Affiliate Marketing Round-Up: May 2016 Edition

Things are reaching a fever pitch in the online space with news and change and affiliate marketing is no exception to that. Affiliate marketing is a $4.2 billion a year business that is expected to hit $6.8 billion by the year 2020. This alone is a good enough reason to wake up and pay attention to what is happening in affiliate marketing news. Let’s round it up!

Affiliate Marketing Has Disrupted Mainstream Marketing

Recent buying and selling of affiliate assets between some major marketing players such as Commission Junction and Rakuten to name a couple is driving the disruption in a good way. The main contributing factors to the growth of affiliate marketing is social media and the growing e-commerce craze. It’s to the point that 80% of advertisers and 84% of publishers are finding effective ways to include affiliate marketing in their business efforts.

Affiliate marketing strategies are among the most low-risk out there. While earnings are mostly commission-based, there’s a sort of unspoken rule that says if you don’t make a sale then you don’t pay for the exposure and advertising. Who’s to say it won’t lead to a sale in the future? Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to making money online and I have broken records with this model.

Will The Mobile App Reinvent Affiliate Marketing

When affiliate marketing was created, the web wasn’t available on mobile devices. Since smartphones have become the norm, affiliate marketing has been forced to adapt. The process is somewhat incomplete. While affiliate marketing tools and networks made do with mobile sites and responsive web designs, it is now poised for a huge overhaul that will allow web-to-app marketing and deep app linking.

Deep linking is an affiliate marketing industry term that refers to deep linking to a websites internal pages like a category or product page. This idea inside of retail apps will be designed to drive customer re-engagement. Savvy affiliate marketers will want to stay on top of these developments so they can adjust their business accordingly. Mobile is where everything is happening these days.

Mobile websites may not be good enough anymore. It really seems like signals in the industry are pointing to everything being in-app which means there’s also a huge market for bringing app development to a wider audience and simplifying the process. You know, a kind of Shopify for apps. People are spending 85% of their time in apps on their mobile devices. You don’t go on the mobile web to view Facebook, you use their app!

With all of this app-centric momentum on mobile with e-commerce, it’s only natural that affiliate marketing follow suit to stay relevant. Expect to see a load of new affiliate marketing tools and strategies emerging this year. What a time to be alive!

Affiliate Marketing Reduces Customer Acquisition Cost

With all of the interest lately in e-commerce and so many new stores popping up all over the place, shop owners are using affiliate marketing to drive their sales. It makes a lot of sense. When you open up a new e-commerce store, having a small army to promote it is a novel concept. Better yet, you don’t pay unless they sell. That is the beauty of affiliate marketing. From the affiliate marketer’s side, they are usually so skilled that making money isn’t a problem. It becomes a win-win for everyone involved.

Affiliate Summit East 2016

More than 7,000 affiliate marketers attend this annual festival. They released the list of speakers last month. The summit will take place in New York city July 31 through August 2. The early bird period is over, but you may still be able to get tickets.

Wrap Up

Let me know in the comments if you’re attending the summit! As you know, I’m getting ready for the annual HTA Summit 2016 also happening in August. If you’d like to know more about affiliate marketing, please check out the free course that my partner, Jason, and I put together recently called Project Breakthrough.

Video Marketing Round-Up: May 2016 Edition

Video marketing gets bigger all the time. Every time I turn around, there is something new happening in this space. It’s so innovative that if you blink, you will miss something. There’s no way I can catch or cover all the video marketing news coming out of the pipeline, but I can try. Let’s round up that video marketing news!

Did Someone Say 360-degree Videos?

