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How to achieve explosive startup growth!

Here is the summary of the book Traction: How any startup can achieve explosive growth.
I hope that you find it useful!

Traction is a sign that your startup is taking off. If you charge, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it means your user base is growing.
If you have traction, all your technical, market, and team risks become easier to handle. It becomes easier to fund-raise, hire, do press, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Traction trumps everything.

How to think about Traction?

Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers.
You should spend your time in parallel, both constructing your product and testing traction channels.
This is what we call the 50 percent rule: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50% on traction. This rule seems simple but it’s hard to follow because the pull to spend all your attention on the product is strong. You’re probably making a startup because you want to build a particular product. You have a vision, but a lot of traction activities are unknown and outside your vision and comfort zone. So you try to avoid them. Don’t.
Doing product and traction in parallel has these benefits:
Before trying to get traction, you’ll need to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. Maybe your current startup goal is to raise funding or become profitable. How many customers do you need and at what rate? You should then focus on marketing activities that result in a significant impact on your traction goal. It should move the needle.
Your startup has 3 phases:

Phase I: Make something people want

In phase 1, your product has the most leaks, it really doesn’t hold water. You shouldn’t scale up your efforts now, but it’s important to send a small amount of water through the bucket so you can see where the holes are and plug them. \ Your goal in phase 1 is to get your first customers and prove your product can get traction. You focus on building your initial product and getting traction in ways that don’t scale: giving talks, writing guest posts, emailing people you know, attending conferences, and doing whatever you can to get in front of customers.

Some founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off!
– Paul Graham

Phase II: Market something people want

Once you hone your product, you have product-market fit and customers are sticking around. Now is the time to scale up your traction efforts. You fine-tune your positioning and marketing messages.

Phase III: Scale your business

As your company grows, smaller traction strategies stop moving the needle, so you’ll start to scale.
In phase 3 you have an established business model and significant position in the market, and you’re focused on scaling to further dominate the market and to profit.

Traction for funding

When pursuing funding, first contact individuals who understand what you’re working on. The better your investors understand what you’re doing, the less traction they’ll need to see before they invest. Also, try friends and family who may not need to see any traction before investing as they’re investing in you personally.

To pivot or not to pivot

Many startups give up way too early. The first thing to look for is evidence of real product engagement, even if it’s only a few dedicated customers. If you have such an engagement, you might be giving up too soon. Look for the bright spots in your customer base and see if you can expand from that base.

How to get traction? The Bullseye framework

The Bullseye framework helps you find the channel that will get you traction. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
You’re aiming for bullseye: the one channel at the center of the target that will unlock your next growth stage. Here are the 3 Bullseye framework steps:

Find what’s possible: The outer-ring

The first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. It’s important not to dismiss any channel in this step. Think of at least one idea for each channel. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Running ads on Facebook or Twitter is a channel strategy within social ads. You could research what marketing strategies worked in your industry as well as the history of companies in your space.

Find what’s probable: The middle-ring

Go around your outer-ring and promote your best and most exciting ideas to your middle-ring. For each traction channel in your middle ring, now construct a cheap traction test you can run to find if the idea is good or not. These tests need to answer the following questions:
  1. What’s the cost of acquiring customers?
  2. How many customers are available?
  3. Are they the right type of customers for you now?
You want to design small scale tests that don’t require much up-front cost or effort. For example, run 4 Facebook ads instead of 40.

Find what’s working: The inner-ring

The final step in Bullseye is to only focus on one channel that will move the needle for your startup: your core channel. At any stage of your startup, you should have one traction channel that you’re focusing on and optimizing.
Most founders mess this up by keeping around distracting marketing efforts in other channels.
If search engine marketing is significantly better for you than other channels, you should focus all your efforts on this core channel and uncover additional strategies and tactics within it.
If no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process should be repeated. If you tried several times with no success, then your product may require more tweaking and your bucket might be still leaky.

How to test traction?

