The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[8][9]

To start Viral Marketing, companies use ‘seeding’. A seed is planted, it grows, creates new fruit with seeds that subsequently distribute its seeds. That means that a marketing campaign gets a nudge in the right direction; people are actively informed about the new campaign via social media. They’re stimulated to watch the expression. That gives the originator influence over the direction and the result of the viral marketing campaign.
In fact, according to a Google-commissioned Nielsen study, on mobile alone, in an average week, YouTube reaches more adults 18-plus during prime time than any cable network does. And, with people freaking out over the mere idea that Netflix has started testing ads on its platform, more companies will be turning to Youtube next year to get their video advertisements in front of a large audience which doesn't mind seeing ads ahead of video content.

Education occurs most often in "real life" by becoming involved and learning the details as time progresses. Although there are several books on the topic, some so-called "how-to" or "silver bullet" books instruct readers to manipulate holes in the Google algorithm, which can quickly become out of date,[41] or suggest strategies no longer endorsed or permitted by advertisers.[42]
From this portal, you’ll find all sorts of viewer insights. Discover what types of video content your audience likes and how they watch their videos. Then, channel those insights directly into your marketing automation software or CRM. For example, if that prospect you’ve been monitoring views your latest case study video, you’ll be notified straightaway.
If you value taking your time to make sure everything is right, you don’t want to partner with a company that cuts corners and focuses on producing quick campaigns. It will make it hard for your business to work with that Internet marketing company. If you want to have the most effective campaign, you need to partner with an Internet marketing company that is on the same page as your business.
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.
As an internationally recognized Search Engine Marketing agency, we have the team, technology, and skills to manage large budget PPC campaigns with thousands of keywords. We have the ability to manage enterprise level accounts in multiple languages. IMI is also partner with Marin Software to provide our clients with the best possible advertising management platform, reporting dashboard, attribution modeling, and reporting.
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.
Focus on reviewing products that fall within your niche. Then, leveraging the rapport you have created with your audience and your stance as an expert, tell your readers why they would benefit from purchasing the product you are promoting. It is especially effective to compare this product to others in the same category. Most importantly, make sure you are generating detailed, articulate content to improve conversions.
If video advertising became more action-oriented this past year, it’s in large part due to evolving consumer behavior. UX research we at YouTube carried out in 2018 revealed that, contrary to popular belief, people aren’t always looking for a leaned-back, passive viewing experience. Actually, as we discovered, many video viewers crave something more interactive.
If affiliates don’t answer your offers in the affiliate network, it’s time to put your sales hat on and perform some email outreach. There are a lot of different cold email template strategies to use, but the five easy steps to a good cold email are: creating a list of targeted affiliates, finding the right contact information, making the emails personal, providing value, and following-up.

Regular retailers selling a specific product rarely have the time and/or energy to build their own referral solutions. A customized in-house referral program is likely to be far down the chain of priorities. Before you even think about building your own referral program (which requires technical expertise), you need to figure out how to get your online payments processing in order, your inventory in order, etc. (See: When is Referral Marketing NOT for you?)

"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
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.
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.
Related to consumers' attitudes toward a brand or even toward the marketing communication, different online and social media statistics, including the number of likes and shares within a social network, can be used. The number of reviews for a certain brand or product and the quality assessed by users are indicators of attitudes. Classical measures of consumer attitude toward the brand can be gathered through surveys of consumers. Behavioral measures are very important because changes in consumers' behavior and buying decisions are what marketers hope to see through viral campaigns. There are numerous indicators that can be used in this context as a function of marketers' objectives. Some of them include the most known online and social media statistics such as number and quality of shares, views, product reviews, and comments. Consumers' brand engagement can be measured through the K-factor, the number of followers, friends, registered users, and time spent on the website. Indicators that are more bottom-line oriented focus on consumers' actions after acknowledging the marketing content, including the number of requests for information, samples, or test-drives. Nevertheless, responses to actual call-to-action messages are important, including the conversion rate. Consumers' behavior is expected to lead to contributions to the bottom line of the company, meaning increase in sales, both in quantity and financial amount. However, when quantifying changes in sales, managers need to consider other factors that could potentially affect sales besides the viral marketing activities. Besides positive effects on sales, the use of viral marketing is expected to bring significant reductions in marketing costs and expenses.[26][27]
Non-profit corporations and political entities use Internet marketing to raise awareness about the issues they address and engage individuals in their campaigns. They strongly favor social networking platforms because they are more personal than websites and they are easy to share, increasing the “viral” word-of-mouth effect that is so prevalent in online media.
In cases 3 and 4, even though Bob doesn’t buy the product, he’s now aware of it. The brand and/or product has entered his consciousness. It might be something he returns to in the future. If he likes the idea of it enough, he might talk about it to other friends in the future (“Oh, you like comedy? I’ve been meaning to watch Monty Python, and it looks great.”

