The expansion of various social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, has contributed to the effectiveness of viral marketing. As users grow, and as the time they spend on social media sites exceeds their time spent emailing, more users are viewing news and forwarding it through their preferred social networks. This requires marketing campaigns to shift focus from more traditional email campaigns to more creative social campaigns.
The course work of a marketing program will consist of real-world and hands-on components, such as case studies of both successful and failed marketing campaigns, and simulated businesses marketed by students using the concepts they have learned. This will include diving into several computer programs like Adobe InDesign and Dreamweaver, as well as both free and proprietary website analytics software.
Incentives can range from discounts to cash incentives to store credits. It all depends on your product and what your customer is looking for. Your incentive should be appealing enough to make your customers want to share it with their friends. To get an idea of what you should offer, scope out your competition. If they’re offering $25 in credits, ensure you’re either matching the offer or providing a bit more. Remember that previously mentioned stat: companies with referral programs experience 86 percent more revenue growth when compared with the rest! So, provide as much as your budget allows.
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.
If you can afford to partner with a major influencer, go for it. You can ask the influencer either to promote your product via a slight nod or a more overt push. However, if budget is limited, don’t neglect the reach of micro-influencers. An influencer with 6,000 followers can be more beneficial (and much more affordable) than one with 100,000 if she’s a better fit with your target market.
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.
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