Affiliate Summit West Review

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Affiliate marketing, Conferences, Facebook | Posted on Jan 12, 2012

4

Affiliate Summit is a Great Show for Making Connections & Polishing Your Marketing Skills

Company logo

This was my third time attending the Affiliate Summit and my second time speaking at the conference. Every time I go to this particular conference I am astounded by the enthusiasm and knowledge of the staff and the attendees. There were a lot of great sessions focused around Social Media tactics, List Building techniques, site development and monetization strategies. If the goal of this conference is to educate and connect online marketers and build successful relationships among networks, vendors and affiliates, then Affiliate Summit hits the nail right on the head.

Being a speaker at a conference makes you view the whole experience a little differently. Normally I have time to go to all of the sessions and schedule regular meetings with affiliates and other possible partners. Instead my Sunday was spent preparing for a presentation that would not only be viewed live by people in the audience but recorded for many of the 5,000 plus pass holders to view at their leisure. Needless to say I missed some great sessions on Day 1, to prepare for my own.

Even though this wasn’t my first time speaking at the Affiliate Summit, it was my first time having a solo break out at this conference. If you missed my session here is  a recap of the points covered in my presentation Community, Conversation, Conversion – Social Tips You need:

Social Media is a Huge Part of an Online Consumer’s Life

Facebook accounts for 17% of the time spent online in the United States. That is a truly staggering number, and what is more impressive about that number is the rate by which it increased in the past 2 years. From Q3 of 2009 to Q3 of 2011 the time spent on Facebook in the United States increased by more than 4x.

On top of the time spent online in the US, a survey by Forbes found that 86% of online consumers in the United States and 79% of consumers in Europe have adopted Social Media into their daily habits.

Facebook is a Social Juggernaut

This is quick and to the point: Facebook amounts for 95% of all social media activity. When you are deciding which social media network to use in your social marketing efforts, Facebook is a no brainer.

The Wall is the Worst Landing Tab Ever

Why would you want to send new visitors to your wall? It is messy and in some cases filled with support issues and complaints. The wall has no call to action and is really going to cause more confusion than it is worth. In one of the worst examples I have seen, I landed on the wall of a page that didn’t even allow users to post content! Social media is not simply broadcasting, it is interactive, so two strikes for this page because I landed on their wall and then couldn’t even interact with the brand.

You need a default landing page that is like-gated. A like-gated page will drastically increase your micro conversions, and by utilizing lead generation forms on the page that is viewed post like you can begin to turn ‘likes’ into marketable leads.

Design is Critical on Facebook

You need to have a good looking default landing tab on your Facebook page. If you are routing traffic from your website or through paid ads, you do not want to waste that user’s time (and in some cases your money). Design a Facebook tab with a clear call to action, one that both welcomes, informs and mobilizes.

Post Different Types of Content to Increase EdgeRank

Most people don’t know what the EdgeRank is, but it is the algorithm that dictates what shows up in your fans’ news feed. Different content holds different weight, and posting content of different weight helps increase your EdgeRank. The algorithm focuses on content type, affinity with the reader and how long the post has been visible.

I’m planning to make a video of my presentation with the slides on our website soon, if I were to post them to SlideShare you wouldn’t see all of the content.

If you attended ASW12 tell me about your favorite presentation!

Blogger in Motion

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Conferences | Posted on Dec 28, 2011

0

I want to go to InfusionCon (and you should too)

I have been using Infusionsoft for over a year now, and ever since the day I have been satisfied with the product since day one. When I heard Infusionsoft is sponsoring a contest for 2 bloggers to attend InfusionCon 2012, I had to jump at my chance to attend. Current readers should know that I am very active on the conference circuit (whether that be attending or speaking), and I am a little ashamed to say that this would be my first InfusionCon. However, with the quality of speakers they have lined up I know it wouldn’t be my last.