Between 1996–1997, Hotmail was one of the first internet businesses to become extremely successful utilizing viral marketing techniques by inserting the tagline "Get your free e-mail at Hotmail" at the bottom of every e-mail sent out by its users. Hotmail was able to sign up 12 million users in 18 months.[67] At the time, this was historically the fastest growth of any user based media company.[68] By the time Hotmail reached 66 million users, the company was establishing 270,000 new accounts each day.[68]
"Marketing1on1 has done a fantastic job. I've done my fair share of seo efforts but could never get my domain anywhere near the first few pages of search results. Marketing1on1 was very kind and helped me with the decision process as well as a few tweaks to turn google into my friend. Marketing1on1 took the stress of seo off my hands and got me to the second place on a highly competetive keyword. Placing my own private business ahead of recognized brands! I am very greatful and will continue to use their superb service, you will be a fool not to do the same."
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?

Digital marketing became more sophisticated in the 2000s and the 2010s, when[13][14] the proliferation of devices' capable of accessing digital media led to sudden growth.[15] Statistics produced in 2012 and 2013 showed that digital marketing was still growing.[16][17] With the development of social media in the 2000s, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, consumers became highly dependent on digital electronics in daily lives. Therefore, they expected a seamless user experience across different channels for searching product's information. The change of customer behavior improved the diversification of marketing technology.[18]
Now, to increase access to new markets and to new customer base, ABC Inc. starts a partnership program wherein they commit to paying a commission for a certain sales target achieved by independent vendors who join the program. These vendors (who could be bloggers and other digital marketing professionals)  build websites and marketing campaigns that sell the products of ABC Inc. to their customers.
If you run a B2B blog, and you want to promote affiliate deals (but you don’t want to sell), check out RevResponse. This affiliate network will pay you to promote free resources to your readers. You’ll be paid between $1.50 and $20 per download. The value to the advertiser is that they will be able to connect with your audience. If you run a content marketing program, you can use this platform to reach audiences outside of your existing visitors.
Online videos are an essential part for any business's content marketing because of its popularity across all age groups. Video is also widely shared on social media and via messaging apps, increasing the reach of your business information. Most importantly, video marketing is proven to improve leads and sales. Types of video you can create include explainer videos, branded videos, animated videos, and more. Video content marketing can be a challenge, but with the expert help of a video content marketer you can achieve the business benefits you want.
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.
If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.
Want people to notice you? Do something completely unexpected. Don’t try to promote your product and make it look cool—everyone does that. Remember the “Will it Blend?” YouTube campaign by Blendtec? Their videos became popular not because of their blender, but because of what their blender was capable of blending—namely iPhones, marbles and other unexpected stuff.
Establishment of customer exclusivity: A list of customers and customer's details should be kept on a database for follow up and selected customers can be sent selected offers and promotions of deals related to the customer's previous buyer behaviour. This is effective in digital marketing as it allows organisations to build up loyalty over email.[22]
Marketers aim to spread the word about their brand to a wide audience, and they often do this by trying to make their content go viral. Viral marketing is a technique, which marketers use intentionally to spread their message quickly. Just like a biological virus, a viral marketing campaign spreads from one person to another, resulting in a large number of views, substantial amount of social shares and remarkable brand awareness.

In order to engage customers, retailers must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[21] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[5] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[22]

Video advertising is becoming more and more affordable and widespread. Video adoption grows partly because advances in technology but also because it’s easy to spread across the globe. Making marketing videos for your business requires creativity and knowledge of human psychology. The cocktail of these components makes it possible to create real miracles of advertising at minimal cost.
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.

This broad overview of each piece of the Internet marketing world gives students a firm foundation in the field to help them decide where their interests and talents fit the best. All designers should have an understanding of content creation, while all content specialists should have respect for the design process (See also Content Marketing Specialist). At the more advanced levels of a marketing program, students will hone the skills that are most important to their areas of emerging expertise to create sharp minds and strong portfolios on their way to the workplace.


