Most forms of marketing, viral strategies among them, benefit greatly from research into the trends and habits of consumers. A market researcher reads existing consumer data and conducts original research to determine what consumers want and how to reach them. These tasks demand great attention to detail, computer literacy, and strong communication skills.
Affiliate marketing is a cost-effective and scalable way to generate more revenue for your ecommerce business. You’ll be able to leverage the expertise and web traffic of other websites and only pay affiliates after the sale has occurred. First, develop an ecommerce affiliate program strategy based on your business goals. Then reach out to other websites and  build real relationships. You’ll take part in a mutually beneficial marketing tactic and increase your ecommerce revenue in a predictable and scalable way.
For example, Dropbox started a referral program and offered extra storage space as their incentive. They took a product that people want and need and increased users quickly by offering them a little extra space, for both parties (the referrer and referral). Since customers had nothing to lose, sharing ensued. After their program was implemented they saw a huge jump in membership sign ups with an increase of about 60%.
"Just wanted to say thanks for all the link-building, help, tips and etc that you guys do for me and my site. I greatly appreciate it. My father and I went out to dinner last night and toasted you all. Why? Not only are you nice people, but now our site ranks well for several competitive phrases... If any of you are there (Pubcon conference) as well, I'm buying a round and I hope your livers are in shape. Hope to meet several of you in person." Subbu A.
Find a Location. Decide on a spot to record. If you can’t go to a professional studio, try to pick a quiet room away from distracting external sounds like sirens, opening and closing doors, and people talking on the phone. Read your script aloud, and pay attention to the room’s acoustics. Does your voice echo or sound muffled? If so, consider recording in a different space or adding furniture to fill in the room.
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[60]
The more rewards a business offers for referrals, the more effort their customers will put into finding quality referrals. AT&T Wireless offers a referral program that provides opportunities for customers to earn up to $575 a year through referrals for different services, including high-speed Internet, home phones, wireless phones, and their U-verse packages.
Now that you understand why affiliate marketing programs are so powerful for online retailers, let’s delve into how to choose a strong affiliate. Not all affiliates are created equal (or at least not their influence), so choosing one takes research on your part. You need an ecommerce affiliate program that considers your niche, content, and products and then pairs you with a merchant best suited for your products. But in order to have access to the top merchants, the program must be top-notch, like the ones on our list below.
Another way to find this information is to do a simple Google search. For example, one could place the following phrase into Google Search:  “(product name) + affiliate program”. (Replace “product name” with the name of the product you are promoting.) There is an interesting chrome addon called Affilitizer is available which makes this process easy.
Not necessarily, but a blog is really the best promotional tool. With that said, you can always use methods such as PPC or advertising to promote a product. This is more like hit-and-run affiliate marketing, however. The best way to make the most out of your affiliate marketing opportunities is to have a blog and use it for hard and soft promotion. Learn how to start a blog here.

Email marketing is the practice of nurturing leads and driving sales through email communications with your customers. Like social media, the goal is to remind users that you’re here and your product is waiting. Unlike social media, however, you can be a lot more aggressive with your sales techniques, as people expect that email marketing will contain offers, product announcements and calls to action.
Provides for effortless transfer to others. Public health nurses offer sage advice at flu season: Stay away from people who cough, wash your hands often, and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Viruses only spread when they’re easy to transmit. The medium that carries your marketing message must be easy to transfer and replicate: email, website, graphic, software download.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
After being accepted into an affiliate program, marketers receive a unique URL that includes their affiliate ID. They share that unique URL with their subscribers, site visitors, and social networks via text links or ads. When someone clicks on that link, affiliate software records that click and any resulting product sales in the affiliate’s account. When commissions reach a pre-determined threshold, the affiliate is paid.
It is very rare for an individual to enter a management role early in his or her career. Most marketing managers have spent several years working somewhere else on a marketing team. This assumes the existence of at least a bachelor's degree, but an advanced degree such as a master’s in marketing or business administration can give an aspiring manager a deciding edge.
As with offline advertising, industry participants have undertaken numerous efforts to self-regulate and develop industry standards or codes of conduct. Several United States advertising industry organizations jointly published Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising based on standards proposed by the FTC in 2009.[109] European ad associations published a similar document in 2011.[110] Primary tenets of both documents include consumer control of data transfer to third parties, data security, and consent for collection of certain health and financial data.[109]:2–4 Neither framework, however, penalizes violators of the codes of conduct.[111]

Conversion rate optimization is all about testing. Many companies get too bogged down in design and what they think looks best and will convert. At the end of the day, you don’t know until you test. At IMI, we have the tools, technology, and expertise to not only build well-optimized web pages but to test them once they go live. Our conversion rate optimization can not only save our client’s money but generate millions in revenue.


