Where do you start if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy? It's a common challenge since many businesses know how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet they don't have an integrated plan to grow and engage their audiences effectively. They suffer from the 10 problems I highlight later in this article and are losing out to competitors.
That’s a great tip Sean, thanks! I was thinking about what you said in your post about some companies not putting that they have affiliate links and you having to do some digging and there are couple of companies/authors who made products I love and keep using, but I’m not sure how to go ahead and ask about the affiliate link. I read the post you linked below about asking for guest blogging, which I thought was a must-read, and so, if you think of doing a follow-up on this one, would love to read some of your tips and do’s and don’t about this. Thanks again, Sean, you’re doing some very inspiring work here!
The HIV awareness and testing social marketing campaigns below illustrate common features of social marketing campaigns. In general, social marketing campaigns include a website to house all campaign messaging and materials, social media activity, videos, and more. Many of these campaigns offer free materials to download and some can be customized.
The seller, whether a solo entrepreneur or large enterprise, is a vendor, merchant, product creator, or retailer with a product to market. The product can be a physical object, like household goods, or a service, like makeup tutorials. Also known as the brand, the seller does not need to be actively involved in the marketing, but they may also be the advertiser and profit from the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing.
Great article as it gets me thinking about the various ways to monetize my sites. With that said, my biggest hurdle has been how to get started building traffic. You see articles all over the net talking about massive traffic techniques, but I’ve never really found a guide for a fresh blog/website and how to get to their first 100, 500, or 1,000 daily uniques. Of course writing consistent quality content is key, but writing alone an audience does not make. Any tips or articles to point us to? Thanks again Sean!
How are you getting it in front of people? I'd send a pair to influencers, artists, and sport stars. I'd also do an awesome job with my branding. The shoe box would be super cool. Shoelaces would be different colors and even some sparkly tissue paper instead of the newspaper colored tissue paper you usually see stuck in the shoes at department stores. My aim would be to make everyone feel like flying superstars.
After the personas have been developed, the next step is to create and test messaging so you know what is going to resonate with the target audience. To make sure the messaging you use is on target and also appeals to your audience, focus groups are critical. When creating the messaging consider the barriers your target audience faces when trying to make the desired change. Your messaging should help them to lower those barriers. Another approach we use to develop campaign messaging is to frame the desired change as fun, easy and popular. Research in human psychology shows that people are more likely to adopt behaviors that they perceive to be fun (i.e. beneficial to them – what’s in it for me?), easy to accomplish (break it down into smaller steps) and popular (other people are doing it too). Using this information, we can create messaging that is more likely to change behavior.
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. Utilizing one of the common website correlation methods may provide clues about the affiliate network. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly if a contact method can be located.
Hashtags are essential to describe your content as well as to boost the organic reach of your social media campaign. Hashtag use varies according to the social media site. For Facebook, use no more than one hashtag. On Twitter, two hashtags are best for engagement. On Instagram, use a minimum of 9 and up to 30. Not sure which hashtags to use? Hire a social media expert to find the most effective hashtags for your social media platform so your content can get found.
If you’re thinking about working with an affiliate marketing network, the world’s most popular marketplace can be a great place to start. We’ll cover how to sign up and start picking and promoting Amazon products, as well as strategies for success—the must-dos and must-don’ts that go into making Amazon a key piece of your affiliate marketing stable.
You should also remember that planning is about the results, not the plan itself. A marketing plan must be measured by the results it produces. The implementation of your plan is much more important than its brilliant ideas or massive market research. You can influence implementation by building a plan full of specific, measurable and concrete plans that can be tracked and followed up. Plan-vs.-actual analysis is critical to the eventual results, and you should build it into your plan.

It's all too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that's a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT or a separate digital agency. It's easier that way to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But of course, it's less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels. We always recommend developing an integrated digital marketing strategy and once Digital Transformation is complete digital marketing activities will be part of your marketing plan and part of business as usual.