Middle-ring tests: You should be running several cheap tests that give you an indication of how successful a given channel strategy could be.
Inner ring tests:
You’re doing two things:
  1. Optimize your chosen channel strategy to make it the best it can be.
  2. Discover better channel strategies within this traction channel.
There is always a set of things you can tweak. For targeting blogs, you can tweak which blogs to target, type of content, call to action, etc. For search engine marketing, you can tweak keywords, ad-copy, demographics, and landing pages.
A common approach is to use A/B testing, where A is the control group and B is the experimental group. The purpose of it is to measure the effectiveness of change in a button color, an ad image, or a different message on a web page. If the experimental group performs significantly better, you can apply the change, get the benefits, and run another test.
You can use tools such as Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Unbounce.
Over time, all marketing channels become saturated. To combat this, you should always be trying to discover new strategies and tactics within your channel and conduct small experiments. Also, experiment with new marketing platforms while they’re still in their infancy.

Tools

To track your tests you could start with a simple spreadsheet or use an analytics tool with cohort analysis. You’ll need to answer these questions:
  1. How many people landed on the website?
  2. What are the demographics of my best and worst customers?
  3. Are customers who interact with my support team more likely to stay?
A basic analytics tool like Clicky, Mixpanel, or Chartbeat can help you with these questions. You can use a spreadsheet as the tool to rank and prioritize traction channel strategies. You should include columns like how many customers are available, conversion rate, the cost to acquire a customer, lifetime value of a customer for every given strategy.

How to focus on the right traction goals? The critical path framework

Define your traction goal

You should always have an explicit traction goal you’re working towards. This could be 1,000 paying customers or 100 new daily customers, or 10% of your market. You want a goal where hitting the mark would change things significantly for your company’s outcome.
Once that is defined, you can work backward and set clear time-based subgoals. Such as reaching 1,000 customers by next quarter.
The key is to follow the critical path towards that goal and exclude all features and marketing activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Everything you decide to do should be assessed against your critical path.

Avoid traction biases

Your competitive advantage may be acquiring customers in ways your competition isn’t. That’s why it’s critical to avoid have traction biases. Stop your urge to refuse channels like speaking engagements, sales or affiliate marketing, business development, or trade shows just because you hate talking on the phone or you find the channel annoying or time-consuming.

Targetting blogs

Targeting blogs that your prospective customers read is one of the best ways to get your first wave customers.
Mint’s initial series of tests revealed that targeting blogs should be its core channel. They asked users to embed an “I want mint” badge on their personal blogs and rewarded them with a VIP access before other invitations were sent out. They also directly sponsored blogs. They sent bloggers a message with “Can I send you $500” as the subject and told them a bit about the product.
To find smaller blogs in your niche:
You can also target link-sharing communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, and Hacker News.
Dropbox, Codecademy, Quora, and Gumroad all got their first customers by sharing their products on HackerNews because their products were a good fit for users on that site.

Publicity

Starting out, an article in TechCrunch or The Huffington Post can boost your startup in the eyes of potential customers, investors, or partners. If you have a fascinating story with broad appeal, media outlets will want to hear from you.
It’s easier to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. Sites like TechCrunch and Lifehacker often pick up stories from smaller forums like Hacker News and subreddits. Instead of approaching TechCrunch, try blogs that TechCrunch reads and get story ideas from. It’s easier to get a smaller blog’s attention. Then you might get featured on TechCrunch and then The New York Times which reads TechCrunch!
What gets a reporter’s attention?
A good press angle makes people react emotionally. If it’s not interesting enough to elicit emotion, you don’t have a story worth pitching.
A good first step is using a service like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters request sources for articles they’re working on. It could get you a mention in the piece and help establish your credibility. Also, you could offer reporters commentary on stories related to your industries.
You can use Twitter to reach reporters online; almost all of them have Twitter accounts and you’d be surprised how few followers many of them have, but they can be highly influential with their content.
Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can:
Once your story has been established as a popular news item, try to drag it out as long as you can. Offer interviews that add to the story. Start “How We Did This” follow-up interviews.
As your startup grows you may consider hiring a PR firm or consultant.

