Integrated Marketing Techniques

Transparency Created In Affiliate Marketing Pt. II

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Transparency Created In Affiliate Marketing Pt. II

 

In Part I of this series, we took a close look at the significance of transparency in affiliate marketing and explored what this means in the way of relationships between affiliates and affiliate managers. We established that there are a number of things affiliates can do to facilitate an open exchange, creating opportunities for all parties involved – this included sharing contact information, traffic sources, visitor demographics, promotional methods and campaign placements.

Affiliates who keep their cards too close to their chest run the risk of not benefiting from opportunities created when information and ideas are shared and flow freely between all parties involved. Of course, all this indicates is that transparency is no one-way street. So what can you, as an affiliate manager, do to maintain and nurture this kind of openness? Let’s take a look:

 

 Share Contact Information

Just as for affiliates, it is as important for affiliate managers to not only provide a direct email/Skype line of communication, but to make themselves readily available for discussion. This is vital in fostering good relations with your affiliates and encouraging the success of your program or network.

 

Commission Structures

It is imperative that affiliate managers not make any unwarranted changes to commission structures to ensure trust stays intact. Should any changes be made, adequate warning must be given to your affiliates, and with good explanation. Any other behavior may be deemed predatory.

 

Hot Topics

Don’t forget to share any new and relevant information with the affiliate pertaining to anything that might help drive traffic and create conversions! What’s the new hot item or seasonal trend? What new promotions is the brand putting forward? What information could the affiliate be taking advantage of? Is there perhaps a new vertical being offered by the brand? Although this may be obvious to the affiliate manager, that’s not to say the affiliate is putting it to use yet!

 

Clear Rules

Crystal clear terms and conditions are imperative so that the affiliate has the chance to remain compliant. True transparency ensures trust, and no trust can be created if either party feels as though they are being purposefully confused and/or taken advantage of. Clear terms and conditions provides an even playing field, so that everyone can play fair and make money!

Let’s remember, as we mentioned before, a team mentality will lead to trust and ultimately better conversions. Conversions mean higher revenues and an increased ROI which is good news for everybody! Let’s also not forget that positive feedback is the gasoline on the affiliate fire!

Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Transparency Created In Affiliate Marketing

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Transparency in Affiliate Marketing

Transparency: Good Reporting, Communication And Documentation Creates Trust And Opportunities.

There has been all kind of talk regarding the importance of transparency in affiliate marketing, but what do we really mean when asking for this kind of openness? An importance on clear, effective transparency needs to be established to ensure trust amongst all the different players in a campaign; affiliates, advertisers, affiliate managers and networks. Transparency plays a large part in creating trust between merchants and affiliates.

This, in turn, has the effect of more closely-specified leads which means more conversions and ultimately higher commissions. In this two-part series, we will first look at what affiliates can do to increase intelligibility.

For affiliates there are a few clever, yet not altogether common ways promote transparency and build trust:

Share Traffic Sources

Sharing traffic source information with your affiliate manager offers them insight into your visitor demographics and the opportunity to share relevant information that may help increase overall traffic to your site.  Sharing your geo-reach information can give affiliate manager a better understanding of your demographic and perhaps be able to share relevant deals that may be specific to certain regions.

Share The List Of Active Sites Where Brands Are Featured

This gives affiliate managers the ability to provide direction in the way of ad placement. Affiliates should take the opportunity to share with affiliate managers where the ads will go and what promotional methods they are using to generate traffic, whether it be email marketing, PPC, etc.

Share Contact Information And Be Available

Make yourself accessible in a variety of ways, whether it be through Facebook or Twitter or  more direct, private email address to ensure an open line of communication.

Of course, this type of transparency has to go both ways as a mutual trust needs to be established. Advertisers and affiliate managers have their own responsibility to disclose certain informative aspects of their practices. These may include reasons why commissions may be changed or reduced, promotional restrictions and guidelines, changes to the agreed-upon terms and conditions, etc.

Keeping an open line of communication for positive feedback and news is crucial to keeping things moving. What kind of exciting seasonal activity is going on? Are there any new hot products? Affiliates and advertisers will benefit from a team mentality so that everybody wins. Remember, transparency leads to trust which means better conversions, and ultimately, higher revenues and increased ROI. Take another look at that here.

