Developing and monetizing microsites can also garner a serious amount of sales. These sites are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. They are distinct and separate from the organization’s main site. By offering more focused, relevant content to a specific audience, microsites lead to increased conversions due to their simple and straightforward call to action.
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.
Looked at from a different perspective, however, it comes down to one thing. At the root of all of the group's work is one basic principle: change people's behavior. This is true not only for a child hunger campaign, but for almost any health or community development initiative. A coalition against violence wants people to stop committing acts of violence. A teen pregnancy initiative tries to put an end to children having children. And an organization for peace looks for the day when world peace is more than a lovely thought on holiday greeting cards.
Of course, generating this kind of marketing content takes time and talent. Many small businesses seek help in this arena by choosing internet marketing software solutions that help them optimize their efforts. But how to choose? There are a lot of options out there, and few of them offer the exact same services or are suited to every kind of business.  
As search engines have become more prominent, some affiliate marketers have shifted from sending e-mail spam to creating automatically generated web pages that often contain product data feeds provided by merchants. The goal of such web pages is to manipulate the relevancy or prominence of resources indexed by a search engine, also known as spamdexing. Each page can be targeted to a different niche market through the use of specific keywords, with the result being a skewed form of search engine optimization.
Great tips! Since I just started blogging in January I am still really just getting my toes wet in affiliates. However, I did notice that pictures and real life demonstrations of the product really help. For instance, I have several food posts where I talk about my favorite cook books and show what I have cooked out of them, and then included amazon links, sure enough I sold a few cook books.

An Internet marketing campaign is not an isolated, one-off proposal. Any company that plans on using it once is certain to continue to use it. An individual who is knowledgeable about all aspects of an Internet marketing campaign and who has strong interpersonal skills is well-suited to maintain an ongoing managerial role on a dedicated marketing team.


"You couldn't attach yourself to anyone better than Jim. As far as I'm concerned he's worth EVERY penny he will charge you. Jim is a straight shooter, goes above and beyond when called for, and will be committed to the things he tells you he can do. My business has exploded on the internet and I don't plan on looking back. Jim will tell you what he can deliver and I feel like he is one of the nicest, most down to earth business people I've ever dealt with." Fred J.
Our SEO professionals are all well-respected thought leaders in the space and have decades of combined experience and include the following credentials: Search Engine Workshop Certification, Google Analytics and Yahoo Certifications, PMP Certification, UNIX Certification, Computer Engineering degrees and MBA’s. Our SEO team members are acclaimed SEO speakers and bloggers. IMI’s SEO team members have been keynote presenters at Pubcon, SMX, SEMCon, Etail, and many more influential conferences.
In solid plans, tactics are thorough, all the way down to details concerning execution and measurements of success, such as launch dates and expected reach, Roberts says. The point is that you need to begin measuring whether the tactics are successful at delivering your objectives. You may even choose to stagger your tactics so that you can evaluate their effectiveness and learn which ones work best for your business.
Social marketing uses behavioural, persuasion, and exposure theories to target changes in health risk behaviour. Social cognitive theory based on response consequences (of individual behaviour), observational learning, and behavioural modelling is widely used.14 Persuasion theory indicates that people must engage in message “elaboration” (developing favourable thoughts about a message's arguments) for long term persuasion to occur.3 Exposure theorists study how the intensity of and length of exposure to a message affects behaviour.10
Many examples exist of social marketing research, with over 120 papers compiled in a six volume set.[13]). For example, research now shows ways to reduce the intentions of people to binge drink or engage in dangerous driving. Martin, Lee, Weeks and Kaya (2013) suggests that understanding consumer personality and how people view others is important. People were shown ads talking of the harmful effects of binge drinking. People who valued close friends as a sense of who they are were less likely to want to binge drink after seeing an ad featuring them and a close friend. People who were loners or who did not see close friends important to their sense of who they were reacted better to ads featuring an individual. A similar pattern was shown for ads showing a person driving at dangerous speeds. This suggests ads showing potential harm to citizens from binge drinking or dangerous driving are less effective than ads highlighting a person's close friends.[37]
You don’t necessarily have to have a huge site or lots of traffic. Consider emailing an affiliate program’s contact person (look for contact info on the site or in affiliate newsletters) if you send a lot of leads their way, rank well in the search engines for a related keyword or have a high conversion rate. Make your email compelling. Read my tips here. You just have to be a good fit and provide excellent value to the merchant. Another good resource for this is here.
By using the sheets you will be able to easily track, monitor, scan, organize, review, and rearrange your tasks without leaving anything behind! (The perks of having a master procrastinator prepare these worksheets is that everything has been considered, even writer’s block. On the downside, we published the worksheets mid-December, so…yeah. That’s on me, too.)
While the final step in campaign development is evaluation – the evaluation process should really be ongoing throughout the entire campaign. Ultimately, you will evaluate overall performance (i.e. how many people took the desired action) after the campaign concludes, or has had time to make an impact but you should measure smaller milestones as you go. For example, how many impressions and engagements are you getting on social media? Are people signing up for email or calling to inquire about services? Evaluating these intermediary steps or actions early and often will help you to further fine tune messaging and outreach methods and allow you to optimize your overall results.