This is the biggest piece of news this month in video marketing and it’s not just isolated to one update. There are a few stories out about 360-degree videos, some them are videos for business. Things are starting to heat up! It brings so many questions to the table. How does one even shoot 360-degree video? Let’s explore a bit. First, a well-known insurance company put out a 360-degree video ad that has garnered millions of views. They filmed the video with one camera and it tells 4 different stories at once.  It is currently only visible on Facebook. As you know, Facebook has been making a play for some of YouTube’s piece of the video market. In mid-April, YouTube released 360-degree video streaming. The ability has been available for the last year for brands, musicians, and athletes. This will be huge for video marketing and is one more step toward exactly where we know video marketing is going: virtual reality. They also launched spatial sound on their on-demand videos and the first execution of both was the live streaming of Coachella. Finally, one last piece of video marketing news concerning 360-degree video: Wistia, video for business platform has added support for 360-degree video. I’m telling you, if you want to jump to the cutting edge of video marketing, become an expert in 360-degree video and virtual reality because it is the next big thing for video marketing platforms.

Clever Video Marketing Is Tasty

The odds are favorable that you have seen one of those Tasty recipe videos in your Facebook News Feed. The concept was developed by the content giant, Buzzfeed. Watch and learn. You won’t catch Tasty or any of it’s spin-offs like Proper Tasty or Nifty on YouTube. Their widely successful video marketing campaigns are designed for and executed on Facebook only. Things to pay attention to with the Tasty approach to video marketing:

  • The numbers. They are getting millions and millions of views and racking up Facebook Likes on their Page left and right
  • The execution. The videos are bright, have lively music, and are usually under a minute in length
  • The spin-off. Tasty has generated enough buzz to launch several new channels including a parody on YouTube called Nasty which is not affiliated with Buzzfeed
  • The platform. It’s no oversight that Tasty is using Facebook for all of it’s video marketing. It’s a case in point of choosing one platform and dominating it. Sure, they could create on YouTube and then just share it on Facebook, but Facebook will always favor its own native video
  • The niche. Tasty has dominated a couple niches already: recipes and DIY
  • The gamble. They have taken a significant gamble here by putting a lot of resources into the Tasty video marketing campaigns when one change to Facebook’s algorithm could knock their content from the web. Still, it’s working and who’s to say they can put the content on a new platform at a later time?

Will 2016 Be The Year of Video Marketing?

I know I don’t have to tell you all that this stuff is huge and that video for business is the one thing I know of that could really skyrocket your efforts if you do it right. There’s no question as to whether or not you should be doing video marketing for your business, no matter what industry you’re in. You should be, but why? Check it out:

  1. Video will help you meet your marketing goals. Just having a video on your website can increase your chances of being on the first page of Google 53 times.
  2. Video can move people throughout your sales funnels, top, middle, and bottom.
  3. Video builds credibility like no other digital medium.
  4. Your competitors are using video. In the past, you could churn out a video, it didn’t even have to be good, and it would help you blow past your competition. Now, video is the new sparring floor of marketing.

Wrap Up

I think this round-up expresses that video marketing is pretty much a requirement these days quite well. Stay with me, as I’ll be putting out these round-ups on a monthly basis to keep you informed. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any. I’d love to hear in the comments how your video marketing campaigns are going. Let us know how video has helped your business!

Content Marketing Round-Up: May 2016 Edition

Where are you on content marketing for April going into May? I know I don’t have to tell you that content is the stuff of the Internet, and will make or break your online business.Never fear, I’m here to keep you up-to-date on content marketing and the content marketing highlights from the last month, so, let’s round it up!

Second Quarter Content Marketing Trends

There’s a few trends you don’t want to ignore that are taking shape for the second quarter of 2016. 70% of consumers in the United States alone are consulting online content to learn more about products and services they want to buy. It’s our job to stay on the up-and-up so we can keep them informed. Check out these 3 trends:

  1. Promote your content thoroughly. It’s not enough to just produce top-notch content anymore. Reach out to influencers with a tool like Connector. Connector notifies influencers when you mention them in your content. In addition, make sure you are using the right tags with your social media promotions.
  2. Repurpose content. If you have a post that is performing well, you should definitely create more content around that topic. A blog post can be broken down into key points that can be shared one at a time using newer services like Periscope or Snapchat. They can also be integrated into an infographic.
  3. Publish on a new platform. Social media is crazy busy with content, and many of the networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google have  platforms where you can publish your content. I’m not saying publish everything there, but if you have some content outside your niche or something of that nature, these other platforms are a great option.

