Each week, we present the top campaign from the MediaWhiz Affiliate Network. These campaigns come from some of the world’s top brands and advertisers, and can be accessed only through MediaWhiz. You don’t want to miss our Affiliate Offer of the Week!
This week PetCareRx has a great banner offer for all MediaWhiz Affiliate publishers.
PetCareRx offers pet-parents prescriptions and non-prescriptions for their pet at a great value. Take advantage of this great MediaWhiz Affiliate Offer of the Week before it’s over! (more…)
In the early days of search marketing, many advertisers mistakenly thought of organic search traffic as free. They would build a website, design the user experience, and sometimes make the basic technical tweaks to be properly categorized by the search engines. The strategy for optimizing organic rankings was mainly “set it and forget it.”
This put SEO efforts in stark contrast with paid search marketing, which involved relatively large investments that were actively managed and optimized. As the competition for the search audience increased, savvy online marketers realized it was not only possible but necessary to actively manage and optimize both their SEO and paid search programs. This led to the second phase of SEO marketing: active management of organic rankings.
Best practices for organic search emerged. Practitioners started actively managing on-site technical aspects like site structure and meta tagging. They began ensuring appropriate configuration of existing and new content. For example, they started managing the density of attractive keywords in content and proactively developing inbound links to build authority.
As a result, SEO efforts have evolved from a technical discipline to a marketing discipline. With this evolution came the need for additional resources and expenditures to support the ongoing content optimization and link building efforts required to maintain high levels of organic traffic. According to Econsultancy, more than $1.5 billion was spent in 2010 to maintain “free” organic search traffic and keep the competition below you on the search results pages. (more…)
Setting up and maintaining a successful brick-and mortar business has always presented unique challenges. Offline storefronts are in constant competition with neighboring franchises, co-ops, malls and mega retail chains. In order to stay a step ahead of potential customer foot traffic, local businesses must have a strong online search presence to deliver traffic from the initial search to the final purchase.
For franchises, leveraging search expertise is about more than constructing a website or creating a social media page. In order to maximize the Internet’s revenue-generating capabilities, your company’s online presence must be continually optimized to increase brand awareness and improve sales conversions. This requires developing relationships with search experts to precisely target your audience. These search professionals are able to apply proven strategies that can support your company’s ROI goals.
Local business owners have a results-driven, entrepreneurial spirit and are accustomed to directly dealing with issues that can positively or negatively affect their franchise. It might be tempting to attempt to tackle a search program internally. This should not be your tact. Running a brick-and-mortar shop is complex. So is search. The do-it-yourself approach could end up costing you time and money. It could also adversely impact your online reputation.
Effectively launching and running any search campaign requires specialized expertise. A forward-thinking search team with experience driving results within your industry can tailor a robust paid (PPC) and organic search (SEO) campaign to meet and perhaps exceed your program goals helping you acquire customers more profitably. How do they go about laying the foundation for online to offline growth?
With the world becoming more mobile friendly, the number of mobile users continues to rise. Instead of searching for a brand on their desktop and purchasing through a traditional website, many consumers are making quick searches via their smartphones and making instant purchase decisions on mobile sites and apps.
The era of t-commerce has officially arrived. And it brings with it massive opportunities – and challenges – for digital marketers.
The Growth of the Tablet Market
Tablet traffic has played a strong role in the growth of mobile commerce and it is consistently growing. In one report tablet click-through rates were 65% higher when compared to desktops. In another report click-through rates on tablets outperformed smartphones by 250%.
Although smartphones currently generate approximately double the revenue ($16.4 billion) with mobile apps when compared to tablets ($8.8 billion), if tablet usage continues to increase it is likely that tablets will generate more revenue in mobile apps in the near future. (more…)
One of the hottest trends in online marketing is native advertising. While not necessarily a new concept — the relatively old-school advertorial has been around for decades — it has seen a resurgence in the current content marketing era. Recent examples of native advertising can be seen with Google’s paid search results, YouTube’s sponsored videos and, to a lesser extent, trending topics on Twitter.
