Travis Campbell, the "Marketing Professor," wields impressive credits as a marketing guru who concentrates on small businesses and Web-based entrepreneurs. Few professionals can demonstrate such wisdom about the profession or such a comprehensive use of social media; he maintains popular profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, among other hip networks.
Still, before we get there, there's a whole lot of information to grasp. As an online marketer myself, it's important that I convey the truth about the industry to you so that you don't get sucked up into the dream. While there are legitimate marketers like Sharpe out there ready and willing to help, there are loads of others that are simply looking to help part you from your hard-earned cash. Before you do anything, gather all of the information you can.
People love stories and can relate to them. A blog is a more serious business, but I have often felt that Matthew used the power of storytelling amply on his blog. By creating a video series of Tiered Link building tutorials, he made people come back for more. For more months than I can count these tutorials were the most shared and visited items on his blog.
Blog posts are the bread and butter of any company’s online marketing – but it gets better from there. A good blog post can be extended to an e-book, shortened into a series of videos, parceled out into infographics, and much more. Each different format gives you the opportunity to reach new prospects and build your brand’s thought leadership chops. All this and you save time.
I feel very fortunate. I have friends and strangers in the online marketing community who send me their latest courses or software's to test and review. I also use this leverage to get access to products and services that subscribers are most interested in. When possible, I test the products myself, and in some cases perform longer-term case studies.
Upselling is a sales technique where the salesperson encourages a more expensive purchase by a customer by persuading them to get an upgraded version of an item or to purchase add-ons. Remember our food processor example? That food processor could probably be best used with a book of recipes, which also can be purchased at the same company’s website.
With an entire blog dedicated to helping affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs make more money online, checking out Luke Kling’s blog is well worth your time. The affiliate marketing blog content focuses on staying ahead of trend and bringing you timely news that can directly impact your affiliate marketing strategies. He also offers some interesting insights through his personal posts.
17. Host an Event or Class. Plan an event or class to host, then print out flyers and post them on community bulletin boards (libraries, coffee shops, local colleges and adult ed centers). While most community bulletin boards won’t let you post business advertisements, they’re often more than happy to post a flyer promoting an educational event or class.
Analytics software exists to tell you how users find your site and what they do once they get there. By combing through the data, you can figure out which content resonates most with your users. Focusing on what really works can save time – but it means ensuring that marketing pros get weekly analytics updates and reports that help them turn insights into action.
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
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.
Never Assume — One huge mistake that your sales team could be making is assuming an ignorant buyer. Internet leads tend to be VERY educated customers, and they will know if you are blowing smoke. Assuming that your customer is uneducated is a huge mistake for any sales person. A good way to not fall into this trap is by asking your customer the research they have already done. Simply saying “What research have you already done on (The Product), because I would hate to waste your time by telling you things you already know” can save you time, and help you close the sale more.
Mobile has transformed the way people browse the Web. Even Google has now made mobile #1 in its indexing. If your site still isn’t friendly to mobile users, odds are good your brand is quickly vanishing from the Web – at least where the Big G is concerned. It’s time to take a close look at your design and make sure your site renders beautifully when viewed on Android, iPhone, and the rest.
Take Indique hair for example. This is one of their Facebook ads for their product of the month which is for premium hair extensions. When a customer clicks on this ad they are immediately taken to this landing page for the product of the month. Both the ad and landing page tell the customer the same or similar information and say that there is a discount.
In order to target local consumers, make sure that your company details are available and updated in Google maps. It would be nice to have several customer reviews with high ratings there. Also think about publishing more local information on your blog (e.g. news and gossips, hotel or restaurant reviews) or just include geo-specific content everywhere, so that people in a certain geographic area could see it first. That's one of the top Internet marketing tips for beginners. Go local in order to make your online marketing for small businesses to deliver fruitful results.
Make mutual connections with other bloggers by reaching out and engaging with them on social media, email, or face-to-face communication if possible. Share or comment on their social posts. Leave comments on their blogs. The key is to provide value! If you can, help with link building, guest posts contributions, door social shares. If you can show that you're a valuable resource, they may help you in the future.
Another fantastic benefit is that you don't have to rely on selling one product that you have created yourself, or that you have bought in to resell. You don't have to lay out any money by purchasing stock, you don't have to parcel any items or deal with returns. All you need to do is place relevant affiliate links into your blog posts and then continue promoting the blog posts like you normally do! There's no extra work involved apart from getting the link!
Having a website built is one thing. Having it properly optimized is another. I hear you can get a good SEO job done in your website for around $500 a month. You should take a look at SEOMoz for that. I personally recommend that you be the one to do a bit of your on-page optimization though. And perhaps hire for the linkbuilding if you have the budget to do so.
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
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!
I have posts that are heavily linked to Amazon and some that aren’t to keep things balanced out. My heavily linked posts are product guides or stuff I was searching for my kids. Some examples are: Non-toxic high chair, 20 non-toxic teething toys, and Gift for 2-3 year olds. My blog is “green” so a lot of my posts are about non-toxic products since this is what I personally look for.
PeerFly only has a limited number of products at the moment, but they have tremendous momentum and are growing by leaps and bounds. Their payout rates aren’t spectacular, but everything is upfront and transparent, and affiliate satisfaction is very high. PeerFly is perfect for authentic marketers who want to offer high-quality products to their visitors as opposed to “get rich quick” schemes and opaque offers.
Provide the most accurate information about the products you promote. Never exaggerate to quickly make a sale. Your audience will see through it and they will turn their backs on you. Instead, if the product you are promoting isn’t perfect, say so! It never hurts to explain the downsides to a product because this just proves to your audience that you are being completely honest with them. Also–this is very important–be transparent about your relationship with the merchant! It is legally required that you disclose your affiliate relationship, so any time you share an affiliate link you need to let your audience know. Make sure you are following the latest FTC guidelines here.
Avinash Kaushik, a marketing evangelist for Google, blogs about data-driven decision making and empowering ideas for companies to make evolutionary leaps in their strategies, in an extremely interesting way. He is the co-founder of Market Motive and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google. It’s one of the best marketing blogs on digital marketing analytics.