To PPC or Not to PPC





Many marketers think SEO is better than PPC. Is it really? No. They’re just different. Each piece of your search marketing strategy should have a different goal. It should hit people in different parts of the sales funnel, as I’ve mentioned before. What I didn’t go into detail on was where in the funnel they would hit.



So today, I’m going to clear this up. Let’s get started.

PPC

Search engine marketing usually refers to PPC. At least it does these days. Originally, it referred to both SEO and PPC together. So PPC + SEO = SEM.

So anytime you see a piece of content mentioning SEM, it could mean PPC or both PPC and SEO. Confusing, isn’t it?



Where does PPC fit into your campaign? Statistics show that only somewhere between five and ten percent of searchers click on PPC ads. Yet these ads in the SERPs have a higher conversion rate.

For many marketers, this probably doesn’t make much sense. And once I explain it, you’ll have a better understanding of why PPC is so important.

New businesses don’t need to focus on PPC. This strategy is all about sales and less about brand awareness. If you want brand awareness, which as a new company you definitely should, stick with social media to get eyes on your content.

PPC is for the big boys. The brands that have an audience and a trusted product. Once you have that, people will immediately click on your link. They know it and they trust it. No one hesitates to click on a PPC ad from Nike. If they’re clicking on a Nike link, they’re looking to buy shoes right then and there.

The same goes for any major brand. So if you have a trusted, household name product, then PPC needs to be a major part of your strategy if you’re looking to increase sales.



SEO

To build a brand and show potential customers that you’re an authority in your industry, use social media first and on-page SEO.

It takes months to see results of a proper campaign.

Social media is pretty much instantaneous, which is why it’s so effective. You can get your content in front of millions of eyeballs in a matter of minutes.

As your company grows and people know your logo and what it means, you can use all three strategies in tandem. This is why new businesses struggle with inbound marketing. They simply don’t know where to start and where to put their marketing dollars.

The Bottom Line

PPC should be last but it should also be a large part of the budget. A social media specialist, especially an independent contractor, will be some of the best money you ever spend.

It will help to increase brand awareness, show you are bringing value to customers, and help build an early online reputation.

Your SEO game is somewhere in the middle. I’m going to spend some time writing about that in my next post. Thanks for reading and I hope you look forward to my next post.

 

Borrowing Marketing Strategies From Other Industries





A lot of people are going to try and tell you that there isn’t anything new as far as marketing goes. For the most part, this is true, at least until some new tech comes out that changes the game. Why not try tactics that other industries are using? Strategies that work well with general contracting may not work with promoting a Shopify store. Sure. I get that.



But what if some of these ideas could work for your company? Keep reading to know more about what’s going on in my head.

Foodservice

Restaurant marketing is probably a lot different than what you think.

They use coupons and discounts. They have industry nights where if you come in and you work for another restaurant or hotel, you get a discount.



One of the coolest strategies is having your chef do a guest spot somewhere. They go do cooking classes or visit a culinary school, promote the restaurant, and do a little razzle-dazzle with some food.

While you obviously can’t do that for a construction business, why can’t you do something similar? Go give some talks at high schools. Go to local hardware stores, hang out, and answer questions about what you do.

The idea works with pretty much any field, you just need to think outside of the box.

Car Sales

Every car salesman, for whatever reason, wants a spot on TV or radio. Why?

Younger people don’t listen to the radio and don’t watch nearly as much TV as older people. If you want to hit young people where it counts, these folks need to do what other businesses are doing and hit social media.

The problem with selling cars is that for decades, the marketing has been way too “in your face”. If they were to back up and change their approach for the millennial and younger generations, they could flip their marketing game on its head and possibly sell more cars.



Imagine how many more cars he would sell if a salesman was less salesy and instead, provided real value on a blog and on social media, telling readers everything they need to know about dealing with the process of buying a car. Different, right?

The Flip Side

What about SEO? Why aren’t there more ads for it on TV and radio? Not enough people know what it is and how much value it has for businesses.

Why aren’t we getting the word out? Why is it such a big secret to most people?

Every business deserves to have its shot at the title. People like us can make it happen. Instead, we have to explain what we do for an hour while people look at us with blank-face Radio Shack employee stares. It’s awkward.

Conclusion

Everyone. Every business.

We, collectively, as a whole, need to do more to market our businesses.

We need to try new things and see what industries are doing that aren’t related to our own field and see if we can make them successful with our own companies.

It’s worth a shot!

 

Arbitraging.co Crypto Arbitrage Platform Concerns, Tutorials, and Results with the Abot





A little while ago a friend told me about an arbitraging platform that was, “too good to be true.  Just put money in and watch it grow”.   He put $60,000 dollars into the platform and in only 2 months it was now worth $100,000 dollars.  I called bullshit and threw out everything at him but he said he could withdraw at any time and it was “risk-free”.  I still called bullshit.



But I tried it out with a small amount…  to my surprise it does “just work”.

Arbitrage is not new or rocket science.  By definition, arbitrage it is the profit from a market imbalance.

In the crypto-coin world, there are many exchanges where the same coins are exchanged (bitcoin, ethereum, etc).  This platform has a bot and it simply looks for differences in prices in these exchanges and then makes a trade to make a profit.



Think of it like this.  You see in the newspapers that 2 different places are selling & buying bananas.  At groceryA the banana is $1.00 and at groceryB the banana is $1.10.   You can simply purchase at A and sell to B and profit 10%.  That is all arbitrage is.

The stock market has been traded by bots for more than 20 years.  The crypto coin world is in its infancy and it makes sense there is such a huge opportunity.

If a system is only buying and selling for a profit than it is risk-free.  In theory at least.

So I have been using arbitrage.io and telling all my friends about it.  For newbies and even people familiar with the crypto world, it’s not very easy to set up.  And I am very tired of walking people through it.  So I decided to make videos and direct people here.

These videos are simply about the abot.  They have many other features that I will include as I learn.



I will start with my concerns about the platform:

Now for my tutorial:

 

And the results so far (I will update this once a month or more):

 

Stay Ahead of the Competition With These Six E-Commerce Trends





The recent e-commerce growth is like bacteria. The more growth there is the more exponential the growth becomes. In only three years, the e-commerce market is set to double from $2.3 trillion to $4.5 trillion. Right now 67% of all buyers make their journey digitally. We’re going to see that number steadily rise over the next few years. It’s the best time to get into e-commerce.



But if you’re not aware of the trends, you’ll cease to remain relevant. Here are a few e-commerce trends you absolutely need to know about.

1. Native Shopping

Not to be confused with the abhorrent practice of buying and selling humans, native shopping simply means buying from places where we naturally abide on the internet. If you’re on Facebook, why couldn’t you buy your sneakers right there?

While Zuckerberg might be wringing his hands in anticipation of my next words, I’m not going to suggest he build a Facebook e-commerce store. But if he really wanted to keep people on Facebook, he’d emulate what Pinterest is doing.

Pinterest’s Shop the Look feature is taking e-commerce to the next level. Pinterest allows e-sellers (especially clothing retailers) to post a photo of their items. Users can click on a specific item and find out everything about it, including price, right in Pinterest.

The only time a user needs to leave the platform is when they want to finalize their purchase.

Pinterest is an intuitive way to shop. You can pin anything you’re thinking of buying and return to it later. And your friends will be able to see what you’re considering and possibly buy it too.



A win-win for both e-sellers and purchasers.

2. International is Done Playing Catch-Up

U.S. e-commerce used to be king. But today, 57% of shoppers are purchasing from overseas vendors.

And the international market is coming to the United States as well. People from all over the globe are buying online and they want your products.

How do you make your store international-friendly? It’s easy when companies like BigCommerce are providing a way to reach more than 150 countries globally.

You can find all-inclusive packages that allow you to accept all kinds of international payment from PayPal and Stripe.

3. Virtual Reality and Eventually Augmented Reality

While I’m hoping our world doesn’t become the hyperbole I see in science fiction portrayals of augmented reality, I am hopeful for the technology. Magic Leap just came out with their $2500 Magic Leap One developer kit.

That’s a jump above the Oculus Rift dev kit which launched at $600, but I still think it will eventually overcome VR in everyday usefulness.

This is why, if you’re planning on staying in e-commerce long term, it’s time to start playing with this kind of technology right now. VR is here to stay. And it’s getting cheaper by the day.



