While some word of mouth marketing is completely organic, you can also make a targeted effort to boost word of mouth and get more people talking about and promoting your brand

Word of mouth marketing has always been hailed by marketing experts as one of the most effective marketing strategies, way before the existence of social media and digital marketing in general. There’s a simple reason for that: people trust other people more than they could ever trust a brand. Think of it this way: are you more likely to try a product if a trusted friend recommended it to you, or if you can see dozens of positive reviews from regular people? Or are you more likely if you saw a few well-placed posts from a brand? [si_guide_block id="26078" title="Download our Premium Resource – Affiliate marketing strategy guide" description="This guide explains the opportunities of affiliate marketing. It is aimed at owners or managers…

How to know if you should be selling on Amazon, or if a third-party seller would suit you better

For businesses wishing to reach a wider market with their products, selling online can seem intimidating. Selling with an established company like Amazon can make things easier, but knowing who to sell with can be difficult. So to help you be sure you're putting your product where it will do the best, here's a quick and dirty guide to third-party selling.

The Benefits of Amazon

Above all else, Amazon has a big share of the market. As of 2015, Amazon had a base of over 300 million active customers. They count a customer as active if they have a profile on Amazon, and have made a purchase in the last 12 months. That means that Amazon has accumulated-and kept-a number of customers roughly equal…

Optimizing your website and landing page for higher conversion rates

If you’ve been on the right side of the affiliate marketing trend for the last few years, then you should be seeing positive results for your efforts. You’ve got a team of expert publishers advocating for your brand, and they’re making it easy for potential consumers to learn a bit about your product and to easily navigate to your retail or opt-in registration site. The interest is there, and the traffic is coming. Is your landing page and/or website optimized to get the best from your affiliate program?

Examine load time

What should you be looking at when you examine your website? Turns out, just about everything. Once a consumer clicks on that affiliate link, what happens in the next few seconds can have a tremendous effect on…

Affiliate marketing’s outlook in the not-so-distant future should perk up any entrepreneur’s ears

While some naysayers have prematurely eulogized affiliates, a Rakuten Affiliate Network study estimates they’re on target to grow by nearly $7 billion by 2021. So when marketers claim affiliate is on its way out, what they’re really admitting is that they lack the patience necessary to make a program work. [si_guide_block id="5676" title="Download FREE Resource – Digital marketing plan template" description="Our popular marketing planning template built on the Smart Insights RACE planning system."/] Affiliate marketing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it process but one that, like any successful business approach, requires regular monitoring. Marketers must foster teams of ambassadors who authentically sing your products’ praises to their audiences not because you told them to, but because they feel aligned with your company. Ironically, most individuals working in creative departments recognize the power of having affiliates. Ninety percent of advertising professionals surveyed by Rakuten acknowledge…

How UK tools can improve affiliate marketing’s reputation in the US

Affiliate marketing has suffered from a bad reputation in the U.S., and things weren't so different in the U.K. a decade ago. In the U.K., though, industry leaders worked hard to change attitudes toward the sector by creating stricter standards and more transparency. Affiliate marketers in the U.S. could learn from their U.K. counterparts' experience and reshape attitudes toward their industry.

What's so different about affiliate in the UK?

E-commerce has grown exponentially over the past two decades, and with it, so has affiliate marketing. It’s a top marketing strategy for Target, Apple, Macy’s, and other Fortune 500 companies. While affiliate marketing has more than proven its value among top brands as a strong driver of high-quality traffic, sales, and leads, some marketers still question whether it is incremental; others still perceive it as a model that only works if a coupon or…

The pressure is on for today's marketers who are on the hook to demonstrate real value for every campaign.

Perhaps that's why affiliate marketing has become the go-to strategy for driving sales and brand awareness; it is, after all, one of the most easily measured strategies. It's no wonder experts predict it will generate $5.37 billion this year, a 12 percent jump from 2016. Measurable tactics make marketers' jobs easier because they can monitor in real time what’s working and which partners are delivering the greatest return on investment. And the most effective affiliate campaigns involve cross-channel strategies that are closely monitored and optimized at every opportunity.

Why affiliate marketing works

There are literally thousands of options for establishing and measuring affiliate campaigns. But whatever methods you choose, the goal is always the same: driving traffic and sales. Traffic doesn’t come free, and with so many brands vying for people’s attention, it’s increasingly difficult to break…

Everything you need to know to manage affiliates

Affiliate marketing is a recent development in marketing methods. One party (the affiliate) brings customers to a second party (the retailer or merchant) and gets rewarded for each customer. As opposed to referral marketing, the incentives in affiliate marketing are purely financial.

[si_guide_block id="26078" title="Download Premium Resource – Affiliate Marketing Strategy Guide" description="Understand how to best use social media in your marketing strategy as an individual or as a business."/]

What is affiliate marketing?

The affiliate network is the go-between for retailers and affiliates. It helps the former find affiliates and the latter to receive offers. While retailers have traditionally used more common methods for marketing (search engine optimization, email marketing, pay-per-click deals, content marketing and display marketing), affiliate marketing is becoming more important. Affiliates are free to use these other marketing techniques to direct customers to a retailer, though they also use less orthodox methods. For…

Affiliate marketing is a fairly straightforward concept: Brands use other people to promote their products by offering financial incentives for leads or sales.

Despite its conceptual simplicity, affiliate marketing as a whole is still misunderstood — just 22 percent of CMOs feel as if they’ve mastered it [although strictly, affiliate marketing is only relevant for transactional ecommerce]. Part of the disconnect has to do with how brands approach their affiliate partnerships. Many affiliate program managers reach out to affiliates with consumer-focused messaging (e.g., XYZ Company has really great products that you should promote!). This approach rarely resonates because the affiliates aren’t the audience you should be trying to sell your products and services to; it’s their audience you want to reach. You have to look at affiliates as an indirect sales force and then approach them as such.

[si_guide_block id="26078" title="Download Paid Member Resource – Affiliate Marketing Strategy Guide" description="This guide is aimed…

How influencer and affiliate marketing can work in tandem to win you more loyal customers

In life and in marketing, it’s always tempting to create dichotomies: those who like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain and those who don’t, for example. But times have changed, and technology has fundamentally transformed how we consume information and make decisions. Even Jimmy Buffett isn’t taking out personal ads in the newspaper anymore, just as consumers are no longer waiting for brands to give them the information they want. Instead, people have access to instant information at the click of a button. Through social media, they can also post to large followings, whip up their own movements, and educate themselves — all before reaching out to brands. These changes mean marketers need to constantly think about how to engage and connect with consumers. Plus, they need to avoid false dichotomies when it comes to prioritizing who can…

Avoid 5 common affiliate marketing pitfalls with these 5 tips

Done properly, affiliate marketing can yield many benefits for challenger brands and established brands alike. Advances in technology and consumers’ ever-increasing willingness to shop online practically guarantee a strong ROI — if you have the right plan and resources in place. Though affiliate networks do afford advertisers nearly automated marketplaces, these programs don’t run on autopilot. From commission structure and communication channels to budget, data tracking, and conversion metrics, everything needs to be fine-tuned in order to maximize ROI. Here’s what you need to know before you jump into the affiliate marketing waters.

The Benefits of a Well-Structured Affiliate Program

Affiliate programs are attractive marketing options because they’re inherently self-funding. Instead of buying advertising upfront and hoping it leads to later sales, you only pay a commission when a sale occurs via an affiliate program. A well-structured affiliate program not only delivers a significant boost in traffic to…

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