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With video becoming increasingly more popular and together with enhanced analytics, its important that marketers either continue or start to engage with their customers through this channel. Here’s a look at some of the most compelling reasons on video marketing and its trends for this year and 2015. March 21, 2013 by Kinley McFadden Leave a Comment One of my first posts on affiliate marketing in what will be a series of posts on affiliate marketing on this blog, and I’ll try to cover the basics of setting up a successful affiliate marketing business in this. This particular article though, will be more of a 101 on affiliate marketing, but I’ll dwell into some of the more technical stuff later on. You’ll probably come across a ton of different ways that affiliate marketing is defined on the internet. The great little infographic on the right actually does a pretty good job describing the different processes involved in affiliate marketing, and how the whole thing works. From an affiliate’s perspective, affiliate marketing is a great way to earn online, and if done right, can be quite lucrative. The affiliate marketing page on Wikipedia does a great job in identifying the ‘four core players’ in the affiliate marketing business. The Affiliate – the publisher, which could either be an individual promoting the merchant’s products, or an organization.
One of the biggest advantages of starting an affiliate business is its relatively low start-up cost.
Other than that, you need a sound understanding of what your customers’ needs and what would appeal to their interests. You also need to be able to pull in a lot of highly-targeted traffic, so be prepared put your marketing hats on! Affiliate links usually place a cookie on the customer’s computer, which are usually valid for an ‘x’ number of days.
Understandably then, affiliate marketing requires the affiliate to get as much visibility, exposure and traffic on his blog as he possibly can. Affiliate marketers usually use a wide array of different internet marketing methods and SEO techniques to maximize their earnings.
Internet cookies, unique to every affiliate, are generated and used to track the movement of buyers so that sales can be attributed to each affiliate. Well, for starters, there’s the aforementioned Amazon Affiliates – a program widely regarded as the best in the business. Like many of the other forms of online earning, affiliate marketing certainly isn’t some get-rich-overnight scheme.
For me, the key to success for any affiliate is his or her ability to pull in highly-targeted traffic. Are you an affiliate marketers, who’s just started off or been in the business for a few years? Best Email Popup Optin Tool For 2016: SumoMe, LeadPages, Optin Monster, Bloom or Thrive Leads?
According to NetAffinity, by the end of the first quarter this year, Google will encrypt 100% of keyword searches. Meta-search, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is a search tool that sends user requests to several other search engines and aggregates the results into a single list. Semantic search is the ability of a search engine to determine what you mean when you search for something and provide you with results that don't necessarily match the words you used in your search query.
Whether you like it or not, G+ will play a significant role in searches this year especially with their integration of Carousel, Local and Now.
Analytics has improved, but it still can't help you with keyword searches, of which it was known for a few years back. According to Travel Daily News, 50% of direct online bookings will be made via mobile devices by 2017. This will be the year where guests will start and end their booking cycle on a variety of technologies.
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Before getting into the mobile marketing trends for 2011, take a look at some of the data projections for mobile for this year. Not surprisingly, the marketing world is falling over themselves to get at the vanguard of the mobile movement. 2015 has seen digital marketers focus increasingly on video, mobile and social media channels. In the US, spending on local-mobile advertising is rising reapidly and will surpass spending on national campaigns in the next three years. However, most marketers are simply overwhelmed by this apparent deluge of data, and are turning to third-party help to decipher and leverage the information available.
Despite the challenges, data continues to be the key to modern marketing as it provides a deep insight into consumer preferences. Social media is the perfect channel for communicating with target audiences – it is the one place on the internet where all major demographic groups, from the baby boomers to the millennials, congregate, exchange news, shop and mingle.
From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Snapchat, and LinkedIn and beyond, marketers are busy devising campaigns specific to these platforms in order to reach and service their dynamic customers. A recent blog cited research by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, stating that B2C and B2B marketing budgets as a whole are shifting toward mobile, data analytics and social media.
However, in the absence of any accepted standard for tracking views of mobile ads, marketers will continue to struggle with how much of their resources should they turn toward digital. PageFair and Adobe’s 2015 Report found that ad blocking software caused nearly $22 billion in lost ad revenues this year. The millennials constitute the single most important target group that the modern marketers want to focus on; influencer-centric social media campaigns offer a way to do so.
From social synergy to the impact of mobile search, digital marketing in 2015 is a new landscape of creative engagement, seamless integration and the customer journey.
For more insights into the 2015 Top Digital Marketing Trends and Strategies For The Hospitality Industry, view our recorded webinar here. Milestone is a leading provider of digital marketing software and services for the hospitality and retail industry.
Valley's top 50 fastest growing companies for the past three years and has been listed in Inc. Google+ user base continues to grow Marketers will flock to Google+ to successfully engage with consumers or for its ancillary benefits. Developing presence through videos that are both useful and creative for consumers and capitalize on the power of video engagement. I intend to cover many other topics related to affiliate marketing in successive posts, so watch this space. Merchants are able to maximize their sales for virtually no extra cost or overhead (such as marketing costs) by offering affiliates an incentive, which is usually a small percentage of each sale that is made through the affiliate’s marketing efforts. For instance even a single sale worth $1000 could bag the affiliate quite a bit of money, depending on the percentage offered in the program. The network acts as an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant, allowing affiliates to choose from and participate in an affiliate programs. The initial investment could be as low as nothing, if you opt to host your blog on a free blogging platform.
Self-hosted blogs provide a lot more flexibility, customization and options especially in terms of SEO and the ability to get more targeted traffic – something that is vital to your success as an affiliate. Any purchase made on the merchant’s website during this time earns the affiliate a commission on each of the purchase. Specifically, the affiliate needs a large amount of targeted traffic, as well as a high CTR and a high conversion rate. These include a different SEO (search engine optimization) techniques – specifically on-page optimization, off-page optimization and keyword optimization that is targeted towards getting organic (search engine) traffic, paid search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, as well as writing product reviews and informative articles, to name a few. The Amazon Affiliate Program for instance – one of the most popular, successful and widely-used affiliate marketing program out there – functions on a similar PPS (pay-per-sale model). A sale generated through the affiliate’s efforts, the visitor is directed to the merchant’s website, and a ‘successful sale’ is only counted at the end of the sales process, which usually ends when the customer purchases the product by making a payment – at which point the affiliate earns the commission for the sale.
This Guardian article for instance is a good example of how affiliate marketing can be quite lucrative.
It takes time, perseverance, the right knowledge, access to the right set of tools, patience, maybe even a bit of an entrepreneurial knack and business know-how, but it is certainly possible to make some serious money as an affiliate, and maybe even quit your day job down the road!
Click on one of the places in the carousel to get more details on it, including its overall review-based score, address and photos. Here are five trends for the current year that will help define 2011 as the year of mobile marketing.
All you need are two people with Bluetooth-enabled Smart Phones and the right application and you’ve got the potential for instant networking.


Today, the majority of teenagers view their mobile phone as “the key to their social life” yet only 15% own a smart phone. As marketing budgets continue to shift online because of factors like increased measurability and early buying cycle audiences, so too will mobile marketing budgets grow.
These 2-dimensional bar-codes (pictured) were originally created to help Toyota track auto parts. They have experienced a surge in real-time data, welcomed and embraced a whole slew of new technology solutions and struggled with ad blocking software.
The genesis of new C-level positions like The Chief Marketing Technology Officer and Chief Data Officer bear testimony to this event. As the volume of the available data continues to grow, marketers will therefore need to sharpen their quantitative skills to leverage the opportunity at hand, for data is here to stay. It has become the town square of the 21st century, and all marketers want to be part of it. Image centric platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have proven to be especially beneficial for Beauty and Fashion brands. With such names like The New York Times, Fox Sports and Bloomberg Media joining the transition, the move illustrates that publishers now see an opportunity to provide marketers with customized advertising directly.