Simple augmented reality is available through a smartphone, although it’s not incredibly convincing. But the interior design app, Houzz found that consumers were more likely to purchase a product if they could visulize it in their house. They also found that users would stay in the app 2.7X longer when they used AR.

4. Voice Search is Taking Over Everything

I can say “OK Google” even when my phone is locked and get an answer from Google. This is every futurist’s dream come true. But will it ever be useful for shopping?

With Echo and Google home, shopping through voice is actually possible. Although, unless you know what you already need, the process might be cumbersome.

Imagine a system where the home assistant names out every product you could want. Sounds horrible. But what if the program could predict what you’re going to buy?

The incredible thing is that Amazon already uses a similar process to increase the efficiency of its logistics department. They can predict what you are going to buy and when and have it a processing center near you.

Soon Amazon could use this same technology to help you shop by voice.

5. Machine Learning and A.I.

You might think that machine learning and A.I. are for the big corporation like Google and Amazon. But you’d be surprised to hear that soon, these technologies will be helping small e-sellers target their audiences.

Netflix is a good example of a company that’s utilized machine learning to better target audiences. They’ve created “taste communities” based on user preferences. They tasked a machine learning algorithm with organizing these communities.

6. Same-Day or Next Day Delivery

Even Walmart has free two-day shipping. That’s an old-hat standard by now. But what about same-day or just next-day shipping?

While these options may not be offered free of charge like two-day shipping, they’re becoming popular options. Apparently, people want their products “NOW.”

We’re becoming worse procrastinators than ever. And we’ll wait till the very last minute to order something we need tomorrow. I know I’ve become extremely guilty of this habit.

But Amazon is rising to the demand. They’ve built a host of new supply centers around the United States, especially near major metropolitan areas.

These two options will eventually become mainstays just like two-day shipping did. And customers are going to become used to picking the same-day or next-day options.

Soon, fulfillment services will be offering these same options to e-sellers and you’ll be able to store your products nearby most of your customers. You may not be able to offer the service for free like some big sellers will eventually do, but you’ll at least be able to compete.

 

How to Choose Affiliate Products





In one of my recent posts, I touched on picking a product or service to use for affiliate marketing. It should be something that you have both used to your personal satisfaction and believe it can help your readers solve some of their problems. This is ideal, but there are many other factors to consider. The first thing you want to do is choose a niche. Then build out your site to see how it looks. Write some starter content and build your readership. Only then should you start to consider what kind of products you can or should offer.



If you’re on the fence about what kind of products or services you want to use on your blog or niche website, here are a few tips for you to consider.

Choose a Network, Not a Product

Individual companies don’t really care if you get paid. In fact, I personally know some affiliate marketers who have been ripped off by companies.

When you choose a network, such as Shareasale or Amazon, you get paid all the time. There is no argument. If you sell the product, you are compensated according to the terms and conditions of the program.



Many people think that money is guaranteed when you get into this hustle, and then they find out there is no such thing. Picking a solid network with a decent reputation can help keep you from getting burnt.

Sell Less, Make More

It’s easier to tell a hat than a lawnmower.

Let’s say you get a 5% commission on the hat. Each hat retails for $12.99. This puts your cut at $.65 per hat. To make $100 a week, you need to sell 154 hats. Sounds like a lot of work to me.

What if you also get 5% commission on a lawnmower. It’s one of those real spiffy zero-turn things that cost about $4,000. Selling just one mower will get you $200.

Do you see the point I’m trying to make?



The best affiliate marketers are selling a mix of items. Some cost thousands of dollars and others cost less than twenty bucks. Blending in the quick selling and the big-ticket items together on the same site can keep income rolling in consistently.

Make Multiple Sites

My mentor, who taught me almost everything I know, has over two dozen affiliate sites. He’s semi-retired, hasn’t made a site in years, and still pulls in over $100k per year from his sites.

He doesn’t worry about things like SEO. He outsources it to a company like Register It.

While I always tell people to make multiple sites, I don’t recommend making them all at once. You need to find that winning formula. Build sites until one sticks and then take some time to research and find out why it is successful and your other sites are not.

Then you can start cranking out site after site. Find that winning formula, then duplicate. It’s as simple as that.

The Takeaway

Picking the right affiliate offers is one of the hardest parts of affiliate marketing.

At some point, I’m going to write a post to talk about how to properly interlink to your content that contains these offers without looking spammy.

But for now, go out there and do some research. I definitely recommend starting with Shareasale or Amazon. They’re good networks, you always get paid, and they offer a wide selection of merchandise.

 

Thinking About Affiliate Marketing? Read This First





Anyone who reads blogs on a regular basis probably knows about affiliate marketing. If you’re a new blogger, you’ve probably considered becoming an affiliate marketer. Ads, especially if you’re just starting out, aren’t going to bring in much income. You could build a digital product, but without any traffic, you won’t make any sales.



So for new sites and people just getting into the hustle, affiliate marketing is definitely the way to go as you build trust and authority in your niche. Here are a few quick tips for those of you who have yet to get started but are tinkering with the idea of building a niche website or you want to monetize your blog.

Focus on the Audience

If you’re all about sales, your readers will pick up on it. Instead, put your focus on helping people. Affiliate sales are all about quality products that you have personally used and recommend to readers. This is really the purpose of affiliate marketing and why so many bloggers have had success over the years.

As a blogger or website owner, you are an influencer. People trust other people more than they trust companies. Just be real.



Play the Long Game

This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Google has seen to this over the years. They no longer let people create and promote “churn and burn” websites to make a quick buck.

The best case scenario is your site will see some Google rankings in about 6 months. This gives you plenty of time to create amazing content and research the right products for your website.

If you want to speed up the process a little, you can spend some time on social media. Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are great resources that can get early traffic to your new website if used properly.

Outsource Your SEO

Many website owners have fallen victim to themselves. You can research SEO all you want but if you aren’t an expert, you are playing with fire.



Building the wrong links can get your whole site de-indexed by search engines. If you want success with Google, then you need to play their game. And no one knows the game more than the pros. Reputable businesses like CloudRock SEO Agency can make all the difference.

A great agency will take a lot of hassle off of your plate. This will allow you time to focus on building out your site, researching products, and writing great content.

The Takeaway

I can spit out affiliate marketing tips all day long. But these three are all near the top of the list.

Building out your site or blog requires a ton of work and patience. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to sit back and take a deep breath on occasion.

It’s tempting to check your sales and traffic a hundred times a day and honestly, it’s normal. We all did this for the first few months. But the sooner you get yourself out of this habit, the better.

Find your niche, find your groove, and be prepared to work hard.

 

If Your User Experience Sux So Will Your Conversion Rate





I once got to be part of a user experience test. My friend was in grad school and he and his colleagues had created a simple game programming tool. It was one of the most confusing pieces of software I’ve ever touched. I found out later, they’d created a problematic piece of software on purpose. They were testing a user experience testing process. The whole thing was quite meta. But if this had been a real product, they’d have made zero money. Why? Because while the concept was great (ready-made game elements you simply drag and drop), the user experience sucked.



You won’t make money with your website either if your user experience sucks. Here are a few ways to optimize your website for the best user experience.

1. Start With Loading Speed

The Doherty Threshold states that if a computer takes longer than 400 milliseconds to respond, users would no longer be addicted to using the computer. This was the goal, get people addicted to using a computer. If you do that, you sell computers.



400 milliseconds isn’t very long. Fortunately, most users are used to internet speeds and not blazing fast cable internet. With your website, you have about two seconds of load time leeway.

Conversions take a hit the longer your site takes to load. If people come to your site and it loads in more than two seconds, they go elsewhere. Every second it takes, your conversion rate falls by a full 12%.

What Causes a Site to Slow Down?

Too many times, novice webmasters will overload their site with plugins and graphics. Yes, it’s fun to play with transitions and you might be tempted to add a ton of features to your site through plugins. But is it worth it?

If you don’t know where to trim down, you might want to consider outsourcing to a support service. They can identify which plugins are slowing you down and recommend better plugins that might speed up your site.



2. Track Your User’s Behavior

While big data has become a kind of dirty word in the industry, data on your customers and visitors is actually useful. If you’re just guessing at where users might go, you’re at a disadvantage. It’s like playing pin the tail on the donkey. You might pin it on Aunt Merple’s bossom instead.