For a closer look at what affiliate managers can do to increase transparency, tune in next week for the second part to this series!

Our New Website: It’s Here!

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Welcome to our new website!

After lots of hard work and dedication, Share Results is thrilled to make an exciting announcement: the roll-out of a whole new look and feel to our website! We’ve revamped it all, engineering an uncluttered, more interactive browser-journey, enhanced with rich content grouped under three sections: who we are, what we do, and of course, tips, tools and resources we hope to share with you. The result: a fluid, cross-platform responsive interface with streamlined navigation, improved functionality and a more you-centric approach.

We hope you enjoy our new look. As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to send them our way. Welcome to our new website. Happy Browsing!

Content Marketing Is The New Black

By | Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Ideas, SEM | 3 Comments
content marketing

Photo Credit: SuperHypeBlog

Pop-up ads are out. The debate about the true effectiveness of a well placed banner rages tirelessly on. You know you’ve heard it being touted around the digital marketing sphere: Content marketing is the new black.

It seems what every future-leaning business is trying to emulate is the brand-turned-publisher approach of executing an advertising strategy. With this shift in mindset from traditional to native ads (advertorials, sponsored content, etc), it’s unsurprising that –  just like subtle product placement in movies or on TV – strategically embedding links in relevant, engaging content is far more effective in adding value to the user experience over the blatant promotion of your product.

What I’m getting at is that a well thought out content marketing strategy put proactively to work can be a powerful relationship-building and brand positioning tool.

Remember: your end goal here should be building engagement and using that to boost your bottom line across your conversion funnel. Do not indulge in obvious self-promotion. Never resort to hard-selling tactics. Prioritize relationships over transactions. Quality and value are key; making the customer experience as fun, frictionless and interactive as possible are your primary objectives.

Turning Water Into Wine

Why are you trying to write content and what are you trying to achieve from it? The obvious first step in deciding what information to prioritize sharing with your audience is asking yourself the following: Does it align with your brand narrative? Is it relevant to your product or service? Does it add value? Next, ask yourself, do you want to establish yourself or your business as a thought leader in your industry? Assume your audience is hearing what you have to say for the first time. Presenting information that is easily understood from a layman’s perspective is inherently easier to remember and instantly more share-worthy. It’s basic human nature to gravitate towards what’s easiest to remember and partake in what people tend to have similar or polarizing opinions about.

Putting It Out There: Effective Content Distribution

Once you have your content ready to go and a communication schedule or broader game plan in place, distribution is usually the next hurdle. Here, it’s important to remember to use social to re-enforce content, and not the other way around. Effective content distribution is a crucial factor in controlling how existing or new customers interact with your brand. Think: Halo Effect. You come to love and trust the brands you’re most familiar with. Similarly, when you really really like one aspect of a product, you tend to hold a positive predisposition towards everything else that it offers and derive more value in sharing it. And vice versa.

Re-Purpose Existing Content to Optimize Your ROI

Re-purposing existing, archived content that best resonated with your audience is an often overlooked way to boost customers’ engagement with your brand or product. And adding genuine value to the user experience is arguably at the core of truly effective content marketing – a positive user experience can go a long way in building or fuelling your brand presence without much out-of-pocket spend. Leverage this. Here’s a few ways how:

Hub-and-Spoke It – Tweet key takeaways from past articles that were of most interest to or saw the most engagement from your audience. Even going so far as asking for a re-tweet or share can bring surprising results. Ask questions. Reach out to influencers or otherwise recognized experts or authorities in their fields for new perspectives on past projects. Let their legions of followers or site visitors into your circle to add more fuel to your marketing fire.

Visualize Your Content – One of the best ways to optimize content for sharing is to make it visual. Share existing or create custom infographics that are relevant to your content to help simplify concepts and boost engagement across your blog and social media channels.

Break up longer pieces of content into a whole series of blog posts.

Accumulate blocks of posts to use as supporting documents for a whitepaper, put together an e-book or put a face to your ideas by hosting a webinar.

Do you use content marketing for your business? Let us know in the comments below.

Facebook Page Insights: Cheat Sheet

By | Online Marketing Ideas | No Comments

Now that we’ve got you covered when it comes to Twitter Analytics, (see Shamyla’s posts: Twitalytics & Twitter’s Hidden Gem) lets have a look at Facebook Insights.

