Trust is a second critical factor for referral marketing. Studies show that customers almost always trust “real people’s” opinions over generic ads and branded sales pitches. If you know and like a person, you’re likely to trust their opinions—especially when compared to a salesperson working on commission. Take TripAdvisor as an example. Even if you don’t know the person reviewing a hotel or restaurant, you’re more likely to trust their review than you would the business’s website or a billboard promoting the company.
The first step is finding out what would be considered valuable to your clients. This can vary based on your clientele and the nature of what you’re offering. If your clients are part of an interactive online community you might consider something that differentiates them from their peers. For example, if you’re in the video game industry you could offer a character armor set as a referral incentive. If you feel like your clientele/fanbase is ravenous, you can offer referrers early access to your new products. Dropbox offered additional free storage to clients who convinced friends to sign up for the service.

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:


"News Feed Ads", also called "Sponsored Stories", "Boosted Posts", typically exist on social media platforms that offer a steady stream of information updates ("news feed"[38]) in regulated formats (i.e. in similar sized small boxes with a uniform style). Those advertisements are intertwined with non-promoted news that the users are reading through. Those advertisements can be of any content, such as promoting a website, a fan page, an app, or a product.


In 2014, A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge was among the best viral marketing challenges examples in the social network. Millions of people on the social media started filming themselves, pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and sharing the video with their friends. The challenge was created to give support for fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. People finished the challenge and then nominated the next person they knew on the social media to take the same challenge. By following this trend, Ice Bucket Challenge became a 'fab' on social media with many online celebrities such as Tyler Oakley, Zoe Sugg and huge celebrities and entrepreneurs like Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates participating.[76] Until September 2014, over 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos had been posted on Facebook, and 28 million people had uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts. And about 3.7 million videos had been uploaded on Instagram with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge.[77] The ALS association didn't invent the ice bucket challenge, but they sure received a huge amount of donation from this activity. It raised a reported $220 million worldwide for A.L.S. organisations, and this amount is thirteen times as much donation as what it had in the whole preceding year in just eight weeks.[78]

Our backgrounds are as diverse as they come, bringing knowledge and expertise in business, finance, search marketing, analytics, PR, content creation, creative, and more. Our leadership team is comprised of successful entrepreneurs, business executives, athletes, military combat veterans, and marketing experts. The Executives, Directors, and Managers at IMI are all well-respected thought leaders in the space and are the driving force behind the company’s ongoing success and growth.


Most products are bought not because of the impact of ads alone but through word-of-mouth. If someone has bought a mobile phone and is happy with it, he or she is likely to tell it to at least 10-12 people about the merits of the product. This kind of marketing comes free for the company and in a way it is a reflection of the branding effort taken by the company.
Video and mobile go hand in hand. 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile. From Q3 of 2013, mobile video views have grown more than 233 percent. YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Since people like to watch videos on the go, and the number of smartphone users is growing, your video audience keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Marketing managers need to be conversant in every element of a marketing campaign, and considering the importance of an Internet presence in any marketing plan today, this means having a clear understanding of Internet marketing from start to finish. A marketing manager should have confidence in his or her team and know how to facilitate work efficiency and communication between coworkers. This keeps each project on schedule and helps create a relaxed work environment.
The campaign became viral because it could connect to the audience emotionally. People could relate to the concept of the video. The idea was original, and the content was enticing without pushing the products. The ad encouraged social conversation and sensitivity around the beauty of a woman. It empowered women, evoking feelings of warmth, joy, and confidence. Empowerment is a powerful tool, which can enhance the brand image of your company. So build an uplifting relationship with your audience.
Just before launching in 2007, Dropbox created a virtual build: a 90-second video describing its services (and why people should pay for them) and asking for feedback. In doing so, they attracted 5,000 subscribers. After implementing customers’ feedback, they revised their product and released another 90-second video asking for feedback, generating 75,000 more subscribers in just one day. Once the product was finalized, Dropbox embarked upon an expensive marketing plan that resulted in unprofitable customer-acquisition costs.
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]

Here’s an example of an affiliate page from Yeti that provides every detail affiliates need to know before signing up for their program. Within your ecommerce platform, you can create a page like this and even link to it in the footer of your site for more visibility. This quickly increases the number of inbound affiliate applications and allows affiliates to find you naturally.