You can use plugins like Crazy Egg to create visual maps of where users go on your site. You can easily trim the fat on your site and funnel people to the elements that matter once you have the data.

3. Accessibility Gets Wildly Overlooked

English is not the official language of the United States. In fact, the United States does not have an official language. And really, even if the U.S. had an official language, do you want to limit your audience?

SaaS language translation is there for a reason. Make it easy for anyone to access your site, and you’ll increase your conversion potential.

Not only is language a barrier, but individual user ability can be a barrier as well. For those with visual impairment, you should add audio features.

 

Three Guaranteed Ways to Boost Your Mobile eCommerce Conversion Rates





In 2017, Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopify alone saw a 10% increase in mobile sales and 67% of sales were mobile sales. If you haven’t figured it out by now, mobile trumps desktop use by two-thirds.



Are you targeting the majority? If not, you’d better get on board this very second. Every moment you spend keeping a non-mobile-friendly e-commerce site alive is dollars lost.

Even if you’re just turning the page and reconfiguring your e-commerce site, you can benefit from these five e-commerce conversion-boosting tips.



1. Does It Pass the Five-Second Test?

A handshake takes a mere second to accomplish. One study in 2011 showed that if you have a weak handshake, you appear overly passive to anyone you meet. One second could equal a lasting impression in social situations.

Fortunately, as an e-commerce guru, you have 5x more time to make an impression on your leads. That’s only five seconds.

In usability tests, it’s standard practice to test what users can remember after seeing a page after five seconds. If they can tell you the most important aspects of your page after only five seconds, you’ve designed your page for mobile usage.

In mobile design, you must take into account attention span. Mobile devices are designed to keep people distracted with new information at all times. Thus, if you’re trying to sell Bluetooth headphones, you have very little time to attract a lead’s attention before they go to your competitor.



2. Are Filter and Sorting Options Upfront and Center?

When someone walks into a department store, the first thing they should encounter is a map or directory. If they have to ask a service member for directions, someone dropped the ball. It should be no different in the digital world of e-commerce.

In the desktop world, everyone knows that if they just click the top right menu, they’ll find some sort of directory. But for some reason, this ability got lost in translation for most mobile-friendly sites.

It’s more important in mobile settings for customers to be able to quickly weed out what they don’t want and find what they want. Remember the five-second rule? If they can’t find that sort/filter button within those five seconds, they’re going elsewhere.

3. Can Users Control and Edit Information as They Checkout?

This applies to both the app version and the mobile web browser version of your e-commerce shop. People are used to using a “back button.” It’s insanely frustrating to get halfway through a checkout process and realize you’ve entered the wrong information. That frustration compounds when you can’t go back and edit said info and you’re forced to start over.

I once worked in the medical field, and for some reason, medical records software companies don’t get this simple concept. I might have drunk less during those years if I could have gone back and edited records after the fact instead of having to start over a billion times. Don’t drive your customers to drink, include an edit and back button on every page of the order process.

What are some ways you’re optimizing mobile e-commerce for higher conversion rates? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments below.

 

Not Getting Any Bites? Try These Five Marketing Hook Tactics





Fishing without the right bait is pointless. You’ll sit there on the shore or rocking back and forth in your boat all day hoping for some action. Marketing isn’t much different. If you put the wrong bit of content or information for the wrong niche, no lead is going to follow. What is a marketing hook? It’s a sample, something to give your leads a taste of what they’re missing if they don’t click.



For fish, this means the food they already consume on a daily basis yet better looking. For leads, it means the media they consume on a daily basis yet more entertaining or interesting.

Here are some tactics that might help you reel in those leads.

1. Command Their Attention

Babies and marketing campaigns are killed by passive voice. You don’t want either to happen to you, do you?

This is why it’s crucial you use a commanding and active voice in your marketing hooks. If your hooks sound like they rolled off the tongue of an academic, you’re in the wrong field.



57% of leads have already made up their minds before reaching your hook. The other 43% need a nudge.

Commands such as “Try!” “Do!” “Feel!”  compel people to act.

Here are a few examples:

Give in to your cravings and buy [insert delicious sale item]

Watch this!

Stop wasting your money!

2. Show Them a Better Future

Dissatisfaction is your friend. In 2017, only 33% of Americans said they were happy.



If over 75% of the population is dissatisfied, then it’s your responsibility to satisfy them. You merely need to find out what better future they crave.

What does your product or content do that will improve someone’s life? Hook them with a tutorial or an entertaining look at what they could be if they bought your product or clicked on your link.

3. Find That Pain Point

Sometimes people need to feel uncomfortable before they decide to make a change. Often they’ve been uncomfortable for a while and the solution just hadn’t presented itself.

This is where your hook comes in. You remind the lead of a problem they have. It needs to be fixed immediately.

Create a video that speaks to this. Write an article that solves their problem in part. And if they click the link, they could solve their problem permanently.

4. Show Off What Others Have Said

90% of consumers claim that a positive review will influence their buying decisions. A sincere, positive, and voluntary testimonial or review could be the perfect hook to bring in leads.

But be careful with this one. Your testimonials need to sound and be genuine. Otherwise, your leads will pass you by with nary a glance.

5. Show Them Value Upfront

You want to avoid sounding “salesy.” There are ways to present value and there are ways to present value.

When spouting off dollar amounts, you sound like a car salesman. Instead, show them what they could have if they clicked through to your product or content.

Ask yourself, how can you help your customers? That’s where the value of your product or content lies. Don’t sell specs or even the product. But hook them with how the product will solve a problem in their lives.

 

5 Affiliate Marketing Conference Guides You Need to Follow





Internet marketing conferences are an excellent way to make new connections with brands and business, while also getting that face-to-face experience you might have been missing out on. While email is great for running an online business, nothing beats being able to meet your freelancers, blogger friends, and affiliate managers at a live event. It’s easy to talk about the many benefits of attending internet conferences from a personal perspective, but I wanted to highlight some other expert guides and write-ups instead. Even John often talks about the many benefits of growing his personal brand by speaking at different events, and how covering various conferences and events through his blog continues to grow his audience and brand in the process.



To improve your internet marketing conference knowledge and getting yourself ready to attend that next big event, but sure to follow these industry guides on affiliate marketing and blogging conferences around the world.

Leadbit’s Guide to International Marketing Conferences

Back in the day, affiliate marketing conferences were mainly held in the United States. Now they are all over the place! At the same time, if you wanted to get the perspective of how these events were, you would likely need to come across an affiliate blog and read up on their perspective. With so many global affiliate networks in place, that’s no longer the issue. Not only do most of the affiliate networks in the world today have blogs, they are also attending such events like never before. You can see a perfect roundup and Q&A session with the team over at Leadbit, in their “International Affiliate Marketing Conferences” reference guide.



Ngo’s Guide to Top Affiliate Marketing Conferences to Attend

Speaking of affiliates and their affiliate blogs, an excellent one to follow is Charles Ngo. Through his blog, you will find a wide selection of detailed tutorials, articles, and reviews on everything related to affiliate marketing. Charles also has an excellent guide on the 26 Best Affiliate Marketing Conferences in the World. If you’d only had the opportunity to attend a handful of conferences, be sure to run through this list and see which are most recommended, or headed to your area soon.

Expert Guide on “How to Prepare for Affiliate Summit”

Affiliate Summit is one of the most popular and largest affiliate marketing conferences in the world today. It’s currently held twice a year in Las Vegas and New York City — but it in the works of expanding to outside of the US. Shawn Collins is the co-founder of the conference, and he’s always providing some great resources and guides on the event for first-timers, and those who are making their way back again. A new post on his blog (by Adam Reimer) covers everything you need to know about attending Affiliate Summit, whether it’s your first time or 15th. Topics include how to choose the best sessions to attend, the best parties to attend, and of course… the importance of networking and getting real business from the event.

2018 Calendar of Affiliate Marketing Events: Conferences, Expos & More

As great as online reviews and guides are for learning about upcoming affiliate conferences, sometimes it’s better to just see a list or calendar of what’s on the horizon. With literally hundreds of internet and affiliate marketing conferences happening annually, it can get quite overwhelming!



Geno from AMNavigator has a constantly updated list of the top conferences and events happening around the world. Be sure to check out this list, as you never know when a new event might be heading to your area.

