Your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of of your business. You need to build your marketing strategy around them. Step 1 of marketing is understanding what your customers want, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience. This chapter will walk you through (1) the process of building personal connections at scale and (2) crafting customer value propositions that funnel back to ROI for your company.

A new energy drink company, for example, could create an Internet video featuring a person who consumes the energy drink before performing a seemingly impossible bicycle jump. If the video is made to look real, it may encourage people who see it to share it with others. After the video receives enough views, the company could reveal its true purpose, convincing its viewers to seek out more information about the drink without ever using a traditional advertisement.

When you start your marketing campaign, it is crucial to create the best possible content to differentiate your brand. Promotion should be your next step. For promoting the brand effectively, Dove had strong social media strategies, which even lead to celebrities and other brands joining the conversation and sharing the video with others. Shareability is a huge factor for making your campaign a success. Involving customers in your campaign and providing them a platform for discussion is an invaluable way to develop customer relationship.


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.
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.
Your customers aren’t going to want to refer a friend if it’s the first thing you ask them to do. In fact, if you start an interaction by asking for a referral, you may lose the sale altogether. You have to wait until the right time. This is also where it can be very beneficial to have insight into how your prospects funnel through to become customers and the journey thereafter. Studies have shown that the moments following a shopping transaction - commonly referred to as a "shopper's high" - are a highly effective time to ask for a referral, since the rush of the purchase is still lingering. Or, you might wait until after the customer has received the product or services and are satisfied. And not every incentive has to be directly linked to referrals. For example, are there ways that you can reward customers who make X or more purchases within a given timeframe? Offering free shipping, doubling rewards points, or providing additional discounts for your most loyal and enthusiastic customers is a great way to energize true word-of-mouth referrals.
Paid channel marketing is something you’ve probably come across in some form or another. Other names for this topic include Search Engine Marketing (SEM), online advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Very often, marketers use these terms interchangeably to describe the same concept — traffic purchased through online ads. Marketers frequently shy away from this technique because it costs money. This perspective will put you at a significant disadvantage. It’s not uncommon for companies to run PPC campaigns with uncapped budgets. Why? Because you should be generating an ROI anyway. This chapter walks through the basics of how.
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.

Affiliate marketing is open to anyone regardless of age, country or sex. You don’t need any special credentials to be a successful affiliate. You also don’t need to be a computer genius – learning and taking action are the only things you need to get started. However, it is important to understand the pros and cons of engaging in this type of activity – let’s look at the most prominent ones below.

If you want to really achieve stellar business results fulfilling your clients’ needs is not enough anymore. The market is full of small businesses just like yours that also do the same thing. So go the extra mile. Get creative, is anything you can add (even a little something) that would make their day extra special / make their life a little easier just because they bought something from you?