Unconventional PR

Nearly every company attempts traditional publicity, but only a few focus on stunts and other unconventional ways to get buzz.

The publicity stunt

Customer Appreciation

Be awesome to your customers. Shortly after Alexis Ohanian launched Hipmunk, he sent out luggage tags and a handwritten note to the first several hundred people who mentioned the site on Twitter.
Holding a contest is also a great repeatable way to generate publicity and get word of mouth. Shopify has an annual Build a Business competition.
Great customer support is so rare that, if you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the news of your awesome product. Zappos is one of the best-known examples of a company with incredible customer service and they classify support as a marketing investment.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is placing ads on search engines like Google. It’s sometimes called “pay-per-click” because you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.
SEM works well for companies looking to sell directly to their target customer. You’re capturing people who are actively searching for solutions.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) The percentage of ad impressions that result in clicks to your site.
Cost per Click (CPC) The amount it costs to buy a click on an ad.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA) How much it costs you to acquire a customer, not just a click. If you buy clicks at $1 and 10% of people who hit your site make a purchase. This makes your CPA at $10.
CPA = CPC / conversion percentage

SEM to get early customer data

You can use SEM as a way to get early customer data in a controlled and predictable way. Even if you don’t expect to be profitable, you can decide to spend a certain amount of money to get an early base of customers and users to inform you about important metrics such as landing page conversion rates, average cost per customer, and lifetime value.
Archives.com used AdWords to drive traffic to their landing pages, even before they built a product, to test interest in a specific product approach. By measuring the CTR for each ad and conversions, they determined which product aspects were the most compelling to potential customers and what those people would actually pay for. When they finally built their product, they built something they knew the market would want.

SEM strategy

Find high-potential keywords, group them into ad groups, and test different ad copy and landing pages within each ad group. As data flows in, remove underperforming ads and landing pages and make tweaks to keep improving results.
Use tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B tests on your landing pages.

Keyword research

Use Google’s keyword planner to discover top keywords your target customers use to find products like yours. You could also use tools such as KeywordSpy, SEMrush, and SpyFu to discover keywords your competition is using.
You can refine your keyword list by adding more terms to the end of each base term to create long-tail keywords. They’re less competitive and have lower search volumes which makes them ideal for testing on smaller groups of customers.
SEM is more expensive for more competitive keywords, so you’ll need to limit yourself to keywords with profitable conversion rates.
You shouldn’t expect your campaigns to be profitable right away, but if you can run a campaign that breaks even after a short period of time, then SEM could be an excellent channel for you to focus on.

Writing ads

Write ads with titles that are catchy, memorable, and relevant to the keywords you’ve paired with it. Include the keyword at least once in the body of your ad and conclude with a prominent call to action like “Check out discounted Nike sneakers!”
Each of your ads and ad groups will have a quality score associated with it. A high-quality score will get you better ad placements and better ad pricing. Click-through rate has the biggest influence on quality score, so you should tailor your ads to the keywords. Google assigns a low-quality score to ads with CTRs below 1.5%

Tactics

Social and Display Ads

Display ads are banner ads you see on websites. Social ads are ads you see on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Large display campaigns are often used for branding and awareness, much like offline ads. They can also elicit a direct response such as signing up for an email newsletter or buying a product.
Social ads perform exceptionally well is when they’re used to build an audience and engage with them over time, and eventually convert them to customers.

Display ads

The largest display ad networks are Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Advertising.com, Tribal Fusion, Conversant, and Adblade. Niche ad networks focus on smaller sites that fit certain audience demographics, such as dog lovers or Apple fanatics.
To get started in display advertising, you could start to find out types of ads that work in your industry. You could use tools like MixRank and Adbeat to show you ads your competitors are running and where they place them. Alexa and Quantcast can help you determine who visits the sites that feature your competitors’ ads.

