Chart to success: We all know that plans are imperfect things. How can you possibly know what's going to happen 12 months or five years from now? Isn't putting together a marketing plan an exercise in futility . . . a waste of time better spent meeting with customers or fine-tuning production? Yes, possibly but only in the narrowest sense. If you don't plan, you're doomed, and an inaccurate plan is far better than no plan at all. To stay with our sea captain analogy, it's better to be 5 or even 10 degrees off your destination port than to have no destination in mind at all. The point of sailing, after all, is to get somewhere, and without a marketing plan, you'll wander the seas aimlessly, sometimes finding dry land but more often than not floundering in a vast ocean. Sea captains without a chart are rarely remembered for discovering anything but the ocean floor.
An aesthetically pleasing and informational website is an excellent anchor that can easily connect to other platforms like social networking pages and app downloads. It's also relatively simple to set up a blog within the website that uses well-written content with “keywords” an Internet user is likely to use when searching for a topic. For example, a company that wants to market its new sugar-free energy drink could create a blog that publishes one article per week that uses terms like “energy drink,” “sugar-free,” and “low-calorie” to attract users to the product website.
Among adults ages 65 and over, motor vehicle injury rates are twice as high for men than for women. Male high school students are less likely than female students to wear seat belts.15 African American high school students are less likely than white students to wear seat belts all the time, putting them at increased risk of motor vehicle related injuries.16 Among Hispanic Americans pedestrian fatalities are nearly twice as high as for whites. The Hispanic population makes 50% more walking trips than non‐Hispanic populations.17

It's clear that online marketing is no simple task. And the reason why we've landed in this world of "expert" internet marketers who are constantly cheerleading their offers to help us reach visibility and penetrate the masses is because of the layer of obscurity that's been afforded to us in part thanks to one key player: Google. Google's shrouded algorithms that cloud over 200+ ranking factors in a simple and easy-to-use interface has confounded businesses for well over a decade now.


At the top end you have your cold leads, people who are completely unaware of your brand’s existence, and you want to figure out how to grab their awareness and interest. Once you do, you’ll need to figure out a way to turn them into hot leads by generating a sense of desire. And finally, you’ll capitalize on that desire by asking them to perform a specific action, whether it’s subscribing to your email list or purchasing a product.

Digital marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing,[6] e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games are becoming more common in our advancing technology. In fact, digital marketing now extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones.[7] In essence, this extension to non-Internet channels helps to differentiate digital marketing from online marketing, another catch-all term for the marketing methods mentioned above, which strictly occur online.
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.
For public sector agencies, social marketing is often used as a way to encourage people to follow rules and regulations, and practice general safe behaviors. For example, police departments campaign with slogans such as “Buckle up for life” and “Click it or ticket” to encourage people to wear their seat belts—showing either the positive rewards for this action (saving lives) or the negative consequences for ignoring the law (getting a traffic ticket).

Think of it this way. If you write intelligent and thought provoking blog content, say on a weekly basis, that in some way solves a problem, answers a question or simply entertains your target audience, you will become a go-to resource for those potential buyers. They will come back to your site time and time again because you are providing a free service for them, all the while building trust and establishing brand clout in a non-intrusive way. And when these devoted followers realize they need the product you sell, guess who they are most likely to buy it from? You got it. They are going to go to you. The company they trust. Read Is Youtility the Future of Marketing by Jay Baer, New York Times best selling author and social media and content strategist, to learn more about this important concept.
We combine our sophisticated Search Engine Optimization skills with our ORM tools such as social media, social bookmarking, PR, video optimization, and content marketing to decrease the visibility of potentially damaging content. We also work with our clients to create rebuttal pages, micro-sites, positive reviews, social media profiles, and blogs in order to increase the volume of positive content that can be optimized for great search results.
Doing business without a marketing plan is like driving without a map. You may get to your destination—eventually—but you risk making time-consuming and costly errors along the way. You might be assuming there's demand for your product when there isn't, for example. Your services might be priced too low. Or you could be venturing into a market that is impenetrable because of regulatory restrictions.

Marketing plans and strategies are often used interchangeably. This is because a marketing plan should not exist without the overarching strategy as a framework. In some cases, the strategy and the plan may be incorporated into one document particularly in smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. However, the plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.


