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.

There are numerous repositories to source affiliate products and services from. However, some of the biggest are sites like Clickbank, Commission Junction, LinkShare and JVZoo. You'll need to go through an application process, for the most part, to get approved to sell certain products, services or digital information products. Once approved, be prepared to hustle.
Pay per click (PPC) advertising, commonly referred to as Search Engine Marketing, delivers targeted traffic and conversions and will yield results faster than organic search engine optimization. Successful PPC marketing programs offer incredible revenue and brand-building opportunities. However, without a thorough understanding of how PPC works, it is very easy to mismanage valuable advertising budgets. That’s where we come in!

What's the relationship between your marketing plan and your business plan or vision statement? Your business plan spells out what your business is about--what you do and don't do, and what your ultimate goals are. It encompasses more than marketing; it can include discussions of locations, staffing, financing, strategic alliances and so on. It includes "the vision thing," the resounding words that spell out the glorious purpose of your company in stirring language. Your business plan is the U.S. Constitution of your business: If you want to do something that's outside the business plan, you need to either change your mind or change the plan. Your company's business plan provides the environment in which your marketing plan must flourish. The two documents must be consistent.
When done well, digital advertising offers limitless opportunities to reach and engage audiences. The key is using high-quality ads on reputable platforms. When you combine digital marketing with motion and sound on a powerful platform, your marketing messages leap off the screen. High impact ad units grab consumer attention, engaging them fully, encouraging interaction, and […]
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."
In the beginning, it was rough for Sharpe. No one out there should think that it's going to be easy whatsoever. His journey took years and years to go from an absolute beginner, to a fluid and seasoned professional, able to clearly visualize and achieve his dreams, conveying his vast knowledge expertly to those hungry-minded individuals out there looking to learn how to generate a respectable income online.
The field is replete with terms that might confuse and perplex the average individual. What is a squeeze page? What's a sales funnel? What's a CPA? What's SEO? How do you setup a good blog to filter the right type of relevant traffic and get your offer in front of eligible users? What's a massive value post (MVP) really mean? Clearly, there are an endless array of terms, some of which you might already know or might not depending on how much you presently know about the field.
Mistake #2: Using the “They must not be my people” excuse to be spammy. I’m not a fan of this common tactic. Here’s how it works: people send a huge number of sales/promotional emails to their list with no warning and with no easy way to opt out. When people complain or unsubscribe, they put it on their subscribers (“Oh well, they aren’t my type of subscriber anyway…”), instead of taking responsibility for the spam (let’s call it what it is). What ever happened to “treat others the way you want to be treated”?
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?
Before online marketing channels emerged, the cost to market products or services was often prohibitively expensive, and traditionally difficult to measure. Think of national television ad campaigns, which are measured through consumer focus groups to determine levels of brand awareness. These methods are also not well-suited to controlled experimentation. Today, anyone with an online business (as well as most offline businesses) can participate in online marketing by creating a website and building customer acquisition campaigns at little to no cost. Those marketing products and services also have the ability to experiment with optimization to fine-tune their campaigns’ efficiency and ROI.
Content marketing is more than just blogging. When executed correctly, content including articles, guides (like this one), webinars, and videos can be powerful growth drivers for your business. Focus on building trust and producing amazing quality. And most of all, make sure that you’re capturing the right metrics. Create content to generate ROI. Measure the right results. This chapter will teach you how.
If you're interested in a simple solution that allows you to reach customers primarily through email, iContact is our top pick for email marketing tools. This is a straightforward, easy-to-use product that focuses solely on email marketing, marketing automation and the ability to segment your audiences based upon how they found you (Google versus Facebook, for example). On top of that, there's a thorough help center and quality customer support.