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.
Furthermore, advertisers may encounter legal problems if legally required information doesn't actually display to users, even if that failure is due to technological heterogeneity.[86]:i In the United States, the FTC has released a set of guidelines indicating that it's the advertisers' responsibility to ensure the ads display any required disclosures or disclaimers, irrespective of the users' technology.[86]:4–8
Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together. For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click. 
Online banner advertising began in the early 1990s as page owners sought additional revenue streams to support their content. Commercial online service Prodigy displayed banners at the bottom of the screen to promote Sears products. The first clickable web ad was sold by Global Network Navigator in 1993 to a Silicon Valley law firm.[16] In 1994, web banner advertising became mainstream when HotWired, the online component of Wired Magazine, sold banner ads to AT&T and other companies. The first AT&T ad on HotWired had a 44% click-through rate, and instead of directing clickers to AT&T's website, the ad linked to an online tour of seven of the world's most acclaimed art museums.[17][18]
From these challenges, rise video marketing best practices. And it all comes down to strategy: If you want your video marketing to have results, then you must plan, test, analyze, and test again. Yes, the goal of your videos is to tell a story and engage your customers but, from a marketing perspective, your videos must also align to your sales funnel. What is the purpose of each video? Who is the audience? How does the video further your marketing goals?
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.
Your affiliate partners will either receive a flat fee or percentage of each sale. Take a look at what your competition is doing and make sure your commission rates are competitive. The average affiliate percentage is somewhere between 5 and 30 percent, and it varies widely by vertical. Use your affiliate network to understand what is most competitive in your niche and what you can afford after you factor in your gross sales and cost of good sold (COGS). If you’re just starting an online business, you may want to offer a higher commission so that your brand is more attractive to potential affiliates. And you don’t have to stick to one commission rate. You can have multiple commission rates with different partners depending on how well they promote you and your current relationship.
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).
Similarly, when new affiliates join a network, their business information enters the marketplace. This includes how long they’ve been in the network, a star rating based on historical performance, country of origin, promotional methods, and contact information. As an ecommerce site, you search for affiliates by vertical and filter down to find the best matches for your online business. Once you find potential affiliate partners, you send them your public commission offer, or create an entirely new offer just for them. Sometimes an affiliate will answer your offer right away, others take longer to respond, and some may not respond at all. It can be a challenge. While this form of recruiting affiliates is quick and easy, it’s difficult to bring in larger players, which is why you should perform email outreach to find the best partners.
In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy.[10] By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking.[11] In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.[12]
Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort. 
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. 
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.
Website:  Websites are a great way to establish your brand identity. They can use text, images, audio, and video elements to convey the company's message, as well as inform existing and potential customers of the features and benefits of the company's products or services. The website may or may not include the ability to capture leads from potential customers or directly sell a product or service online. 
This is simplified, according to the IAB. Exchanges may try to unload unsold ("remnant") space at low prices through other exchanges. Some agencies maintain semi-permanent pre-cached bids with ad exchanges, and those may be examined before going out to additional demand side platforms for bids. The process for mobile advertising is different and may involve mobile carriers and handset software manufacturers.[46]
Say you sell a boring product that has been seen countless times in homes and on TVs doing its job, like blenders. BlendTec was a company in this situation. Their Will it Blend campaign saw them use their blenders on nearly every Apple product, copies of the latest popular video game, paintballs, and DVDs of Justin Bieber. If you can’t see how that type of content can spread rapidly, you’re in the wrong business.
A new energy drink company, for example, could create an Internet video featuring a person who consumes the energy drink before performing a seemingly impossible bicycle jump. If the video is made to look real, it may encourage people who see it to share it with others. After the video receives enough views, the company could reveal its true purpose, convincing its viewers to seek out more information about the drink without ever using a traditional advertisement.
If you want to establish trust with your audience quickly, you need to be creating video. If you want to shorten your sales cycle, and work with more motivated and educated prospects, you need to be using video in your sales process. The video marketing strategies and resources below will help you crush it with video, no matter your experience level. You can also learn more about our video training and production services.  
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]

Perhaps nothing is as effective and efficient in spreading your message as a viral. The idea behind viral is to inspire people to spread your message for you. It’s been estimated that a successful viral can have 500-1000 times more impact than a non-viral campaign. Crafting a successful viral marketing campaign is hard. But here’s some ABCs that may help…
Understanding Mobiles: Understanding mobile devices is a significant aspect of digital marketing because smartphones and tablets are now responsible for 64% of the time US consumers are online (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Apps provide a big opportunity as well as challenge for the marketers because firstly the app needs to be downloaded and secondly the person needs to actually use it. This may be difficult as ‘half the time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individuals single most used app, and almost 85% of their time on the top four rated apps’ (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Mobile advertising can assist in achieving a variety of commercial objectives and it is effective due to taking over the entire screen, and voice or status is likely to be considered highly; although the message must not be seen or thought of as intrusive (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Disadvantages of digital media used on mobile devices also include limited creative capabilities, and reach. Although there are many positive aspects including the users entitlement to select product information, digital media creating a flexible message platform and there is potential for direct selling (Belch & Belch, 2012).[44]
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.

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.
"One client was very happy with his rankings so he sent the entire team to Atlantic City, all expenses paid. Then he said, 'I loved hearing that you all enjoyed the trip. It's great giving back the joy that I get from seeing us going up in rank. I am hoping to present more such rewards for the remarkable job you are continuing to do, and for Jim's brilliant leadership.'" Rafael D.
The targets for referrals should not look impossible or difficult to achieve. Referring up to 15 may be easy but most companies offer benefits even if five customers are referred and result in conversions.  Whether it is cash or products or other benefits, the rewards should be good enough for customers, employees to take that extra effort. It should be clearly mentioned whether the rewards are given for lead generation or for sales conversion.
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.

No doubt that harnessing influencers would be a lucrative business for both companies and influencers.[54] The concept of 'influencer' is no longer just an 'expert' but also anyone who delivers and influence on the credibility of a message (e.g. blogger)[49] In 2014, BritMums, network sharing family's daily life, had 6,000 bloggers and 11,300 views per month on average[55][56] and became endorsers for some particular brand such as Coca-Cola, Morrison. Another case, Aimee Song who had over 3.6m followers on the Instagram page and became Laura Mercier's social media influencers, gaining $500,000 monthly.[55]

