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Spotlight: Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman affiliate marketing guru and her story  As this month our concentration was in Affiliate Marketing, we thought it would be ideal to present you with one of the most respected persons in the affiliate marketing industry: Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman started her career as an affiliate marketer 15 years ago when her new born baby had a bilateral stroke. Rae was 20 years old at the time and she wasn’t able to hold a normal day job due to the amount of care her baby required. Rae had received a laptop from her father with the intention to help her research more about the situation she was in. Rae began getting involved with support groups for people in similar situations as her; soon enough, she was working 40-60 hours per week as a volunteer and began wondering what she could do to still do the volumteer work she loved so much but at the same time bring some money home.

As you can imagine, having a child with disabilities brings large debts; Rae and her then-husband were struggling to pay their bills so Rae started researching about affiliate marketing. This was in the age when google was just starting out, so Rae had to learn everything from scratch. Rae got herself to work – she needed to build a website and learn seo, and she did it. Within 2 weeks she had learned html and seo and was ready for business.

Rae Hoffman affiliate marketing guru and her story

Six months after intensive work at her website and affiliate marketing programs, she was outearning her husband! Fast-forward 15 years and Rae Hoffman is a blogger, speaker, auditor and writer all at the same time. Rae also owns Sugarrae which is a consulting firm for digital marketing and she co-owns Pushfire, which is an SEO consulting firm.

Rae Hoffman is truly a person to look up to. Some people are scared of affiliate marketing because it’s somewhat difficult to understand the impact it can have in your personal life and if you are a brand/company it’s also difficult to understand the value behind it. But, if there’s anything Rae Hoffman has taught the internet world, is that anything is possible.

If you are an affiliate markerter, prepare yourself for years of hard work as income doesn’t come easy. If you are a brand looking to get into the affiliate marketing industry to increase sales, make sure you pick the right influencers for your campaigns. See our latest post on choosing the correct influencers, here. 

Father`s Day is this Sunday!

 

DAD text letters with white and red hearts over blue wooden background

This Sunday in many countries is Father’s Day. Every June we remember the first man we loved and try to compensate all the learning and achievements he helped us through.

Being a father is not an easy task. They do not get easily prepared as moms are to be a parent. A mom has the hormonal help and the whole 9 months of pregnancy to get used to being a mother. The father, on the other hand, practically gets thrown into a new life of being extremely responsible for another person’s life. Picture it: when your father discovered he was going to be a father, he suddenly had to get used to the pressure of providing to a new human being; and also be there for you, contributing to your self-development. Have you ever thought of how heavy did this burden feel to him?

Above all that, the father, which was number one priority for the wife, your mother, is now secondary in her thoughts!

So, on this Sunday, do not forget to tell him how much you love him, appreciate the hard work he has put in for you – even though you might think your mother did so much more! – and give him a present.

 father and son playing together at the park

So now comes the hard task. What should I give to my father? There are so many things that would please him but as we think about it, they already have everything! As we are always trying to give something different and creative, when it comes to the father, it really does get hard! So, again, try to find out what kind of things make him smile.

  • Does he appreciate dining out? A nice lunch or brunch out is very welcome. Surprise him picking a place you know will definitely get to his heart – my father loves meat, what better place to go other than a steakhouse?
  • Does he drink specialty drinks? For example, is he a beer person? Try to find some exotic labels so he can try something different;
  • Write a card with a personal and meaningful phrase – it is always nice for him to know why he is important for you;
  • Is your father a fan of sports? Buy tickets and give him on Father`s Day – it is okay if the game is in a month, that day will be all yours to celebrate his great parenting;
  • Is your father fashion-forward? If not, give him something he could wear but doesn’t have the patience to browse.

Everybody goes through the same path of thinking that giving presents to mothers is hard, but when it comes to finding the perfect gift or something that would somehow repay all of what your father has done to you, you will be facing a very hard task. So, keep it simple and show with your actions everything he has meant to you.

We hope you have an amazing Father`s Day this Sunday and if you are also a father reading this, our congratulations, keep doing your amazing job!