Social ads

Social ads work well for creating interest among potential new customers. The goal is often awareness oriented, not conversion oriented. A purchase takes place further down the line. People visit social media sites for entertainment and interaction, not to see ads.
An effective social ad strategy takes advantage of this reality. Use ads to start conversations about your products by creating compelling content. Instead of directing people to a conversion page, direct them to a piece of content that explains why you developed your product or has other purposes than immediately completing a sale. If you have a piece of content that has high organic reach, when you put paid ads behind that piece, magic happens. Paid is only as good as the content you put behind it. You should employ social ads when you know that a fire is starting around your message and you want to put more oil on it.
Major social sites you may consider are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and many others.

Offline Ads

Even today, advertisers spend more on offline ads than they do online. When buying offline ads, You should try to advertise to demographics that match up with your target audience. Ask for an audience prospectus or ad kit.
Not sure if magazine ads are a good channel for you? Buy a small ad in a niche publication and give it a test. Want to see if newspapers would be good? Buy a few ads in a local paper. You can also try radio ads and billboards.

Magazine ads

A compelling magazine or newspaper ad will have an attention-grabbing header, an eye-catching graphic, and a description of the product’s benefits. Also, you should have a strong call to action, like an offer to get a free book.

Direct mail

You could also try direct mail by searching for “direct mail lists” and find companies selling such information. (Beware that it can be perceived as spammy)

Local print

You could also try local print ads like local fliers, directories, calendars, church bulletins, community newsletters, coupon booklets, or yellow pages. These work really well for cheap if you want to get early traction for your company in a specific area.

Outdoor advertising

If you want to buy space on a billboard, you could contact companies like Lamar, Clear Channel, or Outfront Media. Billboards aren’t effective for people to take immediate action, but it’s extremely effective for raising awareness around events, like concerts and conferences.
DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard and it got big attention and press coverage.
Transit ads can be effective as a direct response tool. You can contact Blue Line Media to help you with Transit ads.

Radio and TV

Radio ads are priced on a cost per point (CPP) basis, where each point represents what it will cost to reach 1% of the station’s listeners. It also depends on your market, when the commercial runs and how many ads you’ve bought.
TV ads are often used as branding mechanisms. Quality is critical for it and production costs can run to tens of thousands. Higher-end ones can cost $200K to make. You’ll also need an average of $350,000 for actual airtime. For smaller startups, you could try local TV spots which is much cheaper.
Infomercials work really well for products in categories like Workout equipment, household products, health products, and work-from-home businesses. They can cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and they’re always direct-response.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is improving your ranking in search engines in order to get more people to your site.
The most important thing to know about SEO is that the more high-quality links you have to a given site or page, the higher it will rank. You should also make sure you’re using the keywords you want to target appropriately on your pages, like in your page titles and headings.
There are 2 strategies to choose from: fat-head and long-tail.
Fat-head: These are one and two-word searches like “Dishwashers,” and “Facebook.” They are searched a lot and make about 30% of searches and are called.
Long-tail: These are longer searches that don’t get searched as much but add up to the majority of searches made. They make up 70% of searches.
When determining which strategy to use, you should keep in mind that the percentage of clicks drops off dramatically as you rank lower. Only 10% of clicks occur beyond the first page.

Fat-head strategy

To find out if fat-head is worthwhile, research what terms people use to find products in your industry, and then see if search volumes are large enough to move the needle. You can use the keyword planner tool for that. You want to find terms that have enough volume such that if you captured 10% for a given term, it would be meaningful.
The next step is determining the difficulty of ranking high for each term. Use tools like Open Site Explorer. If a competitor has thousands of links for a term, it will likely take a lot of focus on building links and optimizing to rank above them.
Next, narrow your list of targeted keywords to just a handful. Go to Google Trends to see how your keywords have been doing. Are they searched more or less often in the last year? You can further test keywords by buying SEM ads against them. If they convert well, then you have an indication that these keywords could get you strong growth.
Next, orient your site around the terms you’ve chosen. Include phrases you are targeting in your page titles and homepage. Get other sites to link to your site. Links with exact phrase matching from high-quality sites will give you a significant boost.