Affiliate Summit Parties: East and West

As mentioned earlier, Affiliate Summit is where most of the attention is going these days in reference to affiliate marketing conferences. One of the reasons for this is because of the heavy advertiser and network attendance at these events, and the massive parties they throw at each event.

Networks will always send out mailings and invites to these events, but if you are looking to find all of the information on one site, ASWparties.com is the place to go. The site name says ASW, but they have a page and updates for ASE as well. The site also now provides other events and parties outside of just Affiliate Summit.

It doesn’t matter if you are a complete newbie to attending affiliate conferences, or a veteran — each of these resource guides will provide you with a ton of information and resources to make sure you are ready for that next big trip. In addition to each of the resources below, also be sure to check out any of the top affiliate marketing blogs on the internet today , as they are always releasing new articles and topics that have yet to be discussed before.

Feel free to leave your favorite internet marketing event or conference in the comments below.

AdSense Alternatives to YouTube Monetization





In a move that even out-shadowed the whole demonetization controversy of 2017, YouTube announced significant changes to its partner program in early 2018. As a result, many smaller YouTubers got booted from the YouTube Partner Program because they no longer met the new requirements. As a refresher, the new requirements called for at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours watched in the last 12 months. And no one was grandfathered into the program either.



It’s through the YouTube Partner Program that video creators could monetize their videos using Google AdSense. This includes the pre-roll video ads and the banner ads shown in the video themselves, among other possible placements. Without this revenue source, many YouTubers felt distraught… but maybe they’re forgetting about all the other opportunities to make money on YouTube too. Here are a few that you may have left on the table (that you should now pick up if you haven’t already).

 

Amazon Associates

It probably won’t surprise too many of you to learn that many of the people who watch YouTube are interested in what equipment goes into shooting YouTube videos. This is especially the case with vloggers and other channels that target creative professionals (and amateurs and prosumers too).



One of the simplest things to do is to leverage Amazon’s affiliate program and provide links in the video description to the gear that you use. Similarly, you should be including links to any products you mention in the video too, just as I did in the video where I compared different Amazon Kindle versions. If someone is watching a product video, they’re probably interested in buying it.

Patreon

You might remember when I wrote about Patreon in the context of YouTube monetization a few years ago and it’s arguably even more relevant today. The basic idea here is that instead of trying to get money out of sponsors and advertisers, you get money from the people who are watching your content in the first place. It’s a much more direct relationship and Patreon only takes a 5% fee for providing this platform.

Many of the top YouTube channels have taken this approach. Science video channel SciShow, as of this writing, brings in over $20,000 a month from over 5,000 patrons. That’s nothing to sneeze at and even if you have a smaller subscriber base, Patreon can provide a more consistent and predictable source of income that isn’t subject to fickle algorithms.

Affiliate Lead Generation

If you want to talk about the bigger bucks, this is definitely John Chow’s preferred method of making money from YouTub e. To put this all in perspective, his YouTube channel brings in about $1,000 a month in AdSense (as reported for May 2017). His MOBE earnings for the same month was nearly $250,000 and YouTube referrals accounted for almost a third of that. Put another way, the resulting MOBE affiliate earnings beat out his AdSense revenue by about a factor of 70-to-1.



When you position and target your YouTube videos accordingly and partner up with the right big ticket affiliate program, your earning potential can shoot through the roof.

Your Own Products and Services

You’ve got an online business, so why not leverage your YouTube channel to help build and promote that business even further? The natural tie-in would be if you have a specific product to promote. If you just published a new book or launched a new membership site, there’s no reason why you can’t spread the word on YouTube or include a “promotional message” (from yourself) at the beginning or end of your videos to coincide with the launch.

Collaborations and Sponsorships

Influencer marketing is bigger than ever before. It’s a common misconception that brands only want to work with online influencers who have millions of followers. That’s just not the case. Brands are oftentimes better off working with a larger number of influencers with smaller followings to get the most bang out of their marketing buck.

Speaking for myself, I worked with Subaru Canada on a video that showcased the new Impreza at a local event and that was a sponsored video. Similar partnerships, collaborations and sponsorships are available both through influencer networks and by working with brands (and their PR agencies) directly. Don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s no harm in asking.

Of course, there are innumerable other opportunities for making money on YouTube beyond the AdSense alternatives listed here. Do you have any favorites? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below!

10 Billionaires Who Started with Nothing





When people imagine a billionaire, they typically think of the Donald Trumps of the world. Come from money and continued in wealth and fame. But for some people with wealth, this isn’t the case. I recently wrote about Barbara Corcoran. She grew up in a two bedroom apartment with ten siblings. Today she is worth millions as both a business person and a TV personality.



There are plenty of other examples, so let’s dig in and find out who of the 2,208 billionaires in the world grew up poor and ended up sitting on top of a pile of money.

1. Ralph Lauren

You know the man from his clothing line. But did you know that he grew up in the Bronx and dropped out of college to join the army?

He was the son of two immigrants from Belarus and the youngest of four. His parents were artists and house painters.

Ralph began his career as a tie salesman for a tie company. He then began the Ralph Lauren Corporation and sold ties under his own name. Lauren was 28 years old.

His “store” was a single drawer in a showroom in the Empire Stae Building. He delivered the ties himself.

A year later, his tie line got picked up by the Manhattan Bloomingdales. He then went on to launch a line of tailored shirts for women and open a store in Beverly Hills, CA.

2. Oprah Winfrey

We all know Oprah from her television fame and her acting career. We’ve also heard she might run for president of the United States.

While she is worth over two billion dollars now, she began her life in Mississippi under the roof of a poor family. She worked hard and won a scholarship to Tennessee State University.



At age 19, Oprah became the first African American TV correspondent in the state of Tennessee.

It’s not well known, but the Oprah Winfrey Show began as a Chicago AM talk radio show. She would later move the show to television and launch an incredible journey to stardom.

3. George Soros

George Soros is worth over 8 billion dollars. And yet, one of the most powerful and rich men in the world had to pose as someone else in his teens to stay safe from the Nazis in Hungary.

In 47, he went to the London School of Economics. He paid for it with money he made as a railway porter and a waiter.

But he didn’t make money for a while. He got a job as a souvenir shop clerk. And then he worked as a banker in New York City. It wasn’t until 1992 that he made a billion dollars betting against the British pound.

4. John Paul DeJoria

If you love Patron Tequila, you might know who John Paul DeJoria is. His iconic profile shows up on magazine covers every once in a while.

An investor, John Paul started his salesmanship as a 10-year-old selling Christmas cards and newspapers. This money went to help support his immigrant family.

He ended up living in a foster home, spent several years as part of a gang, and then joined the military. He later started the John Paul Mitchel Systems company and sold shampoo. He did this with a $700 credit loan.

He is now worth almost $3 billion dollars and owns one of the most popular tequila companies in the world.

5. Li Ka-shing

Hong Kong has an uncomfortable kinship with China. They aren’t communist like the rest of the country and many times in the history between the two strife was the norm.

Ka-shing found rescue in Hong Kong in the forties with his family. His father died soon after when he was 15 and the man was suddenly in charge of his family as a teenager.



The man is now worth $35 billion dollars. He started his own company in his 20s that manufactured plastics and later went into real estate.

6. Leonardo Del Vecchio

Many of these billionaires seem to have a Charles Dickens writing their life story. Del Vecchio’s life is no different. His widowed mother sent him to live at an orphanage because she couldn’t care for him and his five siblings.

He began his working life in a factory making molds for auto parts and eyeglasses. He used the knowledge he gained working there to build the world’s largest sunglass and prescription glasses company.

7. Sheldon Adelson

Sometimes you hear of college dropouts becoming famous or rich. This proves you don’t need an expensive education to become either. And Sheldon Adelson, the owner of a $41 billion fortune, dropped out of the City College of New York.

How did he make his billions? He began by running vending machines, selling new ads, learning how to help businesses go public, hosting trade shows, etc. He basically became a “jack-of-all-trades.”

Like some investors, he’s lost some and won some. But now he runs one of the largest casino companies in the world.

8. Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshimi Mittal is CEO at the largest steel company in the world. He was born to a poor family in India. He worked as a steelworker and pushed his way up until he began selling steel.

He’s worth over $18 billion.