There’s a lot of metrics available to help you understand what’s going on with your Facebook page. But sometimes this can be a bit of information overload, especially if you don’t know what to make of it. You’ll find this blog is broken down into 5 subsections, corresponding directly to the tabs on your Facebook page’s Insights section: Overview, Likes, Reach, Visits, Posts and People. Our goal is to give you a little cheat sheet as to how to handle the information in each of these sections.

Overview

This is a 7 day summary including the present day. This doesn’t tell you much, but it’ll hint if your hard work paid off or if you’ll need to rethink your whole approach. If graphs are going up, smile! If they’re going down, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. Either way, you’ll need to delve into the data further.

Likes

Data here is broken down in the long and short term as well as where they came from. You should be looking at how your page likes are reflecting growth. Look over the data to see which posts triggered spikes for a better understanding of what’s working (likes) and what’s not (unlikes).

Do not overlook where your likes happened! Was it from an ad or story? On your page? On mobile? From a page invite? Or even the suggested pages section? You might gain some strategic information on where likes are coming from and you’ll be able to potentially adapt your posts to optimize your conversion rates.

Reach

Use this page to answer the questions: How did my Facebook advertising dollars perform? How many Facebook users did I reach organically vs. paid? Use this information to tweak your budget.

Visits

Here again we focus on the where. Look at the External Referrers chart. This is your Facebook page’s equivalent of traffic sources on Google Analytics. Your website is probably going to be the number one referrer here and if it’s not, you should probably get yourself a like box on your website!

 Posts

There is a lot in this section, including another 3 subsections. But there’s a great reason for it. Say you’ve seen a spike with an unlikely post. Here you can really explore the granular details of that individual post’s performance. Use this information to further target and speak to your fans, keeping your page relevant.

There’s also a chart that breaks down when your fans are online. By scheduling posts at times when your fan base is especially active, you’ll be able to further engage them.

Another fun tool here is the ‘Top Posts From Pages You Watch’ subsection. This gives you some small insights into how your competition is doing. You might want to apply some growth hacking here if you see they’re having better-than-average success. Look over their posts and review what’s working for them and if a similar approach would work for you. Launch an exciting promotion to bring your fans back, but whatever you do, don’t ignore this data.

People

The very last tab gives you the demographics about the fans you reached, the fans who liked your page and the fans who are actively engaged. Be proactive with this information and contextualize your marketing, adjusting your approach to maintain relevancy with them.

We’d love to hear more from you and how you’ve been using Facebook. Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!

And remember to read up on Twitter Analytics here and here!

Diving Deeper Into Your Twitalytics

By | Affiliate Program, Analytics, Online Marketing Ideas | One Comment

Twitter Analytics

At first glance, the Twitter Analytics Dashboard offers an intuitive top-level view of your stats – a macro scan of your retweets, follows, favourites and overall audience engagement. We covered all the basics in the first part of this series, here.

More Than A Numbers Game

For a more thorough breakdown of your stats, the platform also features the ability to export your data from the Twitter API as a CSV file. This is where all the number crunching starts to get a little more interesting.

Take things to a more detailed, micro level by re-organizing your engagement metrics or filtering out any data you don’t want to include in your spreadsheet. Don’t think user profile clicks are a good assessment of what you’re looking for? Get them out of there. Likewise, manipulate the data to pinpoint the days of the week – down to the time of day – you see the most interaction from your followers. Not sure what else you can do with all of this? Read on for some Twitspiration:

Keep An Eye On Who’s Keeping An Eye On You

Clicking on the Followers tab in the main dashboard reveals a graphic view of the number of your Twitter followers over time. It also includes a breakdown of your audience by interests, location, gender  and even charts who they follow – an invaluable pool of information right at your fingertips if you know what to do with it.

Start by filtering out the tweets with the highest levels of engagement – as defined by you – in your spreadsheet and further sort by type of content, time of day (to figure out the best time to Tweet and which have worked best in terms of driving engagement). By now, you should start to notice some trends in the data. Do you see a handful of followers that consistently engage with your content? These are your ‘influencers’. Identifying who’s sharing the most and nurturing those relationships is a great first step to growing your online presence and driving traffic to your Twitter feed.

