partners with companies around the world, including Belfius Bank, Innogy and Telenet, to drive digital transformations. NGDATA is headquartered in Gent, Belgium and has offices in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
RewardStream’s Neil Parker says that one of the most common reasons referral programs fail is because of poorly trained team members. “Your referral marketing programs experience the greatest success when your employees are aware of the program, and can explain it to customers,” Parker says. “Everyone in your organization should understand the referral program, and your customer-facing team members should be able to explain it clearly to customers.”
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