Long-Tail strategy

Because it’s difficult to rank high for competitive fat-head terms, a popular SEO strategy for early-stage startups is to focus on long-tail. If you bundle a lot of long-term keywords together you can reach a meaningful number of customers.
Find out what are search volumes for a bunch of long-tail keywords in your industry? Do they add up to meaningful amounts? Also, take a look at the analytics software you use on your site or google search console to find some of the search terms people are already using to get to your site. If you’re naturally getting a significant amount of traffic from long-tail keywords, then the strategy might be a good fit. Also, check if competitors use this strategy. If they have a lot of landing pages (search for site:domain.com in google), then it’s a sign that this strategy works for your market. Also, check Alexa search rankings and look at the percentage of visitors your competitors are receiving from search.
If you proceed with a long-tail SEO strategy, you’ll need to produce significant amounts of quality content. If you can’t invest time in that, you can pay a freelancer from Upwork to write an article for every search phrase you want to target.
Another way is to use content that naturally flows from your business. Ask yourself: what data do we naturally collect or generate that other people may find useful. Large businesses like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia all gained most of their traffic by producing automated long-tail content. Sometimes the data is hidden behind a login screen and all you need to do is expose it to search engines, or aggregate it in a useful manner.

How to get links?

Don’t buy links, you’ll be penalized by search engines for it. Instead, you can do:

Content Marketing

Companies like Moz and Unbounce have well-known company blogs that are their biggest source of customer acquisition.
Unbounce started a blog and an email list from day one. They used social media to drive readers to your blog. They pinged twitter influencers to ask for feedback, gave away free infographics, and e-books. These actions don’t scale but they push them to a point where their content will spread on its own.
OkCupid is a free online dating site. They intentionally wrote controversial posts like “How your race affects the messages you get” to generate traffic and conversation.

Tactics

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a personal channel. Messages from your company sit next to emails from friends and family. That’s why email marketing works best when personalized. It can be used to build familiarity with prospects, acquire customers, and retain customers you already have.

Email marketing to Find customers

Email marketing to Engage customers

If a customer never gets the value of your product, how can you expect them to pay for it or recommend it to others?

Email marketing to Retain customers

Email marketing can be the most effective channel to bring people back to your site. Twitter sends you an email with a weekly digest of popular tweets and your new notifications.
More business-oriented products usually focus on reminders, reports, and information about how you’re getting value from the product. Mint sends a weekly financial summary to show your expenses and income over the previous week.
You can also use it to surprise and delight your customers. Planscope sends a weekly email to customers telling them how much they made that week. Photo apps will send you pictures you took a year ago.

Email marketing to Drive revenue

You can send a series of emails aimed at upselling customers.
WP Engine sends prospects an email course about Wordpress, and near the end of the email, they make a pitch to signup for its premium Wordpress hosting service.
If one of your customers abandoned a shopping cart, send her a targeted email a day or two later with a special offer for whatever item is left in the cart.
You can use email to explain a premium feature a customer is missing out on and how it can help them in a big way.

Email marketing to get referrals

Groupon generates referrals by incentivizing people to tell their friends about discounts.