9. Roman Abramovich

Anyone who pulled themselves out of poverty during the Cold War deserves an accolade. Roman Abramovich is one such person. He was born in southern Russia and was an orphan from the age of two.

His uncle raised him in Northern Russia. During college, he began a small company that produced plastic toys. He used the money he made there to begin an oil business.

In 2005, he sold his company for $13 billion.

He now owns both the Chelsea Football Club and the world’s largest yacht.

10. The Richest Man in the World: Larry Ellison

Yep. The richest man in the world gets to tell a rags to riches tale. Larry Ellison was born in Brooklyn to a single mother. His aunt and uncle raised him in Chicago.

Ellison dropped out of college and worked odd jobs in California for eight years. In the late seventies, he founded Oracle and it’s now one of the largest tech companies in the world.

How much is he worth? $64.1 billion dollars.

You Don’t Need to Be From Money to Make Money

That’s the essential lesson here. We often whine and feel sorry for ourselves if we’re not rolling in money. But the question is, have you actually put your nose to the grindstone?

People like those on my list did not take what life handed them and do nothing with it. They sucked the marrow out of life and came up rich.

You can either be like them or you can feel sorry for yourself? Make your choice.

If you liked this please share it and check out more of our articles.

 

Affiliate Marketing Strategies – How to Adapt to the Changing Times





Affiliate marketing is one of the greatest business models and opportunities in the world today. Anyone can start a business no matter where they are located, how much money they have, or even what language they speak or the type of education they have. However, as great as affiliate marketing is, if you’re going to find the success you will need to put in a lot of time, work, and effort.



Having been in the industry now for over 20 years now and getting my start an affiliate marketing back in the mid-90s, I can tell you right now one of the most important things to finding long-term success is being able to adapt with the changes around you. A lot has changed with the internet and affiliate marketing over the past two decades since I started making money online. What was once a static environment of one-way conversations, HTML websites, and easily ranking at the top of Google, has evolved into an engaging and competitive world of social media, WordPress-powered sites, and mobile usage at higher levels than ever before.

With all of this in mind, today I wanted to cover a few different affiliate marketing strategies and potential opportunities that business may need to change and adapt to as they appear on the horizon. As always, if you want to survive in this game, not only do you need to stay ahead of the competition you also need to adapt to these coming times.

The only question is… are you and your business ready?

Blockchain Technology Makes Its Way into the Affiliate Industry

Blockchain technology is getting so much attention lately and it’s not just because of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This form of technology is quickly changing the way data, online processing, and payments are being made online — while also being more secure than ever before. It’s simply only a matter of time before we start to see this type of data tracking and integration move into the world of affiliate marketing as well.

Actually, there is already a decentralized affiliate platform in place today at Attrace. Through their technology and blockchain processing, this platform is making it possible for merchants and advertisers to eliminate the high-costs that most affiliate networks are charging today, while also making the payment and commissions out to affiliates in a more seamless matter as well. Instead of paying traditional network fees that can range from 20-to-30% per transaction, Attrace is focused on payments of less than .05% per transaction while also offering immediate commissions and payouts to Affiliates through blockchain technology.



What also makes the network stand out, is how they are built from the ground up with blockchain technology, and also how the direct relationships between affiliates and merchants work. As listed on their site; “Attrace is the only affiliate marketing blockchain project that tracks and attributes every individual click/lead/referral of a prospect – sale or no sale – which means insights and statistics which are impossible to manipulate.

With so much discussion on cookies, browsers and mobile usage on the rise, it’s about time we saw a more secure tracking solution in place. How soon will we start to see more affiliate Platforms in a great blockchain technology into their business model?

Expanding Your Business and Reach into Asia

As we know, affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful forms of advertising on the internet today for several reasons. Affiliates love it because of the simplicity and never needing to hold inventory or process an order, and advertisers love the concept of only paying for actual leads and sales that take place. Best of all, it’s a working business model that can be applied to all business, brands, and audiences throughout the world.

While the United States and English traffic are always going to be a top priority and have the highest payouts, it would be a huge mistake not to take advantage of what other countries offer. Just focusing your efforts on the US and top-tier traffic will easily eliminate more than half of the world’s population. However, while many people think non-US traffic sources might be junk, others are finding it to be their own secret cash cow.

This is something Leadbit has been finding success with for years now. As one of the larger global affiliate networks in the game today, Leadbit focuses mostly on non-US traffic and affiliate offers – which makes them an expert when it comes to the reaching audiences outside of the United States.

To show the true potential of marketing to non-US countries (specifically Asia), be sure to check out this Asia Internet Usage infographic guide on their site, which breaks down the various countries within Asia and how to best target such audiences.

Media buying platforms and Facebook Ads makes the process of targeting exact countries, demographics and audiences so easy. If you aren’t currently advertising your own brand or affiliate offers outside of the US, what are you waiting for?

The Role of Artificial Intelligence to Improve Business

No matter where you look these days, there is so much talk about artificial intelligence, robots eventually taking over the world, and how businesses can start using AI to improve their dat to day operations. While most businesses and brands are focusing their efforts on using AI for customer support and chatbots, other brands have been using artificial intelligence in new and creative ways to propel their businesses to that next level.

Designhill is a brand that has been doing just that. Not only are they using AI to improve business and how people use their site, it’s actually building significantly on their bottom line as well. One of the most exciting components of their site, is their new logo creator that is completely powered by artificial intelligence. What’s unique about the tool is that it will provide users with a high-quality and professional logo in seconds, while also costing a fraction of what a typical freelance or design agency might charge — while also improving productivity, volume, and revenue for Designhill itself.



The way their innovative logo creator works is quite simple. The process starts when the user types in their company name, selects from a few different examples designs of their liking, along with a few color schemes, and also provide their site name, slogan, and industry. The last step in the process is to select a few icons and images that they might want to incorporate into their logo as well. Using all of this information, the technology, and AI-based platform will then spit out an unlimited supply of logo designs and concepts to choose from.

So what does all of this mean for your business and the future of AI?

If you aren’t currently using artificial intelligence for your business or brand, you likely will. However, don’t just think about the most common ways to implement such technology into your business. Instead, do something drastic like Designhill and create a platform or service, that can basically run itself and is always learning at the same time.

GDPR Regulations, Compliance, and New Businesses

Never before have so many emails been sent out in one day to let you know businesses around the world have updated their privacy policy. The average person probably had no idea what was going on, but every online marketer, brand, and affiliate were fully aware of what was taking place! While the majority of these emails were seen as a nuisance and probably just deleted, it was actually just the first wave of implementation of the GDPR regulations that just recently went into place.

In short… gone are the days of just randomly picking up, tracking, buying, or selling data without the expressed written consent of the end user… unless you want to pick up a few billion in fees like Google and Amazon have?

I’ll spare you the boring rules, regulations, and legalities of GDPR right now, but what I would like to focus on instead is how companies need to get compliant and have better control of their data while also having full transparency. The more exciting and interesting aspect of GDPR is the billions of dollars that will be generated from companies trying to implement these methods and getting compliant. The truth is, most people (even lawyers and the governments around the world) aren’t sure of the long-term effects of GDPR, or how it might change in the coming months.

One such example is of a company takes advantage of this opportunity is Bulletproof, an online security and data management company. While there is always going to be a risk for data leaks and attacks against a company, Bulletproof saw the business opportunity and demand here, thus launching a division of their company that focuses solely on GDRP compliance and regulations.

With so many harsh fines coming into play, and nearly every online business or brand affected in one way or another (Google Analytics tracking, affiliate links, cookies, lead forms), everyone needs to make sure they are fully covered. If you still have no idea what the GDPR is, the infographic below will give you a quick overview in a moments time.

As an affiliate marketer or brand, it’s no longer just an issue of making sure your business is compliant, it’s also a matter of figuring out ways that you can promote such offers or Services while also cashing in on the process.

What’s on the horizon for affiliate marketing in 2018-2019?

It’s not enough to simply know what changes, trends, and regulations are going to come into effect in the near future. You need to know beforehand and adapt your business accordingly. If you want to see a perfect example of legitimate business empires that failed to adapt to these changes, just look at what’s currently happening with Sears, ToysRUs, and many other well-known and loved household name brands around the world today.