A 2016 Statista survey reveals that the largest segment of affiliates falls within the 25-54 range. 81.82% of all affiliates work on their side (or main, for some) income in the most active years of their lives. The biggest share, 31.86% are aged 35-44, while nearly 12% of all affiliate marketers are aged 55 and above. In all likelihood, these marketing platforms will see greater adoption rates among elderly, as the technically-savvy young and middle-aged users of today grow older.
Promotional videos can foster trust as well. Some consumers are still skeptical about buying products and services on the internet because they fear fraud and cheating. But effective marketing videos present your products in a conversational form. That creates a sense of individual approach which is why 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.
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.
Despite the proliferation of new media, marketers are increasingly finding it harder to reach the audience that matters to their brand. From a consumer's perspective, we are inundated with marketing messages which are completely irrelevant to us. Granted, progress has been made by media owners such as Facebook improving targeting of advertising, but it is still difficult to cut through the noise of competing brands.
Viral marketing works famously on the Internet because instant communication is easy and inexpensive. The digital format makes copying simple. From a marketing standpoint, you must simplify your marketing message so it can be transmitted easily and without degradation. Short is better. The classic is: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com.” The message is compelling, compressed, and copied at the bottom of every free email message.
Before the challenge, ALS was known to much fewer people. But things changed after the challenge, and it was everywhere on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, news, events, etc. The reason was the visibility created by the campaign. You need to create awareness about your brand through various marketing channels. People will prefer to buy from you only if they know about you.
Finally, consider adding intro and outro music. Intro and outro music, or bookends, can serve as a theme for your content. These are a great choice if you don’t need music throughout your entire video. Bookend music can help set the tone for your video, naturally split your content into chapters, and leave your viewers feeling they had a complete experience.
As a leading Internet marketing agency, we know that your company is unique. We want you to embrace what makes you different, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. That's why we offer solutions customized to fit your unique business needs, goals, and expectations. Whether you’re searching for a partner to manage your online presence or a full-service firm to design and boost your website to the top spot in search results, we can create a package just for you.
We help clients increase their organic search traffic by using the latest best practices and most ethical and fully-integrated search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Since 1999, we've partnered with many brands and executed campaigns for over 1,000 websites, helping them dominate in even highly competitive industries, via capturing placements that maximize impressions and traffic.
Some web browsers offer privacy modes where users can hide information about themselves from publishers and advertisers. Among other consequences, advertisers can't use cookies to serve targeted ads to private browsers. Most major browsers have incorporated Do Not Track options into their browser headers, but the regulations currently are only enforced by the honor system.[89][90][91]
Keeping content quality high – regularly creating and updating original, honest, high-quality content can boost your conversion rates by improving involvement and trust. High-quality content is useful, appealing, shareable and actionable, clear, concise and focused. Adding rich media, such as images, statistics, videos, and infographics will help make it even more engaging. You can read more about this topic in our in-depth guide on content marketing.
I love this infographic. Can I use it I see the code, but I like permission lol. I will use it for my clients to refer to it with my referral program and ambassador programs for Goodie Bag Marketing. You definitely hit on some things that needed much love. I agree, many forget about it. I select those who are my referral/affiliates and my ambassadors too. We need to compliment each other too.
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.
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.
Apart from looking for particular niches and individual affiliate offers, it makes sense to consider affiliate networks – aggregators that allow the publishers to manage multiple offers and get commissions from a single place, while removing the hassle for the advertisers of setting up their own programs. Below are some of the most affiliate networks:
The collection of user information by publishers and advertisers has raised consumer concerns about their privacy.[28][60] Sixty percent of Internet users would use Do Not Track technology to block all collection of information if given an opportunity.[92][93] Over half of all Google and Facebook users are concerned about their privacy when using Google and Facebook, according to Gallup.[94]
"Was reviewing some competitive data and thought this was pretty interesting. I ran a batch analysis on Ahrefs of competitors. See attached screenshot. With just 603 backlinks, Our site is ranking up there with sites with 2x, 3x, 10x the number of backlinks/unique ips. Guessing some of this authority is coming from the backlinks program and general good quality of those links. Hard to speculate but nice to see." Ben R.

Four months later, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, partners in a law firm, broadly promoted their legal services in a USENET posting titled "Green Card Lottery – Final One?"[15] Canter and Siegel's Green Card USENET spam raised the profile of online advertising, stimulating widespread interest in advertising via both Usenet and traditional email.[12] More recently, spam has evolved into a more industrial operation, where spammers use armies of virus-infected computers (botnets) to send spam remotely.[10]
Apart from looking for particular niches and individual affiliate offers, it makes sense to consider affiliate networks – aggregators that allow the publishers to manage multiple offers and get commissions from a single place, while removing the hassle for the advertisers of setting up their own programs. Below are some of the most affiliate networks:
Thanks to its viral nature, simple accessibility and built-in value, video marketing stands out as a smart way to approach content marketing in 2017 and beyond. Video marketing is an incredible way to create content that is personal and has a real impact on your audience. It has an incomparable ability to create emotion driven sales – and sales are always personal on some level. Buyers want to feel good about their choice, and video marketing, when done correctly, is the best way to create this feeling.
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.
Companies may also be able to use a viral video that they did not create for marketing purposes. A notable example is the viral video "The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments" created by Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz of EepyBird. After the initial success of the video, Mentos was quick to offer its support. They shipped EepyBird thousands of mints for their experiments. Coke was slower to get involved.[75]
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.
Viral marketing is a customer-focused approach, so the first step is to identify the target demographic for a product and what they value the most in products, requiring marketers to research and analyze demographic data. During the Blair Witch campaign, the filmmakers and main marketing agents for the movie were accomplished film students. They examined what made horror movies compelling for the demographic of teens to young adults they were targeting, as well as explored how that demographic shared information. They used this information to focus on their product's mystery, and they concentrated their early efforts on the Internet where they knew they would have the best chance of reaching a younger audience. (See also Youth Marketing)