Tactics

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is getting your existing customers to refer others to your product. It was the driving force behind the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
It’s so powerful that even if you can’t achieve exponential growth with it, you can still get meaningful growth. If your customer refers a new customer within the first week, you’ll go from ten customers to twenty and double every week without any additional marketing.
The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it — pure word of mouth.
Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers, like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Others grow by encouraging collaboration like Google Docs.
Some embed virality like adding “Get a free email account with Hotmail” or “Sent from iPhone” to default signatures. Mailchimp and other email marketing products add branding to free customers’ emails.
Some incentivize customers to move through a viral loop, like Dropbox giving you more space if you invite friends to sign up. Airbnb, Uber, and PayPal give you account credits for referring friends.
Some add embedded buttons and widgets to grow virally, like Reddit and YouTube.
Some broadcast users activities on their social networks, like Spotify posting on Facebook when you play a song, or Pinterest when you pin content.
The viral coefficient K is the number of additional customers you can get for each customer you bring in. It depends on i, the number of invites sent per user, and conversion percentage (who will actually sign up after receiving an invite)
K = i * conversion percentage
Any viral coefficient above 1 will result in exponential growth. Any viral coefficient over 0.5 helps your efforts to grow considerably.
You can increase the number of invites per user i by including features that encourage sharing, such as posting to social networks. You can increase the conversion percentage by testing different signup flows. Try cutting out pages or signup fields.
Viral cycle time is how long it takes a user to go through your viral loop. Shortening your cycle time drastically increases the rate at which you go viral. You can do it by creating urgency or incentivizing customers to move through the loops.

Tactics

Engineering as Marketing

You can build tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers.
HubSpot has Marketing Grade, a free marketing review tool. It’s free, gives you valuable information, and provides HubSpot with the information they use to qualify you as a potential prospect.
Moz has two free SEO tools, Followerwong and Open Site Explorer. They’ve driven tens of thousands of leads for Moz.
WP Engine has a speed testing tool that asks only for an email address in exchange for a detailed report on your site’s speed.

Business Development

With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.
Google got most of its initial traction from a partnership with Netscape to be the default search engine and an agreement with Yahoo to power its online searches.
Business development can take the form of:
You should have already defined your traction goal and milestones, and you shouldn’t accept any partnership that doesn’t align with it. Many startups waste resources because it’s tempting to make deals with bigger companies.

Sales

Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and converting them into paying customers. It’s particularly useful for expensive and enterprise products.

Structuring the sales conversation

Situation questions. Ask one or two questions per conversation. The more you ask situation questions, the less likely they’re going to close.
Problem questions. Use sparingly.
Implication questions. Meant to make a prospect aware of the large implications that stem from the problem.
Need-payoff questions. Focus attention on your solution and get buyers to think about the benefits of solving the problem.

Cold calls

Be judicious about the people you contact. You want someone who is one-two levels up in the organization. They have enough perspective on the problem and some authority for decision making. Avoid starting at the top unless you’re calling a very small business.
Try to get answers about:

Tactics

It’s better to gain traction through a marketing channel first, then use sales as a conversion tool to close leads. The next stage is lead qualification: determine how ready a prospect is to buy. Once you’ve qualified the leads, you should lay out exactly what are you going to do for the customer. Set up a timetable for it and get them to commit with a yes or no whether they’re going to buy. Closing leads can be done by a sales team who does a webinar or product demo and has an ongoing email sequence that ends with a purchase request. In other cases, you may need a field sales team that actually visits prospective customers for some part of the process.
A checklist that can help you with sales:
I removed the last sections because of the post character limit. Here are two:
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Free marketing guide for startups: How to achieve explosive growth!

Here is the summary of the book Traction: How any startup can achieve explosive growth.
I hope that you find it useful!

Traction is a sign that your startup is taking off. If you charge, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it means your user base is growing.
If you have traction, all your technical, market, and team risks become easier to handle. It becomes easier to fund-raise, hire, do press, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Traction trumps everything.

How to think about Traction?

Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers.
You should spend your time in parallel, both constructing your product and testing traction channels.
This is what we call the 50 percent rule: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50% on traction. This rule seems simple but it’s hard to follow because the pull to spend all your attention on the product is strong. You’re probably making a startup because you want to build a particular product. You have a vision, but a lot of traction activities are unknown and outside your vision and comfort zone. So you try to avoid them. Don’t.
Doing product and traction in parallel has these benefits:
Before trying to get traction, you’ll need to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. Maybe your current startup goal is to raise funding or become profitable. How many customers do you need and at what rate? You should then focus on marketing activities that result in a significant impact on your traction goal. It should move the needle.
Your startup has 3 phases:

Phase I: Make something people want

In phase 1, your product has the most leaks, it really doesn’t hold water. You shouldn’t scale up your efforts now, but it’s important to send a small amount of water through the bucket so you can see where the holes are and plug them. \ Your goal in phase 1 is to get your first customers and prove your product can get traction. You focus on building your initial product and getting traction in ways that don’t scale: giving talks, writing guest posts, emailing people you know, attending conferences, and doing whatever you can to get in front of customers.

Some founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off!
– Paul Graham

Phase II: Market something people want

Once you hone your product, you have product-market fit and customers are sticking around. Now is the time to scale up your traction efforts. You fine-tune your positioning and marketing messages.

Phase III: Scale your business

As your company grows, smaller traction strategies stop moving the needle, so you’ll start to scale.
In phase 3 you have an established business model and significant position in the market, and you’re focused on scaling to further dominate the market and to profit.

Traction for funding

When pursuing funding, first contact individuals who understand what you’re working on. The better your investors understand what you’re doing, the less traction they’ll need to see before they invest. Also, try friends and family who may not need to see any traction before investing as they’re investing in you personally.

To pivot or not to pivot

Many startups give up way too early. The first thing to look for is evidence of real product engagement, even if it’s only a few dedicated customers. If you have such an engagement, you might be giving up too soon. Look for the bright spots in your customer base and see if you can expand from that base.

How to get traction? The Bullseye framework

The Bullseye framework helps you find the channel that will get you traction. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
You’re aiming for bullseye: the one channel at the center of the target that will unlock your next growth stage. Here are the 3 Bullseye framework steps:

Find what’s possible: The outer-ring

The first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. It’s important not to dismiss any channel in this step. Think of at least one idea for each channel. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Running ads on Facebook or Twitter is a channel strategy within social ads. You could research what marketing strategies worked in your industry as well as the history of companies in your space.

Find what’s probable: The middle-ring

Go around your outer-ring and promote your best and most exciting ideas to your middle-ring. For each traction channel in your middle ring, now construct a cheap traction test you can run to find if the idea is good or not. These tests need to answer the following questions:
  1. What’s the cost of acquiring customers?
  2. How many customers are available?
  3. Are they the right type of customers for you now?
You want to design small scale tests that don’t require much up-front cost or effort. For example, run 4 Facebook ads instead of 40.

Find what’s working: The inner-ring

The final step in Bullseye is to only focus on one channel that will move the needle for your startup: your core channel. At any stage of your startup, you should have one traction channel that you’re focusing on and optimizing.
Most founders mess this up by keeping around distracting marketing efforts in other channels.
If search engine marketing is significantly better for you than other channels, you should focus all your efforts on this core channel and uncover additional strategies and tactics within it.
If no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process should be repeated. If you tried several times with no success, then your product may require more tweaking and your bucket might be still leaky.

How to test traction?

Middle-ring tests: You should be running several cheap tests that give you an indication of how successful a given channel strategy could be.
Inner ring tests:
You’re doing two things:
  1. Optimize your chosen channel strategy to make it the best it can be.
  2. Discover better channel strategies within this traction channel.
There is always a set of things you can tweak. For targeting blogs, you can tweak which blogs to target, type of content, call to action, etc. For search engine marketing, you can tweak keywords, ad-copy, demographics, and landing pages.
A common approach is to use A/B testing, where A is the control group and B is the experimental group. The purpose of it is to measure the effectiveness of change in a button color, an ad image, or a different message on a web page. If the experimental group performs significantly better, you can apply the change, get the benefits, and run another test.
You can use tools such as Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Unbounce.
Over time, all marketing channels become saturated. To combat this, you should always be trying to discover new strategies and tactics within your channel and conduct small experiments. Also, experiment with new marketing platforms while they’re still in their infancy.