Using email instead of a phone call seems like the more efficient, and even customer-preferred way of communicating. But when you skip that person-to-person contact, you're missing the opportunity to answer your prospect's other questions, clarify information you may not have realized was unclear, and simply offer a more personalized customer service experience.
Marketing has changed more in the past 10 years than it had in the previous 100—launching us out of the age of TV spots and print ads and into the age of websites, online video, social media, and Google. Consumers today are connected to the web 24/7—U.S. adults now spend upwards of 6 hours per day consuming digital media, and that doesn’t count those whose jobs are internet-dependent.

When you are trying to change behavior over a long period of time. Social marketing plans tend to be for long-term projects, when you are trying to change people's behavior permanently, or over a long period of time. Generally speaking, if you are asking people to perform a particular action once, efforts to convince them to do so wouldn't use a social marketing campaign. This is a bit tricky, because some of the same principles might be used; or such an action might be a part of a social marketing campaign. For example, asking people to give blood once at their office wouldn't be social marketing. However, a concerted effort by the blood bank to try to increase the number of people who donate blood regularly might use office blood drives as a part of the campaign. That effort as a whole might be a social marketing campaign, provided it used the marketing principles we have talked about.


After you have identified your buyer personas, the next step is figuring out how these personas think and ultimately make the decision to buy. According to Hubspot and adopted by all those who believe in the inbound marketing methodology, there are three steps in the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, Decision. Each of these stages are major opportunities for you as a marketer to nurture your potential customer by providing valuable content about the product and or problem they are trying to solve for. Here are three stats from a Forbes.com article that prove just how important content is in nurturing a prospect throughout the buyer’s journey:
Our agency can provide both offensive and defensive ORM strategies as well as preventive ORM that includes developing new pages and social media profiles combined with consulting on continued content development. Our ORM team consists of experts from our SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing, and PR teams. At the end of the day, ORM is about getting involved in the online “conversations” and proactively addressing any potentially damaging content.

Competition is using it: Did you know that 77.6% of small business owners use social media in their marketing strategy? From solo entrepreneurs and freelancers to companies, everyone is using digital marketing to establish a brand presence today. This is probably because digital marketing basics are fairly easy to grasp. If you don’t adapt to the changing times, you stand to lose potential customers.


A key benefit of using online channels for marketing a business or product is the ability to measure the impact of any given channel, as well as how visitors acquired through different channels interact with a website or landing page experience. Of the visitors that convert into paying customers, further analysis can be done to determine which channels are most effective at acquiring valuable customers.

Will my target audience realistically spend this amount for the product? Again, your reputation is on the line here. Is the product you are thinking of promoting priced reasonably for your audience? When I was writing my ebook, I was stuck on pricing. I asked around for opinions. A number of people suggested I price my ebook at $47! Their idea was to price according to value, not size. In my mind that was crazy. My network was composed of a lot of stay-at-home bloggers, and my collective audience was comprised mostly of people without a whole lot of disposable income. There was no way anyone was going to pay $47 for my 30-page ebook.

Internet marketing services are in high demand. Businesses with a website need to know how to reach and attract their marketing online. Many of these businesses would rather pay someone to do their online marketing as opposed to learning and doing it themselves. That's where an Internet marketing specialist comes in. An internet marketing specialist helps business build an online marketing plan, and in some cases, implement and mange the plan. 


