To help highlight the range of great options available, our updated infographic and free Digital Marketing Tools and Services download recommends 30 categories of marketing technology and our pick of the most popular 5 in each category. We’ve grouped them across the Smart Insights RACE Planning framework for managing digital marketing so you can review where you could make better use of the tools across the customer lifecycle. Click on the infographic below to see a larger version.
Affiliate marketing can be a big source of revenue. The key to maximizing your affiliate earnings is to provide additional value and to engage your readers. Unlike traditional ads where you are paid for impressions or clicks, affiliates are only paid if or when a specific action is performed. The action might be something as simple as signing up for a newsletter to submitting their zip code information up to having a sale completed. Regardless, you are not paid until you've compelled your readers to take some type of action.
The benefits of affiliate marketing are location independence and the ability choose which products to promote. Also, your investment of time and energy directly correlates to the return you see. Depending on your availability and what you hope to gain from the enterprise, you can choose to be the type of marketer who sets up shop and passively waits for customers to come, or you can proactively spread the word about your favorite merchandise from prominent brand affiliates.
This has been my go-to strategy for the last year or two. Making tables that summarize product features and ratings allows visitors to your website to compare reviewed products easily. In the product tables I make, I include product images, product rating, price, pros and cons, and a buy button with an affiliate link. Be sure that your table is mobile-friendly so that visitors on phones and tablets will be able to view your content. Some good WordPress plug-ins to use for creating tables include TablePress, TableLabs, GoPricing and Ninja Tables.
Placements — Choosing this you can target people that visit specific websites. Let’s say that you sell Macbook Pro Accessories and know your potential customers read Macworld.com. You can tell Adwords to show ads only on this website. To make the targeting even better you can combine Targeting Preferences. What this means is that I can show ads to people who read Macworld.com and read articles that contain the keyword “Macbook Pro Accessories”.
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
Some of the most successful content in our network is repurposed for email, social media and other channels to enable publishers to share their expertise as widely as possible. If you’re an expert in your area, it only makes sense people will want to discover your content, get advice on purchases they’re making and act upon them in a channel of their choice. So think about how you can generate interest in your content from other avenues than search alone.
High Paying Affiliate Programs Blog – Bill Burniece runs this blog and keeps it up to date with new posts every few days about making the most with online marketing. One of his blog categories focuses on the benefits of targeting the affluent market, but he also gives tips for getting started with affiliate marketing. Burniece’s blog was named the Affiliate Summit’s Top Affiliate Marketing Blog of 2013.
User testing services e.g. WhatUsersDo - this platform allows you to test your website remotely with users in their own homes. Users record their screen and audio, so you can see the full experience. You give them tasks to focus the user test. You can then use their tagging tool to collect insights from the video outputs. It's fast, focused research that provides insights to help improve your website
Great tips! Since I just started blogging in January I am still really just getting my toes wet in affiliates. However, I did notice that pictures and real life demonstrations of the product really help. For instance, I have several food posts where I talk about my favorite cook books and show what I have cooked out of them, and then included amazon links, sure enough I sold a few cook books.
One last note. I’ve been asked what I think of other affiliate marketing resources, both free and paid. I’m familiar with some of them, not all. I’ve read ebooks, watch videos, bought courses and more. So far, the only paid-for course that has impressed me enough to recommend is Kayla Aimee’s Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income.

Collaboration — One of the main reasons you need to start using such a service right now. You can Invite people to folders you own so you can work together on your projects. Of course you can give users specific permissions. You can also create download links so people can download the content or a file you want to send them. It is very easy. Also you can create an upload link. This means you give permissions to people to upload files in your folder without having an account in the service.
It helps you find the right decision makers and their emails without paying for a LinkedIn premium account or spending hours on using a plethora of different email finding tools. You just simply chuck in a company name, domain name or person’s name and the tool finds the right people. You can use HeadReach to find professionals in your field to do a roundup post, for content promotion or to find the right people in charge of a popular outlet. For example, you can search for all editors at TechCrunch, Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine via a single search.
Platform-Based Social Media Analytics are the free analytics tools built into social media platforms themselves – on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. Though other tools can aggregate your data, looking at platform-based analytics allows you to look at each account as a unique entity, devising different strategies for each social media platform.
The mobile device is a uniquely personal medium that has transformed the customer journey. The pervasiveness and proximity of mobile makes it a powerful tool for marketers to understand and anticipate customer behavior. As a result, marketers now have the opportunity to respond to their users’ needs, goals, feelings, and expectations with a customized experience — both in and out of their mobile apps.
For example, the content on Super Weddings is useful whether you're organizing a wedding today or next year. All the content on the site is created accordingly. To make things easier for the audience, it is separated into categories to make it very convenient for the reader to find what they're looking for. This, of course, is also very good for SEO. 
Developing a website might seem difficult on the surface. You know that some website development companies cost thousands, 10’s of thousands, or even 100’s of thousands of dollars to build a site. You might also think you need to know a bunch of computer code in order to build a great site. That is nonsense. I personally know a little tiny bit of HTML and CSS, but I’m even using that less and less over time.
This particular site isn’t really an automatic traffic generator. Instead, it’s an old, long-running network for email lists. The idea is to build an email list independent of SEO or Google, which frees you from the rigors of content marketing. You still need to work to generate leads, and you still need a website to pull in opt-ins, but FFA gives you a wide range of tools you can use to succeed. For example, a heat map and Google Analytics integration ensures the system gives you all the information you need to succeed. You can split-test as many as 100 variants on a given page, to make sure you’re using the best one. And, of course, the network is old and long-running, meaning it has a positive reputation and a history of being effective. You can find plenty of support from the staff and other users.
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