Content marketing has led to innovative forms of online advertising. With the online user experience key to a successful marketing campaign, this non-disruptive form of online advertising will continue to capture marketers’ addition — and advertising dollars — in 2013.
Native Advertising: The Basics
Native advertising is considered one of the newest forms of online marketing.
According to a September 2012 article in Mashable, the term didn’t take root until famed start-up investor Fred Wilson told an audience at OMMA Global in early 2012 about “native monetization” for Web properties, which he described as ads that were “unique and native to the experience” of a website.
Dan Greenberg, the CEO of Sharethrough, is credited with coining the actual term “native advertising.” Here’s Greenberg’s definition: “Native advertising is a form of media that’s built into the actual visual design and where the ads are part of the content.”
What separates native advertising from the equally hot trend of content marketing is a matter of debate. John LoGioco, SVP and general manager of content at Outbrain, recently told Mashable that the two are pretty much the same. “Native advertising seems to be the thing that most are able to hang on to and get it.”
What Makes for Great Native Ads
At its best, native advertising blends seamlessly with the editorial content of a website while providing content that is valuable to the target audience. Below is an example of native advertising on Twitter.
Leveraging the brand-building powers of search engine optimization requires a different set of best practices than those commonly used in traditional SEO strategies. In general best practices for SEO brand building include assessing the current state of the brand, identifying sentiment issues, building engaging on-site content and creating off-site branded content assets.
Step 1: Assess the Current State of the Brand The first step in utilizing an SEO campaign for brand-building is to assess the current state of the brand. Is this an already recognizable brand or a challenger brand looking to breakthrough? If the brand is not yet well known, SEO should be leveraged to build brand awareness and influence. The focus will be on-site. If the brand is well-known and already has a strong presence, organic branding efforts should be focused on best practices for protecting and enhancing the reputation of the brand. The focus in this case will be off-site.
Step 2: Increase Quantity and Position of Non-Branded Search Queries Building a challenger brand relies primarily on increasing the quantity and position of relevant non-branded search queries for which the site ranks, and secondarily on saturating the relevant channel with branded content. Determine the most relevant search phrases and build unique content around each to go on-site. Look at the competitors’ content that is ranking for those keywords and take a different angle with your own content. Once the content is published, build authority through links and social signals. This will lead to higher rankings which therefore will position your brand in front of a wider audience. Take a similar approach with off-site content by publishing to popular, relevant sites that already have authority to saturate the web with brand messaging.
Reality check: The proposed Do Not Track legislation won’t kill online advertising. It may hamper innovation and cause financial hardship for businesses that thrive on online consumer-data tracking, but it won’t kill a $31 billion industry.
Not all see it this way, of course. 33Across CMO Allie Kline recently called on marketers to “fight [the] anti-tracking forces.” It’s a call to action growing with increasing alarm in the digital media and online publishing industries.
That argument, which my MediaWhiz colleagues and I respect, comes about 10 years too late. Some form of anti-tracking legislation is inevitable given the industry’s size and influence. How marketers, publishers and advertisers respond to this legislation will determine whether the industry retains its sizable influence on consumers’ purchasing habits.
Despite my above statements, I am against anti-tracking legislation. It will create numerous barriers for advertisers, brands and agencies. The ability to track consumers’ online purchasing habits and deliver targeted ads based on data collected is a cornerstone of e-commerce.
DNT legislation will make online ads less relevant, forcing potentially unforeseeable changes – not to mention increased costs — in the digital ecosystem. This will adversely affect consumers’ online experiences in ways few proponents are willing to admit. Despite these glaring issues, the enactment of DNT legislation will not destroy online advertising.
While I do not wish to see legislation enacted, I believe it would force marketers to be more creative in their campaigns. It may foster the development of closer connections and opt-ins between brands and consumers. This, in turn, will deliver more detailed customer data and more successful purchase paths. There are just two reasons why DNT won’t kill online advertising. The first has to do with the industry’s continual innovation. The second requires marketers to take a hard look at their own actions.