By looking at what people are clicking on, you can figure out if the audience that is reaching your site is simply browsing, or ready to buy. This can help guide your efforts to optimize your site for different keywords – helping you realize that certain terms bring in browsers, and you need to keep looking for new keywords that bring in motivated buyers.

Promotional videos can foster trust as well. Some consumers are still skeptical about buying products and services on the internet because they fear fraud and cheating. But effective marketing videos present your products in a conversational form. That creates a sense of individual approach which is why 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.
Cross-platform measurement: The number of marketing channels continues to expand, as measurement practices are growing in complexity. A cross-platform view must be used to unify audience measurement and media planning. Market researchers need to understand how the Omni-channel affects consumer's behaviour, although when advertisements are on a consumer's device this does not get measured. Significant aspects to cross-platform measurement involves de-duplication and understanding that you have reached an incremental level with another platform, rather than delivering more impressions against people that have previously been reached (Whiteside, 2016).[42] An example is ‘ESPN and comScore partnered on Project Blueprint discovering the sports broadcaster achieved a 21% increase in unduplicated daily reach thanks to digital advertising’ (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Television and radio industries are the electronic media, which competes with digital and other technological advertising. Yet television advertising is not directly competing with online digital advertising due to being able to cross platform with digital technology. Radio also gains power through cross platforms, in online streaming content. Television and radio continue to persuade and affect the audience, across multiple platforms (Fill, Hughes, & De Franceso, 2013).[45]
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".

Many consumers have reservations about online behavioral targeting. By tracking users' online activities, advertisers are able to understand consumers quite well. Advertisers often use technology, such as web bugs and respawning cookies, to maximizing their abilities to track consumers.[60]:60[95] According to a 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, over half of Internet users had a negative impression of online behavioral advertising, and forty percent feared that their personally-identifiable information had been shared with advertisers without their consent.[96][97] Consumers can be especially troubled by advertisers targeting them based on sensitive information, such as financial or health status.[95] Furthermore, some advertisers attach the MAC address of users' devices to their 'demographic profiles' so they can be retargeted (regardless of the accuracy of the profile) even if the user clears their cookies and browsing history.[citation needed]


The main risk coming from the company is for it to target the wrong influencer or segment. Once the content is online, the sender won't be able to control it anymore.[63] It is therefore vital to aim at a particular segment when releasing the message. This is what happened to the company BlendTech which released videos showing the blender could blend anything, and encouraged users to share videos. This mainly caught the attention of teenage boys who thought it funny to blend and destroy anything they could;[64] even though the videos went viral, they did not target potential buyers of the product. This is considered to be one of the major factors that affects the success of the online promotion. It is critical and inevitable for the organisations to target the right audience. Another risk with internet is that a company's video could end up going viral on the other side of the planet where their products are not even for sale.[65]


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.
Rakuten Marketing is a relatively “smaller” affiliate network with just over 1000 merchants (still a vast choice, though, by any standard). Created in 1997 under the arguably cool name of Buy.com, it was acquired by a Japanese e-commerce behemoth and rebranded as Rakuten in 2010. Advertisers can earn up to 5.5% commission of sales, with the percentage varying by product category.

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.
An Internet marketing strategy encompasses a variety of different strategies that need to work together to ensure you receive maximum results. We conduct market research, build a plan around white hat SEO tactics, provide audits of existing accounts, and guide your business through various web marketing options to help you choose the best path for your goals.
However, labelling such marketing as referral marketing isn’t very meaningful- anybody can tell anybody to tell everyone else about their stuff, and good stuff gets shared all the time, sometimes even if the originator asks for it to kept secret! It’s a lot more meaningful to save the “referral marketing” label primarily for distinct, deliberately solicited referrals.

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.
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.
Viral marketing is a customer-focused approach, so the first step is to identify the target demographic for a product and what they value the most in products, requiring marketers to research and analyze demographic data. During the Blair Witch campaign, the filmmakers and main marketing agents for the movie were accomplished film students. They examined what made horror movies compelling for the demographic of teens to young adults they were targeting, as well as explored how that demographic shared information. They used this information to focus on their product's mystery, and they concentrated their early efforts on the Internet where they knew they would have the best chance of reaching a younger audience. (See also Youth Marketing)
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