The good news is, you likely don’t have hundreds of employees and millions of data records to take care of. In fact, adjusting to many of these changes won’t take much time or effort on your part at all. This is something that many businesses, affiliate marketers, and brands have done for a while now as a great majority of their audiences have moved from desktop browsing to mobile devices and also using social media more than heading to Google for a simple search result.

Feel free to leave your comments on what you feel the upcoming trends for 2018 through 2019 are, and how we can best adjust our businesses and adapt to these changes over time.

 

Followers 2 Income: How to Create a Killer Instagram to Funnel Customers (For Online Marketing Pros) 2018

instagram-customer-funnel-follower




More than 800 million people across the world use Instagram every month to share and view photos or videos. But they also use the platform to shop. According to Statista, Instagram will generate $6.84 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2018. That’s a huge increase from the $1.86 billion that they generated in 2016. Brands also receive four times more engagement on Instagram than they do on Facebook. Better yet, as many as 14% of users are likely to buy items directly from the app itself. Whether you want to sell products directly or to boost your brand’s exposure, Instagram is the best platform to do it.



Here’s how you can create a killer Instagram to funnel customers.

To get started, you should integrate Shopify with your Instagram account so that you can sell products right from your page.

Sell directly from your account with Shopify

Shopify is currently testing shoppable Instagram posts that allow customers to buy items directly off of Instagram.

This is a similar concept to what we’ve already seen with Buyable Pins on Pinterest.

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With shoppable Instagram posts, you can turn any post into a buyable one.

E-commerce stores can sell to buyers right in the Instagram app, and users will never have to leave the app to go to an external website.

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However, since this feature is only available to some brands as a beta release, LIKEtoKNOW.it is an alternative that you can start using right now.

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The service allows users to take screenshots from the Instagram platform and shop right from the app.

If you want to send users to your website from Instagram, you need to add a call to action (CTA) and a link in your bio.

Put a CTA in your bio to direct users to your website

There aren’t a ton of places to add in extra text on Instagram.

That’s why you should use the space that is available, like your bio, to add texts and links.

Use this space to insert a CTA that directs followers back to your website like this example from Topshop.

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They added “Click to shop” with a link to their site.

Your CTA doesn’t have to send people right to your site’s product page. You can use it to promote anything you want, like an app or a new blog post.

If you want to share multiple links from your bio, try using a paid tool like Link In Profile. With this tool, one single link on Instagram takes users to tons of alternate links.

Here’s what the single link will look like in your bio:

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Once a user clicks on the link, it will take them to a page that looks something like this:

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Another easy way to funnel customers is by working with influencers to gain impressions and increase your brand’s reach.

Collaborate with influencers to gain impressions and boost engagement

The Instagram influencer-marketing industry is worth over $1 billion.

Top influencers like Selena Gomez, who has over 122 million followers, can earn over $550,000 per post. Kim Kardashian earns an average of $500,000 per post.

The average cost of a sponsored post on Instagram is much less. It’s about $300.

Desi Perkins is a great example of an effective influencer. Perkins works in the beauty industry and has 3.6 million followers.

One of her sponsored posts from July 2017 earned over 72,000 likes.

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Your brand can find the same kind of success if you create partnerships with the right influencers in your industry.



You can leverage their following to bring awareness to your brand or products. And since their followers trust their voice, it won’t feel like an ad. It will feel like a recommendation.

To get started on your search for the right influencers, use a free tool like BuzzSumo.

Enter the topic that relates to your desired post, navigate over to the “Influencers” tab, and you’ll see tons of related influencers to choose from.

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Buzzsumo will give you statistics about each influencer, including their total number of followers, reply ratio, and the average number of retweets.

However, just because an influencer has tons of followers, doesn’t mean that they’re successful. A large portion of their audience could be fake.

That’s why the next step is to type an influencer’s username into Social Blade to view their analytics.

If their following is legitimate, you should see a steady increase.

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If there are a ton of increases and decreases, they’ve probably paid for a large portion of their followers.

The higher an influencer’s following, the more a sponsored post will cost. Choosing a user with a modest-sized, engaged following is probably your best bet.

Your followers can also raise brand awareness for you.

Boost brand awareness with user-generated content

User-generated content is an easy way for you to interact with your followers while also boosting your exposure.

A quick and simple way to do this is to create a shared hashtag that encourages users to share photos of your products.

 

For example, Wayfair’s hashtag is #wayfairathome.

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The tag is full of users sharing photos of products purchased from Wayfair.

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Brands can then repost this content and tag the customer who posted the photo. This allows you to get the most engagement possible out of one user-generated photo.

And as you’re building awareness, don’t forget about Instagram ads. They’re an obvious way to funnel customers. But there are a ton to choose from, which can be intimidating.

Target buyer personas in every stage of the funnel with Instagram ads

Facebook Ads Manager creates and manages Instagram ads. But you have to connect your brand’s Instagram page to your brand’s Facebook page to get started.

Once you’ve connected them, you can use all of the ad-targeting options that Facebook allows on your Instagram account.

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Once you select your audience, all you’ll have to pay for is the cost per acquisition.

If one of your Facebook posts got a ton of love, try using that post to create an Instagram ad.

Stories ads will appear in the “Stories” area of Instagram.

Create single-image and single-video Stories ads

Instagram Stories ads are the ads that users see between their followers’ stories. Instagram Stories are similar to Snapchat stories since they disappear in 24 hours.

There are recommended sizes for images and video in Facebook Ads Manager that you should check out before you create an ad on Instagram.

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With Stories ads, you can choose between single-image or single-video ads.

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When creating your ad campaign, select “Reach” as your objective. Then, choose “Stories.”

Single-image ads allow you to create as many as six ads with one image in each ad. Every ad will look like a regular Instagram story, but it will have a “Sponsored” tag on it.

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All you have to do is upload your images. Be sure to check out your selections in the “Show Advanced Options” area to turn on advanced tracking features.

Single-video Stories ads consist of a 15-second GIF or video.

1499966252 844 this man is taking instagram stories to mind blowing new levels

To create a single-video Stories ad, begin by uploading your video or GIF. Just like single-image Stories ads, you’ll want to check out your selections in the Advanced Options area.

If you have over 10,000 followers, you’ll also be able to add links to your Instagram stories

This means that you can inserts CTAs in your stories that direct followers to “swipe up” or “read more.”

If you want viewers to check out a product, blog post, or page on your site, all you have to do is insert the link on your photo or video.

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Here’s what a post directing viewers to a blog post might look like:

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You can also include hashtags in your Stories.

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You’ll want to make sure that the hashtag you use relates to your brand and the photo or video that you post.



Aside from Stories ads, feed ads are another way to funnel customers right from the platform.

Use photo, video, carousel, and slideshow feed ads

Instagram feed ads are made up of photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and slideshow ads.

Photo ads are single-image ads, much like single-image Stories ads, but they will appear in a user’s photo feed. You can create as many as six ads with one image each.

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Single ads are probably the easiest ads to make. Start by choosing the images you want to include.

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Next, you’ll want to add a caption for the ad in the text field. You can add up to 300 characters, but Facebook recommends using around 125 characters per ad.

Add a website URL if you want to send people from the ad to your site.

The Display Link, Headline, and News Feed Link Description fields don’t apply to Instagram ads, so you can leave those blank.

Single-video ads, on the other hand, are made up of a GIF or video.

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Choose a video from your library or upload a new one to get started. Then, select a thumbnail generated by Facebook or upload a custom one.

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Include a caption in the text box just like you would with a photo ad. Add your website URL and a CTA button if you want to direct traffic back to your site.

You can also create carousel and slideshow ads. Both of them show off more than one image or video at a time.

Carousel ads include two or more videos or images.

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You’ll need to create cards for your ad. You can add as many as ten cards per ad. The headline, which is the first line of your caption, will be different for every card.

Captions, on the other hand, stay the same for all images and videos.

Add a destination URL for your CTA button and leave the description blank. Your CTA button will be the same for each card.

You should also leave the “See More URL” and “See More Display URL” sections blank. Those are for Facebook carousel ads.

Slideshow ads are basically carousel ads that scroll on their own. You can add up to ten images to a slideshow ad.

slideshow example

To make a slideshow ad, upload a premade slideshow or create a new one in Facebook Ads Manager.

You can customize the aspect ratio, image duration, and transition.

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You can also arrange your images and insert music.

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Once you choose a thumbnail, create a caption and insert a URL if needed.

