"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.
Know when (and when not) to use Viglinks and Skimlinks. If you applied to an affiliate program but were denied, you might be able to still be an affiliate for that advertiser through a secondary affiliate program like VigLink or Skimlinks. Basically, they themselves are affiliates and will split their affiliate commission with you if you put their affiliate link in your content for an advertiser. Obviously, the commission rate is lower for you in this case, so if you ever are accepted into the advertiser’s affiliate program directly, immediately switch from using VigLink / Skimlinks affiliate links to your own.

What's the authority of your website or webpage, or any other page on the internet for that matter where you're attempting to gain visibility? Authority is an important component of trust, and it relies heavily on quality links coming from websites that Google already trusts. Authority largely relates to the off-page optimization discipline of SEO that occurs away from the webpage as opposed to the on-page optimization that occurs directly on the webpage.


The truth is much more complicated. It’s true that affiliate programs can be sources of phantom revenue and off-brand promotion. But managed properly, they can also make up 5-15 percent of online revenue and have an ROI among the highest of any online channel. CMOs are realizing that affiliate marketing can be an important part of their arsenal and are integrating the channel into their overall marketing strategies.
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.
Perhaps the most important factor in successful marketing is the "corporate vision." Surprisingly, it is largely neglected by marketing textbooks, although not by the popular exponents of corporate strategy  — indeed, it was perhaps the main theme of the book by Peters and Waterman, in the form of their "Superordinate Goals." "In Search of Excellence" said: "Nothing drives progress like the imagination. The idea precedes the deed." [7] If the organization in general, and its chief executive in particular, has a strong vision of where its future lies, then there is a good chance that the organization will achieve a strong position in its markets (and attain that future). This will be not least because its strategies will be consistent and will be supported by its staff at all levels. In this context, all of IBM's marketing activities were underpinned by its philosophy of "customer service," a vision originally promoted by the charismatic Watson dynasty. The emphasis at this stage is on obtaining a complete and accurate picture.
DisabledGO, an information provider for people with disabilities in the UK and Ireland, hired Agency51 to implement an SEO migration strategy to move DisabledGO from an old platform to a new one. By applying 301 redirects to old URLS, transferring metadata, setting up Google webmaster tools, and creating a new sitemap, Agency 51 was able to successfully transfer DisabledGO to a new platform while keeping their previous SEO power alive. Additionally, they were able to boost visitor numbers by 21% year over year, and the site restructuring allowed DisabledGO to rank higher than competitors. Their case study is available on SingleGrain.com.
If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

The classic quantification of a marketing plan appears in the form of budgets. Because these are so rigorously quantified, they are particularly important. They should, thus, represent an unequivocal projection of actions and expected results. What is more, they should be capable of being monitored accurately; and, indeed, performance against budget is the main (regular) management review process.


So be clear in your messaging. Make sure your site is a place that people want to stay, not only because it is pretty but also because the information they need is easily found. There is an entire science and methodology behind website design including where to place buttons on the page, what content works best where, what colors convey certain feelings and so on. Read, 4 Examples of Fantastic Web Design for inspiration and consider hiring a web designer who specializes in Inbound Marketing and SEO to ensure your website is reaching its full potential.