They are no longer relegated to the sidebar, and are moving to such new areas like the comments section, a move that has led to the argument that while this may benefit publishers looking for revenues, at the same time it poses a risk for brands. The number of people using an ad blocker tool grew by 41% globally, while the figure stood at 48% in the US alone.
A clear understanding of these trends will help the modern marketer stay ahead of the competition and make the most of the opportunities available to them. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. With our eyes on every algorithm launch and search trend, Milestone has designed innovative strategies for online visibility, content engagement, conversion, ROI tracking and the user experience. The network also determines the mode of compensation (more on this later), and hence includes tools used to track and monitor sales and performance, generate reports, process payments, etc. The Amazon affiliate program actually switches between a volume based payment model and a category-specific payment mechanism for different products, as illustrated in the table below. However here is a list of 10 of the best, most popular affiliate programs out there, compiled by ProBlogger.
But like the article above, you’ll find plenty of examples on the internet of affiliates promoting products as their day-jobs, and where people are making big bucks as full-time affiliate marketers. These are just a few of the upcoming social experiences on which mobile is at the cutting edge.
Expect to see this explode at tradeshows, networking events, campuses and anywhere else people are making fast friends. This may prove to be a serious concern, as ad blocking will prevent the spread of targeted advertisements and gathering of online behavioral data for further targeted ads. Brands are therefore trying to reach out to the millennials through influencers in their attempt to maximize engagement.
Inspire your hotel marketing strategy by looking at these driving forces in digital marketing 2015. An infographic is a visual representation of information and data that you would like to get across. Google’s search algorithm is shifting toward rewarding quality content over keyword placement, emphasizing posts along its own social media platform.
We will speak in detail about how affiliates can accomplish this in a future post on this blog, so stay tuned. Expect both numbers to shoot up as web-enabled phones become not just mainstream, but the norm. It is a visually pleasing and engaging medium to deliver bulk information that is easy to digest. With built-in authorship verification, Google+ will serve up your relevant posts in search results. When a mobile user takes a picture of the image (and has the right software installed) they’re brought to a mobile-optimized site.
According to Social MediaExaminer’s “2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” 86% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business. Companies seeking to reach new and existing consumers will need to stay ahead of the current social media trends.
Additionally, businesses that wish to utilize YouTube, Google Analytics and other Google products must do so with a Google+ account. Let’s predict what social media techniques, tactics and tools will be utilized by marketers in 2014.1.
Furthermore, service offerings associated with Google+, such as Google Hangouts live video and +Post paid advertising, will give marketers more opportunities to engage with consumers. Content marketing reigns supreme Content is king and content marketing will rule on social media platforms in 2014.
This year, more marketers will set up Google+ Pages for businesses, primarily because it’s backed by Google. Already the most widely used content marketing tool, social media will make pushing content easier and more accessible than ever. From there, businesses will create meaningful two-way communication with consumers on Google+.8. Contests create excitement Marketers will launch more creative contests to increase brand exposure and engagement, and to promote businesses along social media channels.
Consumers will sift through the clutter to find the best material, while search engine algorithms will reward publishers of the most clicked content. With Facebook loosening its policies on contests, marketers will create more promotions, such as sweepstakes and giveaways, to gain more fans and interact with existing ones.
More and more brands will emerge as publishers of their own content this year, pushing content along channels, such as website articles, e-newsletters, blogs and videos that integrate seamlessly with social media platforms. Challenging consumers with interactive contests, like quizzes and photo captions, will create more social media engagement. Marketers will also be responsible for tracking the success of their content marketing efforts down to the individual piece, measuring the effectiveness of how the content is shared on social media.
Marketers will continue to utilize third-party apps, such as Gressorial, OfferPop and WildFire or program their own custom tabs on Facebook, to acquire more fans and email addresses for follow-up messaging. Marketers will also take advantage of the new direct functionality on both Instagram and Twitter to integrate less intensive contests into typical promotions on those social media channels. Budgets become bigger Social media marketing will become more of a necessity for businesses in the new year. Because contests offer an incentive, consumers will be more likely to message directly or email with the brand – perfect for building new contacts for additional marketing opportunities.