Another unique way to showcase your products to funnel customers is to let users build their own products.

Let users build their own products

If you want to take your Instagram ads to the next level, use the picture and interactive navigation ad.

With this ad, users can build their own customized product right from the Instagram platform.

Mercedes-Benz created interactive navigation ads that allowed users to build their own Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The ad began with a welcome page, and it gave users the ability to select the color of their car, the wheel type, the roof, the grill, and more.

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For every selection, the ad took users to a new Instagram page with choices for their model until the car was complete.

You can create a similar picture and interactive navigation ad to grab the attention of users.

Be sure to add lead forms to your ads on Instagram, too.

Add lead generation forms to all ads

No matter the kind of ad you choose to run, you should add lead forms to each one. Once you create one lead form, you can reuse it.

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Lead forms allow you to run lead-generation campaigns on any Instagram ad that you post.

These lead forms include a contact form that users can fill out to get in touch with a brand or business. This is a quick way to gain email or newsletter subscribers.

Aside from asking users for their email address or contact information, you can also ask people custom questions.

To create a new lead form, fill in welcome-screen details such as your headline, image, layout, and button text.

Next, select your questions, add a privacy policy or disclaimer, and create a “Thank You” screen.

You can also add a website link for people to click on once they have completed the form.

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Click “Finish” once you’ve filled everything out, but note that you can’t edit a lead form once you hit this button. If you’re still working on a form, click “Save” instead to edit it later.

You can download leads directly from Facebook once visitors begin completing your lead forms.

You can also connect leads to a custom relationship management system (CRM) like Salesforce or MailChimp.

By integrating a CRM, you can download and use leads faster than downloading them from Facebook since a CRM monitors leads in real time.

Then track how you’re doing by using an Instagram analytics tool to monitor the overall performance of your page.

Use an Instagram analytics tool to measure performance

After trying every tip on this list and spending money on Instagram ads, you’ll need a way to track your progress.

Sprout Social is a simple-to-use analytics tool that combines management tools with content creation tools.

With this tool, you can schedule new content on all of your social media accounts, including Instagram.

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You can also view the performance of individual hashtags or geotagged locations. Then, you can compare the performance for each metric by creating a downloadable report.

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And here’s the best part: Sprout Social offers a free trial, so you won’t have to pay anything to try out all of the features.

The Premium package is $99 per user per month for up to ten social profiles. The Corporate plan will cost you $149 per month for up to 15 social profiles. And the Enterprise plan is $249 per month for as many as 20 social profiles.

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You can change plans or cancel at any time.

Conclusion

Instagram is far more than just a social media platform. It generates billions of dollars in revenue for brands year after year.

Brands also get four times more engagement on Instagram than they do on Facebook.

That’s why Instagram is the best place to funnel customers, build sales success, and create brand loyalty.

The platform allows you to build a lasting, engaging, and convenient relationship with your customers.

For instance, you can sell products directly from your Instagram account or add a CTA to your bio to push users to buy.

If your goal isn’t to send users over to a product page, you can create a CTA that directs them to read your latest blog post or download an app.

Collaborate with influencers to leverage their following. Boost your brand awareness through user-generated content.

Target buyer personas with Instagram ads to reach users at every stage of the funnel.

Then create single-image and single-video Stories ads or feed ads like photo, video, carousel, and slideshow ads.

Let users build their own custom product by creating interactive navigation ads. And don’t forget to add lead generation forms to every ad you create.

Finally, use an Instagram analytics tool like Sprout Social to measure your progress.

If you do all of this, you’ll transform your Instagram into an effective funnel that turns your prospects into paying customers.

How do you funnel customers with Instagram?

 

 

How to Measure Individual Link and CTA Clicks On Each of Your Blog Posts (For Blogger Only) 2018

Conversion Rate Optimization Tool




Everyone wants to build a high-converting CTA for their website that makes them tons of money. But the reality is that while a single element of your site may be the focal point, it’s not the only part that leads visitors to make a purchase. Often, a visitor will come to your site multiple times before they decide to buy or initiate any meaningful interaction with your brand. So the real question is, how do you track those people and optimize your content so that you can still capture them in your sales funnel? That means you shouldn’t just focus on the big CTAs. You should also focus on how elements like links and “smaller” CTAs perform on your blog posts. But that requires a lot more effort on your part and will likely require some solid justification.



Is tracking individual links and CTA clicks worth it?

And how do you even accomplish that?

I want to help answer those questions for you in a way that will help you grow in the long run.

So let’s start by tackling that first question – is all of this worth it?

Do individual clicks really matter?

Think of all of the different elements on a blog post.

Just to name a few, you have internal links, external links, images, CTAs, social sharing buttons, and comments.

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When you consider how all of these elements work together to create a cohesive blog post, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by how many moving pieces there are.

And then you have to answer one very important question:

Which of these elements is actually being clicked and contributing to the overall “macro” click-through rates and revenue?

When it comes to optimizing your website, click-through rates are the metric that marketers look toward to help evaluate the overall profitability of a page.

And depending on what you’re selling, your click-through rates will vary drastically.

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But knowing click-through rates for a page as a whole is a very dense metric.

It shows end behavior, but it doesn’t tell you anything helpful about how each element of the page contributes to the final click-through metric.

That means you’re getting a very limited picture of your customer’s actual experience on your blog.

So when it comes to getting valuable data about your click-throughs, you have to start with an understanding that links and CTAs contribute to the overall customer experience.

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Customer experience focuses on how users interact with your website.

If they have a good experience, they’re more likely to turn into happy customers.

Happy customers are easier to retain, promote your brand more, and ultimately buy more from your business.

But if you don’t know which elements of your content are contributing or detracting from your customer experience, you’ll never be able to create the kind of blog posts that truly bring conversions.

And content is a vital part of every phase of proving ROI when it comes to customer experience:

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So individual links and CTAs on your blog post are a matter of your customer’s lifetime value.

And knowing the rate at which each individual element of a blog post is clicked can help in a variety of cases.

For one, it will directly benefit your CTAs and links that are goal-oriented.

If you have a CTA for a product or service in a blog post that isn’t getting clicks, it may be because your visitors are getting distracted by other links or elements on the page.

Not knowing what’s actually getting clicked will leave you in the dark though.

And if your brand relies on affiliate links to help share content and increase your brands reach, then not knowing how many clicks you get will make it impossible to divvy up revenue appropriately.

affiliate link structure

So there are layers to individual link and CTA tracking that are certainly worth your time, attention, and investment.

Your goal is to find a way to track these clicks and actions on your blog posts so that your content, links, and CTAs all work together to help elevate your sales.

And that means starting with copy that converts.

 

Then, you need to start building an understanding of which actions drive your marketing efforts.

This will help you track ROI and improve in the future.



But as with everything else in business, budget, time, and your own expertise play a role.

It can be daunting to know where to start.

But thankfully, there’s a one-stop-shop answer on where to start, and I want to share it with you in this post.

The answer you’re looking for is to find a solid reporting system that will let you track and attribute clicks appropriately.

Finding a reporting system

When it comes to finding a reporting system that will allow you to track individual link and CTA clicks, you’re really looking at two options:

  1. An overlay report system
  2. A direct link-tracking system

Overlay report systems are typically more robust, collect deeper analytics, and provide you with more actionable data based on overall user behavior.

A link-tracking system will be more lightweight but will still able to give you useful insight on your link and CTA clicks.

I want to show you a couple of options for both of these systems.

Whichever one you pick, you can start using it to collect insightful data and optimize your customer experience on your blog.

First up is a very robust overlay system that can start providing value immediately.

Option #1: Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a premium service that allows business owners to create helpful overlay reports on their website.

These overlay reports show a variety of helpful data points that allow you to assess quickly where your blog post is getting clicks.

For example, one of the most popular overlay reports they offer is a simple heatmap of user behavior on your site.

heatmap

This gives you a visual representation of where users are actually interacting with your blog post.

Every time a user clicks, it creates a spot on your heat map that gives you insight into their intent.

And if that’s not enough information for you, you can also switch over to a confetti overlay to find out where your visitors are coming from.

confetti

This lets you not only see where users are clicking, but it gives you insight into which geographical location tends to use different elements of your site.

For example, you can break down your users into visitors from the United States versus the United Kingdom.

If they behave differently, you can use this tool to optimize your posts for a wider variety of audiences in the future.

