Trust goes a long way when it comes to convincing someone to buy something. If we don't trust someone, we aren't going to listen to them. Consider the last time a salesperson you know is on commission tried to sell you something. You likely had doubts about his authenticity due to a lack of trust. With referral marketing though, the sales pitch is usually coming from someone that you either know well, like friends and family, or it's coming from someone you have trust in, like a favorite blogger.
In mid 2016, an Indian tea company (TE-A-ME) has delivered 6,000 tea bags[79] to Donald Trump and launched a video on YouTube.[80] and Facebook[81] The video campaign received various awards including most creative PR stunt[82] in Southeast Asia after receiving 52000+ video shares, 3.1M video view in first 72-hour and hundreds of publication mentions (including Mashable, Quartz,[83] Indian Express,[84] Buzzfeed[85]) across 80+ countries.
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.
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?
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.
Using calls to action – while you might think that since you’re mentioning a certain product or service the visitors will automatically receive the message and start converting, clear and well-placed calls to action will do wonders compared to conspicuous references. They can be in the form of a button (the so-called CTA button), a link, an image or a form, yet in any case be easily noticeable and identifiable as such. There’s a balance to be maintained, though, between using clear calls to action and being too pushy with your marketing messages – cross the line and your visitors will feel as they’re being sold, abandoning your website.
One of the earliest adopters of Internet marketing in the world of Fortune 500 companies was the Coca-Cola Corporation. Today, this huge purveyor of soft drinks has one of the strongest online portfolios in the world. More than 12,000 websites link to the Coca-Cola homepage, which itself is a stunning display of Internet savvy. Their homepage alone sports an auto-updating social network column, an embedded video, a unique piece of advertising art, frequently rotating copy, an opt-in user registration tab, tie-in branding with pop culture properties, and even a link to the company's career opportunities page. Despite how busy that sounds, the Coca-Cola homepage is clean and easy to read. It is a triumph of Internet marketing for its confidence, personality, and professionalism.
The American media critic Douglas Rushkoff was the first to coin the term Viral Marketing in his book ‘Media Virus‘ from 1994. Social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, play an important role in Viral Marketing. Platforms where information can be shared are particularly suited for this type of marketing. The goal is to spread the marketing message like a viral epidemic. That makes Viral Marketing a relatively cheap way to reach a large audience.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]
For instance, you might use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to get your message in front of an audience similar to your core demographic. Or, you could pay a social media influencer to share images of your products to her already well-established community. Paid social media can attract new customers to your brand or product, but you’ll want to conduct market research and A/B testing before investing too much in one social media channel.
CPC (Cost Per Click) or PPC (Pay per click) means advertisers pay each time a user clicks on the ad. CPC advertising works well when advertisers want visitors to their sites, but it's a less accurate measurement for advertisers looking to build brand awareness.[63] CPC's market share has grown each year since its introduction, eclipsing CPM to dominate two-thirds of all online advertising compensation methods.[24]:18[62]:1
Social media platforms are built for communities. From individuals to businesses and government organizations, everyone use Facebook and Twitter to broadcast their messages in real-time. Social media channels are ideal for affiliate marketing efforts because they present your products to a large number of people. This is why it is essential that affiliate marketing professionals should work on expanding their social media footprint so that they could pitch their products to the world!
The Blendtec viral video series Will It Blend? debuted in 2006. In the show, Tom Dickson, Blendtec founder and CEO, attempts to blend various unusual items in order to show off the power of his blender. Will it Blend? has been nominated for the 2007 YouTube award for Best Series, winner of .Net Magazine's 2007 Viral Video campaign of the year and winner of the Bronze level Clio Award for Viral Video in 2008.[71] In 2010, Blendtec claimed the top spot on the AdAge list of "Top 10 Viral Ads of All Time".[72] The Will It Blend page on YouTube currently shows over 200 million video views.[73]

"I am so grateful the Ninjas are a part of our team. We tried figuring out the SEO and link strategy on our own for several years and ended up getting penalized by Google for it. When we stated with the Ninjas, we were literally ranking for 0 keywords. It was awful. We've been with them for a year now and they have helped us rank for over 200 keywords, build trust for our website, and even get government and educational websites to link to us. When I get on the phone with them, they always have a game plan to get to the next level." Gene
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.

Viral marketing is often used in conjunction with other methods of marketing, such as in the case of the Blair Witch Project. The viral aspect of the campaign generated buzz about the story long before the release of commercials, trailers, posters, and other forms of traditional marketing. This caused many people to already talk about the movie before it was officially announced to the public.