Recently, StrongView reported that 93% of surveyed marketers plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets focused on customer engagement in 2014. Contests will become the preferred method of marketers looking to expand reach and build lists via social media marketing.9. SoundCloud is music to marketers’ ears What’s the fourth largest social sharing platform with 250 million active users? As content marketing along social media channels grows, media buyers will need to allocate more funds toward content promotion, as well.
You might be surprised to hear that it’s SoundCloud – the leading audio-sharing social channel. Paid placements, particularly Facebook Advertising, will be essential for content to be visible to targeted audiences, and effective on social media platforms. The second half of 2013 saw a huge surge in SoundCloud activity, placing it behind only Facebook, YouTube and Google+ in usage. Companies striving to keep up with the competition will move from treating social media as a group effort to hiring specialists instead.
Often referred to as “the YouTube of audio,” SoundCloud now closely integrates with Google+ and allows bands to select images from Instagram for cover art. In-house social media experts will be entrusted to advise on social media planning, creation, execution, reporting and analysis. In 2013, SoundCloud debuted its Pro Partners programs in which brands promote their accounts to the platform’s users.
More time, money and effort will be devoted to social media strategy as businesses increase brand awareness, loyalty and influence.3. This is not intended for just musicians and radio stations, but for any brand with audio content, including radio spots or spoken company profiles. Images are worth a thousand words Image-based content will continue to drive social media engagement next year.
Marketers will keep their ears open for opportunities to leverage this fast-growing social media channel for audio-based promotional activities.10.


Big data analysis allows for better results Marketers will begin to make a more direct connection between big data and social media to make wiser decisions. Marketers will be able to pick up on consumer patterns using automated tools to crunch large sets of market research.
Stunningly, recruiters spend more time studying user profile pics instead of the person’s actual qualifications on LinkedIn. After identifying these behavior trends, marketers will then be able to communicate directly to consumers with timely offers and promotions via social media channels. Originally a text-focused platform, Twitter images are the social media channel’s most shared and clicked-on content. Again, data analysis comes into play to see which social media engagements worked the best for subsequent interactions.
Recently, Twitter introduced expanded images, allowing users to see inline images with tweets. Photo-centric Instagram developed its answer to Snapchat with Instagram Direct, which allows users to send private pics directly to up to 15 followers. Mining the data, the team discovers that there was a recent spike in social media activity at the same time of a particular sneaker release. Brands like Gap have already taken advantage of Instagram Direct with exclusive image-based contests. Immediately, the marketing team offers a 10% discount for the sneaker via a promo code on Twitter and a downloadable coupon on Facebook. Pinterest is the fast-growing, image-sharing social media channel with 80% of its pins being repins.
Upon further analysis, the team realizes that a significant amount of the online chatter was due to certain stores running out of stock for the popular sneaker.
As photos continue to generate higher engagement rates than text-based content, marketers will develop more branded images for social media platforms in 2014.4.
Then, the team engages with the customers on an individual basis via social media to coordinate setting aside the sneaker for purchase at the same discounted price.
Pinterest means business As the prevailing image-sharing platform, Pinterest represents perhaps the greatest revenue-generating potential of all social media channels in 2014, especially with the female demographic.
After the sneaker promotion ends, the marketing team again evaluates the results to see if the social media efforts resulted in coupon redemptions, customer satisfaction and increased overall sales.
According to Shareaholic’s Social Media Traffic Report, 15.22% of overall traffic driven to publishers in September 2013 came from Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. In this manner, big data analysis will allow marketers to listen, learn and adapt to consumers along social media channels.11.
However, Pinterest is the fastest-growing referrer of traffic, expanding to 66.52% in share of overall visits for the previous year. Social media ROI is easier to prove Right now, 87% of marketers want to accurately measure the return on investment (ROI) from their social media efforts.
In 2013, Pinterest drove 41% of social media traffic to ecommerce sites, while the average shopper referred from the network spent between $140 and $180, as compared to $60 to $80 spent by visitors referred from Facebook.
