Two-tier programs exist in the minority of affiliate programs; most are simply one-tier. Referral programs beyond two-tier resemble multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing but are different: Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing associations tend to have more complex commission requirements/qualifications than standard affiliate programs.[citation needed]
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.
The term Marketing comes from the words ‘market’ and ‘getting’; conquering the market. The term marketing has been around for over a 100 years. Today, it’s still about large companies wanting to conquer the market, gain market share and (new) customers. Marketing methods are comprehensive and Viral Marketing is a relatively new way. This technique increases the awareness and reach of a product or brand by using social media. It’s word-of-mouth advertising using the internet. The more people who know about it, the better. Each company that uses a marketing communication goal to express a specific marketing message can do so by publishing digital video clips, for instance. These days, commercial organisations employ viral marketing to generate brand recognition, launch a new product or draw attention.
The challenges are endless, and an entrepreneur’s time is almost always better spent focusing her limited time and resources on improving her unique value proposition- that is, building better products and keeping customers happy and satisfied. Any time she might spend figuring out how to build her own referral program is time better spent on the central business.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways people make money online. It is a strategy where an individual partners with a business in order to make a commission by referring readers or visitors to a business’s particular product or service. But that really is quite a simple explanation. To be really successful at making money with affiliate marketing there is a little more to it.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[18] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[13]
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.
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.
The effectiveness of a referral program depends, in part, on when a user is prompted to make a referral. If a user is prompted to make a referral right after an unhappy experience your chance of them making a referral is low because they don’t want to tell their friends about bad products. On the flip side, if a user is prompted right after a happy moment they are much more likely to make a referral even if the have previously had a bad experience.

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
CPC (Cost Per Click) or PPC (Pay per click) means advertisers pay each time a user clicks on the ad. CPC advertising works well when advertisers want visitors to their sites, but it's a less accurate measurement for advertisers looking to build brand awareness.[63] CPC's market share has grown each year since its introduction, eclipsing CPM to dominate two-thirds of all online advertising compensation methods.[24]:18[62]:1
It is increasingly advantageous for companies to use social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.[27]
On whether customer referral programs are worth the cost, the study says that it records "a positive value differential, both in the short term and long term, between customers acquired through a referral program and other customers. Importantly, this value differential is larger than the referral fee. Hence, referral programs can indeed pay off."[7]

One of the best known online customer referral programs is the Dropbox customer referral program. Dropbox rewarded both their existing customers and new customers with additional storage space when a new customer signed up for the service. This referral program had a very low barrier to success, friends just had to signup for a free account, but it was very effective at propagating the company’s freemium product.
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.
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.
Viral marketing is a continual, interactive process. A company that implements a viral compaign shouldn't simply let it run its course without adjustment. The Blair Witch campaign remained active on Internet message boards, interacting with real fans and regularly updating websites with more information based on fan discussions. It, like most viral campaigns, succeeded because it grew along with the interest in the product.

When you're thinking about viral marketing for your business, you want to consider offering discounts and decide if it's beneficial or not. Jonah Berger suggests using the $100 rule - under $100, and a 25% discount seems like more than the same dollar amount off. Over $100, and the dollar amount seems like a better deal even though it's the same as the percentage.
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