Infusionsoft is about marketing automation, so it only makes since that they would have some of the top names in the marketing world at this event. I didn’t attend the Email Evolution Conference earlier this year, but heard tales around the office of Gary Vaynerchuk and his amazing performance. Watching Gary speak alone is worth making the trip to InfusionCon, but there are obviously many other reasons to go.

With 3 full days of sessions there is obviously a lot to learn. Sessions range from new marketing trends to more tactile sessions that focus on how to implement these marketing best practices with the Infusionsoft platform. I have a particular interest in creating the most closed loop marketing plan as possible (don’t we all?!). Companies cannot just hope to generate leads on their main website; people are learning and interacting with brands in much different ways and need to process this information accurately.

Marketers need ways to know where their leads are coming from, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords, so they can market to them accordingly.

Steve Came from a lead generation form on our Facebook Page
Carol signed up for a free trial after clicking the ‘Free Trial’ link on our landing page
etc…

When I track this information I know what the particular lead is interested in and can market properly. If I have a user that signed up for a Free Trial of Social Page Builder, they shouldn’t be receiving promotions (well immediately) for our Email Design Builder. I feel like a broken record player saying this again, but a marketer’s potential power is in the list. In order to harness this power a marketer needs the correct tools and the right ‘know how’ to segment their list and set up a powerful marketing automation program.

Whether you are interested in email marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing or dabble in all of them; you need to stay on top of the latest trends and know how to use your marketing tools to their full extent. That is what I am most excited about at InfusionCon, the chance to learn from some of the best minds and to sharpen my skills on the Infusionsoft CRM.

Live Facebook Page Review

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Conferences, Facebook, Small Business, Social Media | Posted on Dec 20, 2011

2

Sign Up For a Live Facebook Page Review

I got some great news that I have a solo presentation at Conversion Conference West in March. This presentation is different then most of my previous presentations. Instead of sharing best practices and the latest tips to increase your Social Media Marketing efforts, I will be giving live critiques of my audience members’ Facebook pages.

I want to get some practice in, which made me want to start a webinar series in January focused on critiquing YOUR Facebook Pages. If you are looking for some great Facebook advice, all you need is to be open to critique. Services like this can cost a company a lot of money, and I want to do this for my amazing blog readers for free. So please, submit a site and I will give it a live review during my first webinar.

Here are some things I will keep in mind while looking at your page:

  • Page anatomy
  • Community Strength
  • Content Weight
  • Post Frequency
  • and more…

What are you waiting for? Submit your Facebook Page today!

Interesting Image

Live Facebook Page Review

Submit your Facebook Page for a live site review by yours truly! I will be running a regular webinar series focused on site reviews and your page could be featured next!

 

Socialize West

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Conferences, News, Social Media | Posted on Sep 28, 2011

0

Read on to find out how YOU can win a free pass – 2 Up for Grabs!

On October 2oth some of the top minds in Social Media marketing will be in San Francisco for Media Bistro’s Socialize West Conference.  This year at socialize west 3 major topics are being covered Gamification, Mobilization, Optimization and Monetization. You do NOT want to miss a chance to hear from some of the top names in social media like Brian Carter (FanReach), Duncan Alney (Firebelly), Megan Berry (Klout), Evan Bailyn (First Page Sage), Alan K’necht (Digital Always Media), Clara Shih (Hearsay Social), and many more.

Gamification

Social gaming is a huge industry, and the market is on track to surpass $2 billion in 2011. If you are interested in getting involved in the gaming industry on Facebook you will have the chance to learn from the best at Socialize West.  Learn the best practices for distribution, take part in a Vendor workshop, get a peak into the future of social daming, and get some of the best success strategies for new and seasoned developers.

Where is the Gaming gold rush going to be on Google+ or will it continue on Facebook?

Mobilization

Mobile is no longer the future, it is now. If you are not optimizing your website, developing mobile apps, or keeping mind that your customers are ALWAYS connected to you through mobile, then you need to attend these sessions. Learn about localization, how to leverage mobile and social, how to monetize mobile apps, and what to do with HTML5.