A marketing plan is a business's operational document for outreach and advertising to generate leads and reach its target market. A marketing plan pulls together all the campaigns that will be undertaken over a period with additional information on how they will be measured and monitored. The marketing plan interacts with other business operations in several ways, including:
Finally, it’s critical you spend time and resources on your business’s website design. When these aforementioned customers find your website, they’ll likely feel deterred from trusting your brand and purchasing your product if they find your site confusing or unhelpful. For this reason, it’s important you take the time to create a user-friendly (and mobile-friendly) website.
A variation of social marketing has emerged as a systematic way to foster more sustainable behavior. Referred to as community-based social marketing (CBSM) by Canadian environmental psychologist Doug McKenzie-Mohr, CBSM strives to change the behavior of communities to reduce their impact on the environment.[18] Realizing that simply providing information is usually not sufficient to initiate behavior change, CBSM uses tools and findings from social psychology to discover the perceived barriers to behavior change and ways of overcoming these barriers. Among the tools and techniques used by CBSM are focus groups and surveys (to discover barriers) and commitments, prompts, social norms, social diffusion, feedback and incentives (to change behavior). The tools of CBSM have been used to foster sustainable behavior in many areas, including energy conservation,[19] environmental regulation[20] and recycling.[21]
In one page or less, list your company's marketing goals for the coming year. The key is to make your goals realistic and measurable so that you can easily evaluate your performance. "Increase sales of peripherals" is an example of an ineffective goal. You'd be in a much better position to gauge your marketing progress with a goal such as, "Increase sales of peripherals 10 percent in the first quarter, 15 percent in the second quarter, 15 percent in the third quarter and 10 percent in fourth quarter."
Under Armour came up with the hashtag “I Will What I Want” to encourage powerful athletic women to achieve their dreams despite any opposition they might face. The hashtag, first used by American Ballet Theatre ballerina soloist Misty Copeland, blew up on Facebook after supermodel Gisele Bündchen used it in one of her Facebook posts. Many other female athletes have also used the hashtag.
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. 
Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
Marketing online is convenient, as it allows you to interact with the customers round the clock without having to worry about the opening and closing hours. It is also convenient for customers since they can simply browse your products online and place orders anytime at the comfort of their homes. Another benefit is that you get to promote your products at a lower cost. You also reach out to an unlimited number of people all over the world.
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.
Online reviews have become one of the most important components in purchasing decisions by consumers in North America. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research which included over 1000 participants, 90% of respondents said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions and 94% will use a business with at least four stars. Interestingly, negative reviews typically came from online review sites whereas Facebook was the main source of positive reviews. Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, 42% of in-store sales will be from customers who are influenced by web product research.
Email marketing is yet another tactic in your inbound marketing arsenal. Email is used most effectively as a lead nurturing tool, in that it is used to engage with potential customers as they interact with specific content on your website. For example, should a prospect visit your website and download an eBook, they will then begin to receive a set of triggered emails related to the eBook topic, encouraging them to further interact with the brand. Email is also commonly used for announcements, newsletters and promotions. Just as with social media, email frequency and timing matters. While incorporating email into your marketing plan is important, overdoing it can backfire. People don’t want to be overrun with emails and if you are overzealous you could risk losing potential buyers.

As we know from interactions with our own friends, they can be full of surprises. So one of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating a buyer persona is to constantly make assumptions. Actually put these personas to the test, hit the pavement, and start interviewing people and get some real data. After all, there’s that saying about assumptions making a donkey out of you and me.


Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks.[39] Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.
"Jim, thanks for the great work. You and your team have been great and we are very happy with the results. Because of this, I wanted to give you a testimonial that you can share. On a nice spring day about a year ago, our site took a nose dive in the rankings on some of our most valuable keywords. I franticly begun searching SEO forums for the best people and ways to get us back to the top and I came a across Jim and his team. Jim was one of the most highly recommended link building Guru's out there, so I called Ninjas. To my surprise they couldn't take my money right away because they were busy working on other client accounts. They were very polite and explained that if they were to take my money that would have meant they could not spend the time they needed to spend on their client's accounts. Right there I knew these guys were for real. Biting my nails and pulling my hair, I patiently waited for two months so they could start working on my account and boy was I soooooo glad that I did. I finally got to speak with Jim, who is an awesome guy with a great sense of humor. I could say the same thing about my account manager and all of the Ninja team. After this meeting the work begun and the rest is history. I would highly recommend Jim Boykin and his team to anyone, even though part of me wants to keep them to myself. However I know they would not take on more than they can handle, unless they know they can put in the time needed to deliver results." Eric K.
Pros: It's just a great CRM, and there's something here for pretty much everyone. It won "Expert's Choice Award for 2017" from Finances Online as the Best CRM software. As Finances Online wrote: "HubSpot CRM is a smart and easy option that carries all the necessary basic features but without the often confusing complexity many other CRM platforms have. Beginners and mid-market companies will also appreciate the fact that HubSpot CRM is currently a certified, premier Google partner, and is a solution that suits well all niches and industries."
Going into network marketing? Understand that if you're not close to the top of the food chain there, your ability to generate any serious amount of income will be limited. Be wary of the hype and the sales pitches that get you thinking that it's going to work the other way. Simply understand that you're going to have to work hard no matter what you pick to do. Email marketing? Sure. You can do that. But you'll need a massive and very targeted list to make any dent.
Social marketing was "born" as a discipline in the 1970s, when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the same marketing principles that were being used to sell products to consumers could be used to "sell" ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Kotler and Andreasen define social marketing as "differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society." This technique has been used extensively in international health programs, especially for contraceptives and oral rehydration therapy (ORT), and is being used with more frequency in the United States for such diverse topics as drug abuse, heart disease and organ donation.
Next, decide how much time and how many resources you will spend on each of your subgroups. Most groups have finite time and resources, and you probably won't be able to concentrate on every group as fully as you would like. Where does it make the most sense to concentrate your resources? Do you want to concentrate on only one or two of the groups you have identified (perhaps the group most affected by the problem, or the group it will be easiest for you to help)? Or, do you want to spread out your work more equally over all of the target groups you have identified?
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.
Ask for VIP (sometimes called “tiered”) commissions. Many affiliate programs have different commission levels. Usually the standard commission level is made public, but higher commissions are offered to higher performing affiliates. Sometimes you may be bumped up to “VIP affiliate” status by the advertiser, but most times you have to ask if there’s a higher tier and how you can get there.
Your Competition Is Already Involved. Your competitors are already involved on social media, which means your potential social media traffic and conversions are being poached. Don’t let your competitors reap all the benefits while you stand idly by. If, somehow, your competition is not involved on social media, there’s even more of a reason to get started—the field is open.
As mentioned earlier, technology and the internet allows for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service for customers as well as enabling them to shop online at any hour of that day or night, not just when the shops are over and across the whole world. This is a huge advantage for retailers to use it and direct customers from the store to its online store. It has also opened up an opportunity for companies to only be online based rather than having an outlet or store due to the popularity and capabilities of digital marketing.
Culture in America is often synonymous with ethnicity, but in marketing there can be a culture of risk takers, a culture of pick‐up truck drivers, a culture of men drivers, and a culture of women drivers. Many of these cultures can be cross referenced, so you should have a culture or segment of female teen drivers who take risks. Justification for the importance of these cultures is reflected in a few statistical facts:
William A Smith is the Executive Vice President of the Academy for Educational Development (AED). He is also a co‐founder of the Social Marketing Institute, a columnist and editorial board member of Social Marketing Quarterly, the International Journal of Health Communication, and Applied Environmental Education and Communication: An International Journal. He recently received the Alan Andreasen Award for scholarship and practice in Social Marketing and served on the IOM committee on health literacy. Dr Smith has a doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts in non‐formal education with an emphasis on gaming theory and an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of South Florida. The AED is an independent, non‐profit organization that works to foster large scale social change in education, health, and the environment, and is committed to solving critical social problems and building the capacity of individuals, communities, and institutions to become more self‐sufficient.
If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.

"As an owner of a small search engine marketing company, having access to the latest info on SEO is critical. I have had consultation phone calls with many of the top SEO'S and have sent my employees to training at one of the very top search marketing companies. Talking to Jim has been the best experience yet. He doesn't beat around the bush and tells you the real deal on getting organic ranks. We were stumped in particular on link building despite doing it for many years. Even after researching through forums and asking questions at the search strategies conference, we still did not have the whole picture and a practical set of white hat techniques to employ. Jim solved that among other technical issues our programmer had. I am truly looking forward to our next chat." John M.