And then if you want to take it even deeper, you can record user sessions on your site to see their scrolling behavior, clicks, and much more.

recordings

That means you’ll never be in the dark about how people are actually using your site.

You can track clicks and optimize your site from the data you gather.

And if you doubt whether this could work for you, you should know that plenty of brands have used this successfully,

For example, Nurse.com made good use of Crazy Egg’s platform according to one case study they’ve shared.

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They were able to analyze the elements of their blog posts where users were attempting to click.

In the end, they found some competing CTAs and a non-clickable area that was getting lots of clicks.

More importantly, they discovered that no one was actually going through and clicking on the links in their copy.

Using the data they gathered from Crazy Egg, they revitalized their blog and saw an impressive 15.7% increase in sales.

If they hadn’t taken the time to see where users were actually clicking, they would never have been able to optimize the user experience accurately.

I’ve even used Crazy Egg on my own website with impressive results.

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I started by analyzing the different clicks on my site and seeing what people were actually interested in.

Using this data, I was able to revitalize my CTA and strategically place links so that users would be more likely to click on them.

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The result is that I saw an almost 24% increase in form submissions when I used this tool on my own website.

So using Crazy Egg as a tool to help you track the clicks on your CTAs and individual links is a great option that will allow you to optimize and grow your blog’s engagement.

It’s not the only overlay tool around, though.

So I want to show you another option that will help you just the same.

Option #2: Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer, or VWO, is another overlay report tool that lets you analyze the individual performance of your links and CTAs visually.

Much like Crazy Egg, VWO allows you to create recordings of individual sessions on your site.

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This lets you see exactly where users are scrolling and clicking and even provides a traceable line to show you your user’s progression over time.

This helps you know if your user is really reading your content or just skimming to see what you have to offer.

VWO also offers dynamic heatmaps to help you dive further into user behavior and track individual clicks.

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Again, these are very similar in functionality and application to the heatmaps used by Crazy Egg.

But in addition to the insightful heat mapping, VWO also tracks and reports on the various clicks your users make on both your links and your page as a whole:

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This includes some helpful element list breakdowns that show which parts of your blog post are getting what percentage of the clicks:

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So all things considered, there’s a lot going on with VWO that you can track, analyze, and optimize for.



By utilizing the tools it has to offer, you can quickly and effectively discover any pain points in your blog content that are pushing users away.

And since VWO offers a free month to let you try out the platform, you can start using it without a commitment to see if it works for you.

Once you’ve set up an account, simply input a blog post’s URL and start using their system to see what it has to offer.

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You’ll find that the process is fairly intuitive, and you won’t have to look far to find the different heatmaps and settings that VWO uses.

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But again, don’t just take my word when it comes to these overlay systems.

There are plenty of examples of brands using a platform like VWO to help track link clicks and grow their content in the long run.

Take CORGI Homeplan, for example.

The UK-based insurance company felt their site wasn’t performing as it should.

They used the scroll maps, recordings, and heatmaps VWO offers to create experiments on their site that drastically changed the look and feel of it.

Here’s the original site:

corgi original

And, after much testing, here’s the site design that they ended up settling on:

corgi variation

On the surface, these look like minor changes.

They swapped out a few colors and changed their header a bit but otherwise left most elements unchanged.

But these changes saw a 30.9% increase in conversions.

And all of them were based on changes that VWO gave the insight for.

Without a doubt, overlay reports can be valuable to a brand that wants to shake up their content and track which links and CTAs are actually performing.

But as previously mentioned, overlay reports aren’t the only option.

So next, let’s look at a couple of link tracking options that are much more lightweight but still practical.

Option #3: Google Analytics

It may surprise you to learn that Google Analytics actually allows you to track link clicks on your site in a way that lets you fine-tune your copy and increase your overall click-through rates.

You can find file downloads, video engagement, external and internal link clicks, and even email link clicks all under the Behavior tab in your Analytics.

Start by clicking on your Behavior tab, then select the events and overview options.

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Under the Event Category section, you can see how often links are being clicked in relation to other events that you’ve set your Analytics to track.

eventtracking link

And when you look a little further, you’ll find a more detailed breakdown of which links received clicks on your blog post.

linkclicks eventlabel

Compared to the overlay reports we’ve been looking at, this information is pretty basic.

You get a breakdown of which links get clicks, but it’s not quite the same level of in-depth user behavior analysis that overlays offer.

But for a marketer on a tighter budget, this information can still be used to your benefit.

When links or CTAs aren’t receiving clicks according to Google, you can still conduct experiments on your site to see if they improve your results.

Even conducting A/B tests over time with this data can yield good results.

Another way you could potentially use Google Analytics to track links and CTA clicks was recently shared by Amanda Gant from Orbit Media.

She tracked a campaign using Google’s URL Builder and saw some pretty impressive results.

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Using these links, she created campaigns around her content that Google Analytics was able to track.

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If she emailed a link in a newsletter, or if a visitor to her site clicked on a link tracked by this campaign, Analytics would be able to give her direct feedback.

At the end of her campaign, Analytics also broke down the performance of each link:

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Once again, this is surface-level information about which links are getting clicked, but it’s still helpful.

Analytics allows you to know whether or not your links and CTAs are actually getting clicks, which helps you determine where you need to focus your optimization efforts.

But Google Analytics isn’t the only option available if you just want basic link tracking.

And that brings us to our final link-tracking option.

Option #4: Bitly

There’s a good chance that you may have seen Bitly before and it’s just flown under your radar.

But if you’ve ever clicked on a URL through social media that starts with a bit.ly address, you’ve used Bitly before.

Or at least, you’ve experienced a brand that uses them.

Bitly is a URL-shortening service that tends to target social media marketers who want to save character space on their posts.

Before Twitter transitioned over from 140 characters to 280, many brands used Bitly to create shorter links to include in their posts.

bitly

All you had to do was input your URL and Bitly would give you a URL that contained fewer characters.

Bitly now offers tracking capabilities so you know how often your links are getting clicked, which makes them much more useful to a general marketing audience.

And since it works well on both browsers and mobile devices, it’s the perfect tool to help you track link and CTA clicks on any page of your website.

Using Bitly is fairly simple.

Start by signing up for a free account.

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Once you get to your dashboard, you’ll notice in the top-right corner there’s a drop-down menu that says “Create.”

If you’re using the free service, you’ll only be able to select the Create Bitlink option.

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That’s OK because a Bitlink is really all you need to get started tracking your URLs.

In the menu that appears, input the URL of the link or CTA that you want to track.

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Bitly will give you a customized link using their bit.ly format that you can then copy and paste into your blog post or CTA.

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Once you’ve inserted the new URL, Bitly will track the clicks on that individual link for you and provide some basic analytics that let you assess your overall performance.

To show you what that looks like, I went ahead and gave myself a click on my Bitly URL.

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You’ll get a breakdown of the day, time, and number of clicks that your link or CTA is getting without having to wade through any additional data.

So again, while this isn’t as in-depth as an overlay report, you can still use this as a method of checking your individual link and CTA performance on your blog.

And it’s been successfully used by many popular brands, like Beats by Dre.

They started using Bitly to help them share branded shortened URLs and track their link clicks.

bitly cs

By using these shortened URLs to track performance, they were able to change up their content and achieve a 34% increase in click-through rates on their site.

It may require a bit more manual inputting of these Bitly links, but the results can certainly be worth it if you want to maintain a low budget for your link-tracking efforts.

Conclusion

Clicks matter.

If you can’t correctly determine which links and CTAs are getting clicks in your content, there’s no way to accurately know if your content is doing what it’s supposed to.

And more importantly, there’s no way to actually create insightful experiments that lead to growth.

And with internal links and CTAs contributing to your overall customer experience, this could mean the difference between a successful website and one that simply doesn’t perform.

To help you track links, you can either use an overlay reporting system or a link tracker.

Both have their pros and cons, but will ultimately provide you with actionable information.

Overlay reports from sites like Crazy Egg and Visual Website Optimizer can help you discover and analyze actual user behavior on your site.

Link-tracking systems like Bitly or those native to Google Analytics will give you less specific data, but can still empower you to create experiments that lead to growth.

Whichever option you use, the ability to track links can help your brand grow and your content thrive.

What methods do you use to track clicks on links and CTAs for your site?