Additionally, C-level professionals want to see cost-per-customer acquisition relative to social media investment. With more referring traffic, higher conversion rates and a user base that spends, Pinterest has emerged as the top advertising social channel for “top of the funnel” advertising.
Reporting on social media needs to go well beyond the “Like.” This year, marketers will utilize more social media ROI tools, such as HootSuite, SocialMention and Klout in conjunction with Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Google Analytics, to show value. As a result, expect the number of Pinterest business accounts to increase in 2014 from about 500,000 today. Pinterest’s popularity and direct linkage to existing sites makes it a must-have for marketers this year.5.
For example, it won’t be enough to simply attract new followers on a company’s Twitter presence. Twitter goes more direct Marketers will learn to leverage Twitter’s new direct message (DM) feature, which allows users to opt in to receive DMs from anyone. Twitter activity will need to demonstrate a significant increase in customer service or sales with real numbers to support the results. This functionality enables companies to promote their brand and products directly to Twitter users without needing to follow them. Conversely, Twitter users will be able to privately message business with specific customer service issues. Marketers will look to monetize social media through friends of friends – referrals to ecommerce. Continuing the theme of image sharing along social channels, Twitter’s DM also permits business to send images to users, creating new branding and advertising opportunities. Great content gets shared, so that’s what marketers will publish along social media channels to expand their network of online shoppers.
The expanded DM functionality allows brands to reach more customers specifically with advertising and service communications.6.
LinkedIn is best for business LinkedIn is the leading social media networking site for professionals with more than 238 million users. Video sets into motion Video will continue to be the hottest content type for social media marketing in 2014.
In 2014, LinkedIn will emerge as the top source for business-related content, fueled by its Influencers program. Companies will try to create the next great viral video buzz while spreading awareness of the brand through short videos.
The Influencer network consists of high-profile CEOs, entrepreneurs and thought leaders from every major industry. YouTube will continue to be the mecca of all video, with Vimeo as an admirable alternative for video sharing.
With so much more relevant content, marketers can take advantage of LinkedIn’s branding, advertising and product-featuring opportunities. Vine (6-second videos) and Instagram (15-second videos) will compete to be the short video platform of choice for businesses.
Currently, Vine videos are four times more likely to be seen by your audience as compared to a regular branded video, according to the 7th Chamber.
While Vine videos generated a higher engagement rate and number of retweets than Instagram videos in 2013, Instagram currently enjoys roughly 10 times the user base than Vine, plus the backing of Facebook, which now owns it.
Short, branded videos will be extremely popular this year and pushed along Twitter and YouTube mobile channels for maximum visibility. Marketers will look for ways to produce professional, yet authentic videos efficiently and cost-effectively in 2014 to cater to consumers’ appetites for video.13.
Marketers will feature blogs as key organic content hubs and search engine optimization drivers. Google Authorship will give Google+ bloggers an edge in exposing their content, while the updated Google Hummingbird algorithm will demand organic, relevant content on blogs.
As about 28% of marketers have optimized their blogs for mobile, there will be a large investment in responsive design. Marketers will also take advantage of the branding potential afforded through self-hosted, custom solutions.
Bloggers will also pay to increase exposure for their blog, while also offering more advertising opportunities to monetize their blog in 2014. Still blogs remain a prime source of original brand-published content and will rebound in popularity in 2014.14.
CRM connects with social media Social media will begin to integrate more directly with customer relationship marketing (CRM) in 2014. Social CRM (sCRM) will seek to re-engage with customers, build stronger brand interaction, turn analysis into sales and convince decision-makers to invest in social media marketing. Tools for listening to social media will allow businesses to engage in conversations customers, solve service issues, make improvements and monitor interactions in the future. As customer service is handled more online, CRM and social media will continue to merge.While new social media platforms, practices and plans develop in 2014, many of the truisms will remain. Social media will still be about consumer engagements and encouraging two-way communication.
Consumers will continue to seek high-quality content in all its various forms, from text to video via social media channels. Social media will touch every facet of successful inbound marketing strategies and serve up content where consumers want it most.



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