April 24th, 2014

tommy.jpgThis week, we’re highlighting another incredible member of our team, Tommy Owen. Tommy is the Director of Media Development for Millionaire Network. His main focus is design: If it’s printed or published online, he is inevitably the one who has designed it. He handles all of our print design, collateral, and pre-press. He coordinates with Millionaire’s rockstar sales executives to provide solid looking campaigns for our advertisers.

Additionally, Tommy spends time brainstorming concepts that will simplify various internal processes, design user interphases and collaborate closely with our genius lead developer Dragos T. He maintains a lot of the web and email systems Millionaire has in place, including the Millionaire site itself and is generally referred to as the “IT GUY” to most of our team.

Before coming on with us, Tommy ran his own design business for severals years and managed to round up a steady amount of clientele, including USAA Bank and Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Before that, he was the Lead Design Director for Quadzilla & Al Boenker in Ft. Worth, Texas. He’s been in the “creative” business for 20 years, and still loves it. Tommy has been with us for three years.

Tommy is a huge asset to our team. We love his creativity and willingness to learn everything he possibly can. Check out his other side projects where he’s creating music and games or you can pop him an email.

April 23rd, 2014

Content Marketing ConceptBy now we’ve all heard the new buzz phrase, “content marketing.” Let’s talk about what it is and why you should be doing it.

First off, content marketing is creating helpful content geared toward your target audience. Creating helpful blog posts, answering questions, reaching out through content you or someone on your team creates. That’s pretty much it. And we’d like to think if you have a blog, you’re not just using it to sell, sell, sell. Remember when social media was the big thing? It was supposed to be used for more than just a platform to sell. It was supposed to be social and authentic. Well, creating content that is helpful is like the new social media of today.

According to Website Magazine, 93% of B2B organizations are now relying on content marketing to help build their brand and demand generation. The goal is to create all this great content and get it out there during a time when people are likely to convert to customers.  And as great at that is, there is far more behind it than just writing a couple of blog posts. The secret to effective optimization of all this great content comes down to three essential components.

1. Discovery Optimization: The understanding and questioning of why users are looking for particular brands and services in the first place and creating valuable digital experiences for users across multiple channels. Website Magazine says market research tool and social listening offerings are useful in this particular phase.

2. Consumption Optimization – You need to understand your users preferences when it comes to media consumption. Web design and mobile application development are typically top of mind in this phase.

3. Engagement Optimization – Once your content is in place and visitors are coming, this requires segmenting audiences based on their preferences and then personalizing their experience.

How are you looking at your content marketing? Has your business taken the plunge to really start engaging with your customers and personalizing their experiences? Do you have any struggles? How do you feel this differs from what blog posts and social media was already allowing you to do? Let us know in the comments.

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April 19th, 2014

Image: istockphoto

Image: istockphoto

We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited about the new Twitter updates for both our business and our team’s personal accounts. Sure, it looks a little more like a Facebook profile, we get it. But it’s much cooler than before because it gives more insight into the personality of the person or brand you’re following.

Mike Lewis from Social Media Today just posted a what’s what on the subject, and how brands can get the most out of the latest update. We’re going to share a bit about what he had to say.

First off, the most visible change, as I mentioned up above, is the layout of the profile page. You now have a larger avatar, making it easier for people to actually see what you look like, along with a cover photo, which is AWESOME!

As far as functionality: You now have the ability to see “Best Tweets”: This can help users sort though the noise of Twitter, highlighting those tweets that have the most engagement or retweets. Plus, it will have a larger font to make those tweets easier to see.

You can also have “Pinned Tweets”: You can “pin” or feature one of your tweets at the top of your page so your profile visitors can see it first. Have a funny tweet you did last week? There it is! Put that popular one up!

Additionally, now you can have “Filtered Tweets”: Want a stream with only photos? Boom, there it is. Want only video? You can filter those too. You can pretty much filter your stream and have it cater to your needs in any way you see fit.

Lastly, the follower and following list: They’ve redesigned this to make it much more graphically appealing, seeing who’s who so you can decide who you’d like to follow.

So, here are some great tips from Mike to get you started. And check out his post on Social Media Today.