The next milestone in the evolution of social marketing was the publication of "Social Marketing: An Approach to Planned Social Change" in the Journal of Marketing by Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman.[31] Kotler and Zaltman coined the term 'social marketing' and defined it as "the design, implementation, and control of programs calculated to influence the acceptability of social ideas and involving considerations of product planning, pricing, communication, distribution, and marketing research." They conclude that "social marketing appears to represent a bridging mechanism which links the behavior scientist's knowledge of human behavior with the socially useful implementation of what that knowledge allows."
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. 
To successfully grow a social media following, you must make sure to have your social media profile set up right. This means getting a professional photo and cover image that relates to your business. Share content regularly but don’t be too promotional: around 80% of what you share on a social media channel should come from other people. Most importantly, be social, and don't rely too much on automation. A good idea is to have in place a social customer service providing fast and efficient costumer support to your followers.
So, the good news is that there are powerful reasons for creating a digital strategy and transforming your marketing which you can use to persuade your colleagues and clients. There is also now a lot of experience from how other businesses have successfully integrated digital marketing into their activities as explained in the example digital plans, templates and best practices in our digital marketing strategy toolkit.
Social marketing campaigns are those that borrow from commercial marketing techniques for the purpose of social engagement–influencing a target audience to change their social behaviours and to benefit society. Whether it’s related to the environment, public health, safety, or community development, marketing for good is a methodology for creating change.
Social Marketing is a planned process for influencing change. Social Marketing is a modified term of conventional Product and Service Marketing. With its components of marketing and consumer research, advertising and promotion (including positioning, segmentation, creative strategy, message design and testing, media strategy and planning, and effective tracking), Social Marketing can play a central role in topics like health, environment, and other important issues.
Courses like qualitative and quantitative research help professionals prepare for the intensive research that goes into creating social marketing campaigns. Research is a key element for success in social marketing, and with a strong understanding of the different techniques for researching an issue, it's easier to find and use the necessary information.
Shifting the focus to the time span, we may need to measure some "Interim Metrics", which give us some insight during the journey itself, as well as we need to measure some "Final Metrics" at the end of the journey to inform use if the overall initiative was successful or not. As an example, most of social media metrics and indicators such as likes, shares and engagement comments may be classified as interim metrics while the final increase/decrease in sales volume is clearly from the final category.

Know when (and when not) to use Viglinks and Skimlinks. If you applied to an affiliate program but were denied, you might be able to still be an affiliate for that advertiser through a secondary affiliate program like VigLink or Skimlinks. Basically, they themselves are affiliates and will split their affiliate commission with you if you put their affiliate link in your content for an advertiser. Obviously, the commission rate is lower for you in this case, so if you ever are accepted into the advertiser’s affiliate program directly, immediately switch from using VigLink / Skimlinks affiliate links to your own.

Another challenge is the sheer scope and scale of digital marketing. There are so many great digital marketing techniques ranging from search, social and email marketing to improve the digital experience of your website. Our article, What is digital marketing? shows how by using our RACE planning framework you can define a more manageable number of digital marketing activities which cover the full customer journey. Within each digital marketing technique, there are lots of detailed tactics that are important to success, so they need to be evaluated and prioritized, for example from dynamic content for email automation, website personalization to programmatic, retargeting and skyscraper content for organic search.
Online marketing can be broken down into web marketing, email marketing and social media marketing. Web marketing involves the use of e-commerce, affiliate marketing websites, search engines and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Email marketing involves the use of email messages to advertise and promote products. Social media marketing involves advertising and engaging customers using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Digg.

First things first, choose a niche. You should choose something which interests you, you don’t mind learning about, or have the ability to pay someone else to write about. Consider the potential costs carefully before delving into something which you know absolutely nothing about. Another important aspect is to be confident that it will be a lucrative niche to work in. There needs to be an abundance of products to promote, and the commission levels need to be significant enough to give you a good profit each time a sale is made.
The first step in developing your marketing plan is to establish the marketing objectives that will accomplish your business goals, says Karen Albritton, president of Capstrat, a marketing agency in Raleigh, North Carolina. "If your business goal is to grow revenue, what marketing objective will accomplish this? Adding more customers? More repeat customers? Higher expenditures?"

7. Decreased Marketing Costs. According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic. Six hours is not a significant investment for a channel as large as social media. If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and syndication strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget—once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
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