The term viral strategy was first used in marketing in 1995, in a pre-digital marketing era, by a strategy team at Chiat/Day advertising in LA (now TBWA LA) for the launch of the first PlayStation for Sony Computer Entertainment. Born from a need to combat huge target cynicism the insight was that people reject things pushed at them but seek out things that elude them. Chiat/Day created a 'stealth' campaign to go after influencers/opinion leaders, using street teams for the first time in brand marketing and layered an intricate omni-channel web of info and intrigue. Insiders picked up on it and spread the word. Within 6 months PlayStation was number one in its category—Sony's most successful launch in history.
1% conversion rate might be the average, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t excel with ingenious strategy and persistence. In less than two years, Jason Stone generated over $7 million in affiliate sales, harnessing the marketing potential of Instagram. Now, Mr. Stone is not the average marketer because he has vast experience in visual media. However, the key the stunning figures @Millionair_Mentor commands lies in his strategic approach. He promotes only to people who are statistically likely to be interested in the product he has to offer. That’s why it is crucial to join affiliate marketing platforms that match the interest of your audience.
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.
A satisfied customer is your best marketing executive and therefore a company could tap into its rich customer database to utilize them by giving incentives for referrals. Citibank gives Rs 2000 per referral for credit cards to its existing customers, while Google has announced $7.50 per referral to its account holders for promoting Adwords campaigns. Many top-selling magazines such as Readers’ Digest, The Week, India Today have all used referral marketing over the years to boost business. Sometimes, the incentive may be a collection of best articles that have already appeared in the magazine since inception or it could be a useful booklet that the reader can keep as a reference.
The keyword tool is able to tell us that nearly 700,000 people search for window tinting each month globally, and on a smaller scale 74,000 in the UK. With an average amount of monthly searches in mind we now need to know just how much exposure the top spots of search results could potentially get. In fact, it is rumored that the website ranked first for any given keyword will receive around forty percent of all of the search engine traffic of that specific keyword, with the rest of the first page results having an almost equal share of the remainder. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on pages tend to get very little traffic, if any at all.
Trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. But building trust should be a goal on its own. The whole concept of content marketing is based on trust and creating long-term relationships. Stop selling and let the people come to you by providing them interesting and useful information. I couldn’t have said it better than Mark Schaefer, the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions:
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.
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.
Don’t make your customers root around your website searching for a referral link. Or even worse, dig through their email to find out how to log into your portal and see their reward status. The harsh reality is people aren’t going to sign up for your referral program if they don’t know about it, so make sure you’re making it visible and prominent. Remember, the entire purpose of the program is to get people to spread the word about your brand, products and/or services. If signing up to do so is difficult and frustrating, you won’t get the results you’re hoping for.
There isn’t an exact formula to make your viral marketing campaign a success. In fact, going viral is one of the most difficult things for marketers. It isn’t possible to perfectly predict what can make or break a viral marketing campaign. However, the above tips should certainly be on your radar to improve engagement and increase your chances of becoming viral.
To increase your revenue (and affiliate Earnings Per Click), focus on high AOV products. It doesn’t make sense for affiliates to promote a low value product. A 10% commission on $200 is a lot more enticing that a 10% commission on $5. Tell your affiliates which of your high value products to advertise and incorporate these other tips to boost your ecommerce sales.
At IMI, we have the ability to incorporate Affiliate Marketing into any integrated digital marketing campaign in order to push product sales and drive revenue. We believe that this is just one piece of the digital puzzle however. Affiliate campaigns can incorporate many aspects of digital marketing including web design and development, display, paid search, conversion optimization, and SEO.
You’ll want to capture users’ emails regularly, both when they purchase…and even before they become a customer. You can use lead magnets or discounts to incentivize email sign-ups and using an email management service like MailChimp allows you to create triggered autoresponders that will automatically send out pre-made welcome email campaigns when they subscribe.
In the section on preparing talent, we discussed how to record your script in short sections. If the editor were to stitch these sections together side-by-side, the subject’s face and hands might abruptly switch between clips. This is called a jump cut, and for editors, it poses an interesting challenge. Thankfully, this is where b-roll comes in handy, to mask these jump cuts.
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?
According to a paper by Duncan Watts and colleagues entitled: "Everyone's an influencer", 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.