Streamline Your Content to Maximize Its Perceived Value

Now, you need to ask yourself – What’s your end goal? Growing your follower base? Increasing overall engagement? Are you looking to grow towards a definitive number (a static metric)? By a given rate over time (exponentially rising to some ceiling-less target)? Once you’ve worked this out, you can start putting a game plan into place.

Are your followers more likely to favourite rather than retweet your content? Favourites are a good indication that your Tweet resonated positively with your audience – sort of like a virtual high five. Retweets demonstrate perceived value – your followers not only liked what they saw, but wanted to share what was communicated. This is useful in driving up impressions and potential engagements.

Impressions are useful in determining the best times and days to tweet. Dividing your number of follows by total impressions gives you an indication of your Follow Rate. Want to track the impact of paid campaigns? Deduce your cost per follow by dividing your total spend by the number of new followers generated by its efforts.

Once you start to develop a deeper insight into what piques your followers’ interests, you can start analyzing and streamlining your content accordingly.

Key Takeaway

Twitter isn’t solely a traffic-generation tool for your business. Social networking serves as a public platform for your brand voice. It’s about connecting with the right people and engaging them in meaningful conversation – picking up a few brand ambassadors along the way is simply an added plus.

Do you use Twitter Analytics? Lets us know your favourite stats or strategies in the comments below.

Twitter’s Hidden Gem – A Quick Overview of the Analytics Dashboard

By | Affiliate Program, Analytics, Online Marketing Ideas | No Comments

Twitter AnalyticsBack in July, Twitter rolled out an intuitive analytics dashboard, essentially enabling its users to gauge the performance of their every tweet. Found natively on Twitter, and previously only available to advertisers, verified users and Twitter card publishers, the social media giant has since opened up the platform to all account types, and more recently even added analytics access in its mobile app.

It offers easily accessible insights on standard Twitter account metrics – clicks, shares, impressions, retweets – by promoted and organic activity, as one would expect. Beyond just the basic measurables for looking at realtime stats, however, and despite the fact that, at least for a while, this new and intuitive Tweet Dashboard seemed to have slipped past most people’s radar, its analytics offering is a powerful tool if you know how to use it.

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of what Twitter Analytics has to offer, including a breakdown of the metrics accessible and what they mean in terms of audience or follower engagement. Part II of this blog series will look at analyzing the data in greater depth for a more intuitive insight into its reporting potential.

First, Let’s Get You Set Up

Setting up your Tweet activity dashboard is incredibly easy – simply log into analytics.twitter.com with your account’s credentials and navigate to the top left panel to access metrics by Tweets, Followers or Twitter Cards performance.

Twitter Engagements: The Basics

Once inside the portal, you’ll see a breakdown of Tweet activity by Impressions (number of times your Tweet was viewed), Engagements and the Engagement Rate for each tweet and trend for those over time, to optimize. Engagements are measured by interaction and are tracked by the number of retweets, replies, follows, favourites and clicks anywhere on your Tweet (including hashtags, links, avatar, username and Tweet expansion).

How Are Your Tweets Resonating With Your Audience?

Clicking on ‘View Tweet details’ for a specific Tweet offers a granular view of the scale of engagement for that Tweet. How many times was it shared? What type of content receives the highest level of user interaction? How many actual follows were produced as a result?
Using this insight into engagement type and volume is invaluable when fine tuning your social marketing and content strategy, but it’s just skimming the surface of what the platform has to offer.

Stay tuned for part II of this series to learn more about audience segmentation, analyzing trends in overall engagement and more.

Recap of Affiliate Summit West 2015

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Affiliate Summit West 2015The Share Results team is back in Montreal after a whirlwind of a trip to Las Vegas for ASW15 last week. Nicole and Rebeca from the Share Results team attended the show to network, meet with clients and affiliates and bring home some important industry insights to share with the team. This year’s summit was held at the Paris Hotel and had the largest turnout to date with over 6000 attendees!

The team kicked off the conference at the Sunday Meet Market on January 18th (an absolutely must while attending the show) then attended a few informative seminars, meet with lots old and new contacts and squeezed in a few nightly networking parties (thanks Swagbucks and BankRate!)