Best Practices to Sell Through Amazon’s Marketplace!

Online-shopping

Amazon, the world leader in online sales can be also considered as the biggest shopping mall we consumers will ever find. It’s a known fact that most of us utilize the site not only to satisfy our purchase needs, but also as a sort of online price checker. With over 200 Billion in sales expected for 2017 Amazon is undoubtedly the best Marketplace for a variety of products and one that you want to do the right way to succeed.

To many, Amazon may seem like a saturated market, but with over 40% of their sales going to third party sellers it is a great way to reach customers throughout the globe for any business and even though it requires a little effort to set up and maintain correctly, it is definitively worth the work!

Below you’ll find a few tips and tricks we gathered from the experts around the globe that can get your Amazon seller account in the right track from the beginning:

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  • Registering Right: Having more than one Amazon Seller Account is not only inconvenient, but its also an Amazon Policy Violation.
  • Choosing the Right Seller Account: Fulfillment by Amazon or on your own? There is no right answer, so you can base this on competing shipping costs for you or your business.
  • Using Different Categories: Merchants who categorized their products within Amazon existing categories are proven to have far more success than the ones who don’t.
  • Using Colored Backgrounds: Images used to show products with colored background tend to have less orders overall.
  • Offering Free Shipping: If your budget or fulfilling methods allow, offering free shipping is proven to be the silver bullet for increase in purchases.
  • Over Describing Your Product: It’s a fact, most Amazon shoppers don’t read! So gather the most important information about your product and express it in a friendly and short manner.
  • Obtain Featured Merchant Status: Is not clear how Amazon manages the qualifications for Featured Merchants, but it doesn’t hurt to keep all your metrics in line for the shot!
  • Manage Your Seller Reviews: Claims and Returns are an unavoidable truth in Amazon’s Marketplace, but managing these in a promptly manner can save you some headaches and can help protect your ratings.

Why E-Commerce Is Such a Good Idea

Technology is taking over our world. Think about it: almost everything we do now a days revolves around a tech device which is probably your phone, computer or tablet. Anything we need, is at the palm of our hands and in reality the world of internet is relatively new. Did you know that although e-commerce dates back to 1991, operations weren’t entirely reliable until the year 2000? Which means e-commerce has only been in our lives for the past 16 years and already the market has expanded tremendously and it will keep growing. Forbes is projecting that e-commerce sales in USA will reach $414 billion by the year 2018! Who wants a piece of that pie?

One of the most popular activities people do on the World Wide Web is shopping! (music to our ears as business people) and it’s for the simple reason that you can do it from wherever you are. If you have a phone, tablet or computer you can not only shop from anywhere in the world, you can check price differences with just a click and you can even send a “Wish List” to your family, friend or significant other if you are trying to persuade them to buy you a little something.

E-commerce has some great advantages for business people/entrepreneurs:

  • The web and its search engines provide a way to be found by customers without expensive ardvertising
  • Small online shops can reach global markets
  • Web technology also allows to track customer preferences and to deliver individual-tailored marketing

explaining the history and growth of e-commerce in the usa

The greatest thing about e-commerce from a business stand-point is the lower overhead cost since a brick-and-mortar does not have to built; everything is online! (Amazon started out of a garage; how’s that for inspiration?) Sometimes e-commerce business owners feel out of touch with their customers because there’s no in-person connection but thankfully, “pop-up” shops are on the rise and stores can build a customer relationship at local markets, parks, airports even malls.

Overall, e-commerce is an amazing opportunity for entrepreneurs as there is space for everyone but, keep in mind, just like any business, it needs a plan and marketing strategy. The key as an ecommerce business owner is to establish trust and credibility with leads and customers. From developing an attractive and easily navigable website to creating content that helps your customers.

Have you jumped into E-Commcerce yet? What has been your experience? 

Influencing your customers with affiliates or influencers?

 

influencer

Are you in doubt if you are going to use affiliate marketing or influencers for your brand?

Let us first explain what is each of these marketing strategies and then, according to your public and budget, you decide what is best for your company!

