This introductory section contains an overview of your situation as it exists today and will provide a useful benchmark as you adapt and refine your plan in the coming months. Begin with a short description of your current product or service offering, the marketing advantages and challenges you face, and a look at the threats posed by your competitors. Describe any outside forces that will affect your business in the coming year--this can be anything from diminished traffic levels due to construction if you're a retailer or a change in law that could affect a new product introduction if you're an inventor, for example.
"One client was very happy with his rankings so he sent the entire team to Atlantic City, all expenses paid. Then he said, 'I loved hearing that you all enjoyed the trip. It's great giving back the joy that I get from seeing us going up in rank. I am hoping to present more such rewards for the remarkable job you are continuing to do, and for Jim's brilliant leadership.'" Rafael D.
Promote products that are stepping stones to products you will create in the future. This is a bit more advanced, but is a great way to think ahead. Amy Porterfield suggests thinking about the first thing your followers will need in order to get started with what you provide. For example, I teach people how to blog, so the first thing they need to start a blog is hosting. That’s why I am an affiliate for hosting.

The terms “social media” and “social marketing” are often used interchangeably, and while it’s easy to see how it happens, it’s important to understand that these two terms mean very different things. Certainly, social media and social marketing can work together, but grasping their differences will save you from having egg on your face in any marketing discussion. 

"Long story short, we are in the middle of a BIG MOVE and all the quality traffic you've been driving to our web site has been keeping us busy. There hasn't been a night (except for maybe today, Memorial Day) where myself and our entire staff has not been burning the midnight oil trying to keep up with all the customers! Oh yeah, this is a GOOD THING. Sleep is over rated! :) Thanks for kicking ass (you are link ninjas... )!" Barry M.
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.
Motivate people to want to change their behavior. The recipient has to form an intention to act on the basis of that attitude. It's not enough to just convince people that something is a good idea. A leap needs to be made from thinking something is a "good idea" to the stage of "I will do that." Think about it--how many of us think it would be a really good idea to cut down on our fat intake, or get up at 5:00 a.m. to exercise? Social marketing helps people move from attitude to intention, and beyond. For African women, this might mean taking the leap to find out about birth control or planning to postpone intercourse.
Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.[41]
Increasingly, social marketing is described as having "two parents." The "social parent" uses social science and social policy approaches. The "marketing parent" uses commercial and public sector marketing approaches.[4] Recent years have also witnessed a broader focus. Social marketing now goes beyond influencing individual behaviour. It promotes socio-cultural and structural change relevant to social issues.[5] Consequently, social marketing scholars are beginning to advocate for a broader definition of social marketing: "social marketing is the application of marketing principles to enable individual and collective ideas and actions in the pursuit of effective, efficient, equitable, fair and sustained social transformation". The new emphasis gives equal weight to the effects (efficiency and effectiveness) and the process (equity, fairness and sustainability) of social marketing programs.[6]

Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together. For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click. 
In 1999, I started this company with the mission statement, “We will work toward bringing in the greatest amount of relevant traffic to our clients’ websites, using the most ethical methods available.” That mission remains true today. Over the years, the game has evolved; the rules have changed and how the game of SEO is played has changed, but our services today still remain true to our original mission.
Commercial marketing with a social focus may run the gamut from advertising a new 100 percent recycled plastic water bottle to encouraging people to buy a more fuel efficient car. While these marketing campaigns are promoting eco-friendly products that will certainly have benefits for society, their primary focus is not societal good, it is selling a product.
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. 
2. Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.
By building enormous amounts of value, Facebook and Google both became tremendously successful. They didn't focus on revenues at the outset. They focused on value. And every single blog and business must do the same. While this might run contrary to someone who's short on cash and hoping that internet marketing is going to bring them a windfall overnight, it doesn't quite work that way.
Ideally, after writing marketing plans for a few years, you can sit back and review a series of them, year after year, and check the progress of your company. Of course, sometimes this is hard to make time for (there is that annoying real world to deal with), but it can provide an unparalleled objective view of what you've been doing with your business life over a number of years.
1. Micro AND Macro influencers. A lot of marketing press has emphasized micro and even “nano” influencers over celebrities. There’s merit to that but in B2B, the tier one influencers are still important. Successful programs incorporate top influencers that have large, relevant networks with more niche influencers with high engagement. When mapped to the right kind of content in the buying journey, a mix of influencer types is very powerful for B2B marketing.