This paper was first presented as part of the first Expert Panel meeting of the Youthful Driver Research Initiative, a collaborative research program between the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (http://www.chop.edu/injury) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) (http://www.chop.edu) and State Farm Insurance Companies® (State Farm) (http://www.statefarm.com). The views presented in this paper are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily the views of CHOP or State Farm.
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.
But even beyond this, the way you say things is important. Young people often have a language all their own, and if you are directing a message at them, it should be in their language. Some groups of people tend to be wary of any authority, and won't take kindly to having "expert opinion" thrown in their face; for other groups, this is the only thing they will listen to. You should have already discovered what is important to your audience; use this understanding as you design messages.

Balancing search and display for digital display ads are important; marketers tend to look at the last search and attribute all of the effectiveness to this. This then disregards other marketing efforts, which establish brand value within the consumers mind. ComScore determined through drawing on data online, produced by over one hundred multichannel retailers that digital display marketing poses strengths when compared with or positioned alongside, paid search (Whiteside, 2016).[42] This is why it is advised that when someone clicks on a display ad the company opens a landing page, not its home page. A landing page typically has something to draw the customer in to search beyond this page. Things such as free offers that the consumer can obtain through giving the company contact information so that they can use retargeting communication strategies (Square2Marketing, 2012).[43] Commonly marketers see increased sales among people exposed to a search ad. But the fact of how many people you can reach with a display campaign compared to a search campaign should be considered. Multichannel retailers have an increased reach if the display is considered in synergy with search campaigns. Overall both search and display aspects are valued as display campaigns build awareness for the brand so that more people are likely to click on these digital ads when running a search campaign (Whiteside, 2016).[42]

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.


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).

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!


Social media has been one of the fastest growing digital marketing channels for years now and continues to play a major role in brand development and customer acquisition and engagement. Social media now is a critical element to effective content marketing and search engine optimization strategies. These marketing strategies simply can’t exist well without one another.
Non-profit corporations and political entities use Internet marketing to raise awareness about the issues they address and engage individuals in their campaigns. They strongly favor social networking platforms because they are more personal than websites and they are easy to share, increasing the “viral” word-of-mouth effect that is so prevalent in online media.
The overall percentage of increased seat belt use in the United States was due to the widespread availability of seat belts, publicity from organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and stronger seat belt laws.1Click it or ticket, a program that demonstrated the importance of primary seat belt laws combined with effective publicity of enforcement, increased seat belt use in North Carolina from 63% to 80% and went on to become a national model.2

Contact the company directly. If you use a product or service and want to recommend it but you can’t find evidence of an affiliate program, consider approaching them and asking if they are willing to set one up (maybe with your help). Highlight your audience and the value of your recommendation. Explain that an affiliate program is simply rewarding happy customers (you!) for promoting, and they don’t have to pay until a sale is made.
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.

Situational analysis is the process of determining the real "market opportunities" for influencing change. The Planning Guide (Getting Informed section) outlines the primary information required to conduct such an analysis, and can be used to summarize your key findings. When you choose to print your plan, this information will be consolidated into the situational analysis section of the plan.
Trying to cut corners with marketing methods is a huge no-no in affiliate marketing. By cutting corners, we’re talking specifically about black hat SEO. Get banned by Google, and you’ll be spending your time building a new site. Don’t learn from your mistakes, learn right now. Blackhat SEO only ever leads to a broken site. Google will hunt you down, and it will punish you!
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products. This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the amount of commissions you make and create a steady stream of revenue when building an affiliate website. 

On the following few screens, we'll try to make concrete how you can accomplish many of these details. We'll start by touching briefly on the importance of social marketing and when might be a sensible time for your group to draw up a social marketing campaign. Then, we'll dive into the details of how to manage a social marketing program. We'll include how to separate consumers into individual groups and how to find out what those groups want (and how you can give it to them). Then, we'll discuss designing the message, choosing the medium, and finally, implementing and evaluating your work.
8. Better Search Engine Rankings. SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.
After a website is built for your company, you must promote it. Search engine marketing, or SEM for short, is one of the  best ways that you can promote your company, services and website. SEM is the process and strategy of getting website exposure online with keywords related to your business. SEM includes pay per click ads (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO).

The majority of companies in our research do take a strategic approach to digital. From talking to companies, I find the creation of digital plans often occurs in two stages. First, a separate digital marketing plan is created. This is useful to get agreement and buy-in by showing the opportunities and problems and map out a path through setting goals and specific strategies for digital including how you integrated digital marketing into other business activities. Second, digital becomes integrated into marketing strategy, it's a core activity, "business-as-usual", but doesn't warrant separate planning, except for the tactics.


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.


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.
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