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Five Awesome Tools for Solo Content Creators

This may be of interest to you.

It used to be the case that you could specialize in one thing, do it really well, and that’d be your career for the next 40+ years of your life. I remember chatting with someone at a United Way fundraiser and he told me that he had been working with CP Rail since high school and he was on the verge of retirement. He took on a gig one summer, learned the ropes on the job, and stuck around for the next 50 years of his life.

He wasn’t doing exactly the same job the whole time, of course, but he really had been working not only at the same company, but actually at the same rail yard for his entire adult life. And he couldn’t have been happier about that kind of job security, a situation that is increasingly rare in today’s economy and marketplace.

These days, you need to be versatile and roll in with a multitude of skills. You need to adapt and learn on the fly, gaining new knowledge and abilities all along the way. As such, if you’re going to be a “content creator” on the Internet, you need to develop some level of comfort with all kinds of content, from written blogs to podcasts to visual content to videos and more. And you’ll need the right tools for the job.

Canva

When I first started with YouTube, I just let the platform automatically select a still frame from the uploaded video to serve as my thumbnail. I took this route for the longest time, as I really wasn’t taking YouTube all that seriously. Then, I start fiddling around in PhotoShop to make custom thumbnails, but I’m hardly the most artistic person. These days, I use Canva to do all (or at least most) of my thumbnails.

While there is a paid tier and there are available microtransactions for premium content (like stock images or premium templates), you can use Canva completely for free. I use it primarily for my YouTube thumbnails as an easy image editor based on a number of pre-designed templates. However, Canva is great for all sorts of graphics, from Instagram posts to Facebook posts, from flyers to book covers.

You don’t really need to have any sort of advanced technical know-how, since you can always start from a template with a look that approximates what you want. Then, it’s just a matter of uploading your own images and editing in your own text.

FocusWriter

This may or may not be the approach you want to take with all your writing. It might not necessarily be the best way to go about writing your regular blog posts. For longer form content or where you need to throw every distraction aside, FocusWriter is one of the simplest and most feature-free text editors you’ll find.

Myself, I tend to use Notepad on my Windows machine. Even then, though, I can’t help but to glance over at my open Chrome tabs or get distraction by Facebook notifications. With FocusWriter, you can conceivably cast all of that aside and center all your attention on the words you’re putting on the page.

Of course, if you want a more robust word processor with more features, there’s always Microsoft Word. For collaboration, Google Docs is tremendous and the Hemingway App can help to improve your writing by offering actual, actionable feedback on word choice and structure.

Open Broadcaster Software

You might remember when I mentioned OBS as one of the easiest (and free!) ways to record a screencast. It’s great for when you want to offer an online tutorial or include part of your screen in a vlog. Video is far more compelling than a static screenshot.

Since the time that I first wrote that post, they’ve upgraded the software to a new version of OBS Studio with a more modern interface and more robust feature set. Available for Windows, macOS and Linux, OBS Studio is free and open source software.

Set as many scenes and sources as you’d like, putting together custom layouts that are as simple or as complex as you want. Now you’re able to tap into an audio mixer from the main interface, adjusting your audio levels coming from the desktop audio, video capture device, or your USB microphone, for instance. There are also scene transitions, including the ability to set their duration.

Trello

Even if you work for yourself, by yourself, and you have no need to collaborate with anyone on the projects on your place, a project management platform like Trello can really help to keep you on track. You can break down your project into manageable tasks and sub-tasks, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks.

Trello boards operate on the same fundamental philosophy as kanban boards. What this means is that each task is its own card (you can put additional attributes like sub-tasks within each card). From there, the objective is to move the card across your columns until it reaches the “done” column at the far right. This helps to identify bottlenecks and track progress from a wide perspective.

Audacity

OBS Studio is great for handling some of the video aspects of your content creation strategy. And FocusWriter or Hemingway App can go a long way in helping with your writing sessions. For audio, it doesn’t get much better than Audacity, which is also available for free.

Podcasts are an obvious example here, but it could be any kind of audio really. Adjust levels, mix tracks, change settings, trim, crop, speed up, slow down, and more.

If you plan on having guests on your podcast, for instance, then you might also want to give Zencastr a go. Your guest simply click on the link you provide them (they don’t need to make an account) and the platform will record your conversation in high quality MP3 format to use as you see fit. The free tier only allows for up to two guests and 8 hours per month, so you might consider the $20/month professional plan for more features.

Do you have a favorite tool that you use on a regular basis?

We hope you enjoyed this.

Adsense Machine Review – How Two Guys Make A Full Time Income From Adsense

Google Adsense is dead. Do you believe that?

Most of the internet marketers believe that. They think they can no longer get income using Adsense.

For me, I say NO. It is not definitely dead.

I can’t blame you if you think that way too. Probably, it is too hard to handle. Well, today I have the perfect solution for you.

Introducing Adsense Machine!

This software will provide you the right training and the right system in using Google Adsense.

I know you need proof. Why not take a look at this review? Let’s go read it!

Adsense

Features

  1. Passive Income Month After Month

Inside Adsense Machine you will learn exactly what needs to be done to earn passive income each and every month. The exact steps we use to do that and the exact traffic techniques we use.

  1. Without Writing 100s of Articles

Its a huge myth that one needs to have a bunch of fresh articles each day/week added to his site to actually make money with Adsense – we will show you how do make money without that.

  1. Without Complex Software or Methods that Make You Give Up

No more complex software, all you need is a simple wordpress theme and a few plugins that are almost free – install them and get going with your Adsense Machine in less than 30 minutes.

  1. Without Any Google Rankings, SEO or Building Any Backlinks.

Google is not the only traffic source out there and you do not have to work hard on SEO and then wait months to MAYBE get ranked and MAYBE get traffic. We do not rely on Google for any traffic.

  1. A Guaranteed Way to Get Yourself Loads of Traffic without Google.

There are many different sources of traffic you can use and we will show you EXACTLY what our traffic source is – how we profit with Adsense and how you can copy our exact method for yourself and drive loads of traffic, no matter what niche you are in.

Download Adsense Machine now!

How Does It Work?

Comprehensive training is provided. You just need to follow every instruction in training. It is so simple, and you don’t need to be a technical expert to understand it. Training video is also provided for your reference. You can check it below:

Who Should Use it?

I say this is for anyone…

  1. For anyone who wants to earn passive income
  2. For anyone who wants more traffic
  3. For anyone who hates writing articles & content
  4. For anyone who does not want to spend on SEO
  5. For any website owner who runs a wordpress site
  6. For Bloggers, Writers, & Podcasters

AdsenseM

Good Points

  1. User Friendly
  2. Comprehensive Training Materials
  3. Responsive Technical Support

Bad Points

  1. Need a fast and stable internet connection
  2. Need to contact support desk if there is unknown drawback

Conclusion

So, are you interested in earning passive income each month? Adsense Machine will definitely help you. GET Your copy of Adsense Machine Here!

 

5 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid While Recruiting Affiliates

This may be of interest to you.

As affiliate managers we spend a lot of time on recruiting new affiliates into our programs. There are many different ways to identify affiliates and then contact them to tell them about your program, but today we’re going to focus on things you want to avoid as you’re going through your recruitment. Below we’ve laid out five deadly mistakes to stay away from while recruiting affiliates.

1. Not Utilizing Competitive Analysis

Perhaps the single most important piece to your recruitment effort is going to be your competitive intelligence analysis. Surely you’ve performed this kind of analysis before setting up your affiliate program — in order to see which of your competitors have affiliate programs and how much commission, among other things, they offer to their affiliates.

Affiliate competitionYou can use this same competitive intelligence analysis when starting your recruitment efforts as well. You can run searches on your competitors and see where they’re being featured on affiliate sites and where they’re being marketed. These are going to be great prospects for you.

You can take this a step further if you use tools like Publisher Discovery or SEMrush and actually plug in your competitor’s info into those tools and see what affiliates they return back to you.

2. Ignoring Your Customer Base

When you begin your recruitment efforts and you start putting together lists of prospects and potential reviewers for your product, it’s so easy to forget a base of people who are all instantly a good fit. That base of people, of course, is your existing customer list. If even just a few of your customers are online marketing savvy, why wouldn’t they want to earn commissions promoting something they’ve already purchased and enjoyed?

Recruit affiliates from customersConsider sending an email to your customer base announcing your affiliate marketing program and its benefits.

Make sure to leave a clear way to contact you and you might just get a few great partners from the list!

Another great way to announce your program is through your own social media channels and also as a link on your website. You want to make sure you give fans of your business every opportunity to see that you have an affiliate program. These efforts will greatly enhance your affiliate recruitment.

3. Focusing Only on Your Niche

You should absolutely be targeting affiliates in your niche when you’re recruiting. These are going to be some of your top partners. However, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of professional affiliates out there who might also be a great fit despite not having a site specific to your niche.

Do you plan to incorporate discounts and deals into your affiliate strategy? If so, you want to make sure to target top deals and coupon sites that have massive user bases and often rank really well on discount related keywords within search engines. You may want to partner with some of these — so you can manage them and guide them to how you want your brand represented on their platforms.

Cash back affiliates and loyalty sites are also good ones to target as there are thousands of consumers who like to use these platforms and they are always a great addition to most affiliate programs. It’s easy to forget about these potential super affiliates because you’re so focused on recruiting the key sites within your niche. Do not forget to spread your efforts out a bit more.

4. Ignoring Content Monetization Tools

Along with affiliates who may not be in your niche, you’re also going to want to make sure not to neglect the several content monetization platforms that are out there. Tools like Skimlinks, VigLink, YieldKit, and others add a lot of value to your program by helping content creators easily monetize their articles.

Large media outlets such as Business Insider, TechRadar and Cosmopolitan have been known to monetize their content using these platforms.

Affiliate networkThus, simply by onboarding such monetization platforms into your program, you can get promoted on hundreds of websites. It’s always preferred to have a direct relationship with affiliates, but this is still a great place to start.

These platforms are also very easy to work with and very responsive when trying to get them to join your programs. We have never heard of them turning away a merchant before so there’s really nothing you have to lose but targeting them.

5. Not Utilizing Affiliate Network Opportunities

Lastly, make sure to take advantage of your affiliate network! While some merchants choose to run their affiliate programs in-house, most will launch on an affiliate network and utilize their platform and tracking solution to run their program. Affiliate networks like ShareASale, CJ, Impact and others all offer various recruitment solutions for their merchant clients.

Affiliate discoveryShareASale has their Recruitment Tool, which allows the merchant to structure a special offer for the prospective affiliate to entice them to join their affiliate program. Awin and Rakuten Affiliate Network (Linkshare) both have excellent publisher discovery tools built in to their networks where you can search by affiliate domain, type, category and others. Impact also has their marketplace where you can see some of the more active affiliate publishers on the network.

Along with the publisher discovery options these networks provide, don’t forget to also take advantage of whatever marketing opportunities they may offer. It is not uncommon for affiliate networks to discount their marketing packages for their advertisers. Getting an email sent out to an entire network of potential affiliates can be very helpful in boosting your recruiting numbers.

We hope that these tips will help you as you go through your recruiting process. Good luck with your affiliate program management efforts and feel free to email us or comment below with any notes or questions.

The post 5 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid While Recruiting Affiliates appeared first on Affiliate Marketing Blog by Geno Prussakov.

We hope you enjoyed this.

Visual Reel Automated Software – The social media traffic finder for your business

Why it has seemed difficult achieving good results with social media marketing

Nowadays, many more businesses are adopting a marketing strategy that includes the use of social media and the general internet. But then, that is not the reason why they are not achieving the desired marketing results for their individual ventures. The problem lies in a series of attached procedures that only a few marketers, may have realized. From over time, a larger percentage of social media users have become preferably attached or drawn towards visual contents. In fact, it seems everybody wants to see some well-created cinemagraphs, quote pics, or the high engaging memes. However, visual marketing contents are not quite easy to formulate, and most times there’s a good level of creativity and reasoning skill that is mandatorily required. Unfortunately, a lot more marketers cannot readily meet up with the requirements, hence their inabilities to find the optimum results. As it stands, product and brand marketers on the internet necessarily require specialized tools that can help them step up their marketing and customer/client turnover.

Here comes a solution: The Visual Reel™ automated visual content generator software

The Visual Reel™ automated software presents an ingenious module that helps internet and social media marketers achieve increased traffic creation and the most important conversion of it. The solution creates visual marketing materials that make this easy for all categories of users- whether they have the technical skills or not. Hence this product is designed to assist you in making the right impression on your advert viewer and potential customers- right from the start to the finish.

According to operation roadmap, Visual Reel is a cloud software that runs on autopilot. This means that it churns out whatever visual content you have preset it to make, and then goes on to implement most of the marketing and advert placements without your mandatory input. This type of arrangement is effective, while it also affords the user some real time to focus on other aspects of their businesses.

Previous and existing Visual Reel users have commended the software’s high-level visual content production, and the wowing results that always follows. Due to its obvious relevance for marketing purposes, Visual Reel finds users drawn from amongst affiliate marketers, social media marketers, online and e-commerce stores, people enlightenment, and sensitization organizations, marketing agencies, etcetera.

How you can also make use of the software

Remember that the Visual Reel software is automated, so you’re not doing any big work when you use it. Thus, it shouldn’t be considered or likened to a manual use advert material development tool alone. Visual Reel provides users with a number of useful options, and it is left to you to decide on how you would be using the app, as well as what you would be using it for.

Firstly, you can create a one-time visual marketing product-for which all the required templates have been provided on the user dashboard. Once logged on, there are the listed options where you select from the enormous cinemagraphs, meme templates, and quotes on the Visual Reel database. Another good thing with this service is the fact that the software allows you to customize the visual products to suit your particular intended output. So, although the templates have been provided, it is not rigidly fixed in such a way that you can’t make your own adjustments to it. In fact, you can import your own designs and raw materials which can be synergies with the those on the software. After fitting in all the dimensions, colors, and specifications, you may also add your desired texts, or even include any CTA of your choice. Finished contents can then be exported off the software as video or gif outputs, and then distributed as the user wish. Now, this is just one of the way in which users can make use of the Visual Reel software.

Alternatively, you may just put the type in a description of the product or brand that you’re advertising on the visual content, and let the software produce and distribute it on schedules, for you. Visual Reel automation is noted for its high-level efficiency and result oriented outputs. It would distribute visual contents of your products, to up to ten different social media platforms- with a level of coordination that is guaranteed to drive traffic to your websites, and also ensure viewer engagement.

Note that visual contents primarily supported by the Visual Reel platform, are cinemagraphs, quote on pictures (otherwise known as picture quotes), and memes.

What are the value added services of the Visual Reel software?

Visual Reel poses several features that make it an appropriate tool for marketing visual content creation. These features are probably the reasons why it has continued to attract users- who have found its use to be beneficial in many ways.

Asides the fact, that you can push automation to work on the model, the following are some of the features on the framework which attracts results oriented persons like you:

  • Visual Reel™ has an e-library with cinemagraphs video content materials, numbering over five hundred.
  • Meme templates and semi-finished products are enormous too, with numbers well over a thousand.
  • Image materials numbering over 25,000 different samples, and picture usable quotes numbering over a thousand.
  • Once signed on as a user, you get the company’s agency license that permits you to offer visual content creation services to your own individual or corporately sourced clients- using the company’s software product.
  • Users pay a one time fee and are not required to meet up with monthly fees or extra charges.
  • Contents produced with the software are entirely professional, with top-notch quality and no restrictions.

Final thoughts on the Visual Reel Software

Considering the increasing competitions on every market, it is important that every marketer adopts the best tools- because really, it’s only the fittest that would survive. Using the Visual Reel visual marketing contents creator, is a good head start for your business. The prospects are enormous and could be reaching profits levels way higher than you’ve imagined, just because of the software you’re using.

 

Click here to check for more information on the Visual Reel™automated software

What Every SMBs Need to Know About Debt and Growing their Business

This may be of interest to you.

Starting a business in the world might seem easy, thanks to the power of the internet, automation, and lowered costs — but that isn’t to say it’s easy to find success and profitability with that same business. With more businesses starting daily, this leads to a larger increase in competition, and a great number of SMBs who aren’t potentially ready for the fierce competition, compiling costs, and debt that might be right around the corner.

While most aspiring small business owners would love to launch a passion venture and not worry about how to pay for it, this is not the reality. According to the Small Business Administration, there are 27.9 million small businesses in the United States compared to 18,500 firms with over 500 employees. Those small businesses took out a combined $600 billion in business loans in 2015, and another $593 million from alternative means like finance companies and peer-to-peer lending platforms.

At the same time, it’s also important to take a look at the number of startups and closures, and survival rates for businesses in the world today.

But despite the various loan options that exist, securing enough of the right debt is challenging. Yet, as the old adage says, ‘you need to spend money to make money,’ and without borrowing, it’s difficult for any business to grow their operation.

To ensure your business borrows for long-term success without jeopardizing long-term cash flow, here are six things to know about debt.

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Generally speaking, good debt refers to debt that can yield long-term income or growth in value whereas bad debt will not. For consumers, good debt might be a mortgage where bad debt would be a revolving credit card balance. In the business landscape, it’s a little more nuanced and dependent on the specific company. You can learn more about the differences between these two here.

An example of good debt might be a company taking on debt to invest in certain employee programs, as the implementation of the program could lead to improved morale and better retention. It could also be debt used to do research and development for a new product since a new product line would generate more future income. A bad-debt scenario could be the result of a business taking out a loan for a larger business space that they don’t end up filling or using adequately. Or a double whammy: paying for nice office space in a prime location when clients never see the office.

These situations can go on and on, and really hinge on the execution that does or does not take place after a loan is taken.

Healthy Debt-to-Income Ratios

Every business—even two competitors—have differences that affect what a healthy debt-to-income (DIY) ratio should be. Businesses might need different levels of debt depending on a multitude of factors.

So, while not a hard-and-fast guideline, generally speaking, businesses with DTIs under 1 have more stable debt levels while a ratio above 1 indicates that a company is more reliant on their debt. Calculate your business’ DTI at any time by taking your monthly recurring debt payments and dividing it by your monthly gross income.

You Have More Leeway with Creditors Than You Think

Many business owners and individual debtors never try to improve on their existing terms or ask their creditors for any kind of compromise, even if it means falling behind on loan payments. But at the end of the day, banks want to see you succeed, if for no other reason than it means they’re getting their money back. If you’re proactive about needing aspects of your loan modified before you encounter difficulty paying it, you’ll stand a much better chance of striking an agreement.

It’s important to remember that creditor negotiations are a case-by-case basis. Whether you’re trying to lower your interest rate, get a one-time payment grace period, or extend the repayment cycle, communicate how changing the loan will impact your business positively.

You Can Consolidate Your Debts

Even if you’re keeping pace with your loans, juggling too many of them can be taxing, not to mention increase the chances you miss a payment date or don’t have the cash flow you need at a certain time of month. Debt consolidation loans condense your monthly payments, due dates, and potentially, can net you a lower overall interest rate.

To learn more about this, also see my article on line of credit vs taking out loans.

Small business owners can attempt debt consolidation by taking out a private loan (though, a high credit score will be needed for favorable interest rates), opening a balance transfer card with interest-friendly (possibly free) introductory period, or seeking assistance through companies like Andrew Housser’s Consolidation Plus, part of the Freedom Financial Network.

Layoffs Are Always a Consequence

Small businesses are like tight-knit families. Limited bandwidth and resources mean that employees develop a sense of pride and camaraderie in working together (at least, when a business does well). And unlike a large company where turnover is rampant, employees tend to work for small businesses much longer.

Of the 5.6 million employer firms in the United States in 2016, organizations with fewer than 100 workers accounted for over 98 percent of the workforce. When small businesses take on debt to scale the operation, they need to understand that they’ll need to cut costs if the investment doesn’t pay off. Layoffs are a realistic consequence. And when a SMB starts laying people off, company morale will take a dive and could lead to lost productivity and even further turnover.

According to data from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, there were 5.6 million employer firms in the United States in 2016.

  • Firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7 percent of those businesses.
  • Firms with fewer than 100 workers accounted for 98.2 percent.
  • Firms with fewer than 20 workers made up 89.0 percent.

This also isn’t just limited to small and medium sized businesses. Statista just recently had a report on big name companies like Tesla, eBay, Paypal, and more — all of which are leaving their employees hanging on whether or not they might have a long term relationship with the company.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Is a Last Resort

The thought of your hopes and dreams culminating in a bankruptcy court proceeding is certainly disheartening. However, chapter 11 becomes a viable strategy for business owners whose personal possessions are entwined in their business as it aims to restructure business debts to make repayments more manageable going forward without it sinking their business.

Just because taking debt is a necessary evil the majority of small businesses must face doesn’t mean it should be done so lightly. Leave no stone unturned in your search for a small business loan and consider these things above as you do so.

The Best Ways to Approach Debt Loss and Management for Your Company

No matter what position you might find your business in today, it’s important to realize that the first step in cleaning up an potential messes, is to ask for help.

This can be from people within your company, outside advisors, and of course — financial and legal institutions.

To learn more about managing company funds and debt, be sure to check out my other resource guide on paying off company debt.

The post What Every SMBs Need to Know About Debt and Growing their Business appeared first on Zac Johnson.

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Three Alternatives to Pay Per Click Ads You’ve Gotta Check Out

This may be of interest to you.

Are you just done with Google Adwords? Here are a few ways you can get your name out there without PPC ads.

We hope you enjoyed this.

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7 Marketing Strategies for the Ultimate Ecommerce Launch

This may be of interest to you.

Note: This is a guest blog post by Adam Enfroy (and excellent one, we must admit).

The ecommerce industry is growing rapidly at a rate of 23% year-over-year. Yet, many ecommerce stores still lack the proper marketing strategy to build awareness and drive visitors to purchase.

Ecommerce LaunchIt’s exciting to launch an ecommerce store, but if brands don’t have the proper digital marketing tactics at a solid baseline, they’re leaving cash on the table.

The key is to understand buyer personas, marketing funnels, and all stages of the buyer’s journey to maximize impact. This includes aligning all marketing tactics so that they carry the brand’s voice, hit return on ad spend (ROAS) goals, and guide users down the funnel.

Before officially launching your ecommerce store, it’s imperative to design and orchestrate a cohesive marketing plan leveraging:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
  • Affiliate Marketing

This article will outline a few of the top ways ecommerce merchants can generate traffic and sales for their new online store with an effective ecommerce marketing strategy.

A Unified Approach to Ecommerce Marketing

Ideally, each aspect of your ecommerce marketing strategy must work together in unison to accomplish the same goal: guiding customers through the marketing funnel.

When you work on one component of your plan, you should always consider how it may impact another. For instance, if you launch social media ads with the goal of generating awareness of your ecommerce store, think about how this will be represented on your product pages, affiliate banners, and future retargeting ads.

Throughout this process, your ecommerce brand’s messaging, logos, and design must also be evident and consistent. This will ensure potential customers will recognize and recall your brand at any point during the purchasing cycle.

Optimize the Ecommerce Funnel

The marketing funnel has three distinct sections: the top, middle, and bottom. Each tactic in your ecommerce promotional plan falls into a specific area of the funnel.

It’s simple — buyers fall into distinct stages based on how ready they are to purchase from you.

Ecommerce Conversion Funnel

(Image Source)

With a marketing funnel, you need to understand your ROAS targets. Top of funnel tactics won’t generate the same return on investment and scalability as your bottom of the funnel campaigns. For example, your awareness-driving Facebook ads won’t be as profitable as your cart abandonment retargeting banners.

While each tactic will have a different return on ad spend, it’s important that all combined paid tactics have a ROAS of 3:1.

1. Top of the Funnel Marketing Tactics

Top of the funnel (TOF) marketing tactics are used with the intent of introducing your brand to new audiences. The goal is to make a fantastic first impression and leave potential customers wanting to learn more.

Top of the funnel ROAS targets:

  • Facebook prospecting ads: 2.5:1
  • Google Display Network ads: 2:1

An example of TOF tactics are Facebook prospecting ads. These targeted social media ads generate awareness of your brand and products to segmented audiences on the platform.

Although Facebook awareness ads generally have a lower return on investment, they are imperative for introducing your ecommerce store to new customers and let them enter the funnel.

2. Middle of the Funnel Marketing Tactics

After an audience is familiar with your brand, they are getting groomed to become paying customers.

Middle of the funnel marketing tactics include PPC, email marketing, SEO, and affiliate marketing. All of these strategies move customers closer to making the final purchase decision. These strategy engage with people who already know you, and delight them with engaging content, email promotions, and downloads so that they know, like and trust you.

Middle of the funnel ROAS targets:

  • Non-brand search: 3:1
  • Affiliate marketing: 9:1
  • Organic search: free, but takes time commitment
  • Email marketing: 37:1

3. Bottom of the Funnel Marketing Tactics

Finally, bottom of the funnel tactics focus on converting your fans into customers. Common strategies include Google retargeting ads, cart abandonment emails, and Facebook Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs).

Bottom of the funnel ROAS targets:

  • Google retargeting ads: 5:1
  • Facebook DPAs: 7-20:1
  • Cart abandonment emails: 37:1

As a result of their personalized nature, bottom of the funnel tactics have a much higher return on investment than top and middle of the funnel techniques. However, customers can’t make it to the end of the buying cycle if top and mid-funnel tactics aren’t effectively in place.

Ecommerce Marketing Promotions

To maximize your yearly revenue, try having a promotion at least one week per month. These promotions should be scheduled well in advance (think yearly promo calendar) so you know how to update your website and marketing channels. On your website itself, highlight the details of your promotion on your top banner and slider images.

Ecommerce Home Page Promotions

(Image Source)

In addition, your promos should be planned and scheduled so that you can prep your content and assets. You’ll need a lot of content — slider images, email copy and imagery, affiliate banners, Facebook images, and Google Shopping promos — not to mention discount codes scheduled inside of your ecommerce platforms.

Have one designer create a cohesive feel across every asset. For example, a Facebook ad with Arial font and red colors won’t match a blue slider with Open Sans.

Typical ecommerce promo calendars reflect retail holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday, along with a strong holiday push in December before your shipping cutoff date.

Here are some promotion ideas and discounts that can be used for your online store:

  • 20% off orders over $50
  • 30% off orders over $100
  • Combine the two above into one “Buy More, Save More” promotion
  • Black Friday: 30% off all orders (average discounts on Black Friday are 37%)
  • Cyber Monday: 40% off all orders

Now that you understand how the marketing funnel benefits your ecommerce launch and have your promo calendar in order, let’s look at how social media, SEO, PPC, and affiliate marketing help maximize revenue.

Social Media Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

With 84% of online shoppers in the US reviewing at least one social media site before making a purchase, having a social media presence for your online store is vital. In addition to organic social media posts, there are opportunities for paid social marketing at every stage of the funnel.

Before you get started, set up your Facebook Business Manager, Facebook Pixel, conversion events, and sync your Instagram to your Facebook page so that your ads show up across both platforms.

1. Facebook Prospecting Ads

Did you know that over 30% of your Facebook fans won’t see your company’s organic posts? Enter paid social media marketing.

At the top of the funnel, Facebook prospecting campaigns introduce your ecommerce store to a new audience. To find new, converting audience segments, experiment with targeting different age groups, locations, interests, and other demographic information when orchestrating this part of your marketing campaign.

You can also use your Facebook pixel to create lookalike audiences based on user behavior. Facebook users who are similar to those who purchased high AOV products on your site make a good prospecting audience. Experiment with 2, 5, and 10% lookalikes to see which one works for you.

Considering the average Facebook user clicks on approximately 8 ads per month, it is also in your best interest to make your social media ads attractive and enticing. The goal is to make a lasting first impression that will leave the audience wanting to learn more about your products. Video and image ads in the Facebook news feed convert best. Quality ads drive up customer engagement and click-through-rates, increasing your relevancy score, and lowering your average cost-per-click.

Create separate ad campaigns inside of Facebook’s Ad Editor. Once your main campaigns are structured, use the Power Editor to A/B test gender, age, and messaging to increase your ROAS.

Finally, test different bidding strategies and goals like CPM, CPC, lowest cost, target cost, and optimized for conversion. I recommend focusing on conversions and using a manual strategy so that you have the most control.

2. Facebook Retargeting Ads

Chances are, potential customers will not make a purchase after their first visit to your website. After all, in Q2 of 2018, only 2.86% of ecommerce website visits converted into purchases. With this in mind, social media retargeting ads can recapture a user’s interest.

Retargeting ads are only shown to users who have visited your website within a designated time frame. Some ways you can segment these audiences by time is from 3, 7, 15, 30, 90, or 180 days. This enables you to test various campaign types, messaging, and bidding strategies to target users most effectively.

These A/B testing tactics also allow you to test various discounts and promotions for audiences who have already interacted with your brand. For example, in one retargeting ad group, you can test promo vs. non-promo messaging or include different images, text, and emojis to see which convert best.

Facebook Promotional Ad

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3. Facebook Dynamic Product Ads

When a customer is on the verge of a purchase decision, sometimes they need that extra targeted push. This is where Facebook Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) come in handy.

These personalized ads display a carousel of products to a user that visited individual product pages. If a user only visited one product page, Facebook will take the product catalog that you uploaded and show other related products.

Facebook DPA Ads Slider

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Often, a gentle reminder via a Facebook DPA is all the customer needs to finally make that purchase. Considering 86% of consumers are “blind to banners,” these personalized ads take a targeted and logical approach to reaching potential customers.

Dynamic Product Ads have some of the highest return on investment numbers of any paid social tactic.

Online stores with a social presence have 32% more sales on average than stores that don’t. Leverage social media ads at all stages of the marketing funnel for a successful ecommerce store launch.

Search Engine Optimization for Ecommerce Store Launches

When you’re interested in purchasing a product, what’s the first thing you do? You search for it online.

A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy consists of several tactics working in tandem to rank your products and content for relevant keywords searched by interested customers. As a result, you can use these optimization techniques to rank your category pages, blog posts, and ecommerce product pages for relevant search queries.

All SEO strategies begin with keyword research. Find long tail keywords that match your products, have high search volume, and low competition. Ecommerce sites can often be light on content. This can be improved with ecommerce blogs, optimized category page text, and well-written product descriptions.

Oftentimes, ecommerce category pages only have a page title with products underneath. That doesn’t help search engines. A well-planned, SEO-optimized content block on these pages can boost rankings quickly. If you don’t want any content above-the-fold blocking quick access to your product layout, add the content block to the bottom of the page. Once your category page content is added, use Google Search Console to have Google fetch your new page.

The next step for effective ecommerce SEO is optimizing your product pages. According to Shane Barker (who actually wrote for this blog as well), the best ways to optimize an ecommerce product page include:

  • Rich product descriptions with keywords and phrases naturally included in the copy
  • Image alt tags
  • Title tags and headers
  • Internal links to related products or content
  • Meta descriptions optimized for click-through-rates
  • Proper URL structure

Ecommerce Product Page Example 2019

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Finally, your ecommerce blog will build awareness around your brand, showcase your thought leadership, target new keywords in your niche, and lead to engagement like content downloads, email sign-ups, and helpful feedback from on-page surveys. Ecommerce blog posts should be 1,500+ words, feature images, and include the keyphrase in the topic title, URL and throughout the body copy.

There are so many more SEO tactics to cover, but by optimizing your category pages, product pages, and blog posts is a great start.

SEO Tactics for Ecommerce Blogs

According to Ryan Robinson from ryrob.com, you need to carefully choose your blog’s content management system (CMS) as 60% of all blogs are on WordPress.

One way to leverage WordPress for your ecommerce blog is by using a WordPress ecommerce plugin. According to BigCommerce, you can use an API to connect WordPress to your ecommerce platform to combine the best elements of content and commerce. If you’re going to launch your site on WordPress, use a tool like HRANK to compare the best web hosting options.

Once you’re up and blogging, you need to up your game in 2019. Google is getting smarter. With RankBrain better understanding user intent, your blog posts need to be as engaging as possible so readers don’t bounce.

Second, use a tool like Ahrefs to discover your target keywords and secondary keywords. Just because you have one target keyword doesn’t mean you can’t rank highly on Google for close variations. As an example, if your ecommerce store sells camping supplies, your article titled The 15 Best Sleeping Bags of 2019 would feature the following elements:

  • URL structure: /blog/best-sleeping-bags
  • Target keyword: best sleeping bags
  • Secondary keywords: winter sleeping bags, cold weather sleeping bags, comfortable sleeping bags, sleeping bags for camping, summer sleeping bags, etc.

Besides on-page SEO and creating quality content, the quickest way to build Domain Authority (DA) is by obtaining backlinks. First, look for opportunities to guest post on authoritative websites in your niche. In these posts, link back to your blog posts, product pages, and main URL if you can.