This year’s keynote speakers were nothing short of inspirational. A heartwarming speech was given by Chad Hymas highlighting that anything is possible given the right perspective. While Noah Kagan won over the crowd by giving all attendees 10 dollars to buy the person sitting next to them a gift. The goal here was to highlight the important of making a personal connection while networking.

The conference as a whole was a great success. We were happy to be able to reconnect with partners, publishers, clients and colleagues. A big thank you to Shawn Collin and Missy Ward for another excellent Affiliate Summit!! We’re looking forward to getting in touch with everyone we met and working with you in 2015!Can’t wait to see you all again in New York for ASE15!

Make The Most of Affiliate Summit West 2015!

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Affiliate Summit

It feels like it was only yesterday that Share Results attended Affiliate Summit East in New York… Now we are getting ready to travel to Vegas and enjoy Affiliate Summit West 2015!

ASW 2015 is taking place January 18 to January 20, 2015 at Paris Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV. This event unites affiliates, merchants, vendors, and networks together in one place for important educational sessions covering the latest trends and information in the industry.

First time attending Affiliate Summit? Here are a few tips for you:

Be Prepared

Plan ahead! Bring some interesting opportunities for affiliates, arrange meetings in advance and schedule meetings with the potential targets you’re hoping to attain first.

Just before the conference

If you arrive early, try to pick up your badge on Saturday. This will help you to save time on Sunday when Meet Market begins.

Review the educational sessions you would like to attend to and scheduled them in your calendar to be sure not to book any meetings during those times. Be prepared and rested; this conference will require all your energy, try to have all the information you would need with you and be clear on what you want to do and the conversations you want to have.

At the conference

Meet Market is the most anticipated day of the conference; you shouldn’t miss one minute of this event as it is the most attended and when many people schedule meetings for the upcoming days. Be sure to bring lots of business cards, stop by as many booths as possible, take notes and have your elevator pitch ready!

Everywhere, Whenever

The elevator, the taxi line, everywhere is a good place to make connections. Don’t be shy to ask people at the hotel premises if they are going to the conference and what do they do. Go to all events and talk to everyone!

Become a fast tag reader; many affiliates won’t have a booth but they will be walking around and looking for contacts. Keep your eyes open and look at badges for affiliates, they generally have a specific color.

After the conference

Following up with the connections you just met is key after Affiliate Summit. Send a quick follow-up email as soon as you get back to let your new contacts know that you’ll be reaching out with more information shortly.  Many important contacts can be lost if you don’t reach out immediately post conference.

Enjoy Affiliate Summit West!

 

 

 

Scotiabank Credit Card Affiliate Program: New U.S. Dollar Card Launched!

By | Affiliate Program, Network, Online Marketing Ideas, Promotions | No Comments

Share Results and Scotiabank are excited to announce the newest offer available for affiliates to promote through the Scotiabank Credit Card affiliate program:

Scotiabank® U.S. Dollar VISA* Scotiabank U.S. Dollar Card_credit card affiliate program

Perks

No US $ Currency Conversion Fee: Make purchases online or in-store in US $ directly, eliminating costly foreign currency conversion fees and exchange rate fluctuations.

Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Protection: Enjoy a maximum lifetime liability of $60,000; charge the full cost of any personal items to your U.S. Dollar card and enjoy automatic insurance against loss, theft or damage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. Extended warranty coverage also doubles the manufacturer’s warranty by up to one additional year.

No Annual Fee for Supplementary Cards: Extend your Scotiabank U.S. Dollar VISA benefits to family members without any additional cost.

Instant Cash Advances: Enjoy instant cash advances at over 1 million VISA/PLUS ABMs worldwide. Alternatively, card members can link their Scotiabank U.S. Dollar VISA account with their ScotiaCard for easy access.

Who It Targets

Mass market, online/cross-border shoppers and travelers.

Commission

Earn $100 CPA per lead approved!

LEARN MORE

Promoting Scotiabank® U.S. Dollar VISA*

Affiliates who have travel or rewards-related content or would like to discuss a way to promote this exciting new offer can contact us here.

If you are not currently an affiliate on the Share Results Network and would like to sign up to the Scotiabank Credit Card Affiliate Program, please click here.