Your mission statement is the foundation of your marketing plan. Although it may not play a direct role in your marketing activities, the mission statement focuses on your business goals and helps you make sure that your marketing activities support the business's overall objectives. It's an effective tool to refer back to whenever you start to question if you are still on the right track.
Social marketing theory and practice has been progressed in several countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and in the latter a number of key government policy papers have adopted a strategic social marketing approach. Publications such as "Choosing Health" in 2004,[14] "It's our health!" in 2006 and "Health Challenge England" in 2006, represent steps to achieve a strategic and operational use of social marketing. In India, AIDS controlling programs are largely using social marketing and social workers are largely working for it. Most of the social workers are professionally trained for this task.[citation needed]
You might also want to consider using what's sometimes known as "panel design." That is, design messages that follow up on one another. For example, you might air advertisements or talk about the importance of physical exercise in general for a few months, and then, when the idea has had time to turn about in people's heads for a while, you can promote new exercise classes being offered at the community center. Or ads talking about the negative consequences of smoking can be followed by the creation of smoking cessation classes--which could be followed in turn by a support group for those who have quit. Using this method is an effective way of moving people along the "continuum of understanding" discussed earlier.
Unsuccessful social marketing programs are also well documented. They include high profile programs such as the US National Anti‐Drug Campaign of the late 1990s, the early anti‐smoking campaigns, as well as numerous other programs throughout the world. The US Got milk? campaign demonstrated the difficulties of effecting widespread behavior change. The $110 million ad campaign ran over five years and showed no corresponding increase in milk sales. Changes in milk packaging and flavoring caused a modest increase, but competition from the booming bottled water industry and a price increase for raw milk caused those increases to eventually disappear. Social marketing is a continuous struggle against unpredictable competing forces.
The marketing mix is a combination of elements that influence customers to purchase a product. The marketing mix includes four main factors: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Product refers to either the tangible good that your business offers, or the intangible good, referring to services. Key decisions made under this umbrella are branding, product design, package and labeling details, warranties, and more.
"I hope the new site and optimizing keeps it rolling! You guys have done an awesome job! If you have any more suggestions count me in. I don't know if you remember but my goal was to get 2000 natural applications a month by year end. August we had 1200! March we had under 50! Unbelievable! Next years goal is by year end is to be getting 4000 a month. Then I take you, a member of the link team on a weekend trip for some fun all expenses on me." Melissa E.

Define your goals. The more distinctly you map out what you want, by when you want it, and how you are going to get there, the better equipped you will be to combat the problem or issue. Ending suicide is certainly a noble goal, but it's an intention you will have a difficult time fully realizing. Articulating smaller goals, or objectives, (e.g., we will decrease suicide by 15% in the next four years) fills in the details of the big picture. It can also be helpful to the morale of your group, by offering the chance to celebrate the successes you reach on the way.
The first documented evidence of the deliberate use of marketing to address a social issue comes from a 1963 reproductive health program led by K. T. Chandy at the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, India. Chandy and colleagues proposed, and subsequently implemented, a national family planning program with high quality, government brand condoms distributed and sold throughout the country at low cost. The program included an integrated consumer marketing campaign run with active point of sale promotion. Retailers were trained to sell the product aggressively, and a new organization was created to implement the program.[7] In developing countries, the use of social marketing expanded to HIV prevention, control of childhood diarrhea (through the use of oral re-hydration therapies), malaria control and treatment, point-of-use water treatment, on-site sanitation methods and the provision of basic health services.[8]

Like commercial marketing, the primary focus is on the consumer--on learning what people want and need rather than trying to persuade them to buy what we happen to be producing. Marketing talks to the consumer, not about the product. The planning process takes this consumer focus into account by addressing the elements of the "marketing mix." This refers to decisions about 1) the conception of a Product, 2) Price, 3) distribution (Place), and 4) Promotion. These are often called the "Four Ps" of marketing. Social marketing also adds a few more "P's." At the end is an example of the marketing mix.

Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!
Many scholars ascribe the beginning of the field of social marketing to an article published by G.D. Wiebe in the Winter 1951-1952 edition of Public Opinion Quarterly.[27] In it, Wiebe posed a rhetorical question: "Why can’t you sell brotherhood and rational thinking like you can sell soap?” He then went on to discuss what he saw as the challenges of attempting to sell a social good as if it were a commodity, thus identifying social marketing (though he did not label it as such) as a discipline unique from c mmodity marketing. Yet, Wilkie & Moore (2003)[28] note that the marketing discipline has been involved with questions about the intersection of marketing and society since its earliest days as a discipline.
The broadest approach to audience segmentation is targeted communications, in which information about population groups is used to prepare messages that draw attention to a generic message but are targeted using a person's name (for example, marketing by mass mail). This form of segmentation is used commercially to aim products at specific customer profiles (for example, upper middle income women who have children and live in suburban areas). It has been used effectively in health promotion to develop socially desirable images and prevention messages (fig 2).
Does your company have an in-house marketing team, but still feel lacking in the mastery of digital marketing and SEO? Whether you have an enterprise-level company, run a large association, or head the marketing team at a major organization, custom-designed strategy and analytics consulting may be just what you need! Contact us and mention you need consulting.