    1. Plan Your New Profile and Cover Images: There is no better time than now to begin designing and developing your new cover photo and profile image to meet the new Twitter requirements. Twitter recommends dimensions for header photo of 1500px in width × 500px in height.
    2. Offer Specials with Pinned Tweets: You now have the opportunity to feature a specific tweet a the top of your profile page to let new visitors get a better sense of who you are and what your profile is all about. One thing for brands to consider is featuring a tweet that offers an exclusive piece of content to visitors. For example, feature a tweet that offers a white paper, eBook or Infographic to help get visitors engaged.
    3. Use the Mobile Features for Photo Sharing: Tagging multiple people and posting multiple photos is a great way for brands to better engage with their audience. Consider posting multiple photos that illustrate a story or message to your audience and tag individuals that you think would appreciate the message.
    4. Larger Profile Image: The larger profile image on the new version of Twitter gives users more real estate to set the tone of their page. Consider changing profile photos on an ongoing basis to help keep users coming back.
    5. Make your Photos Count: This new version of Twitter places a deep emphasis on photos and video. Publish photos that are bold and catch peoples attention. This will help to increase engagement when visitors choose to filter your tweets using the photo/video filter.

There it is. Hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions at all, let us know. What are you most excited about when it comes to the changes?

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April 16th, 2014

62025_463735297602_6013539_nIt’s about time we highlight another one of our awesome team members! Meet Cory Owens, Production Manager extraordinaire! Cory spends his days with us researching client statistics, troubleshooting tracking, helping with CAN SPAM compliance, backing up Support Manager, Charles Garcia, and running reports to make sure all advertiser and publisher stats are correct.

Cory has been in the affiliate world for about ten years and also has a background in SEO and web design. He’s been with Millionaire Network for two and a half years now. He’s brilliant at researching technical issues and keeping track of a large number of projects at the same time. He also takes pride in the fact that he’s good at picking up new processes and software easily.

Cory has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Media Arts and Animation (3D animation). He went to the Art Institute of Phoenix for a little over a year, then transferred to the Art Institute of Las Vegas when it opened in 2002.

If you’d like to get a hold of him, hit him up on email. Cory is an incredible team member, and we’re happy he’s with us!

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April 15th, 2014

Photo: istockphoto

Photo: istockphoto

We frequently have clients ask us, “How soon can you get our offer going?” We answer that question with some questions that have to do with the readiness of the campaign and the speed that a prospective client can turn around paperwork.

Has the creative side of the offer been built? 

Is the tracking technology in place?  

Has a suppression file been created?

Sometimes negotiations can take a only few minutes. Others can take a few months. If the campaign is ready to go, and if we’ve successfully negotiated the agreement, decided on a plan of action, received all campaign assets, successfully tested the tracking pixel, then the offer can be live within one business day.

Some advertisers start seeing traffic almost immediately. Other may need to exercise a bit of patience. It really is a case-by-case situation dependent on market factors: Competing offers in same vertical and how long affiliates’/publishers’ queues for testing. However, there may be some ways to break in line. If you have a good distribution partner, they will discuss those options with you.

What are some of the quickest offer placements you’ve had along with turnaround time? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

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April 14th, 2014

Photo: Marketing Profs

Photo: Marketing Profs

In another great post by Ayaz Nanji, he reports that 65% Americans age 65 and older are now going online. 71% of those users go one daily or almost daily, and 11% go on at least five times a week. This is also a six percent increase from 2012 (Pew Internet and American Life Project.)

They also found that seniors were lagging behind younger American in tech adoption and additionally, internet and broadband use drops off around age 75.

As far as social media is concerned:

  • 27% of Americans age 65 or older (46% of online seniors) use at least one social networking site (SNS), such as Facebook.
  • 81% of older adults who use social networking sites say that they socialize with others (either in person, online, or over the telephone) on a daily or near-daily basis. Among older adults who go online but do not use social networking sites, that figure is 71%; and for those who are not online at all, it is 63%.

We don’t need to tell you the importance of knowing where your target audience is. If you’re aiming for seniors, this data is priceless.

Read more at Marketing Pros.

April 11th, 2014

drawing social network structureWe’re tuning into Marketing Profs ‘Social Media Marketing’ virtual conference today, and we just heard author, speaker, CEO, and social business evangelist, Bernie Borges speak about transforming from social media to social business. Some of his main points:

Turn your ideology around – Stop engaging with customers/clients as B2C or B2B. Rather, begin engaging as P2P or H2H (people to people, human to human).

Businesses are made up of people and people are social – Encourage your team to get involved in social media. Encourage employee branding with your branding. It may also lead to employee loyalty over the long haul.

There are many factors involved in shifting to the midst of social business. Here are aspects of a great foundation: 

  • C-Suite gets it
  • Culture of transparency
  • Service mindset
  • Collaboration mindset
  • Engagement mindset
  • Social mindset

 What about our CMO?

