Affiliate Summit East 2013 Session: How to Implement a Comprehensive Online Marketing Strategy
Understanding Your Niche/Industry
Competitive Research – necessary to cutting the learning curve
Who’s doing it and how – top companies or affiliates in the niche. Search Google and see who comes up in the sponsored and organic results.
Are you selling or not? Actually selling products on your website or generating “leads” can be much more profitable than being an affiliate or referral marketer. But has additional logistical issues.
What can you do better? Are you doing everything to generate traffic, capture data, and create “actions” on your website, such as optins, likes, follows, ad clicks.
On-Site SEO – analyze page titles, on-page content, H1, linking structure, site map. Use Google Webmaster Tools: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/?
Off-Site SEO – Posting content on classified sites, forums, blogs, portals, article directories, natural inbound links. Provides additional rankings for your target content.
Paid Search – Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Google is the #1 source of targeted traffic on the web. Bing Ads can be low hanging fruit because companies ignore it. Bing Ads runs on Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook. Do your keyword research, looks for cheap clicks (.10-.30 range)
Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest) – Facebook ads, Facebook custom audiences, Twitter sponsored tweets, Twitter sponsored followers, Linked ads for B to B, Instagram for business (on fire), Pinterest. Look to run contests that touch all of these platforms.
Retargeting – Display advertising on the web and Facebook to non-buying traffic or website visitors. Advertise to customers to sell them more stuff. Companies: Adroll.com, Retargeter.com, Steel House, Criteo. Bizo.com for B to B retargeting and targeted display.
Email – Still one of the top drivers of ecommerce revenue. Always looks to collect emails and mobile phone numbers. Use a good email platform (icontact, mailchimp, constant contact for affiliates. Listrak.com for ecommerce companies. Utilize pop-up email captures.
Affiliates – launch on the bigger networks like CJ, Linkshare, Shareasale. Use their recruiting tools. Use an agency that can leverage their relationships. Also be recruiting and managing at the same time. Contact prospective websites to be your affiliate, i.e. www.axandra.com/)
Working with Bloggers – certain types of bloggers are incredibly powerful with large audiences, # of fans, promoted posts, # of followers, subscribers. Companies should be reaching out to bloggers and asking to advertise. Take it from there. Measure the spend vs. revenue. Work the relationship.
3rd Party Portals – websites that have great rankings you can post to and link to your website. www.ebayclassifieds.com, www.ecrater.com, www.craigslist.com, www.backpage.com. Various article directories, forums, blogs that allow guest posts.
Partnerships – Partner with companies similar in size that you can work with on a rev share. Exchange site placements, email drops, newsletter placements, and other ad inventory. Pay each other on a rev share. Powerful with the right companies. Definitely a business development exercise.
Good meta-titles – page titles – every page on your website should have unique, description, laser-focused page titles.
Good on-page content – every page should have original content and keyword-rich content.
Articles Section – have an article section or blog that you can post fresh content to on a daily basis to build out your page count and get more free traffic. Make sure you have all the sharing buttons, retargeting script, and pop-up email capture.
Blog Section – corporate blogs are back in style! Customers want to hear from key company staff about issues related to products and services.
F.A.Q.’s – the better you FAQs the less customer service inquiries and the more selling can go on. Use customer inquiries and turn them into FAQs.
Core Pages – the key pages of the website should have excellent content, not to promotional. People read these pages, i.e. testimonials, about us, shipping, reviews, etc.
Site Map – Google Webmaster Tools
Social sharing buttons – Sharethis.com widget and Facebook fan box should be present throughout the website and promoinently placed.
- Blog posts – getting bloggers excited about your products with giveaways and review products. Guest blog posts are effective. Advertising on the blog with a blog post a month included. Linking to your site can boost your rankings.
Press releases – good at saturating Google, Yahoo, and Bing with positive PR about your company or website. VOCUS.com. Get an annual subscription and save significantly. Can boost rankings but you have to be careful.
Directory pages – there are 1000’s directories that have rankings in Google. Look to advertise on them. Business.com
Local Yellow Pages – Advertise on yellowpages websites if you are national, i.e. Superpages.com, YP.com, Yelp. Here a nice article: http://searchengineland.com/which-internet-yellow-pages-site-has-the-best-rankings-24065
Classified Sites – Craigslist.com, backpage.com, ebay classified. There are 100s you can potentially create listings on that will rank organically.
Forum Posts – contributing to forun discussions in your niche can generate traffic and rankings. Creating topics on forums. Same with LinkedIn Groups. Create topics in relevant groups and make comments. Launch your own groups and work it.
Buying domains to gain rankings – you can find websites for sale that already have great rankings in your niche or in general. marketplace.digitalpoint.com, https://flippa.com, http://www.sitepoint.com/10-places-to-sell-your-web-site/.
Getting natural inbound links – do press releases, reach out to bloggers, create news, viral videos, TV shows.
Paid Search (Adwords & Bing Ads)
Mobile optimized site is a must – larger % of traffic are on mobile, so you site has to be mobile optimized, with a subdomain or responsive design.