There is debate on the origination and the popularization of the specific term viral marketing, though some of the earliest uses of the current term are attributed to the Harvard Business School graduate Tim Draper and faculty member Jeffrey Rayport. The term was later popularized by Rayport in the 1996 Fast Company article "The Virus of Marketing",[12] and Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson in 1997 to describe Hotmail's practice of appending advertising to outgoing mail from their users.[13] An earlier attestation of the term is found in PC User magazine in 1989, but with a somewhat differing meaning.[14][15]
Did you know that 85% of Facebook video is watched with no sound? Many people watch videos in places where they can't turn the sound up, or where there's background noise. Those are two important reasons why video captions matter. And, of course, video captions matter for accessibility. Include captions, and you will improve you click-through rate as those with hearing loss or impairment can still understand your video content. Captions also help with SEO by providing text that search engines can find.

The solution was to create a video entitled “The Princess Machine.” In it, three bored girls build and launch a Rube Goldberg machine designed to do one task but in the most complicated way. It shows engineering skills and GoldieBlox toys, physics and chain reactions. It could be straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. And somehow it entrances the viewer for the full two minutes.


Adam Enfroy is the Affiliate Partnerships Manager at BigCommerce. With 10+ years of experience in digital marketing, ecommerce, SEO, web development, and selling online courses, he is passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth. Adam lives in Austin, TX and writes about building your online influence by scaling your content and affiliate marketing strategies on his blog.

The effectiveness of a referral program depends, in part, on when a user is prompted to make a referral. If a user is prompted to make a referral right after an unhappy experience your chance of them making a referral is low because they don’t want to tell their friends about bad products. On the flip side, if a user is prompted right after a happy moment they are much more likely to make a referral even if the have previously had a bad experience.
Any of various extremely small, often disease-causing agents consisting of a particle (the virion), containing a segment of RNA or DNA within a protein coat known as a capsid. Viruses are not technically considered living organisms because they are devoid of biological processes (such as metabolism and respiration) and cannot reproduce on their own but require a living cell (of a plant, animal, or bacterium) to make more viruses. Viruses reproduce first either by injecting their genetic material into the host cell or by fully entering the cell and shedding their protein coat. The genetic material may then be incorporated into the cell's own genome or remain in the cytoplasm. Eventually the viral genes instruct the cell to produce new viruses, which often cause the cell to die upon their exit. Rather than being primordial forms of life, viruses probably evolved from rogue pieces of cellular nucleic acids. The common cold, influenza, chickenpox, smallpox, measles, mumps, yellow fever, hemorrhagic fevers, and some cancers are among the diseases caused by viruses.
By increasing the exposure of your brand and delivering value to your audience, you have a stronger likelihood of getting the success you need in your viral marketing campaign. Awareness is required even if the content is great so that people can share and make it popular. You need to create something that pulls in the kind of attention that will spread.
This “use” can be as simple as wanting to see a hated popstar get his image shredded. It can be finding out how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Besides use, today’s consumers want to feel like they’re part of your product. This can be as simple as rewarding them with your product for an action, or including them vicariously through visual content that incorporate people just like them.

Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[22] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[26]
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.
We respectfully disagree. While you can't guarantee a piece of content will go viral, you can certainly build in viral characteristics that dramatically improve your odds. At Viral Shot, we have created numerous pieces of content for clients that have gained significant traction, generated thousands of leads and helped spread brand awareness. We do have a fairly simple formula that works very well.
When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
The first known large-scale non-commercial spam message was sent on 18 January 1994 by an Andrews University system administrator, by cross-posting a religious message to all USENET newsgroups.[12] In January 1994 Mark Eberra started the first email marketing company for opt in email list under the domain Insideconnect.com. He also started the Direct Email Marketing Association to help stop unwanted email and prevent spam. [13] [14]

He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website Fixwillpower.com. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.
Why should you bother with referral marketing? You wouldn’t even think to ask that question if you were running a small brick-and-mortar store on your own: You’d just do it, or lose out to others that did. Nobody had to explain to Balthazar the Blacksmith why he should reward his customers for bringing friends in- the value is self-evident. You make your customers happy, you make their friends happy, you get more business. Win-Win-Win.