If you are getting your feet wet in the mobile side of marketing, you can’t miss this!

Optimization & Monetization

Everyone is looking for a social ROI, and it is the responsible marketer’s job to accurately report one.  We are no longer able to say that ‘If you are asking the ROI of social media, you are asking the wrong question.’ Social media provides many valuable metrics and insights, and uncovering these metrics will lead you to a clear monetization process.  Understanding a social media conversion, like or follow, as a micro conversion that needs further nurturing is the first step.  now we have to move further and be able to take a new fan and guide them through our marketing funnel.

The best way to guide a fan is through interaction on social channels that leads your fans to your website. Don’t oversell, but provide a service. Turn your website into a place people want to visit and once you are a trusted resource then go for the ultimate conversion. The key to this process is being able to identify an individual through out this entire process, learn the latest tricks and about the best tools for doing this during the Monetization themes sessions.

Get a Free Pass to Socialize West

We have two free passes to give away for socialize west.  Visit our Facebook Page and fill out the form on the ‘Free Pass’ tab. Give us the most convincing reason why you should attend socialize west.  The two best reasons will be selected on October 10th for their FREE pass to Socialize West in San Francisco.  Remember this is only for the pass, you must provide transportation and accommodations.

It’s Conference Season

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Affiliate marketing, Conferences, Opinion, Social Media | Posted on Sep 02, 2011

0

Three Conferences You Cannot Miss

If it is one thing that I love about the digital marketing industry it is the wealth of knowledge that is available at my fingertips at any point in time.  However, in this digital age I think we are forgetting that all of this social networking is not a sufficient replacement for good old fashioned networking.  Social media is great for keeping the conversation going, but there is nothing better than meeting IRL (in real life). The three conferences below are great if you are in the digital space and networking at these conferences is fun and effective.

Conversion Conference

This two day conference brings together some of the top minds in the eMetrics field. We are all told that we need to ‘test, test, test’, but prior to testing you need to know which metrics to keep an eye on.  The conversion conference will help you get passed all of the vanity metrics and teach you how to design a campaign that will increase conversions and bring your company more money.

Getting testing right is a tough process, you want to pay attention to the small things but you don’t want to miss the big picture. Let the Conversion Conference help you optimize your landing pages and websites! In two days you will learn more than you ever thought you could about site optimization, keywords and analytics. The Conversion Conference has two days of break out sessions and plenty of networking opportunities and Tim Ash never disappoints with his Conversion Bash.  Need to convince your boss to send you? Send him/her this way!

I will also be speaking at the Conversion Conference this year in a break out session.  I will be covering Social Media and how to develop a strategy that from Like (a micro conversion) to sale (the ultimate conversion).

Socialize West

Like Social Media but is it still a bit of a foreign concept? Then you should head to Socialize West. Some of the top minds in social media marketing today will be a part of panels and break out sessions to give you the tips and the know how for your social media campaign.

Topics covered this year include:

  • Social Crisis management
  • Social Success Strategies
  • Mobile Localization
  • Measuring Social Advertising effectiveness
  • Targeting a Facebook ROI
  • and MUCH MUCH more

During this two day conference you will come away with new connections and and incredible grasp on how to make your company social.  I will be moderating a Panel on the Final day discussing ‘Facebook Monetization Approaches’

You do NOT want to miss this event.

Affiliate Summit West

What do you get when you combine top notch informative sessions, 3 days of networks, and a celebration of a booking industry? You get the Affilaite Summit.

The Affiliate Summit happens twice a year, in the West and in the East. Affiliate Summit West will be at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in January.  Over the course of three days you will learn how to devise an incredible affiliate strategy for your company and recruit new affiliates for your programs. Want to outsource your affiliate efforts? There are plenty of full service agencies who are ready and willing to jump start your affiliate program.