Good campaign structure, ad groups, ads – structure campaigns and ad groups starting with the most popular keywords and working your way outward as you see ROI.
Running promotions in the ads – discounts and promotions in the ad copy can increase CTR and conversion rates.
Taking advantage of sitelinks – links to subpages of the site, takes up more real estate in the search results.
Bing Ads – less utilized, low hanging friut – great for affiliates and found money for advertisers. Can be 1/10 the cost of AdWords.
Track conversions – track the sales that result with conversion script to measure the ROI.
Dedicated landing pages – using dedicated landing pages for each set of keyword phrases can increase traffic. i.e. Searching for Roses, or a Dentist in a certain area.
A/B test landing pages/homepage/cart – using split testing on the website layout is a must. Check out www.convert.com.
Conversion rate boosters: Live Chat, trust logos, testimonials, reviews, referral program.
Facebook fan page, w/fan ads – always be advertising for fans. Enriching their lives with your posts.
Boosted Posts, sell them – very effective at increasing engagement, pulls in new fans, affiliates can sell them to advertisers at a mark up.
Custom audiences – match customers to users – upload your email file and advertise against it on Facebook for fans or more sales.
Sweepstakes – enter to win – absolute must! All the biggest companies run them frequently. Boost fans, opt-ins, tweets, pins. Look at Woobox.com and WildFire. Rafflecopter for affiliates and bloggers.
Contests – Enter your photo, friends vote – best way to go viral on Facebook. Best way to rocket your fans and create excitement and engagement.
Facebook advertising – test and try all forms. Offer promotions and have dedicated landing pages. Make sure you are measuring it.
Twitter Ads – sponsored posts, targeted followers – definitely effective at getting relevant traffic and targeted followers.
Instagram – hashtags, gain a following – HOT! More companies are leveraging instagram due to the huge following. Create buyers and traffic with hashtags.
Feature products, real examples, Pin to Win – connect with your customers in a real way, remove the traditional anonymity barrier. Get to know and LOVE your customers and visitors.
Advertise to your non-buyers – great conversion rate booster, offer a promotion, low cost per sale, target on the product level.
Advertise to your customers – retarget your customers to buy more products.
Personalize offers on-site based on behavior – you can target offers based on customer behavior on your website, ie Steel House Media.
Retarget in the Facebook newsfeed, Facebook ads, and on the web. – Each campaign has to be tested, tweaked, and optimized…just like search management.
Tap into niche retargeting networks (Bizo) – B to B retargeting and display advertising company.
Retarget through multiple venues: Adroll, Retargeter, AdWords, Steel House
Segment your internal databases – segmentation by product type, location, sex. http://mailchimp.com/resources/research/effects-of-list-segmentation-on-email-marketing-stats/
Monetize your databases – maximize your auto-responders. Send advertisements for other companies. Promote your customer referral program.
Collect more data – always look to boost email collection from the site and Facebook.
Market to your data – customer referral programs, sweepstakes, other offers
Find 3rd party email marketers with targeted lists for solo email ads on a performance basis.
Have your CAN-SPAM compliance intact – use suppression file management tools like ezepo.com.
Launch on a big affiliate network and leverage their recruiting tools – CJ, Linkshare Shareasale.
Use an agency that already has affiliate relationships – invaluable
Recruit niche websites and blogs to be an affiliate – constant outreach. This is an affiliate managers job.
Advertise in Search for people looking for niche affiliate programs – i.e. “dating affiliate programs”
Micro-manage affiliate payouts- maximize ROI but reducing payouts on certain types of affiliates and increasing on others based on profitability and LTV.
Promote great offers through your affiliates – if you don’t run promotions and offers through your affiliates on a frequent basis it won’t gain traction.
Working with Bloggers
Provide product samples to be reviewed – bloggers love this
Advertise with bloggers – all the bigger ones charge ad fees..work a deal!
Help bloggers promote your company – write the content for them or feed them good blog post ideas.
Write for your blogger network – hire a writer that can write weekly original posts and send them out to your blogger network.
Attempt to get a blog roll link 🙂 – great for rankings
Get posted on Facebook – Boosted Post – Tap into bloggers Facebook fan pages and do paid Boosted Posts to reach their audience and their friends.
Get tweeted – Never a bad thing to get your news or article tweeted by influential bloggers.
Make friends!! Bloggers are typically very friendly if you approach it properly.
3rd Party Portals
Classified Ads Portals – make pages – ebay classified, craigslist, backpage.com, many others
Local Merchant Portals – Singleplatform.com
Yellow Pages Portals – advertise on them if you are national
eBay – still a powerful place to list products
Well-ranking websites – find them, buy them, ask to post content on them.
Forums – with Blogs attached – look for forums with blogs you can post original content to for rankings.
Any site that let’s you have a page – Keep your eyes open
Co-branded Landing Page/Site
Newsletter Inventory Swaps
Solo Email Blast Swaps
Website Ad Inventory Swaps
Thank You Page Placements
Facebook Posts – Boosted Posts
- Dedicated Pages