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.
The first step is creating a list of potential affiliates in a simple Excel file or Google Sheet. The top columns should include the website’s URL, contact email address, date of contact, and any notes you have on the opportunity. Keep your spreadsheet simple. To hunt for the correct contact email address, leverage the information in your affiliate network, use an online tool like Email Hunter, or even find their contact information on LinkedIn.
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.
Dropbox, an online file storage company that offers both free and paid services, implemented a referral program in 2009 asking users to tell their friends about the service. The program offered rewards for both sides of the referral coin—those who signed up for a referral link would get additional free space, and the person who referred them would also get more space.
Internet marketing means selling products or services over the internet. Our internet marketing company will help you create the right online marketing campaign to ensure that your product is recognized and easily found over the internet. One way of doing this is by submitting your products to Google Shopping and ensuring you can rank high based upon popular customer sort queries (such as price low to high, popularity, good reviews etc).
Courses in consumer psychology help professionals understand how their target market thinks, and what makes them most likely to buy. This helps marketers choose the best rewards and incentives for referral programs. When it comes to getting the word out about referral marketing, the skills learned in media strategy and market research courses can strengthen the ability to reach customers effectively.

Amazon Associates – while not strictly an affiliate network (Amazon both maintains the program and sells the products offered there), it is worth a separate mention for the sheer scope of its offers and operations. AA was one of the pioneering affiliate programs, created in 1996 to enable affiliates to advertise millions of offers from the Amazon e-commerce platform. Advertisers can earn 2-10% commissions on referrals, depending on the type of product they are promoting. It is worth keeping in mind that there are different Amazon Associate programs based on geographical locations.


Test and Listen. Think you can record the perfect voice over in just one take? Think again! Invest in a good pair of headphones and keep an eye on your audio quality throughout the recording process. It’s easier to get a new take of audio than trying to fix it during the editing process. We recommend running through your script a few times, especially the first few paragraphs, to ensure that your voice is fully warmed up. If you hear popping or hissing sounds, try standing further away from the mic or invest in a pop filter.

Influencer marketing: Important nodes are identified within related communities, known as influencers. This is becoming an important concept in digital targeting. It is possible to reach influencers via paid advertising, such as Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords campaigns, or through sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) software, such as SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage CRM and Salesforce CRM. Many universities now focus, at Masters level, on engagement strategies for influencers.
All of these questions can help determine what type of video you should make and where you should post it. For example, if your target audience is not familiar with your company, you probably want to make a video that focuses on brand awareness before producing an in-depth, product video. You’ll also want to host your video on a site that already has a large reach, like YouTube. 

Video Marketing is a good way to promote your business. However, it’s not that an easy task and sometimes you need a help from your co-workers like graphic designers if you don’t know how to create or draw your own icon or image to be used in the video. Though you can get from free stock photos and icons sites to compile it for your video, I think it’s better if you create your own.

A marketing degree program provides the foundation and background knowledge about consumer behavior, market strategies, and effective communication in advertising that professionals need to use referral marketing to their advantage. The skills acquired in marketing programs allow candidates to view the big picture, and make sure all the elements of a referral program come together for success.
The Environment: Timing is everything in advertising, and this is also true of viral marketing. A company can have the right messenger and the right message, but it may not spread if the social environment is not right. A very basic example of this is that people tend to spend less time online in summer compared to other seasons. This means fewer potential carriers to propagate the viral message. This doesn't necessarily mean the campaign will not be successful, but it can be a factor.
According to Statistica, 76% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and by 2020 the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion (650 million of these from China alone). Of the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most dominant - as of the end of the second quarter of 2018 Facebook had approximately 2.23 billion active users worldwide (Statistica). Mobile devices have become the dominant platform for Facebook usage - 68% of time spent on Facebook originates from mobile devices.
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.
Content marketing: Writing articles or blog posts related to your business and submitting them to be published on other websites is another great way to reach your target market for free. Although mass distribution of a single article across the web doesn't have the same SEO benefits it once had, submitting exclusive articles to a specific site can still reap many rewards including SEO, boosting your credibility, and reaching a market that might not otherwise know about you. Because writing can be time-consuming, you may want to consider how you can repurpose what you write into other forms of content or with new angles for other audiences.
Developing and monetizing microsites can also garner a serious amount of sales. These sites are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. They are distinct and separate from the organization’s main site. By offering more focused, relevant content to a specific audience, microsites lead to increased conversions due to their simple and straightforward call to action.
Scales easily from small to very large. To spread like wildfire, the transmission method must be rapidly scalable from small to very large. The weakness of the Hotmail model is that a free email service requires its own mail servers to transmit the message. If the strategy is wildly successful, mail servers must be added very quickly or the rapid growth will bog down and die. If the virus multiplies only to kill the host before spreading, nothing is accomplished. So long as you have planned how you can add mail servers rapidly, you’re okay. You must build in scalability to your viral model.
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.
"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.
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