In affiliate marketing, a brand partners with affiliates (bloggers, instagrammers, companies, publishers) to promote the brand through offers, sales, deals, etc.

These affiliates are then paid a share of the revenue of the sales they helped generate. Because the amount paid to the affiliates is based on the revenue they helped generate, this type of marketing is very cost-effective.

On the other hand, influencer marketing is when someone that usually has a big and active audience, receives a flat rate fee to promote the brand.

Affiliate marketing is in general more focused in new customers and sales, while influencer marketing focus on the brand awareness.

Web-Markerting

Let’s think of an example to picture better what option would be better:

A company that manufactures protein bars and wants to promote its brand might contact affiliates and influencers.

The affiliates would share content (pictures, reviews, videos) on their social media about the bars and spread the word of a sale or a special offer. They would then tell their followers/connections that in order to get the offer, purchasers would have to mention a specific code when making the check out. With the sales generated with the code, the affiliate would receive a percentage, that would then vary in the gross sales they stimulated.

The influencers would promote the brand by using/eating the products the brand pays them to and sharing this content, using pictures and videos. As for the protein bars example, influencers from the brand would receive a certain flat fee in a monthly basis while the contract lasts. These influencers have to promote the brand/products regularly following what was settled in the contract between them and the company.

In order to choose what is better for your company you will have to take into consideration who are your customers – basically their demographics and psychographics (read here and here more about this) and with all information about them, see how you could better influence them to purchase your products.

Regardless of being an affiliate or an influencer, it is important to be aware that both should disclosure publicly that they are being compensated to promote the brand as defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which enforces the U.S. Truth in Advertising Laws. And when it comes to the FTC, it is the brand that gets penalized with a fine, so be careful to have this explained in the contract between the company and the affiliates/influencers.

People in the Business – Lisa Hyman and Max Kabat

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Do you need inspiration on how to define your target and build the right campaign to reach them?

This month’s Spotlight features two marketing professionals: Lisa Hyman and Max Kabat. They both work at GoodDog, a company from the LeadDog Marketing Group.

They worked on a campaign for Plum Organics, a company that produces organic baby food, snacks and mealtime solutions for toddlers and kids. Along with Something Massive, LeadDod developed “Parenting Unfiltered”, a campaign made to connect to parents by acknowledging their day-to-day struggles and the messy reality of parenthood.

The video wasn’t product-specific, but a lifestyle campaign, planned to catalyze conversation, inspire genuine engagement and position Plum as the brand that gets it.Toddler girl playing with daddy in the garden

LeadDog created a manifesto for the campaign and developed a two-year long marketing plan to make Plum stand out of the clutter of emerging organic brands. Key people to Plum’s campaign was Max Kabat – that on LinkedIn calls himself a GoodDog – and Lisa Hyman – partner and head of strategy.

Max Kabat and Lisa Hyman wanted to surpass the first goal of obtaining video views and start a conversation about the topic in social media, creating a connection between the brand and the parents/clients. After the publication of the Plum’s video, showcasing parents in unfiltered, real situations, Plum promoted it by partnering with influential parents across the web, that created and shared their own honest parenting unfiltered in a variety of platforms, such as Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, generating organic awareness of the campaign and adoption of the hashtag #ParentingUnfiltered.

We will leave you with inspirational quotes from Max and Lisa.

  • Marketing has an innate ability to influence people and effect change so we harness it to do good – Max Kabat from LinkedIn.
  • The best idea can come from anyone – you just have to be listening – Lisa Hyman from LinkedIn.

Plum’s campaign is a great example of targeting the right public, the niche group that will buy the product you offer. Studying the psychographics of your customers and target customers will tell you what would be the best means of targeting them, influencing them on creating brand awareness, reach them at the right place and right time in an attempt to satisfy their needs.

The Importance of Psychographics in the Marketing Industry

Defining the target market of any product or service is a task that marketers around the world take at heart. After all, many great ideas fail constantly when they are not delivered at the appropriate time to the appropriate customer base.