Firms that are successful in marketing invariably start with a marketing plan. Large companies have plans with hundreds of pages; small companies can get by with a half-dozen sheets. Put your marketing plan in a three-ring binder. Refer to it at least quarterly, but better yet monthly. Leave a tab for putting in monthly reports on sales/manufacturing; this will allow you to track performance as you follow the plan.
Speaking of what they termed "social change campaigns", Kotler and Ned Roberto introduced the subject by writing, "A social change campaign is an organized effort conducted by one group (the change agent) which attempts to persuade others (the target adopters) to accept, modify, or abandon certain ideas, attitudes, practices or behavior." Their 1989 text was updated in 2002 by Philip Kotler, Ned Roberto and Nancy Lee.[33] In 2005, University of Stirling was the first university to open a dedicated research institute to Social Marketing,[34] while in 2007, Middlesex University became the first university to offer a specialized postgraduate programme in Health & Social Marketing.[35]
Internet marketing specialists help businesses promote their products and services using online marketing strategies. This can include email marketing, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and more. The internet marketing specialist might act as a consultant, assessing the businesses' current situation, identifying strategies, setting up systems, and then turning over the actual marketing tactics to the business. Or he might be hired to implement and manage the Internet marketing plan on-going.
Social marketing theory and practice has been progressed in several countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and in the latter a number of key government policy papers have adopted a strategic social marketing approach. Publications such as "Choosing Health" in 2004,[14] "It's our health!" in 2006 and "Health Challenge England" in 2006, represent steps to achieve a strategic and operational use of social marketing. In India, AIDS controlling programs are largely using social marketing and social workers are largely working for it. Most of the social workers are professionally trained for this task.[citation needed]
"Hey guys, just wanted to say thumbs up for the quality links you've brought in so far! Lot's of edu's, gov's and other trusted links. Exactly what we need. Our rankings are starting to improve and organic traffic is starting to increase. More importantly, we're very excited about the fact that you've 'opened our eyes' and had an important positive impact on our future (content) strategy. Brilliant! Will definitely recommend your team to anyone who isn't scared to invest in quality defensible SEO. Keep up the good work!" Max G.
Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven"t researched this. Perhaps, more importantly, you won't understand your online marketplace: the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behaviour, competitors, propositions, and options for marketing communications. There are great tools available from the main digital platforms where we can find out the level of customer demand, we recommend doing a search gap analysis using Google's Keyword planner to see how you are tapping into the intent of searchers to attract them to your site, or see how many people interested in products or services or sector you could reach through Facebook IQ.
Too much too soon. Stick to one website to begin with. Don’t get distracted by shiny new niches. This will only dilute your efforts. It’s absolutely not a waste of time to spend hours on end researching the very best niche for you to enter into. The commission, cookies, product and even the advertiser’s website all have to be excellent. The last thing you want to do is invest money in creating your own site only to send visitors to an advertiser’s site that barely converts a single sale. Would you buy from the advertiser’s site? Question everything before you spend a single penny on building your new site.

Social Marketers focus tightly and continuously on their target audience or consumers. This emphasis on the consumer is social marketing's greatest asset and the most significant contribution it can bring to any program. All too often, program organizers are so focused on the changes they want to achieve and the messages they want to convey, that insufficient emphasis is placed on understanding and effectively reaching the people they are trying to influence.

