How much of your marketing strategy should be done online and which internet marketing elements you use depends on the nature of your business, your budget, your time, and your goals. Many small business owners do it all themselves in the beginning, but as their businesses grow, they begin to pay for services or outsource work to a virtual assistant that can help them with online marketing.
Video is Going 1:1: Given the ease of shooting videos with smartphones, marketers are discovering the value of lead nurturing and customer communications by sending personalized video messages instead of calling or sending email. The notion of using a 1:1 video approach can apply to following-up on an inquiry, offering content, delivering support, simply saying thanks, or practically any application.
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.
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.
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.
Viral advertising is personal and, while coming from an identified sponsor, it does not mean businesses pay for its distribution. Most of the well-known viral ads circulating online are ads paid by a sponsor company, launched either on their own platform (company webpage or social media profile) or on social media websites such as YouTube. Consumers receive the page link from a social media network or copy the entire ad from a website and pass it along through e-mail or posting it on a blog, webpage or social media profile. Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, text messages, email messages, or web pages. The most commonly utilized transmission vehicles for viral messages include: pass-along based, incentive based, trendy based, and undercover based. However, the creative nature of viral marketing enables an "endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission", including mobile devices.
For example, if a customer purchases a new snowboard from your sporting goods website, it makes sense to send out material that’s relevant to that subscriber. You might send information on snow conditions, recommendations for more gear, or a promo code for a lift ticket at a local mountain. Alternatively, if someone purchases a basketball, they might receive different recommendations.
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.
Disney initially stated they wouldn’t exceed one million in donations, but ended up donating two million after the campaign blew up. #ShareYourEars campaign garnered 420 million social media impressions, and increased Make-A-Wish’s social media reach by 330%. The campaign is a powerful example of using an internet marketing strategy for a good cause. #ShareYourEars raised brand awareness, cultivated a connected online community, and positively affected Disney’s brand image.
Now that you have all those great and compelling testimonials, use them! Feature them strategically on your website (your Home page, your About page, any sales page / opt-in page) and also share them on social media. Remember: 64% of consumers make an online research before deciding to buy, so that is a very good reason to get persuasive in every way you can.
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)
Blog – usually a part of the website, but can be a separate subdomain or even domain. Providing relevant and useful information and opinions about your niche topic in a blog has many advantages: blogs help your website rank higher on search engines if regularly updated and optimized. They build your reputation as an authority in your niche. A blog also provides a platform for sharing a variety of content such as articles, photos, podcasts, videos, e-books etc.
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.
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.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products. This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the amount of commissions you make and create a steady stream of revenue when building an affiliate website.
The reason to make use or virality, the ease in spreading and sharing, is however a double-edged sword. We cannot forget that in this type of campaign, a large part of the control falls into the hands of the users, and we risk the message being misinterpreted or parodied. On the other hand, a successful viral campaign can work miracles for your brand’s results.
NGDATA helps brands in data-rich industries such as financial services, retail, telecom, media/entertainment, utilities and hospitality, to capitalize on emerging opportunities in their customer data and to drive profitable customer experiences by supercharging analytics and campaign efficiency. The company’s Intelligent Customer Data Platform (CDP) puts people at the centre of every business via Customer DNA, which continuously learns from customer behaviour and context in real time. NGDATA partners with companies around the world, including Belfius Bank, Innogy and Telenet, to drive digital transformations. NGDATA is headquartered in Gent, Belgium and has offices in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
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.
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.
Conspicuous consumption is the practice of purchasing goods or services to publicly display wealth rather than to cover basic needs. Description: The word 'Conspicuous' here means lavish or wasteful spending. This kind of spending is generally made by people who have considerable amount of disposable income to spend on goods and services which are not necessary, but are more luxurious in nature.
In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates.
"Jim, Wanted to touch base with you on an update. We should have a better understanding when were starting back up in the next 2-4 weeks. Good news is that it looks like your link building efforts are paying off like we talked about. Over the past 2 days our free google traffic has seen new highs. So we were on a steady down trend for 5 months and over the past 2 weeks we have seen a steady increase to new highs of over that of last summer." Andrew G.
In the BigCommerce affiliate program, you receive a 200% bounty per referral and $1,500 per Enterprise referral, with no cap on commissions. Plus, the more referrals you drive through the program, the higher your commission tier will go. BigCommerce uses an industry leading 90-day cookie, so you will receive credit for up to three months for the referrals you generate. Also, there are no obligations or minimum commitments to join the program.
RewardStream’s Neil Parker says that one of the most common reasons referral programs fail is because of poorly trained team members. “Your referral marketing programs experience the greatest success when your employees are aware of the program, and can explain it to customers,” Parker says. “Everyone in your organization should understand the referral program, and your customer-facing team members should be able to explain it clearly to customers.”
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:
"All of the staff at Internet Marketing Ninjas have done an incredible job helping us with our SEO strategy. We are always particularly delighted to speak with Jim Boykin during our performance reviews since he has incredible SEO knowledge that has helped us put together a winning strategy for our business. The professionalism and thoroughness of the IMN staff is greatly appreciated and we look forward to continuing to work with them moving forward." Bryan M.
"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.
There is a heap of sales clutter on the Internet that is actively annoying and repelling your customers. Don’t let your brand be that guy – instead, your video should be centred around the story and not the sale. Remember: the same rules that apply for written content marketing apply for video marketing – concentrate on the value you’re providing for your customers.
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: