August 15th, 2014
We’re coming up on the busiest time of the year, holiday season. To be able to benefit from this time we need to make sure that we are working on strengthening our relationships with our consumers and increasing their trust in us. Having a successful, trusting relationship with consumers will lead to more money in both of your pockets while leaving your mind at peace. Websitemagazine.com came up with some great ideas on how to gain that consumer trust before this holiday season.
Build Relationships – Email is your biggest ally when it comes to building and maintaining your relationships with consumers. It can be overwhelming and difficult once you start having thousands of digital customers to keep up with. The key to keeping your subscribers is to personalize. HubSpot is great for this for making each email personalized based on the customer and past interests they have had.
Social Proof - If there are still doubts in trust then try providing some social proof by adding a review section on your website. To bring more to the table you can add a video of social reviews, which can be more beneficial and influential. The key is to give consumers confidence by offering authentic reviews from people they can relate to.
Prove You Are Trustworthy - Highlight trust symbols on your website. There are security companies like VeriSign and TrustE that can reassure customers you are a trustworthy company and proves that your standards are where they need to be.
Be Helpful - Purchasing online can make customers hesitant because they are unable to try it on or physically see it. Giving your customers thoroughly detailed descriptions with different aids to help them with their decisions can give them confidence about what they are purchasing.
Build Authority – Blog! Blogging can help gain trust and authority with consumers and businesses in your department. It also drives website traffic to you and can boost your site’s ranking when you’re searched. Making sure that you have a steady stream of blogs you are creating a relationship with your readers
Be Transparent - Outline your return or dissatisfaction policies on your website, easily accessible to make customers confident. Holiday season is an especially crucial time for this because most shoppers are shopping for gifts and want to make sure they will be able to return the product if needed. If your return policy is too restrictive then the consumer might turn to your competition. Always aim to please!
Are you taking any steps to boost your consumer trust before this holiday season? If so, have you noticed higher customer satisfaction? Let us know what works for you.
August 13th, 2014
Last week, we had the opportunity to sit in on Marketing Profs Pro webinar with Jen Kelly and Jason Falls entitled “The Convergence Imperative.” We learned some pretty great stuff on SEO, content marketing, social media and PR and want to share it with you.
When it comes to marketing, it takes all of these aspects to make the magic happen. Here are our takeaways. Let’s talk first about search or SEO.
When customers go online and are in buying mode, credit card in hand, they typically go to a search engine first. Google has 60-70% of search market. (We are also talking Yahoo and Bing and more here), however, Google is the market leader. And because your customers are going to a search engine, SEO is still imperative.
The internet has over 60 trillion individual pages. Software called “spiders” will follow links and will find out what is on these pages then places them in an Index. This is something to note: Your brand’s social media absolutely matters and has a factor in SEO. More about in a bit.
Jason then goes on to talk about “Convergence” – Convergence happens with Public Relations, Content Marketing and Social Media all come together. This equation makes for success both online and offline. Additionally, when these things converge, you get better SEO.
Falls makes a point that SEO is not magic. It’s a science, but it has evolved to be more technical. (We recently wrote a post about SEO hacks that won’t work anymore.)
How has it become more technical? Before Google changed the way it did its algorithms, the more inbound links you delivered, the more of a superstar you were, which made it a spammers’ haven. Anyone could go out and make a website and link back to other sites for better SEO rankings. In order to stop this, in 2011, Google launched major updates designed to stop spammers. As more updates rolled out, tactics that had been effective became a liability. As a result, SEO has become an earned media approach.
How do you get rankings now?
1. Become a thought leader – you need people to look to you as someone who has something to say in your industry.
2. Create great, unique content that your audience will care about… Jay Baer says “You have to learn to market your marketing.” You have to get it in front of people. If you build it and promote the crap out of it, they MIGHT come.
3. Market your content to promote it to you audience. Share it in social media. Get your team to share it. Get your customers to share it.
4. Do the basic stuff right. Be sure your content is keyword rich, tagged appropriately and all the stuff you would normally do.
What does it take?
1. Creative content – Critically important. Great content will take you a long way.
2. A great user experience.
3. Relationships and story telling. – tell that story to people you know and who knows you.
4. A dash of tech geekery.
So, let’s talk about content for a minute. Falls says content is the currency for building social relationships that boost earned media We’re all in the content business. When you’re in PR, you focus on these things:
- Press releases
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Social content
In the Digital Marketing space, you focus on these:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Ad copy
- Website copy
- Email marketing
- White papers
Point is, we all ask the same question: What is our message? Then we reposition the message for the different platforms.
In this question, brands must focus on knowing the audience: Who are they? What do they like? What do they do? What are their emotional triggers? Why will they care about you? What are you doing to earn their interest? What incentive do they have?
Additionally, what is your sales team addressing in emails that you can send to your blog team to make blog posts? This is one way you can tell your story.
When the story is told, PR should be leveraged from the onset for a couple of reasons. First, PR can help ensure content is aligned with the audience. This can help build and nurture relationships. PR can help customize the pitch and can also help the message when it comes to utilizing social media. Huge note here: Social media should never be left out. According to Google, social media directly impacts how sites rank.
Then Falls brought up the “The Zero Moment of Truth.” What is this?
“Shoppers make up their minds about a product in three to seven seconds. This time lapse in call the “First Moment of Truth,” and is considered the most important marketing opportunity for a brand.”
But it takes ALL of these aspects (PR, CM, SM = SEO) to have effective word of mouth (WOM). We’ll dig into WOM soon.
Ultimately, their were six takeaways from Falls’ informative webinar.
- If you want earned media, become the media.
- Create a content strategy, not just a blog. Get creative.
- Be willing to fail repeatedly before you find what works.
- Build and nurture relationships before you need them.
- Give social followers fuel for the fire.
- Research and manage your ZMOT.
August 11th, 2014
Katrina R. Smith is one of our account executives, and she’s also one of the newest additions to the Millionaire Network team. She hunts down the fiercest Advertisers and brings them into the Millionaire Network camp by being her usual charismatic/charming self. She is a super star when it comes to transforming cold calls into consistent clients. We love Katrin’s energy and flair.
She is a strategic professional who provides quality solutions in every project she works with. She is also a master communicator and loves to build lasting relationships.
Katrina recently joined the Millionaire Network team but has been in the affiliate space for over a year. She previously worked with Eisenberg and Associates, selling graphic design, case studies, annual reports, logos, websites, etc. Katrina received her BA in Business Administration from AIU. You can connect with her on Twitter @katshawn26 or on Facebook.
August 6th, 2014
Creating and executing prime content for your blog can be tricky. On top of creating the content you have to make sure that you are consistent and relevant. We know it takes a lot of experimentation to get your blog going, to see what works and what doesn’t, when to post, and who to depend on. We recently stumbled across a great blog post on MarketingProfs, “How to Build a Blogging Content Studio.” They came up with some great advice and crucial points on how to build your blog, and do it correctly and successfully.
The Name - The name of your blog is what is going to build the outline of your subject matter. The name will let readers know that the blog is an ongoing process and is very important to your business and the marketing for your business.
The Boss - While input from others is a great idea and encouraged, there has to be a person in charge. One person needs to be able to pull it all together and make it flow. There has to be structure to the madness and organization to the editing and posting.
Slow Down - We know that you have endless ideas and goals for your blog and by all means, write them down as they pop into your head, but also tuck them away. Trying to do everything at once is going to end up a disaster, and all those great ideas will be wasted. MarketingProfs pointed out two great objectives to get right first. “Make sure that posts were regular and consistent- no more hoc posting.” And also, “Increase the number of guest posts on relevant third-party blogs and measure the impact they made in traffic and conversions.”
Start with the Questions - You already have your goals you want to accomplish, now come up with the right questions to tell you how to accomplish them.
Write for YOUR Audience - Accomplishing this strategy can be tough. You want to target on your specific audience but you also do not want to target so specifically that you don’t bring in new readers and potential clients. It is crucial that your blogs are open enough to being in new clients to help share your posts and bring other followers. Showcase what you’re an expert in and focus on what you want your company to being to the table, the rest should follow suit.
Experiment - Perfection is impossible to achieve. The most important thing is that you get your blog up and running as soon as you can. You don’t have to have all of your questions answered before you are posting, you are going to have a lot of trial and error. You will learn as you go along and you can feel out what is working and what is not. You will get to find out how much you should be posting a week and get your company in a flow to successfully maintain it. There is no failure in experimentation, only lessons learned.
Can you find ways to apply some or all of these practices? Are you currently utilizing any of them? How have they helped in the success of your blog?
August 4th, 2014
Jessica Griffin is Millionaire Network’s Director of Operations, and to say she is part of the glue that holds things together would be an understatement. She handles all the day to day operations of the company which spans everything from legal and HR to monitoring the support and design teams.
Jessica has been with Millionaire Network for four years this November and started out as Executive Assistant to the CEO. Jessica has keen attention to detail and is a master in project management and seeing the bigger picture in order to create operations to get things done efficiently and effectively.
Jessica is currently working on her degree in Business Management. Jessica is crucial to our team, and we absolutely love her. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter at @MrsJessGriffin.
August 1st, 2014
In our last blog post, we discussed the whitepaper Vocus recently released. We’re going to continue to hit the major takeaways from it.
Another way to ensure some type of fan engagement is through In-Store Promotions. According to research firm, Leo J. Shapiro, two-thirds of US consumers with smartphones use them to aid in shopping. A whopping 38% research products while in the store and 29% have used a coupon provided on their phone for in-store use.
Therefore, it’s pretty important to promote your in-store Facebook presence and use geofencing to trigger ads. In other words, when a customer is close to your store, your Facebook offer will alert them. Additionally, anytime they use an offer, their Facebook friends will know and will have the option to use the same offer also, which will hopefully encourage “likes” to your page.
Managing Your Page On The Go
Just because you’re not in front of your desktop doesn’t mean you can’t add new material to your page. Facebook’s page manager gives you all the benefits of the desktop. Here is a great way to create posts along with images that show your brand outside of the normal box.
Using Ad Manager for Campaigns
Paid promotion is definitely something you’re going to want to look into. The Ad Create Tool allows for such a variety of advertising and makes it easy to target your demographics, locations, interests, behaviors and more. The tool has also been updated for better ROI tracking.
According to Vocus, the ad units now have a social context. So, the feature automatically shares news that a person has liked a page or clicked on an ad with his or her friends.
How to Target Your Facebook Offers
There are three different ways to optimize your offers.
1. Segment your list with “custom audiences” – Here you can use the Power Editor or Ad Create tool to target ad campaigns to a custom audience. Perhaps it’s comprised of your email or phone list. You’ll want to segment your list before uploading it to Facebook as Facebook won’t let you further segment. You can update or remove people but you won’t be able to do much else.
2. Find a “lookalike” audience – After you create a custom audience, you can ask Facebook to look for similar features in other audiences with similar demographics.
3. Use partner categories – Let’s say you don’t have your own lists to upload or you want to reach a group different than usual, the Power Editor allows you to choose a category such as “people who buy music gear,” or “people who buy sweets and snacks,” etc.
New Feature: E-commerce Conversion Tracking Abilities
I think this is one of the most important new features Facebook offers. According to Vocus, if you have an e-commerce site and want to track direct response and conversations from your Facebook ads and pages, you can add conversion-tracking pixels to your site’s pages. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Like and shares count as actions, not conversions. These actions can be viewed in Facebook Insights. People who click through and purchase are also tracked and can be tracked across devices. So even if someone views something on their mobile, then goes to their desktop to make the purchase, it will be tracked and reported.
Those are the biggest takeaways we found. Like we said yesterday, don’t give up on Facebook. Learn what to do and take advantage of all it has to offer. Facebook will only continue to improve it’s data and our connectivity to the audiences we strive to reach.
What are you most excited about?
July 31st, 2014
We’ve listened to many marketers recently complain about Facebook and the inability to really have an “organic” reach these days. However, there are still ways to navigate Facebook and it’s reach. According to eMarketer, there are more than 151 million Americans active on Facebook in 2014. If you have a brand, there is no questioning the importance of having a Facebook presence.
According to the most recent whitepaper on Facebook, released by Vocus, marketers all over have been wondering how to deliver real business results since Facebook’s Ad Manager offers 10 basic ad types with different targeting options, and the Facebook Power Editor provides even more choices, adding to the complexity.
After having a chance to read the whitepaper, here are some of our key takeaways – Part 1:
New Feature: Graph Search
A couple of years ago, if you logged into Facebook, you’d be able to see what your friends were sharing and liking, including company pages. Now, you see advertisements which are “pushed” or paid promotions. Businesses need to be found both organically (from friends) and from paid advertisements.
However, Facebook now has a “graph search,” which shows up on the top of Facebook desktop and some user’s mobile apps. Users can search their “social graph” – the people they’re connected to as friends (or friends of friends) to find results for queries like “Museums in Texas my friends have been to” or “Restaurants my friends like” etc. This search also includes posts and status updates so users can find items their friends have shares from locations or about topics.
Feature: Nearby Places
Facebook’s “Nearby Places” uses the categories aspect of Facebook (“categories are filled in as you make your business page … for example, if you are a restaurant and have not chosen the “restaurant/cafe” category when you sign up your for your Facebook business page, you will not be found, so it’s important to do that process thoroughly), to help mobile users find businesses nearby, along with ratings, likes, shares, etc, given by Facebook users.
Optimizing Facebook for Mobile
According to Vocus, active and interested fans spend an average of $116 more per year in their favorite categories than non-fans, which means brands must do their best to keep their fans engaged. Facebook’s product marketing director, Matt Idema, says “Were becoming a mobile-first company. Products are being built for mobile before desktop.” If you look at your page from a customer standpoint, make sure the latest information about your company is showing because that is now at the top of the page in the mobile app.
Be sure the content you’re writing is well-crafted. Facebook favors high quality articles on websites. Stories are also highlighted in users’ timelines when there are new comments – Facebook calls this “bumping.”
Facebook also favors photos versus text-only status updates. Photos tell a much better story and have a much higher click-rate than posts without photos. Add images to your posts.
The Decline of Organic Reach
Yes, it has happened: the reduction of organic views and shares once owners have stopped using the advertising platforms. Here’s what Facebook had to say about that – “When you have high engagement on your page posts, it will serve as positive signals into the model, and your page is likely to reach more users organically. Low engagement has the opposite effect.”
How can you ensure your fans are seeing your content?
1. Make sure your post displays a photo as noted above.
2. Give customers an incentive for constant engagement. For example, if you own a restaurant, give exclusive and special offers to those who are engaging with you on your page. Dan Sullivan, writer for AllFacebook.com, suggests taking advantage of “social context” with Facebook advertising, which refers to ads being shown because a user’s friends have liked a page or taken advantage of an offer.
Because organic reach is continuing to decline, you need to focus on attracting fans that are actually interested in your company. You do this by creating good and engaging content. But honestly, you are going to have to spend some money to reach your customers and this will happen through Facebook ads. Another item to note: as of February 25, when one page tags another page on Facebook, the post is shown to fans of both pages.
The bottom line, don’t give up on Facebook. Dominate it instead. Take the time to share and create excellent content. Facebook will continue to change and evolve. So must we. What have you found to be the biggest challenge when it comes to Facebook?
July 16th, 2014
As online shopping increases every year so do the expectations of online shoppers. More and more people want easier access to customer service and more options as to where they ship it and even how it is routed. ComScore and UPS released their third UPS Pulse of Online Shoppers study, and an article in Website Magazine brought our attention to three surprising revelations.
1. Desktop still trumps Mobile
Despite the fact that the popularity of mobile is increasing, desktops are still the way to go when shopping online. 41% of people prefer a company’s full site compared to their mobile site. This corresponds with people not being able to get a clear enough image of the product and the difficulty of viewing all the information while on mobile.
2. Return Policies are Important
Bottom line, shoppers want an easy and free way to return the item if they are unsatisfied with it. 82% of online shoppers are likely to complete a sale if they return it in store or ship it back for free. 51% of shoppers are unlikely to complete a sale if they are unable to return it in store and they have to pay for the shipping. While over half of respondents view a retailers return policy before making the purchase, UPS has reported that the amount of people who return has also increased. On the bright side, consumer’s willingness to buy has also increased.
3. “Free Shipping” Attracts
Free shipping has become a hot commodity for people when it comes to shopping online. Even though, technically, free shipping does not exist, consumers are actually willing to up their purchases to qualify for free shipping or wait the extra days for their purchase. Giving these offers will increase your chances of sales. To stay ahead of the game, it is now becoming a preference for consumers to know what day they will be receiving what they ordered and a time frame.
What can you do to increase your customer satisfaction? Are any of these things surprising to you?
July 14th, 2014
This morning, as I was going through our content calendar, deciding what to work on, I came across a post on MarketingProfs on content and actually building traction with it. What a great read. You see, we’re a fairly new company. Just over four years old, although we’ve spent years in the email and affiliate marketing space, I’m speaking as a brand overall. And for a newer company, who happens to be a private network, I know it can be difficult to grab the attention of whose attention we want to grab. So, we grow and learn along the way.
We know that creating content is important for the growth of our business. We could create the most important piece of content that answers vital questions our clients may have, but what happens and why is it that some things just aren’t read?
Marketing Profs highlights five scenarios on why your content may not be gaining traction from a hypothesis called “Warnock’s Dilemma” proposed by a man name Bryan Warnock.
1. There is nothing else to be said.
Typically, people can write great info, but if there really isn’t any controversy or anything to add, folks may not be apt to comment.
Consider announcements about new product features. These are typically short and dry posts about bug fixes or enhancements, with mention of the new version number and what it means for the product.
To generate engagement and strike up conversation, such posts should be more customer-centric. Use simple language to plainly state what was changed, why, and the implications: What are the problems that customers face that are corrected by the new version?
2. No one understood
Perhaps no one gets what you’re trying to say so they just move on. It’s important to be clear with your audience. Don’t use a bunch of industry jargon to try to look smart or experienced. Readers want something they can easily understand and get through.
Readers are looking for you to solve some sort of problem. Perhaps your post is just nonsense, or is so outdated, it really doesn’t matter what you have to say. Or, have you ever seen those terribly written posts by people who use no spaces or punctuation? If you’re have a Google alert for your industry, you know what we’re talking about. Focus on YOUR writing. Make sure you’re helping to solve an issue or educate, and make sure your content is clear.
4. No one read it
If no one is reading your posts, they suggest you consider the location of your readers. This is where Google Analytics will come in handy. Check your visitor traffics from Facebook and Twitter taking notes of engagement time, etc.
You need to track when and where your customers are able to listen to your content, and tailor your communications to their schedule.
5. No one cares
This is may be hard to hear but it needs to be said. Pay attention to platforms that have heated or passionate brand discussion, not just new initiatives – because simply stating how awesome your company is won’t trigger conversation. If you’d really like to know what’s going on with your customers, engage them where they are. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions.
Ultimately, we put time, effort, and thought into the content we put out there. Each brand hopes their customers and prospects take the time to see what they’ve done. If you’re not getting the action or reaction you’re looking for, consider your content and consider your options. Huge thank you to MarketingProfs for sharing the information on the “Warnock’s Dilemma.”
Which one of these strikes you the most?
July 9th, 2014
Our team is super psyched and gearing up to hit the streets of NYC August 10-12 for Affiliate Summit East. Although we won’t have a booth set up this time around, we still have a couple team members who will be there. If you’d like to set up a meeting, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t wait to see old friends and meet new ones! See you in August!