In a direct distribution channel, the product or service goes directly from the manufacturer to the consumer. In a one stage distribution channel, it goes from manufacturer to retailer to consumer. The traditional distribution channel is from manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Outline all the different companies, people and/or technologies that will be involved in the process of getting your product or service to your customer.
Our agency can provide both offensive and defensive ORM strategies as well as preventive ORM that includes developing new pages and social media profiles combined with consulting on continued content development. Our ORM team consists of experts from our SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing, and PR teams. At the end of the day, ORM is about getting involved in the online “conversations” and proactively addressing any potentially damaging content.
In much of Africa, women have traditionally had many, many children; in such countries as Nigeria, the average woman might bear as many as 12 children during her lifetime. A social marketing message that has been widely disseminated, then, is have fewer children. This message has been geared towards the goals of increasing women's health, and decreasing overpopulation and famine.
Preparation is key. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Whether you are chopping down a tree or executing an integrated marketing plan, the steps you take ahead of time to lay out your plan and ensure you have all of the proper (and optimized) tools, are crucial to your marketing success.
Marketing via the internet is constantly growing and embracing new techniques along the way. As a business manager, you need to stay ahead of these changes in order to remain relevant and competitive. The first thing you need to do is to provide quality and strong content that can increase your visibility in search engines. The next thing is to embrace social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and make them the focal point of your online marketing strategy.
"Jim, You rock!, and thank you SO MUCH for your extremely fast response to my question. Please know that your team have been a BLAST to work with, and that everyone here is extremely grateful and values the partnership our companies have formed over the past year or so. If there is anything that I can ever do to return the favor, please do not hesitate to ask." Tom W.
When you are trying to change the behavior of a large number of people. If the number of people who you are trying to reach is small enough that they can be spoken with individually, or in a group, the time is probably not ripe for social marketing. For example, if you are interested in asking students at Pleasant Valley High School to volunteer at the upcoming spring fair, you might speak to them at an assembly, or visit individual classrooms. Development of a social marketing plan is more than is necessary. If, however, you want to increase volunteerism among everyone who lives in Pleasant Valley, a social marketing plan might be just what's called for.
For example, if I talk about how cool a product is, and then you find out that I’m an affiliate for them, wouldn’t you as a conscientious observer become skeptical as to whether my information is biased, if perhaps I’m only saying how cool something is because I can get paid for it? Wouldn’t that make you question my integrity with other things I say as well?
"I was looking over the link reports for (our site) recently. I just wanted to tell you and your team that I was especially impressed with the quality of links acquired over the last few months. I mean, they're completely stellar. So many of them have been older domains receiving plenty of edu and gov backlinks. I am very impressed! Ninjas, indeed! So I wanted to pass that on because I feel everyone deserves to know when they are appreciated. And I totally appreciate you guys. :))) Whenever someone who actually has an internet marketing budget asks me about SEO services, I always rave to them about my experience with the Ninjas (well...as long as they're not in any of the same verticals as I am!) Thanks again for all the time and effort." Dan C.

There are several core qualities to look for in strategic marketing freelancers. As well as a passion for creating effective marketing campaigns, the ideal marketing strategist will be experienced in marketing planning, and any other marketing techniques you plan to use. A successful marketing consultant should be able to prove their experience with certifications and past examples of work. Ideally, a digital marketing specialist will be knowledgeable, creative, and well-organised. The best strategic marketers are also great at understanding their client’s business, and communicate progress regularly.
You’ve launched an amazing product or service. Now what? Now, you need to get the word out. When done well, good PR can be much more effective and less expensive than advertising. Regardless of whether you want to hire a fancy agency or awesome consultant, make sure that you know what you’re doing and what types of ROI to expect. Relationships are the heart and soul of PR. This chapter will teach you how to ignore the noise and focus on substantive, measurable results.
A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser. Some extensions are authored using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Most modern web browsers have a whole slew of third-party extensions available for download. In recent years, there has been a constant rise in the number of malicious browser extensions flooding the web. Malicious browser extensions will often appear to be legitimate as they seem to originate from vendor websites and come with glowing customer reviews.[32] In the case of affiliate marketing, these malicious extensions are often used to redirect a user’s browser to send fake clicks to websites that are supposedly part of legitimate affiliate marketing programs. Typically, users are completely unaware this is happening other than their browser performance slowing down. Websites end up paying for fake traffic number, and users are unwitting participants in these ad schemes.
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