To work with other sites on guest posts, engage with them first and provide value – share their posts, comment on their blogs, and connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Once they have some understanding of who you are, create a cold email template and reach out to them. Your email should be concise, ask about guest blogging opportunities, and provide samples of your previous work.

By leveraging strong on-page ecommerce SEO strategies in tandem with a link building and outreach program, you’ll start building Domain Authority and increasing your search rankings.

Ecommerce Pay Per Click Advertising Strategies

Did you know PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors?

PPC ads target users based on their search query. An ecommerce brand can bid on specific keywords and phrases in their niche and bid enough to outrank their competition. There are two main types of PPC for ecommerce companies – brand and non-brand search.

Pay Per Click How It Works 2019

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Brand search – or brand bidding – is related to your company name and shows ads for users searching for your brand by name. These ads have the highest conversion rates in search because users are already aware of your brand and products.

With ecommerce PPC, you want to control your presence on Google, so aim for an average position of 1.0 – 1.2 to ensure you have the highest brand impression share compared to your competition.

Second, non-brand search campaigns target keywords in your niche that don’t include your head terms. For example, if you’re selling camping gear, some non-brand keywords include hiking poles, camping supplies, best sleeping bags, two person tent, etc. Non-brand keywords are more competitive and have lower conversion rates because they have higher CPCs and visitors may not yet be aware of your brand.

Of course, bidding for non-branded keywords will also establish an introduction with those at the top and middle of the funnel. This builds your audience lists and opens the door for retargeting.

1. Sync Up with Google Shopping Ads

Another PPC opportunity for ecommerce brands is Google Shopping Ads. Instead of presenting potential customers with a PPC text ad, Google Shopping is a way to sync your website’s product catalog with Google to update your product data regularly on Google and show results in their shopping platform.

Google Shopping Dashboard

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Once your product catalog is synced with Google Merchant Center, you have to double check your settings. First, make sure your prices are all displaying properly on Google Shopping and your images look correct – sometimes there are syncing issues that impact how your products are displayed.

Next, check your destination URLs to ensure none are going to dead/404 pages. Once everything looks good in your CSV file and product catalog, you can start optimizing your campaigns.

Organize your product groups so that you can properly set higher bids on higher AOV items. Add in negative keywords to eliminate irrelevant traffic. Next, start with mobile ads active, but keep a watchful eye on this – oftentimes conversion rates are low. Use geographic bid modifiers to improve conversion in high performing areas. And finally, if some of your products don’t fit into a product group, they will go into an “Everything Else” group where you can adjust the bids down.

2. Retarget Past Website Visitors

Sometimes, customers are not ready to make a purchase online. In fact, in can take 7-13 touches to generate a sales lead.

Retargeting ads can convince customers to return to your website and make a purchase. In fact, website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert.

One way to target these past customers is through remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). While other forms of retargeting ads display image ads like banners and animated gifs, RLSAs target users on the search network.

Similar to PPC ads, you’ll need to bid on specific keywords if using RLSA ads. You can slightly mix up your messaging because you know the searcher is aware of your brand.

Another tactic is using remarketing banner ads on the Google Display Network (GDN). The Google Display Network is a network of over 2 million websites where you can deploy your banner ads.

You can segment users and target them by landing page visit, cart abandonment, recency and more. Make sure to target users who visited your home page, category pages, individual product pages, and cart abandoners separately. That way you can bid higher on your more value audience. For example, someone who added a product to their cart but didn’t checkout 3 days ago is more valuable than someone who simply visited your home page 30 days ago – so bid accordingly.

Make sure to A/B test different versions of your imagery to maximize conversions. And test adding discounts to bottom of the funnel display ads targeting your most valuable audience segments. You should optimize your website for conversions with strong calls-to-action and accessible shipping information, as well as more advanced tactics to close deals like electronic signature software and live chat tools.

When you’re getting ready to launch your ecommerce store, have your PPC ads ready to roll so you can start targeting new audiences right from the start.

Drive New Customers with Affiliate Marketing

Another way to drive sales to your newly launched ecommerce store is with affiliate marketing. These programs allow influencers, bloggers, and other publishers to develop content which links to your products in exchange for a commission of the sales.

Hosting Tribunal recently reported that 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs for driving sales and achieving their marketing goals.

Affiliates can embed affiliate links to your products in all types of content — review articles, video descriptions, emails, and even right on Pinterest. It’s in the affiliate’s best interest to develop content which drives sales to your store, so the more links, the more potential affiliate commissions.

ShareASale Affiliate Network

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The first step to taking advantage of this marketing opportunity is to join an affiliate network. A few of the top affiliate networks include:

  • CJ Affiliate by Conversant
  • ShareASale
  • Rakuten Affiliate Network
  • Impact
  • ClickBank

Since 94% of publishers use more than one affiliate network, you can expand your reach if you offer your products through more than one network. Try to also find affiliate sites related to your niche or industry. On top of increasing your conversions, this will build trust among those in your vertical with all kinds of content and reviews from your affiliates.

However, not every website can easily get approved into an affiliate network. Affiliates must apply to and be approved by the network before being able to participate. This helps to keep the quality of the publisher base high so that ecommerce merchants and other advertisers can find high quality affiliates faster.

When a potential customer clicks on an affiliate link, hits an online store, and purchases a product, the ecommerce merchant owes the affiliate a percentage of each sale.

The great thing for the advertiser is that they get to choose the affiliate commission rates. To generate more interest in their affiliate program, online stores can offer higher payouts, which lead to higher earnings per click (EPC).

Check the competition to see what commission rates they’re offering as they vary by industry and niche. For instance, the financial industry typically provides commissions ranges from 20-30% while health niches offer commissions of around 9%.