Network marketers have long understood the power of these human networks, both the strong networks as well as the weaker networked relationships. People on the Internet develop networks of relationships, too. They collect email addresses and favorite website URLs. Affiliate programs exploit such networks, as do permission email lists. Learn to place your message into existing communications between people, and you rapidly multiply its dispersion.
Well, here's the thing. We knew about the Facebook's false numbers more than two years ago. But it is almost as if we overlooked that news because we were obsessed with something else in the fall of 2016. The fact is that the lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly covering up the inflated numbers is what shook most people in journalism and the marketing world. Facebook denies claims of a longterm cover-up. But they have admitted, many many times, that the metrics are imperfect, to say the least.
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
Despite its older origins, email marketing is still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists they can use to promote the seller’s products. Others may leverage email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning a commission after the consumer purchases the product. Another method is for the affiliate to cultivate email lists over time. They use their various campaigns to collect emails en masse, then send out emails regarding the products they are promoting.
In the 2000s, with more and more Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers started searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company. In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address.[12] These problems made marketers find the digital ways for market development.
"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.
Choose a niche. As defined by the Business Dictionary, a niche is a “small but profitable segment of a market, suitable for focused attention by a marketer”. In other words, a market niche is large enough to be monetizable (enough members to make it worth wile targeting) – and small enough to be described by just a couple of common parameters, such as age, interests, tech usage, habits, etc.
Reward Variety – The type of rewards you offer your users is a crucial element to the performance of your program. If you can offer multiple types of rewards you can help satisfy different referral behavior. Look at how Istockphoto structures their referral program. They understand that power users have a different motivation to refer than their casual users so they designed their program to satisfy both types of users.
If you would like to take a more subtle approach, include a product or service from your company that relates into your blog post. For example, let’s say that you are a wine connoisseur and that is what your blog is based around. In any post that is enticing your readers to open up a good bottle of Merlot or what have you, it would be wise to embed an ad for a quality, easy-to-use wine opener, wine glasses or stoppers that keep the wine fresh.

But beyond video’s unique ability to convert like no other, the medium has become especially valuable to data-driven marketers. This is because you can track and measure audience engagement for video in a really meaningful way. You can tie your videos directly to the deals they’re helping to influence and you can see which assets are actually resonating based on content engagement analytics. This is the reporting that marketing desperately needs to identify their most engaged leads faster and prove the value of game-changing initiatives.
Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others. Few work as well as the simple Hotmail strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain all these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:
Find websites and successful bloggers whose audience falls in line with your target market and invite them to become an affiliate. Use platforms like Linkdex or Buzzsumo to get an idea of which influencers are generating the best content in your niche. Another easy way to find influencers may be with a quick Google search. Type in a description of your target audience and scroll through the results to find online businesses or bloggers you can contact.
Apple maintains it’s viral appeal, with the iPhone X through their launch of the "Selfies on iPhone X" campaign. The secret to this example of viral marketing (which has clocked up over millions views both online and offline) is very simple: a product so great that it turns people into fans of the brand all on its own. People love themselves. If they have the possibility of spreading this love digitally through selfies, it’s almost a guaranteed win. The iPhone X’s brilliant selfie feature spread virally through various media forms before apple repurposed the viral content into one masterpiece, the iPhone X selfies film. As one of the YouTube comments says, “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen”… This viral marketing through video has allowed Apple to spread key features such as their Portrait Lighting effects and their TrueDepth camera.
Referral marketing is a powerful conversion tactic, as people value “realness” and are more apt to try a product or service that’s recommended by a friend or some other trusted source than something they come across via traditional advertising. Referrals can come from friends, influencers, product reviews, news articles, and testimonials. In order to launch a successful referral campaign, brands must offer compelling incentives so customers want to refer others. They must also make the referral process as easy to use as possible. Additionally, brands must treat their referral program as they would a new product launch and educate both customers and employees on how the program works.
Hi, thanks for a great blog. In our office we have a debate going on about whether all of this video hype that we’re experiencing from basically everywhere today is really just, well, a hype.. In line with more and more companies using video marketing, text as we know it might fade out, pictures as we know them might fade out, but if everybody starts using video, what will then happen? Today, video is commonly seen as a way to stand out and capture users’ attention, but what if every brand start publishing video solely? Will we still want to see as much video? Will we need to capture the viewers’ attention in 2 seconds instead of 10? What do you think it requires for companies to succeed with videos and stay on top if everybody else is doing the same? 
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