On the other hand, they may need longer to think about it. Perhaps they’re waiting for payday, or they’re not quite sure yet whether they prefer the blue one that they also spotted while browsing around the advertiser’s site. They may go away and come back in a couple of weeks’ time, no longer able to resist the urge to blow their wages on a better board.
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.
Health promotion campaigns began applying social marketing in practice in the 1980s. In the United States, The National High Blood Pressure Education Program[9] and the community heart disease prevention studies in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and at Stanford University[10] demonstrated the effectiveness of the approach to address population-based risk factor behaviour change. Notable early developments also took place in Australia. These included the Victoria Cancer Council developing its anti-tobacco campaign "Quit" (1988) and "SunSmart" (1988), its campaign against skin cancer which had the slogan "Slip! Slop! Slap!"[11]
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 health communications field has been rapidly changing over the past two decades. It has evolved from a one-dimensional reliance on public service announcements to a more sophisticated approach which draws from successful techniques used by commercial marketers, termed "social marketing." Rather than dictating the way that information is to be conveyed from the top-down, public health professionals are learning to listen to the needs and desires of the target audience themselves, and building the program from there. This focus on the "consumer" involves in-depth research and constant re-evaluation of every aspect of the program. In fact, research and evaluation together form the very cornerstone of the social marketing process.


In the 1990s, the term Digital Marketing was first coined,.[10] With the debut of server/client architecture and the popularity of personal computers, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications became a significant part of marketing technology.[citation needed] Fierce competition forced vendors to include more service into their software, for example, marketing, sales and service applications. Marketers were also able to own huge online customer data by eCRM software after the Internet was born. Companies could update the data of customer needs and obtain the priorities of their experience. This led to the first clickable banner ad being going live in 1994, which was the "You Will" campaign by AT&T and over the first four months of it going live, 44% of all people who saw it clicked on the ad.[11]

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.


Retargeting is another way that we can close the conversion loop and capitalize on the traffic gained from the overall marketing campaign. Retargeting is a very powerful display advertising tool to keep your brand top of mind and keep them coming back. We track every single touch point up to the ultimate conversions and use that data to make actionable recommendations for further campaign optimization.
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.

We have the capability to work with our clients’ internal content, creative, and email marketing teams or handle the whole campaign for them. We incorporate our proven strategic consulting services as part of our Email Marketing offerings in order to help our partner clients develop effective strategies for building their email lists. These consulting services include assistance with event planning, creative design, website and landing page email capture, and much more. We help our clients not only with engagement but new email acquisition, list segmentation and list cleansing.


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.
Mistake #5: Promoting a lot of affiliate products instead of just a few. Once you start affiliate marketing, you realize how easy it is to share affiliate links. Instead of becoming an affiliate for a lot of different products and sharing them liberally, I recommend concentrating on just a few and sharing them intentionally. It doesn’t seem as spammy, plus you can be sure the products you do promote are closely aligned with your brand and message. Deep is better than wide.
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

"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.


To those on the outside, affiliate marketing can seem like a black box. It’s inner workings are mysterious to most marketers and in many companies it’s not treated with the same seriousness as other channels. Some marketers, only familiar with the bad reputation acquired by some industry players in the 2000s, deride it as a source of spam and little more.
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[60]
As an internationally recognized Search Engine Marketing agency, we have the team, technology, and skills to manage large budget PPC campaigns with thousands of keywords. We have the ability to manage enterprise level accounts in multiple languages. IMI is also partner with Marin Software to provide our clients with the best possible advertising management platform, reporting dashboard, attribution modeling, and reporting.
Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort. 
Companies often use email marketing to re-engage past customers, but a “Where’d You Go? Want To Buy This?” message can come across as aggressive, and you want to be careful with your wording to cultivate a long-term email subscriber. This is why JetBlue’s one year re-engagement email works so well -- it uses humor to convey a sense of friendliness and fun, while simultaneously reminding an old email subscriber they might want to check out some of JetBlue’s new flight deals.
Doing It is a national HIV testing and prevention campaign sponsored by CDC that encourages adults to get tested for HIV and know their status. The target audience for the message is everyone, emphasizing that HIV testing should be a part of everyone’s regular health routine to keep them and their communities healthy. Materials for this campaign include videos, posters, palm cards, and banner ads.
In marketing, the marketing expense-to-sales ratio plays an important part in expense analysis because it is used to align marketing spend with industry norms. Marketing expense-to-sales ratio helps the company drive its marketing spend productivity. Marketing expense-to-sales analysis is also included with the sales analysis, market share analysis, financial analysis and market-based scorecard analysis as one of the five analysis tools marketers used to control and drive spending productivity. The marketing expense-to-sales ratio allows companies to track actual spending that is relative to the accepted budget and relative to sales goals as stated in the marketing plan.[14]
While there are several platforms for doing this, clearly YouTube is the most popular for doing this. However, video marketing is also a great form of both content marketing and SEO on its own. It can help to provide visibility for several different ventures, and if the video is valuable enough in its message and content, it will be shared and liked by droves, pushing up the authority of that video through the roof.
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.
Online marketing is the practice of leveraging web-based channels to spread a message about a company’s brand, products, or services to its potential customers. The methods and techniques used for online marketing include email, social media, display advertising, search engine optimization, and more. The objective of marketing is to reach potential customers through the channels where they spend time reading, searching, shopping, or socializing online.
When there are multiple affiliates involved in one transaction, payment gets much more complicated. Sometimes it’s even possible for affiliates to jump in at the last minute and claim commissions for customers brought in by other affiliates. Successful programs use multi-channel attribution to ensure the affiliates that create the most value get paid the most.
Standard to any business or marketing plan is the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis should help you clearly define your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that you can develop goals and objectives that are on point and tied to your overall mission. The SWOT analysis will also enable you to understand what differentiates you from your competition and how you should position yourself in the market. It will also help in developing your messaging and your unique selling proposition. Brutal honesty is imperative to a truly insightful SWOT. Use bullets and aim for 4–5 in each section. Limiting your lists will help you to focus on the most critical points and help retain focus.
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.