Hey, thanks for the great post. I’ve been following Pat Flynn and love his “give and it shall be given unto you” attitude..my perception anyway. At 50, with a high school education, I’m trying to learn affiliate marketing from information online. What I’ve gleened so far is to focus on giving the best, most honest information, like your Parents would give you. In exchange for your efforts rewards will come.
Content is king. It always has been and it always will be. Creating insightful, engaging and unique content should be at the heart of any online marketing strategy. Too often, people simply don't obey this rule. The problem? This takes an extraordinary amount of work. However, anyone that tells you that content isn't important, is not being fully transparent with you. You cannot excel in marketing anything on the internet without having quality content.
The goal of a public relations specialist is to generate positive publicity, usually through social marketing campaigns and strategies. Some of these specialists are directly employed by government agencies, public service companies, nonprofit organizations, or large commercial companies. Others work on a freelance basis, either as individuals or for marketing agencies that specialize in social marketing.
The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.
Some commentators originally suggested that affiliate links work best in the context of the information contained within the website itself. For instance, if a website contains information pertaining to publishing a website, an affiliate link leading to a merchant's internet service provider (ISP) within that website's content would be appropriate. If a website contains information pertaining to sports, an affiliate link leading to a sporting goods website may work well within the context of the articles and information about sports. The goal, in this case, is to publish quality information on the website and provide context-oriented links to related merchant's websites.
10. Improved Customer Insights. Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most interest—and then produce more of that type of content. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.
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!
For some business owners, they’ll think of a website. Others may think of social media, or blogging. In reality, all of these avenues of advertising fall in the category internet marketing and each is like a puzzle piece in a much bigger marketing picture. Unfortunately, for new business owners trying to establish their web presence, there’s a lot of puzzle pieces to manage.
Aside from advertising online, your online reputation is very important, even if you do not conduct business over the internet — before a new customer decides to patronize your business chances are they will check online reviews, so building a reputation for quality and customer service is very important. Unhappy customers are more likely to leave online reviews than satisfied ones, so having a strong reputation and plenty of positive online reviews is vital to business success in today's digital world.
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.
8. Behaviors are different—marketing adjusts to the differences. Some behaviors are simple: place an infant on its back to sleep in order to prevent SIDS. Some behaviors are natural but under strong external attack: breastfeed an infant for a full six months. Some behaviors are politically sensitive (needle exchange to prevent HIV transmission, abortion, sex education in school). Some behaviors are supported by strong enforcement policies (seat belt use, drunk driving, hand gun use). Others are complex and require new skills, such as the management of infant diarrhea in an African village. Some behaviors are well understood, while others are novel and seem curious. Some behaviors have naturally occurring rewards, while others have delayed rewards, or no rewards that an audience cares about. Each of these factors and more are critical points in understanding which marketing strategy is needed (fig 2​2).
Social marketing is not always a success. If the attitudes and behavior changes you are encouraging are still not perceived as beneficial, acceptable and attainable by the priority population, it may not be worthwhile to develop a social marketing campaign at this time. In this situation, it is better to introduce a behavior change recommendation by developing connections with community and agreeing on a unified goal before planning a social marketing campaign.

The purpose of a marketing budget is to pull together all the revenues and costs involved in marketing into one comprehensive document. The budget is a managerial tool that balances what is needed to be spent against what can be afforded, and helps make choices about priorities. A budget can further be used to measure a business's performance in the general trends of a business's spending.


When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
Managing an effective social marketing campaign takes a lot of thought, resources, and elbow work. As in regular marketing, a lot of "behind the scenes" work takes place before a 30 second advertisement is ever aired. Effective efforts, however, have made huge differences in the lives of us all. Campaigns have helped us reduce our risks for heart disease and lung cancer; they helped us eradicate small pox and are helping us to realize what the World Health Organization terms, "a world without polio." Your organization, too, can use this powerful tool to help you achieve your goals.
A marketing plan considers the value proposition of a business and sets out the schedule for a period. Market research is often the basis for the identification of the target audience and the channels to be used, for example, radio, social media, online ads, and regional TV advertising spots.  The marketing plan includes the rationale for decisions and describes the overall marketing strategy. The plan should focus on the creation, timing and placement of specific campaigns and how the outcomes will be measured.

Once you have built a subscriber email list of potential customers who may be interested in your products or services, email marketing is a very effective way to get the message out. You can keep them up to date with company news, upcoming events, and special offerings. You can send out newsletters and customized product or service offerings specific to the customer's needs.
These behavioral differences are often accounted for by belief systems called cultures, as well as external factors such as car ownership, economic status, or education level. A marketing plan developed by the Louisiana State TIGER program used market research to define the differences between key traffic safety segments. For example, the program reports that community messages rather than individual messages work best with the Hispanic population. Humor is less likely to be effective. In African American communities demonstrating respect for the individual is key. With the Indian population cooperation is highly valued and being quiet and still is a valued behavior. For so‐called Y generation teens honesty, trustworthiness, and sincerity are valued. These generalizations are useful starting points for targeted marketed research with specific population under specific conditions.18
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.
6. Increased Inbound Traffic. Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads and more conversions.

Identify the barriers to change: through interviews, surveys, focus groups or other methods, you'll want to find out what makes it difficult or unattractive for people to make these changes. Do pregnant women feel uncomfortable at the area clinic, or are they made to feel stupid when they talk to the doctor? Is the clinic too far away? Can they not take the time away from their jobs?

Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
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