Publishers can offer advertisers the ability to reach customizable and narrow market segments for targeted advertising. Online advertising may use geo-targeting to display relevant advertisements to the user's geography. Advertisers can customize each individual ad to a particular user based on the user's previous preferences.[27] Advertisers can also track whether a visitor has already seen a particular ad in order to reduce unwanted repetitious exposures and provide adequate time gaps between exposures.[72]

Utilizes existing communication networks. Most people are social. Nerdy, basement-dwelling computer science graduate students are the exception. Social scientists tell us that each person has 8 to 12 people in her network of friends, family, and associates. A person’s broader network may consist of scores, hundreds, or thousands of people. A waitress, for example, may communicate regularly with hundreds of customers in a given week.


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.


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.
Once the company has identified the target demographic for its Internet marketing campaign, they then decide what online platforms will comprise the campaign. For instance, a company that is seeking customers from the 18 to 33 demographic should develop a mobile application that raises awareness about the product, such as a game, a news feed, or a daily coupon program users can download for free.
Online reviews, then, have become another form of internet marketing that small businesses can't afford to ignore. While many small businesses think that they can't do anything about online reviews, that's not true. Just by actively encouraging customers to post reviews about their experience small businesses can weight online reviews positively. Sixty-eight percent of consumers left a local business review when asked. So assuming a business's products or services are not subpar, unfair negative reviews will get buried by reviews by happier customers.
DisabledGO, an information provider for people with disabilities in the UK and Ireland, hired Agency51 to implement an SEO migration strategy to move DisabledGO from an old platform to a new one. By applying 301 redirects to old URLS, transferring metadata, setting up Google webmaster tools, and creating a new sitemap, Agency 51 was able to successfully transfer DisabledGO to a new platform while keeping their previous SEO power alive. Additionally, they were able to boost visitor numbers by 21% year over year, and the site restructuring allowed DisabledGO to rank higher than competitors. Their case study is available on SingleGrain.com. 

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.
The quickest way to get affiliates to promote you is by finding them in your affiliate network. When you sign up for a network as an advertiser, your business information will enter the marketplace so that potential affiliates can find you. This marketplace includes your company info, public commission rates, average earnings per click, and contact information. From your listing, affiliates sign up to work with you directly and enter your application queue for approval.
Email marketing - Email marketing in comparison to other forms of digital marketing is considered cheap; it is also a way to rapidly communicate a message such as their value proposition to existing or potential customers. Yet this channel of communication may be perceived by recipients to be bothersome and irritating especially to new or potential customers, therefore the success of email marketing is reliant on the language and visual appeal applied. In terms of visual appeal, there are indications that using graphics/visuals that are relevant to the message which is attempting to be sent, yet less visual graphics to be applied with initial emails are more effective in-turn creating a relatively personal feel to the email. In terms of language, the style is the main factor in determining how captivating the email is. Using casual tone invokes a warmer and gentle and inviting feel to the email in comparison to a formal style. For combinations; it's suggested that to maximize effectiveness; using no graphics/visual alongside casual language. In contrast using no visual appeal and a formal language style is seen as the least effective method.[48]
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.
In most ecommerce affiliate programs, less than 10 percent of affiliates drive 90 percent of conversions. When you partner with affiliates to market your brand, you learn more about your audience. Through evaluating your affiliates with affiliate tracking software, you gain insight into where your audience hangs out online and which affiliates have the largest impact. Having affiliates and having effective affiliates are two entirely different things, so you’ll want to monitor your traffic and conversion rates to determine if and when a shift is needed.

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.
If your best friend, who has similar taste to you, recommends a product, you’re likely to try it and like it as well. Otherwise, he or she wouldn’t have recommended it in the first place. Thus, as a marketer, once you identify your most successful demographic, you’ll want to find others similar to them—like their friends. The same thing works with influencers: if you respect an influencer’s style and feel connected to them, chances are you’ll try a product they recommend (if you’re in the market for said product), and you’ll probably like it.
Affiliates may mistakenly promote your brand or product in a way you don’t like if they aren’t given affiliate guidelines. Make your affiliates aware of your brand mission, voice, and tone. You should also give specific instructions on how your branding and company logo should be displayed. Consider asking to see the creative before it’s published. You can provide a welcome email to your affiliates with a background on your program, your most successful products, and ideas on how to promote you. You can also incorporate online monitoring tools to keep an eye on affiliate content.
According to a paper by Duncan Watts and colleagues entitled: "Everyone's an influencer",[66] the most common risk in viral marketing is that of the influencer not passing on the message, which can lead to the failure of the viral marketing campaign. A second risk is that the influencer modifies the content of the message. A third risk is that influencers pass on the wrong message. This can result from a misunderstanding or as a deliberate move.
The participants were asked to challenge minimum three persons to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. This was one of the reasons why campaign became viral. If one person tells three other people about the challenge, and those three tell the other three, a viral loop is created. By setting a call to action, and asking your audience to share about your campaign with others, you too can keep your campaign alive.