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.
Since 2012 we have run an informal poll to see how widely used digital marketing strategies are. The results have shown some big improvements over the years. A few years ago we found around two-thirds to three-quarters did not have a digital marketing plan. Now that number has shrunk to 45% in latest survey, although that is still quite high, and means almost half are still doing digital with no strategy in place.
Focus groups are woefully inadequate as a means to understand any audience, but given the rapid changes in teen attitudes and the impact of peer influence, they are particularly inadequate. A wide variety of alternative research tools have emerged, including: ethnographies; small panels during which teens are given assignments and tracked over time; immersion hikes, where research is embedded in day‐long activities; computer assisted telephone focus groups; and “up to fives”, where clients can listen in to telephone interviews with up to five respondents and direct cueing questions to interviewers secretly. Doer/non‐doer studies compare trendsetters and early adopter segments to identify determinants that predict behavior. Room shopping gets permission from teens to search their rooms to identify the variety of items that may be used for motivational purposes. There are a plethora of information and information systems directed at understanding youth. One interesting system is called TRU, Teenage Research Unlimited. They provide an updated subscription service based on a 2000 plus, nationally representative survey of 12–19 year olds in six‐month waves on the behavior and changing motivational attitudes of US teens.
In order to use SEO affectively, you must optimize your content and when we say content we mean all your content – from your blogs to your landing pages to your social tags. In order to do this you need to create a keyword list, which will then allow you to create messaging around the words and phrase you are targeting. But SEO is much more than just targeting keywords. Link building, content and social media all play key roles in a successful SEO strategy.
Don’t exhaust all the information about the product with your link. Offer enough information to your readers so they know what the link is, but I don’t recommend giving too much detail on your own site for a two reasons. First, product information, like price, often changes. If you mention the price on your site and someone clicks over and finds a different price, it’s confusing. Second, many times, the product details and features are better explained by the makers of the product. It’s best to stick to your own experience on your site.

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.

But If you plan to teach a course, sponsor a community event, or conduct an email campaign, you'll want to include it in your advertising and promotion plan. Sporadic unconnected attempts to promote your product or service are bound to fail; your goal is to plan and carry out a sequence of focused promotion activities that will communicate the message you want to send about your products and/or services with your potential customers.


It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to customize your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product recommendations. You shouldn’t just focus on the vertical you’re in, but on the traffic sources and audience that’s visiting your site. Traffic sources may include organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic. You can view traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as time on page, bounce rate, geo location, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more so that you can focus your effort on the highest converting traffic. This analytics data is crucial to making informed decisions, increasing your conversion rates, and making more affiliate sales. 
Joint ventures and partnerships are agreements you forge with other organizations to help reach new customers or better monetize existing customers. For example, if you sold replacement guitar strings, it could be quite lucrative to partner with a guitar manufacturer who had a list of thousands of customers to whom it sold guitars (and who probably need replacement strings in the future).
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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