Business to Business Content Marketing Report

74% of business to business content marketers even bother to exercise any kind of content marketing strategy. Only 22% of them would rate their strategy effective. That’s not a very good statistic if you want to get right down to it. You have to wonder what strategies they are using to produce content marketing stats like that. Well, the top 3 strategies included:

  • In-person events
  • Video
  • Social media not including blogs

It’s time to try some new things if you’re just doing the same old thing without seeing any results. I also noticed through the list of content marketing stats that knowing your audience better was dead last. A good starting point to see an improvement would probably be to start with all the lesser-traveled stats in that post and see what happens. You can’t do much worse.

Is Google Penalizing Old Content?

It seems that Google might be quietly tweaking their algorithm. There was a sudden drop in traffic on older content a couple weeks ago, and without an official announcement from Google, content creators are clamoring to figure out what is going on. In order to keep your high-performing content out of Google’s cross hairs, it might be time to update it and send it back to the front lines again. Rerun it through your content marketing channels as well for a refresher.

Have You Considered Quizzes as a Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Everyone loves quizzes especially when the results are shareable. This is an easy to implement element to any content marketing calendar. There are some content marketing giants who have used quizzes to build a large part of their following like Buzzfeed. Quizzes offer a number of advantages like boosting social traffic and sharing. If you are looking to up the ante on your content marketing stats, give it a try.

Wrap Up

Like everything else online, content marketing is one of those ever-changing facets of Internet business. Staying on top of your content marketing strategy can keep you on top in many other aspects of your business as well. I’d love to hear from you in the comments regarding your content marketing strategy. Have you ever tried quizzes? How did it go?

Email Marketing Round-Up: May 2016 Edition

You all know I love email marketing. I’ve cut my online teeth using it to build my business and break records. It’s only natural that I would include this topic in my monthly round-ups. So, let’s round it up!

GoDaddy Upgrades Their Email Marketing Tools

GoDaddy actually released 40 updates this week to their product suite; several of them being directly related to email marketing. Along with the updates came the promise of many more at regular intervals. A few of the highlights for email marketing included: email encryption and workflow automation. In addition, there are email marketing free trials to try including one feature that lets you drag a product directly from your website and drop it in your email marketing campaigns. They also added a “second send” feature that sends out email an additional time with an alternate subject line to users who haven’t opened the previous email. Not bad, indeed.

Luxury Brands Leaving Money on the Email Marketing Table

A recent study showed that many luxury brands are failing to effectively target their customers with email marketing. The research ultimately showed a complete lack of integration of products with email campaigns at all. Tsk, tsk, luxury brands. Of the brands evaluated, Cartier and Burberry were in the lead. Let me just advise that no matter what level or status your products are on, you should never ignore email marketing. How else will you own your customers and sell to them again and again?

AWeber To Release App That Curates Content to Email

This sounds like a fantastic tool! I wish I’d thought of it! I hope it becomes standard for all email marketing services kind of like sign-up form builders. So what does it do? The mobile app, called Curate, will automatically format content for newsletters. You will then be able to add additional content to the newsletters with your phone before sending it out to your subscribers. This could be a game-changer! Utltimately, this app lets your curate great content for your customers while you do your daily industry reading. It will be out this month for both iOS and Android!

 Email Marketing Generates Significant ROI Over Last Year

From time to time, I run into naysayers online who say email marketing is dead. I couldn’t disagree more. As long as an email address remains the log in credential of the web, marketing to email recipients will be relevant. In fact, a recent report from Salesforce shows that marketers also agree that email marketing generates significant return on investment (ROI). The report also states that intelligent email is bringing in bigger dollar signs. A stunning 80% of business owners believe email marketing is the core engine that drives their business. That is huge! In addition, statistics showed that positive results were consistent over a wide variety of email marketing campaigns. If content is king, then perhaps email is queen.

Email Marketing: A Top Priority in 2016

 Another new study also revealed that 3 out of 4 businesses will make email marketing a priority this year. 91% of the 3,500 people surveyed said they would spend more time and money on email marketing in 2016. Another interesting statistic: 1 out of 5 marketers disclosed that between 50 and 61% of their emails get opened on mobile devices. That is astounding.