ClickBank was established back in 1998, and this affiliate program primarily focuses on digital information products. It boats a network of over 1.5 million publishers, with an average of 50,000 transactions daily through affiliate sales. It is one of the few networks that offers recurring commissions from advertisers driven by a membership monetization model.
"Jim, thanks for the great work. You and your team have been great and we are very happy with the results. Because of this, I wanted to give you a testimonial that you can share. On a nice spring day about a year ago, our site took a nose dive in the rankings on some of our most valuable keywords. I franticly begun searching SEO forums for the best people and ways to get us back to the top and I came a across Jim and his team. Jim was one of the most highly recommended link building Guru's out there, so I called Ninjas. To my surprise they couldn't take my money right away because they were busy working on other client accounts. They were very polite and explained that if they were to take my money that would have meant they could not spend the time they needed to spend on their client's accounts. Right there I knew these guys were for real. Biting my nails and pulling my hair, I patiently waited for two months so they could start working on my account and boy was I soooooo glad that I did. I finally got to speak with Jim, who is an awesome guy with a great sense of humor. I could say the same thing about my account manager and all of the Ninja team. After this meeting the work begun and the rest is history. I would highly recommend Jim Boykin and his team to anyone, even though part of me wants to keep them to myself. However I know they would not take on more than they can handle, unless they know they can put in the time needed to deliver results." Eric K.
Old Spice’s viral video marketing campaign first aired during 2010’s Superbowl weekend. It went on to increase the company’s revenue by 107%. The campaign had 40 million views. It increased Old Spice’s Twitter followers by 2,700%. It lifted Facebook interaction by 800%. All these viewers turned the Old Spice YouTube channel into the all-time most viewed channel.003
There are a number of mechanisms that can be used for viral marketing. These include, but are certainly not limited to, images, jokes, quizzes, video clips, games, e-cards, micro-sites, etc. etc. These tactics will help a business boost brand awareness, and it could also plant the seeds for consumer awareness or interest in an alternative campaigns. The echo from viral activity can be heard for a long time afterward.
We combine our sophisticated Search Engine Optimization skills with our ORM tools such as social media, social bookmarking, PR, video optimization, and content marketing to decrease the visibility of potentially damaging content. We also work with our clients to create rebuttal pages, micro-sites, positive reviews, social media profiles, and blogs in order to increase the volume of positive content that can be optimized for great search results.
Make your website and social media suitable for sharing and rewarding just as undergarments company My undies did. They created a special section called invite to boost referral marketing business. They offered $20 for the customer and 20% off for the person who bought on that referral. Or it could be several tiers of rewards based on business volumes and not a single reward. Now for even small businesses, it is easy to implement referral marketing programs on the website with several apps available for customization: some of them are Ambassador,  Friendbuy, Referrify, Extole, Referralcandy.
Sponsored search (also called sponsored links, search ads, or paid search) allows advertisers to be included in the sponsored results of a search for selected keywords. Search ads are often sold via real-time auctions, where advertisers bid on keywords.[19]:118[53] In addition to setting a maximum price per keyword, bids may include time, language, geographical, and other constraints.[19]:118 Search engines originally sold listings in order of highest bids.[19]:119 Modern search engines rank sponsored listings based on a combination of bid price, expected click-through rate, keyword relevancy and site quality.[21]
In the case of viral marketing, "viral" refers to something that spreads quickly and widely across its audience. Viral marketing is a deliberate enterprise, though the distribution of a message happens organically. As such, social media provides the perfect ecosystem for viral marketing, though it has its roots in traditional word-of-mouth marketing. While the practice was much more widely used in the early to mid-2000s, as new internet businesses were being created in extreme numbers, it is still common among internet-based business-to-consumer (B-to-C) companies. The widespread adoption of social networks, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, has enabled modern viral marketing efforts and increased their efficacy. 
"Jim and Jen, Thanks for your time and an awesome meeting. Jim,You have done so much in the past few years with your company, Your office space, your employees, their commitment are evidence that you have instilled your positive traits into them and your business. You should be proud. Jen, You are 'on it'!! It is uplifting seeing someone your age being so intense and into their work like you are. I can tell you're the type who wakes up with a smile and positive attitude. Michelle and I enjoyed the dialog and the advice. I really appreciate all you have done for me over the years and continue to do." Marcus L.
It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to customize your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product recommendations. You shouldn’t just focus on the vertical you’re in, but on the traffic sources and audience that’s visiting your site. Traffic sources may include organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic. You can view traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as time on page, bounce rate, geo location, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more so that you can focus your effort on the highest converting traffic. This analytics data is crucial to making informed decisions, increasing your conversion rates, and making more affiliate sales. 

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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