Articles written in January, 2008

January 28 2008

Affiliate Marketing Tips


Affiliate Marketing has been a hot topic recently and with much good reason. Although it has been around for years, many companies have just started to learn how effective affiliate marketing can be. But what does it take to create an effective Affiliate Marketing Program?

Here are a few tips that will help you make the most of your program:

1) Recruit the Right Affiliates
Recruiting affiliates is the most important part of affiliate marketing. The affiliates are the ones who actually sell your products or promote your services. Choosing the right affiliate is like hiring the right employees. You want to choose sites that will represent your product with a positive image and generate quality leads. The easiest way to find affiliates is to join an affiliate network, but there are many other ways to find them. Posting in online forums, listing in affiliate directories, and directly contacting websites that relate to your product or service can also be very effective.

2) Choose the Right Banner
Choosing the right banner to use will greatly affect your click through rate and the success of your campaign. Graphically rich banners might seem like a good choice, but these tend not perform as well as the simpler ones. The main reason is download time. If a banner is the last thing to load on your page, by the time it has loaded your visitor may already have scrolled down the page and missed the ad completely. If you use a banner, the recommended size would no more than 15kb if possible. A great alternative to the banner is a plain text ad. A short descriptive with a call to action can go a very long way.

3) Determine the Proper Pay Scheme
Setting up the pay scheme for your affiliate campaign can be done a few different ways. PPC (pay-per-click) is the traditional method where a specific amount is paid for each visit. PPL (pay-per-lead) is where registration or sign-ups are rewarded. PPS (pay-per-sale) is when a specific commission per sale is paid. Pay per sale is often the preferred method, because it ensures that you generate revenue before paying a commission. However, any of these systems can be effective depending on your business needs.

Successful affiliate marketing programs take a lot of patience and dedication. An effective program is one that is managed on a daily basis. With time and persistence, or the right team working for you, you can achieve new levels of success with your online business.

January 18 2008

Election Year and Social Media


Election year in the United States is always an exciting time of patriotism, debate, passion and controversy. It is a time when the nation is supposed to come together to select a leader, a mentor, and a role model. For years, election campaigns have been ruled by an overpowering amount of television advertisements. Television advertisements have always played an important role by providing a way for the candidates to express their beliefs, their goals, their plan of action, and their reasoning behind why they are better than their competitors. It has always been a great way for politicians to reach millions of Americans in the hopes of acquiring the highest amount of votes. However, television hasn’t allowed fellow Americans the opportunity to express their feelings and ask the questions that they needed to know….at least not until this past year.

The July 2007 democratic debate was one of the most talked about topics of last year. YouTube and CNN created a new debate format in which voters sent in video questions to be answered in televised format. This allowed everyone the opportunity to ask a question to a future president. The floor wasn’t just open to reporters anymore; it was open to everyone, young and old. It opened up a whole new perspective to the presidential candidates. Social Media is the people’s voice! There is so much potential for social media to become a decisive tool for the politicians. If the politicians are able to hear the voice of the people, they can modify their campaigns to reflect what the people are looking for in a leader. Social media is also a great way to connect with the younger demographic.

A recent article posted by MediaPost, discusses how competing old/new media alliances including CNN and YouTube, MTV and MySpace, ABC News and Facebook have promised to change the structure of the typical election year by mashing up traditional TV news with the social media capabilities of the Internet. Pew Research Center stated that 42% of people ranging from 18 to 29 regularly learn about the presidential campaign from the Internet.

A frightening aspect of politics has become its ability to divide rather than unite. Republican vs. Democrat. Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, etc. The list goes on and on. Rather than bringing people together, presidential elections have tended to cause the nation to select a political party, a strict set of beliefs, and a stance against anyone who disagrees. Yet, with the introduction of social media into the election, it has allowed people to create an open dialogue with each other.

It is my prediction that social media will be more heavily used in this year’s presidential campaigns. It will help encourage more citizens, especially younger ones, to vote and participate in this year’s election. This is the first year, where the “ordinary” voter can be heard if we choose to partake. Social Media makes it easier for all of us. Go forth and find a social community to participate in. Let your voice be heard and make a difference!

January 18 2008

Will Search Engine Marketing be affected by Economic Slump in 2008?


It’s a new year, which for many companies means a new marketing budget. In past years, this fresh slate would be a perfect opportunity to try the new, latest-and-greatest marketing channels. However, with the current, vulnerable state of our economy, purse strings are tighter than ever. So how do experts see this affecting your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) dollars?

With Search Marketing continuing to experience double digit growth rates in SEM, we needn’t worry just yet. According to a recent report from Forrester Research, “Search marketing spend is expected to triple in five years.” In fact, some argue that since SEM is the safest channel, due to the ability to track precise ROI, it could just be your safest bet for 2008!

We are all expecting a challenging year, but with that in mind, it’s more important than ever to play smart with your marketing budgets. SEM is a strong channel that, if monitored properly, can show you immediate return!

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