Historically, understanding the demographics of different sectors of the population and their core characteristics has proven to be an effective way to segment and evaluate target customers. It has also served

as a portal to develop effective marketing campaigns and position businesses in their end consumers’ mind. However, in a highly globalized world where competition is the norm and not the exception, demographics have fallen short to consider all aspects that guide the customers’ purchase decision and psychographics have gained greater importance in defining and narrowing these key elements.

Psychographics, which measure customers’ attitudes and interests rather than “objective” demographic criteria, has proven to be an effective approach to the modern market segmentation and according to these, marketers should have answers to a set of questions pertaining psychographics in order to effectively define a product or service customer base.

  • Customer Concerns: Is there a real problem or need that my product or service can satisfy?
  • Customer Lifestyle and Limitation: What are they genuinely interested on and is their something preventing them from fulfilling these interests?
  • Customer Likes: Where do they spend their free time and how does my product or service fit on their schedule?
  • Customer Values: Do they value quality or quantity? What is their real capacity to acquire this product or service?
  • Customer Motivations: Are the family or career oriented? Is my product or service fuelling their motivation?
  • Customer Emotions: Do they socialize with a larger or smaller groups of people? How my product or service attends to their personal needs?

The above are just a small group of questions for a good-practice psychographics evaluation. Demographics, although still current and important, are no longer the only considerations to create an effective marketing campaign, that reaches and fulfils a real need in the market by catering to a specific group wants and needs. Knowing and understanding these customers’ motivations will help you to effectively design your next ad, craft your next blog post and most importantly deliver all this at the right time.

The future of Marketing – Lifestyle

Happy fun dancing housewife housekeeping kitchen clean immaculate joyful pleasant lifestyleWhat’s the deal with Lifestyle Marketing? It’s a subject that is difficult to understand for some because it’s almost abstract. How can companies make money or increase their brand awareness with lifestyle marketing? WHAT IS LIFESTYLE MARKETING? 

Let’s start by defining content marketing aka lifestyle marketing. Lifestyle marketing is a way to engage consumers with your brand through values and interests in common. A brand has an identity and so does your consumer, therefore the purpose of lifestyle marketing is to be FRIENDS with your consumer. Once you touch a person/consumer on a personal level, they are hooked. If your consumer understands your brand and shares your brand’s values and interests, they are more likely to spend their money on you… and essentially, that’s what we want.

Call to Action is a super commom practice in Marketing as the end goal no matter in what industry you are in, is to increase sales… BUT, a research conducted to analyze the marketing strategies of competitor brands NIKE & ADIDAS found the following:

The findings? Nike used more lifestyle content than Adidas. Sixty percent of Nike’s posts featured lifestyle content and its traditional call-to-action posts received an average of 993 shares a post. In contrast, only 32 percent of Adidas’ posts featured lifestyle content, with its traditional posts receiving an average of 122 shares each.Two young friends sitting at outdoor cafe and smiling. Multiracial women hanging out at sidewalk restaurant.What does this tell us?

Of course, call to action is important but the new generation, the one that is starting to have buying power and will be the future of our economy, does not really care about seeing a million call to action buttons because they are more interested in learning about the soul of the brand. Do they believe in the same things? Are they environmentally friendly? Are they socially conscious? Do they treat their employees with integrity? THESE are the things that matter now, the things that will turn a group of friends into your best customers or your worst enemy by syndicating negative messages about your company/brand on social media.

Make sure to invest some time in defining your brand. What is the personality of your brand? How can you talk to your consumers as a friend?

For more tips on how to create a brand identity, read here.

Usual and Unusual Gifts for Mother’s Day

 

mothers day flower

Have you already thought about what you are going to give your mother on Sunday for Mother’s Day?

Apart from spending some quality time with her on Sunday (don’t you dare travel or plan something that will take you away from seeing her on this day!) we prepared some ideas that will certainly make her smile.

Since there are many options out there for you to choose and many different types of mom, we divided all ideas into USUAL and UNUSUAL.

USUAL

Usual gifts are popular items people always give to their moms, year after year. But believe me, these ones are very welcome.