This is truly a marathon of a conference, by the end of it you will have drowned in business cards and run out of space in your brain for new information.  However, thanks to the Affiliate Summit we have launched a successful affiliate program in less than a year because of the new connections and tips.  If you are on the fence about going to the next summit, follow Nike’s advice and ‘Just do it’.

Affiliate Summit in Review

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Affiliate marketing, Conferences, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Aug 24, 2011

4

Affiliate Summit Review – Social Media & Affiliate Tips

You all may have noticed that our blog activity has been lacking so far this week.  The reason I haven’t had time to tell you all about the latest and greatest going on in the social and email world is because I spent the last three days in New York City at the Affiliate Summit.  This conference is an amazing way to jump start your affiliate program, you will meet some industry leaders and get tip top advice in topics like Social Media, SEO, and Affiliate Marketing Management.

I was fortunate enough to speak at an expert roundtable during this summit, and I had an amazingly attentive crowd who genuinely wanted to learn how to leverage social for their marketing efforts.  Anyone who attended my session  I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments section!

If you have never attended an Affiliate Summit, I would highly suggest going. If your company has not yet developed an affiliate program or has not taken it seriously, the Affiliate Summit will give you the knowledge and the tools to develop an amazing affiliate program. For everyone that didn’t get the chance to attend this years Affiliate Summit East, here are the top 5 tips I learned at affiliate summit

1. Twitter is Your Friend

Twitter is an amazing way to start finding new leads, partnership opportunities, and back links. During the keynote on Monday morning, Will Reynolds from SEER Interactive discussed new ways to build back links using Twitter and third party tools.  His suggestions showed just how powerful Twitter can be, especially if you can build an active following.

Think of your Twitter followers like this, they are people who are genuinely interested i n what your brand has to say.  Now that you have their attention they are more likely to post your content on their own website getting you those oh so important back links.  Will had suggested using the export.ly tool to find out who follows you on Twitter and the SEOmoz tool to find out who isn’t linking to you.  Twitter followers have already shown an interest in your brand, and if you reach out to the users who do not link to you and convince them to.  View Will’s presentation HERE

2. Use Third Party Tools

There are all sorts of great tools out there to help build your social presence as well as generate leads from this presence.  Here is a list of the top tools you can’t afford to miss:

  1. SEOmoz
  2. Export.ly
  3. ROWfeeder
  4. TweetReach
  5. Ubbersuggest
  6. TweetAdder

I think these tools should get you off to a good start.  Utilizing both tools in conjunction with one another works will too.  Try cross referencing different types of data to really supercharge your targeting efforts.

3. Affiliate Marketing is all About Relationships

If you are developing a new affiliate program, this concept is fundamental to your program’s success. Affiliates want to work with people they can trust and they want someone to talk to when they have questions or concerns.  I would suggest having a dedicated affiliate manager, who works directly with affiliates.  Some services you could provide are banner ads for affiliates, some content they could use in their reviews, box shots, data feeds, and most importantly a direct email and phone number where the affiliate manager can be reached.

Essentially affiliates are another type of sales force for your company.  They build their livelihood around developing new niche site and content, make sure to make their job easier and more pleasurable and  you will turn your affiliates into product evangelists that will drive more traffic and conversions to your website.

4. Social Media Requires Forward Thinking

My talk at the expert roundtable was initially supposed to be about creating and designing Like Worthy Facebook Pages.  We did discuss the best practices, but the discussion turned into a piece about social media and the mindset you need to have while using social media.  Google+ came up a lot during the conversation, mostly companies asking ‘Why bother using it right now?’ This is how I replied:

“You don’t want to be second place on social media. Social media is all about forward thinking, it is imperative that you utilize all of the tools available in order to stay ahead of the crowd. If you are not on Google+ yet because it is not ‘business’ oriented yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. You have the opportunity to create an engaged community on Google+ and when (mind you not if) Google includes businesses to their platform you will be one step ahead of all the other people who said ‘Why bother?’.”