Borges believes CMOs should really be vision casters. They should understand and know how to analyze data and understand content marketing. And of course, they need marketing skills. It’s also important to understand that “marketing is NOT a department.” Social business has a bigger picture. Here’s how to see that picture when you’re thinking of your marketing strategy as a movie producer goes about production. There are so many moving parts. Here’s where to go:

  • Start with C-Suite and the culture
  • Vision casting strategy
  • Identify employees to participate
  • Make it easy for employees
  • Develop content strategy
  • Invest in social technology
  • Anticipate some resistance
  • Go forth
  • Measure, react, revise, repeat

Never wait until you feel like you have a perfect strategy or have all your ducks in a row to begin. Sometimes the best way to go about things is “ready, fire, aim.”

Is your business currently going through the social media to social business shift? Do you recognize any of these traits? What are some challenges you have?

April 9th, 2014

Young Woman using mobile phone walking on streetWe’ve been talking a lot about mobile when it comes to where customers are coming from. In a recent report released by Vibes, a mobile marketing technology company, email was found to be the most effective mobile strategy, even compared to social media, where social came in last place, for mobile opt-in campaigns. adotas reports:

“For retailers and brands, growing a robust mobile database can be challenging, particularly following the changes from last October’s Telecommunication Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).”

Vibes is looking for a way to grow the mobile opt-in in a manner that works for everyone. According to adotas,  Vibes has been collecting and analyzing data over the past six months from hundreds of customer campaigns which has resulted in a new metric, APM (Acquisitions per Thousand Impressions), which identifies the number of people who will opt-in to join a brand’s mobile database for every 1,000 marketing impressions a company delivers.

Here are some of their key findings:

1. Average APM is 1.3 people. For every 1,000 impressions delivered across all marketing channels, an average of 1.3 people join a mobile database.

2. Email offers the greatest return when marketers take aggressive measures with an APM of 10.5 vs. an average of 1.6. Social came in second with a double down impact of a 2.9 APM vs. an average of .7.

3. Social media has the lowest APM. In-store and email came in first and second, respectively (before TV, website and lastly, social media).

4. In-store promotion has great potential. And it is not used enough. Highly engaged shoppers are already predisposed to engage with your brand through multiple channels, especially mobile.

5. Incentives/sweepstakes are significant. Those who used a thank-you incentive or sweepstakes as part of their acquisition program saw six times more subscribers using one tactic and eight times using both.

This research shows us that SMS should not be dismissed. Brands are more likely to get a response if they have an opt-in option through a mobile-optimized email. If you’re an advertiser, it seems this research lays out the best place to ask for SMS subscribers. At Millionaire Network, we take mobilization of email campaigns very seriously. A major key is to have your email/offer/page be mobilized so the customer has a clear understanding of what the product or service does. It also must capture their attention in order to move them to action.

Additionally, customers certainly don’t always fit into the nice box brands often want to put them in. It’s highly likely they’ll stray from the perfect order. We’re able to see the number of initial opens on mobile device but then also see that same consumer come back when they’re on their computer or tablet to make the purchase or opt-in to a campaign. Then you get the data.

Have your campaigns been running smoothly? Let us know how we can help you.

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April 8th, 2014

FINAL3This past Sunday, April 6, officially marked the 4-year anniversary of Millionaire Network. We’re so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and how we’ve grown over these four years.

Our team, along with our advertisers and publishers, have gone above and beyond which has allowed us to do the same. Thank you for the last four years! We’re looking forward to even more!

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April 7th, 2014

Working at home

photo credit: iStockPhoto

The Drum reported last week that female website owners and bloggers are now twice as likely to engage in affiliate marketing activity in the future. According to newly gathered research and data from Optimus Performance Marketing, nearly half (47%) of female website owners will begin promoting products and services on their respective blogs and websites.

Here is what they reported:

Of the 632 females and 589 males who took part in the survey, 86 per cent of the participants had at least a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing functions, but only 14 per cent of the male respondents and six per cent of females had experience of using it in the past.

Only 23 per cent of the men asked agreed that they would be doing so in the next year or so; with a further 24 per cent of females and 11 per cent of males stating it was part of their plan within the next five years.

Our CMO of Millionaire Network, Dean DuBois, says, “Affiliate marketing has been primarily male-dominated, which doesn’t make much sense. It’s refreshing to see more females entering the affiliate marketing sector. I think females have a knack at understanding their audience and influencing them. It will be a great shift to see.”

So, what is causing this shift? The most popular reason given was simply earning extra money. Another reason was that products or services they chose fit in well with their site or blog.

Are you a female blogger or business owner currently active in affiliate marketing? If you’re not currently involved, what is one thing that stops you?