  • Flowers – never mistaken unless you know your mother hates it (which is really uncommon).
  • Jewelry – women love jewelry, it only depends on your budget.
  • A card – don’t forget to put some handwriting of yours in it.
  • A book – when in doubt of what she likes reading, try finding what types she has at home. Get something of the same genre that is trending at your local bookstore.
  • Fancy candy – for example: if she likes chocolate, try finding an exotic brand/origin of cocoa beans for her to try – which is something she wouldn’t think of spending her money into it.
  • A nice bottle of wine – here you will have many options in the red or white wine range.

mothers day gifts

UNUSUAL

When I say unusual I mean getting a present for her will not be as easy as just going out and buying any nice looking flowers you find.  You will have to think about your mother, her personality, her taste and in what she does that makes you smile.

Example: my mother loves doing her nails different each week and she always has a bright different color on them. I would give her either a paid manicure/pedicure OR new nail polishers. It is up to you to decide what you prefer doing or paying. Also, don’t forget to analyze what exactly she would wear! Don’t even think of getting her a brown nail polisher if you only see her wearing pink and red!

Here are some ideas:

  • If your mom loves drinking fancy at all times, give her a special set of glasses, mugs/cups for coffee or jars.
  • If your mom loves pampering herself, think of a body moisturize or special products for a hot bath at the tub.
  • If your mom is always wearing lipstick whenever she goes, give her one that will look good on her. Tip: Just show a picture of your mother to the attendant at the makeup store, and ask a basic color that will match her skin and hair color.
  • If your mom loves cooking different meals, give her some nice apparel for the display of whatever she cooks that you like best. If it is a chocolate cake, give her a nice cake stand where next time she cooks a cake she will make it look prettier and she will remember you. Something similar to this one. She could even have a tea time with her dear friends and use it to display the sandwiches, scones and biscuits just as the British do for their well-known afternoon tea.

If none of the ideas above would suit your mom well, just think of her personality and her tendencies when shopping. Women in general usually like anything they get as a gift.

Also it is always nice inviting her for brunch or dinner and telling her you will pay it as a gift. After all, what she really wants is your company.

Like any of these ideas? Comment here for any other you think we missed!

Learn How To Target Your Right Audience

 

When trying to reach customers, many companies tend to analyze only demographic data of their current or target clients, which includes their age, gender, occupation, religion, nationality, income, race, family size and education.

In order for a company to promote its brand or products effectively, it has to consider information other than just the demographics. Analyzing the psychographics is key to aiming at the right audience because it tells you one’s beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors (activities, interest, opinion).

Take this example: Your product is nail polisher and your customer is mostly women, between the ages of 16 to 45 years old, they are either single or married. You already figured out the basic demographic information for your customers but you also know that your customer wants to always feel pretty and polished. She also cares about hygiene and appearance. She likes going to the beach on the weekends and to parties. All the “personality” information you get that describes your customer but it is not demographic is known as psychographic data.

A successful marketing campaign always focuses on the psychographics of the target population. The steps below will help you use psychographics in favor of your business’ goals:

  • Look to your existing customer base and ask yourself where there are underlying patterns in personality trait. If you do not have this type of data, you can try using a/b testing (see more about a/b testing here);
  • Investigate your website’s analytics, which tells you what times your product sells more or if a discount influenced a raise in sales;
  • Interview your clients to learn more about themselves, with questions regarding to where they like to go, activities they enjoy.

Using the data you collected by all means mentioned previously will help you define your customer’ psychographics. Next thing you have to do is address your marketing media to where this type of public is. If they go to the gym every day, create a campaign for this platform; if they regularly watch videos on YouTube, create one about your brand and share it on that platform and so on. If they are always checking their Instagram feed, create an influencer program with Instagram influencers for products reviews.

Your consumer’s psychographics will tell you more about your current and potential clients and help your company reach them more precisely.

Also, by better understanding your consumer, you will exceed in engaging with them  by adjusting your message in your campaigns to better speak to their needs and interests.

Hope this post shed some light on this topic and helped you see where you are at understanding your target and current consumers. Have comments on psychographics? Comment below!