Round-Up Wrap Up

A couple things are readily apparent here:

  1. Email marketing is still very relevant in the online landscape. It’s not a bad idea to join the rest of your fellow marketers and invest in a few campaigns.
  2. If your email marketing isn’t mobile-friendly, you are wasting your time. Make sure your tools have what it takes to serve up your content to your mobile customers. I think they will be your bread and butter soon enough if they aren’t already!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you find these round-ups helpful. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of them!

Local vs. National SEO: How Strategies Differ?

Some of you may not know there is local SEO in addition to national SEO, so you’re sitting there blown away. It’s okay. Grab a snack and your favorite beverage and I’ll help you figure this out.

What’s the Difference Between National and Local SEO?

The most obvious difference is location, location, location! With national search engine optimization, you are optimizing for your entire country. If you’re a local brick and mortar business, you need to make sure you are implementing SEO for your business that includes information about your location. However, I think any business can benefit from local optimization. It’s always important for your community to know who you are and what you do so you can contribute based on your expertise.

Here’s a thought to comfort you: local SEO isn’t that different from national SEO.

Local SEO is important for this singular reason: people are searching for local services using their smartphone. For example, let’s say you are a freelance web designer and you work out of your home. If someone in your area, let’s say Portland, Oregon, searches using their smartphone for “web designer in Portland, Oregon”, you want your name in those results, right? For sure! Local search engine optimization is the way to get it there.

Get a load of these stats:

  • 64% of users search local businesses online
  • 80% of all smartphone users are doing it from their phone
  • 2 out of every 3 people complete their purchase after looking up a local business

Local SEO is the new yellow pages.

So How Do Strategies Differ?

They differ enough that one of my favorite sites for SEO tips has two separate sections for the two. With local SEO, you’re going to add a few things to your SEO toolbox. You’ll want to polish up your skills for repetition as well because this can get tedious. All that NAP, those citations, it’s a lot to get done!

In addition to your regular SEO for your business such as:

  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Alt tags
  • SEO-friendly permalinks
  • Keywords

You will need to add the following:

  • NAP – an acronym for name, address, and phone number
  • Google My Business Page – makes special ranking easy since it’s Google-owned
  • Citations – Business listings on local directories

That’s not too terrible a list, I don’t think. These are actually things you should be including in your SEO for your business anyway.

Take Your Local SEO to the Next Level

How about a few SEO tips to help you really be a local SEO pro? Anyone can put together some NAP, create a Google My Business page, and claim a few citations, but just a little added effort will make your SEO for your brand top-notch:

  1. Make sure your NAP is consistent across all of your web presence, from your website to the last citation, it must all match exactly. If you said Street on one, you have to spell it out on all the rest of them too.
  2. Make your NAP clickable. Just the phone number actually. Use this HTML tag:<a data-rel=”external” href=”tel:PhoneNumber” target =”_blank”>FreeText</a>

    Replace “PhoneNumber” with your 10-digit number and “FreeText” with whatever wording you want or none at all.

  3. Provide useful information on your website such as an FAQ page.
  4. Include directions to your location. Include well known landmarks, etc.

Action Steps to Get Started on Your Local SEO

  1. Claim your Google My Business page. If there are duplicates, you will have to call Google to have them removed. Call around 9am EST otherwise you probably won’t get a timely answer.
  2. Once your have your page, fill it out completely, upload a few pictures, etc. Make it look like you live there.
  3. Build your citations. Start with the top national sites: Infogroup , LocalEze, & Factual.Then go to Yahoo Local, Bing Places, Yelp, and so on. Some of these are and will be paid sites. Work your way down to local-only sites and directories.
  4. Make sure your NAP is consistent across the board.
  5. Don’t shy away from reviews; encourage them! Include a QR code and link on your business card to your Google reviews.

Wrap Up

That wasn’t too painful, was it? Local SEO is actually a really good addition to national SEO, and I recommend that you do it regardless. If it’s too much for you, hire a team of SEO experts to help you get it done more efficiently. You will be glad you did.