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. 
If you don’t know who you are, what you’re selling or who you’re selling to, you’re going to have a pretty hard time convincing people to buy your product or service, never mind figuring out what tactical initiatives you should be working on. So, if you haven’t already, do your homework. Start with researching your competitors and audience; examine your customers’ buying habits; and do a SWOT analysis (more on that in a bit). These steps will help you lay a sturdy foundation for your tactical plans and allow you to develop reasonable expectations and goals.
Of course, generating this kind of marketing content takes time and talent. Many small businesses seek help in this arena by choosing internet marketing software solutions that help them optimize their efforts. But how to choose? There are a lot of options out there, and few of them offer the exact same services or are suited to every kind of business.  

James Quinn succinctly defined objectives in general as: Goals (or objectives) state what is to be achieved and when results are to be accomplished, but they do not state "how" the results are to be achieved.[8] They typically relate to what products (or services) will be where in what markets (and must be realistically based on customer behavior in those markets). They are essentially about the match between those "products" and "markets." Objectives for pricing, distribution, advertising and so on are at a lower level, and should not be confused with marketing objectives. They are part of the marketing strategy needed to achieve marketing objectives. To be most effective, objectives should be capable of measurement and therefore "quantifiable." This measurement may be in terms of sales volume, money value, market share, percentage penetration of distribution outlets and so on. An example of such a measurable marketing objective might be "to enter the market with product Y and capture 10 percent of the market by value within one year." As it is quantified it can, within limits, be unequivocally monitored, and corrective action taken as necessary.

Next, select channels of communication. Is television the best way to reach your target audience? Or is your intended audience more likely to pay attention to newspaper articles? Talks by experts? Word of mouth? Keep in mind budget limitations when you are deciding on your most effective medium, but be creative--there are many free or low cost ways to disseminate your message. It's up to the brainstorming power of your group to find them.
For example, a community planning team might be working on ways to get more people to recycle, and realize that most people aren't doing it because the existing recycling program in the community is too complex and takes too much time. Often, multiple surveys are conducted during the research phase. Research teams will talk to people working in the industries related to their cause, conduct telephone or email surveys of people in their target society, and may even form in-person focus groups to discuss the issue and gauge the reactions.
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[24]

Market planning is a constructive process that facilitates careful consideration of a company’s marketing objectives and product mix so that resources allocated to advertising plans and branding yield optimal returns. While some facets may be unique for each business, key concepts such as market segmentation, target markets, marketing mix, budgeting, and CRM, are applicable in all cases.
In applying theory based conceptual models, social marketers again use commercial marketing strategies based on the marketing mix.2 For example, they develop brands on the basis of health behaviour and lifestyles, as commercial marketers would with products. Targeted and tailored message strategies have been used in antismoking campaigns to build “brand equity”—a set of attributes that a consumer has for a product, service, or (in the case health campaigns) set of behaviours.13 Brands underlying the VERB campaign (which encourages young people to be physically active) and Truth campaigns were based on alternative healthy behaviours, marketed using socially appealing images that portrayed healthy lifestyles as preferable to junk food or fast food and cigarettes.14,15
Social marketing can be confused with commercial marketing. A commercial marketer may only seek to influence a buyer to purchase a product. Social marketers have more difficult goals. They want to make potentially difficult and long-term behavior changes in target populations, which may or may not involve purchasing a product. For example, reducing cigarette smoking or encouraging use of condoms have difficult challenges to overcome that go beyond purchasing decisions.
However, with all of these so-called modern conveniences to life, where technology's ever-pervading presence has improved even the most basic tasks for us such as hailing a ride or ordering food or conducting any sort of commerce instantly and efficiently, many are left in the dark. While all of us have become self-professed experts at consuming content and utilizing a variety of tools freely available to search and seek out information, we're effectively drowning in a sea of digital overload.
The first thing you need to do is to identify what you hope to achieve from online marketing. This may include getting more than 5,000 Twitter or Facebook followers, increasing traffic to 50 leads per month, improving the rebound rates or obtaining more leads. The next step is to ensure that you have the right infrastructure for effective marketing. This includes a fully optimized website, social media account, strong network and conducive work environment.

Having tactical plans and calendars gives life to your ideas and strategy. Try focusing on 4 or 5 main tactics for the year and create execution plans around these tactics. Keep in mind that your tactics may or may not be the same as your goals. If your goals are high-level, i.e. to increase traffic by 50%, then your tactic would drill down more on how to get that result — and be as the name implies, more tactical.
Search engines are a powerful channel for connecting with new audiences. Companies like Google and Bing look to connect their customers with the best user experience possible. Step one of a strong SEO strategy is to make sure that your website content and products are the best that they can be. Step 2 is to communicate that user experience information to search engines so that you rank in the right place. SEO is competitive and has a reputation of being a black art. Here’s how to get started the right way.
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.


Not long ago Brian and I had a chance to catch up and he shared with me the news of his new book Lifescale – How to live a more creative, productive and happy life. That’s a pretty compelling title and being up to my neck in digital distractions, multi-tasking and a need to break free out of that chaos, the notion of Lifescale was immediately interesting to me both personally and as a way to better empathize with customers as a marketer.
In this new world of digital transparency brands have to be very thoughtful in how they engage with current and potential customers. Consumers have an endless amount of data at their fingertips especially through social media channels, rating and review sites, blogs, and more. Unless brands actively engage in these conversations they lose the opportunity for helping guide their brand message and addressing customer concerns.
A content specialist needs to be a Jack or Jill of all trades, utilizing excellent written and verbal communication skills, above-average computer literacy, and a natural interest in trends. This job is ultimately about translating the key aspects of the product into content the target demographic finds appealing. This is part art, part critical thinking, and 100% attention to detail.
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.
In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy.[10] By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking.[11] In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.[12]
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