If you have ecommerce promotions running, consider also utilizing coupon affiliate marketing. By partnering with coupon affiliate sites, you can push your discounts and promo codes to the masses. Sites like RetailMeNot, Brad’s Deals, and eBates allow you to reach a wider audience than you could get with PPC and SEO alone.

Combine These Tactics for a Successful Ecommerce Launch

For the ultimate ecommerce store launch, harness the individual and combined powers of social media, SEO, PPC, and affiliate marketing to guide customers through the buying process.

Build brand awareness through Facebook ads. Optimize your product pages and content for higher search rankings. Entice customers to return and make a purchase through PPC and retargeting ads. And, drive more qualified sales through affiliate marketing.

Although each tactic can be successful on its own, the ecommerce possibilities are endless when they work in tandem. Ensure that your design and content match cohesively across platforms. Your Facebook ads should match the look and feel of your affiliate banners. Your promotional calendar should be synced and match across all channels.

Have these marketing tactics orchestrated, built, and ready to execute on day one for a successful and prosperous ecommerce launch.

The post 7 Marketing Strategies for the Ultimate Ecommerce Launch appeared first on Affiliate Marketing Blog by Geno Prussakov.

We hope you enjoyed this.

The #1 Secret to Making Money with Affiliate Marketing

This may be of interest to you.

Affiliate marketing is one of the hardest things for anyone to do. There is a ton of information on the web that will make you feel like it’s easy. Like anyone can do it. This is partially true. Anyone, at least technically, can do it. But it’s way harder than most people realize. Here are some tips to help you find success, along with my #1 tip for making affiliate sales. Keywords There are a lot of ways to do keyword research. You can use marketing software, Google Adwords, or just use Google itself. This is one of the best

We hope you enjoyed this.

How to Do Affiliate Marketing Without a Website

This may be of interest to you.

Can one be an affiliate without a website? If so, how can websiteless affiliate marketing be done?

This popular question is answered in my today’s post (and the corresponding video). You will not only find the answer to the core question, but also lots of examples to get your creative juices flowing.

One of the most frequently asked questions about our industry is whether one can “do” affiliate marketing without a website.

The short answer is: yes.

The longer answer goes like this:

While I do appreciate why you may be wondering if it’s possible to be an affiliate marketer without a website, I must underscore 2 important things before we dive into the specific scenarios of how you can be one.

  1. First of all, since most affiliate program managers will want to see an online place which explains how you will promote their business, having at least a one-page website is always better than having none at all.
  2. Secondly, before you spend your time, effort, and possibly money on marketing a brand, service, or product, always review the respective affiliate program’s rules and policies. Better find out that something is prohibited before you’ve invested your energy (or finances) in an unwanted activity.

Now, let me give you 5 6 ways in which you can make money through affiliate marketing relationships without a website. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. Email Marketing

Email affiliate marketingWhether you have a modest “friends and family” list of email addresses or maintain a full-blown opt-in email list of a targeted audience(s) — organized by verticals, interests, or specific demographic data — email marketing can be powerful when married with affiliate marketing.

Every Q4 (i.e. the busiest season in online shopping), right at the beginning of it, my daughter’s school sends out an email to all parents, encouraging us to shop for gifts at a handful of online stores. They are being transparent by saying that a percentage of each order will be automatically credited to the school’s account and used for the betterment of our kids’ school experience. They don’t do the same through their website, but are an active email affiliate.

2. Social Media

Social media marketingIf you’ve got clout on social, you may leverage your influence by promoting products or services that are of relevance to your fans and followers. Be it on Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest, you may indeed make money from affiliate links without having a website.

Make sure to disclose that you may be paid. The Federal Trade Commission requires disclosure of these “sponsored” pins, posts, and Tweets.

If you are reading this as a brand who wants to leverage other people’s social media clout, learn how to connect with niche influencers here.

3. Paid Advertising

Provided the affiliate program’s rules allow it, paid advertising can be another great way to benefit from affiliate marketing without having a website of your own.

From paid search ads on search engines (linking these directly to the business’ website, through your affiliate link) to paid ads on Facebook and other places — there are plenty of opportunities to consider.

4. Video Marketing

Video marketing onlineBeing the marketing medium that’s second-to-none in retention rates (provided done right), videos are a no-brainer. You don’t need to have a website to run a YouTube or a Vimeo channel. You may always include affiliate links under the video itself. A number of top affiliates, in the programs that we manage, use this approach pretty successfully.

Make sure to check out Ann Smarty’s post on growing your YouTube presence.

5. Offline Efforts

Bridging online to offlineYes, you read it right! There are numerous ways you can monetize your offline efforts with affiliate marketing. In fact, affiliate marketing provides a number of great technologies to bridge the online-offline gap, supporting more intricate marketing arrangements. One example would be using a unique coupon code in a local newspaper. The code will be tied to your affiliate account and working just as a trackable “link”. Another example would be using a unique toll-free phone number (through a pay-per-call performance marketing program) and plugging it into your audio content: be it a podcast or even a radio commercial.

BONUS:

6. Retargetting

This one didn’t appear in my above-referenced video, but it is worth including as a “bonus” here. Retargetting is a way of online marketing that supports getting an ad in front of website abandoners. There are a number of affiliates out there who (without promoting brands on a website of any kind) offer retargetting of brands’ site abandoners on performance basis — these brands would pay them only when a conversion happens.

So there you have it… It is possible to make money through affiliate marketing without a website! Just make sure that whatever you do, doesn’t violate the affiliate program’s rules.

The post How to Do Affiliate Marketing Without a Website appeared first on Affiliate Marketing Blog by Geno Prussakov.

We hope you enjoyed this.