Marketers love to create new terms to explain their work. From “brand advocacy” to CPA, CPM, CPE and the myriad of acronyms that fill the digital marketing landscape, we’ll turn almost any new business practice into a marketable term.
What, then, to call the phenomenon of once beloved — or, at least, begrudgingly tolerated — affiliates being shunned by the very industry that fervently embraced them? As the performance marketing industry matures, and as brands seek more sophisticated and legitimate agencies and affiliates to manage their online marketing campaigns, are we entering a period of “Online Darwinism”?
I believe that is exactly what is occurring in performance marketing.
With apologies to Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution, my embrace of the Online Darwinism Theory, a concept I developed after watching so many affiliates drop like flies in recent months, encapsulates my views of the evolution of digital media and the revolution in digital media providers.
This theory reasons that reputable and ethical affiliate marketers will survive while unscrupulous ones will go the way of the dodo. There will be more business for great companies that evolve wisely based on clear, measurable objectives that meet clients’ digital-media challenges. Media pricing will become more realistic as delusional “get-rich-quick” companies continue to exit. All of which leads to more accurate and strategic planning for advertisers who have marketing dollars to spend.
Dramatic changes have occurred over the last decade in the digital media and online marketing industries. From email and display advertising, the focus shifted to search and pop-ups; co-reg, incent and paid search got their due focus, and now, everyone’s mind (and marketing spend) is on social media. Encircling these changes was the evolution of smartphones, followed by the rise of the tablet.
The Digital Age forced marketers to slowly evolve to find people wherever they consume media. Increasingly, this has been within digital mediums and decreasingly via print, radio, TV and other offline channels.
Life has become a giant skip button. Marketers must engage the consumer precisely in the moment and at the right spot. (more…)
Earlier this week Twitter unveiled its new Discover tab, which the social network claimed in a blog post will make it “easy to discover information that matters to you without having to follow additional accounts.” The news received a lukewarm reception in the blogosphere with PCWorld calling the changes a “double-edged sword … that involves some degree of privacy infringement — or at least erosion.” Others in the tech media and blogosphere expressed similar apathy about its value to brands and marketers.
To get some deeper insight into what the Discover tab will really means for digital marketers, I sat down with Steve Goldner, senior director of social media for MediaWhiz, and head of the agency’s social media practice. Steve works with a broad range of major clients in developing their social media strategies and campaigns, and he expressed hope for a new level of insight from Twitter regarding what consumers are saying about brands and the ability to more finely target key brand advocates.
When influential people die before their time, the natural reaction is a mixture of sadness over the passing, awe at the person’s accomplishments and envy wishing it was you who made such a lasting impression. In the days and weeks ahead, there will be an onslaught of personal reflections on Steve Jobs. We will no doubt read a blog from someone claiming to be his 5th grade math teacher who could sense his preternatural brilliance build with every square root equation solved. There will be tweets and Facebook posts from neighbors, acquaintances, perhaps even the new owner of the garage from which Jobs built his first computer. These remembrances and tributes will be heartfelt with a sprinkling of self-indulgence, as if six degrees of separation will inspire them to works of staggering genius. And apart from the revolutionary products and services Steve Jobs created – iTunes, Pixar, the iPod, iPhone and iPad – perhaps it is this desire to be part of something truly innovative, to dream bigger than most human minds can grasp, to truly change the world that is at the heart of the Steve Jobs legacy.
In time, there will be autocratic recollections of Steve Jobs. This is also human nature, the need to bring people down a peg. These remembrances, too, will stem from sadness, awe and envy for the likelihood of their being another Steve Jobs, a genuine game-changing visionary, is indeterminate.
Whether the coming remembrances of Steve Jobs stem from childhood, adulthood or Apple fanhood, whether they are praiseworthy or steeped in jealousy, there is no doubt that the universal reflection will be on his greatness, his unparalled acumen, and his standing as a true immortal.