5. There is always a crowd for your product, no matter how lame [you think] it might be

There are always people who will think your concept is cool, no matter what the topic is.  During one session Joe Soussa talked about the incredible size of the knitting community online.  The name of the group escapes me, but he gave an example of a message board of over a million people who LOVE to knit. Now I know I don’t get excited about knitting, but just because I don’t get excited doesn’t mean no one else will.  It is your job as a marketer to sniff out these leads, and leverage different types of marketing efforts to tap these lead wells.

http://www.slideshare.net/wilreynolds/affiliate-summit-keynote-no-shortcuts

Countdown to Affiliate Summit

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Affiliate marketing, Conferences | Posted on Aug 15, 2011

0

Affiliate Summit East is Almost Here

ASE11 - Check it out

The Affiliate Summit is the premiere conference where merchants, affiliates and networks all get together to discuss successful tactics and make new connections.  After attending the affiliate summit in Las Vegas last fall, I really began to see the benefit of affiliate marketing.  Today, most companies will say if you don’t have a designated member of your staff for affiliate relations, you’re crazy. There is so much money to be made for your company through affiliates, it behooves you to get active on forums like ABestweb or networks like Shareasale.

Prior to attending Affiliate Summit West, we were disconnected from our affiliates and not making any money worth talking about on our affiliate network. The first thing you learn when you are at affiliate summit is that Affiliate marketing is VERY personal. You need to build relationships and trust with your affiliates in order for them to spend time promoting your product.  On top of a mutual trust, it helps that you and your affiliates share a similar vision.  Sharing a similar vision is even more important if you are recruiting niche bloggers, but I wont get into the different types of affiliates here.

Once I learned this integral part of affiliate marketing I began to reach out to my current affiliate base.  They hadn’t heard from us in over 7 months, so it is no wonder our products were not being promoted anymore.  I got into the habit of sending monthly emails telling our affiliates about the current month’s promotions as well as providing them with new banner designs.  You need to become a resource to your affiliates for your joint venture to have any success.

“Affiliate marketing is reserved for the B2C community, there is no room for B2B affiliate marketing”

This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. As a B2B company we have seen an incredible increase in our affiliate sales since we visited Affiliate Summit West. I personally believe these three things contributed to a nearly 400% increase in affiliate sales from 2010 (and we are still only in August!)

1. Attending Affiliate Summit

Affiliate summit gave me all of the information I would ever need to craft an exceptional affiliate program for TemplateZone. There are so many amazing speakers and breakout sessions to go to at Affiliate Summit it is hard to find something you won’t learn.  On top of all of the educational sessions, there is a Meet market where different networks and merchants will give you demos of products as well as an exhibit hall.  By far the most important part about Affiliate Summit is making connections.  This is the chance for you to meet up with any of your current affiliates and put a face behind all of the emails.  If you have not attended an Affiliate Summit you should, too bad Affiliate Summit East is sold out, looks like you will just have to go to Las Vegas (oh shucks).

2. Joining an Affiliate Network

Joining an affiliate network has helped our affiliate sales so much.  We are currently on two affiliate networks, and we could not be happier.  If you are a small merchant looking to get started in affiliate marketing I would HIGHLY suggest using Shareasale.  They have a low adoption fee, and with a revamped interface they are a lot easier to use.  If you are an affiliate, then you should be joining as many networks as possible.

3. Having an ‘Open Door’ Policy

This is incredibly important as an affiliate manager.  Make it known to your affiliates that you want to know what they think! You need to become their resource, you know your company and products better than anyone! Always answer you affilaites inquiries, and also ask if there is antyhing they would like you to do different in the future.  You are essentially getting an interenet sales force at no initial cost, they only make money when you do, so if you keep them happy & active you will be happy.

I will be speaking at Affiliate Summit East at the Experts Roundtables covering social media strategies.  If you are heading out to Affiliate Summit East, be sure to drop by and say “Hi”.