A quick and inexpensive method of making money without the hassle of actually selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable draw for those looking to increase their income online. But how does an affiliate get paid after linking the seller to the consumer? The answer is complicated. The consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product for the affiliate to get a kickback. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently. The affiliate may get paid in various ways:

As opposed to static messaging, chat advertising refers to real time messages dropped to users on certain sites. This is done by the usage of live chat software or tracking applications installed within certain websites with the operating personnel behind the site often dropping adverts on the traffic surfing around the sites. In reality this is a subset of the email advertising but different because of its time window.
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[21]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[21] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[21]:149–150

Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.

Regular retailers selling a specific product rarely have the time and/or energy to build their own referral solutions. A customized in-house referral program is likely to be far down the chain of priorities. Before you even think about building your own referral program (which requires technical expertise), you need to figure out how to get your online payments processing in order, your inventory in order, etc. (See: When is Referral Marketing NOT for you?)
Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices; causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Another element, which is affected within digital marketing, is ‘viewabilty’ or whether the ad was actually seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem (Whiteside, 2016).[42]

^ Semenov, Alexander; Alexander Nikolaev; Alexander Veremyev; Vladimir Boginski; Eduardo Pasiliao (2016). Analysis of Viral Advertisement Re-Posting Activity in Social Media. Computational Social Networks. CSoNet 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 9795. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 9795. pp. 123–134. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42345-6_11. ISBN 978-3-319-42344-9.

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?
Shifting the focus to the time span, we may need to measure some "Interim Metrics", which give us some insight during the journey itself, as well as we need to measure some "Final Metrics" at the end of the journey to inform use if the overall initiative was successful or not. As an example, most of social media metrics and indicators such as likes, shares and engagement comments may be classified as interim metrics while the final increase/decrease in sales volume is clearly from the final category.
Publicity: Getting your business featured on media outlets can be a great way to reach new customers, but connecting with the right people to make it happen can sometimes be difficult. You can always submit and post press releases for news and announcements from your business through online press release distribution services. While press releases can work, they can also be time-consuming and are often ignored. Another option that often produces better results is to sign up for media requests through Help A Reporter Out. Once you sign up, you'll receive emails listing requests for professional sources from media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programs, blogs, and podcasts.

At the beginning, Murphy created her own affiliate program in house. She found that this process was a major time sink — she had to take the time to constantly monitor her program and remember to pay affiliates regularly. She made the jump on an affiliate network, where she could immediately access tracking, reporting, and payment systems (as well as instant access to affiliates who were more-than-ready to help sell her products).
Whether you buy that video has the corner on the storytelling market or not, his larger point does hold. Disney is not going to compete against Netflix with ebooks and YouTube is not a behemoth because of its comment section. Plus all the major upward trends still wrap around video. Just consider the potential upside of the live-streaming platform Twitch.
The use of Viral Marketing is relatively simple. It’s about the fact that people pick up and pass on the marketing message on the internet and social media. That’s why it’s important to first come up with a marketing campaign that’s not just inspirational, but also easy to share via for instance Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn. The marketing message needs to grab people’s attention and generate interest right away. It’s also a good idea to choose a specific target group that is almost certain to pass the message on in their network. That’s why it’s wise to choose a marketing message that’s easy to share with friends, fans or followers. That way, the message can spread across the internet like an oil spill, and even influence other groups via the target group.
While it is possible to see results from your marketing efforts quickly, the reality is that marketing, especially the type that generates long-term results and referrals, takes time. You're competing in an increasingly crowded and loud marketplace. The better you can connect with your ideal market and develop a relationship with it, the better your results will be. If you provide a great product or service and are attentive to your customers, your customers will provide you with positive reviews, referrals, and testimonials that will help you stand out in the crowd.

All viral marketing examples — deliberate or accidental — have three things in common: the message, the messenger and the environment. Each part must be leveraged to create a successful viral marketing campaign. Viral marketing campaigns may be created by any size of business and can stand alone or be a part of a larger traditional campaign. The campaigns themselves may utilize a number of tools, such as videos, games, images, email and text messaging, free products, appealing to the emotions of users or viewers, raising awareness to a worthy cause, and making such products, ideas or media easy to consume and share. Viral marketing often relies on the help of an influencer, who has a large network of followers.
"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.
As a store gets larger and more popular, running an informal referral program becomes increasingly impossible, and the cost of painstakingly keeping track of referral figures (who referred who, how much did we reward them) increases. This can distract from a business’s core value proposition. You don’t want to be spending time micromanaging your customer referral program, you want to be spending your time building great products.

"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.
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