Tools

To track your tests you could start with a simple spreadsheet or use an analytics tool with cohort analysis. You’ll need to answer these questions:
  1. How many people landed on the website?
  2. What are the demographics of my best and worst customers?
  3. Are customers who interact with my support team more likely to stay?
A basic analytics tool like Clicky, Mixpanel, or Chartbeat can help you with these questions. You can use a spreadsheet as the tool to rank and prioritize traction channel strategies. You should include columns like how many customers are available, conversion rate, the cost to acquire a customer, lifetime value of a customer for every given strategy.

How to focus on the right traction goals? The critical path framework

Define your traction goal

You should always have an explicit traction goal you’re working towards. This could be 1,000 paying customers or 100 new daily customers, or 10% of your market. You want a goal where hitting the mark would change things significantly for your company’s outcome.
Once that is defined, you can work backward and set clear time-based subgoals. Such as reaching 1,000 customers by next quarter.
The key is to follow the critical path towards that goal and exclude all features and marketing activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Everything you decide to do should be assessed against your critical path.

Avoid traction biases

Your competitive advantage may be acquiring customers in ways your competition isn’t. That’s why it’s critical to avoid have traction biases. Stop your urge to refuse channels like speaking engagements, sales or affiliate marketing, business development, or trade shows just because you hate talking on the phone or you find the channel annoying or time-consuming.

Targetting blogs

Targeting blogs that your prospective customers read is one of the best ways to get your first wave customers.
Mint’s initial series of tests revealed that targeting blogs should be its core channel. They asked users to embed an “I want mint” badge on their personal blogs and rewarded them with a VIP access before other invitations were sent out. They also directly sponsored blogs. They sent bloggers a message with “Can I send you $500” as the subject and told them a bit about the product.
To find smaller blogs in your niche:
You can also target link-sharing communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, and Hacker News.
Dropbox, Codecademy, Quora, and Gumroad all got their first customers by sharing their products on HackerNews because their products were a good fit for users on that site.

Publicity

Starting out, an article in TechCrunch or The Huffington Post can boost your startup in the eyes of potential customers, investors, or partners. If you have a fascinating story with broad appeal, media outlets will want to hear from you.
It’s easier to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. Sites like TechCrunch and Lifehacker often pick up stories from smaller forums like Hacker News and subreddits. Instead of approaching TechCrunch, try blogs that TechCrunch reads and get story ideas from. It’s easier to get a smaller blog’s attention. Then you might get featured on TechCrunch and then The New York Times which reads TechCrunch!
What gets a reporter’s attention?
A good press angle makes people react emotionally. If it’s not interesting enough to elicit emotion, you don’t have a story worth pitching.
A good first step is using a service like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters request sources for articles they’re working on. It could get you a mention in the piece and help establish your credibility. Also, you could offer reporters commentary on stories related to your industries.
You can use Twitter to reach reporters online; almost all of them have Twitter accounts and you’d be surprised how few followers many of them have, but they can be highly influential with their content.
Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can:
Once your story has been established as a popular news item, try to drag it out as long as you can. Offer interviews that add to the story. Start “How We Did This” follow-up interviews.
As your startup grows you may consider hiring a PR firm or consultant.

Unconventional PR

Nearly every company attempts traditional publicity, but only a few focus on stunts and other unconventional ways to get buzz.

The publicity stunt

Customer Appreciation

Be awesome to your customers. Shortly after Alexis Ohanian launched Hipmunk, he sent out luggage tags and a handwritten note to the first several hundred people who mentioned the site on Twitter.
Holding a contest is also a great repeatable way to generate publicity and get word of mouth. Shopify has an annual Build a Business competition.
Great customer support is so rare that, if you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the news of your awesome product. Zappos is one of the best-known examples of a company with incredible customer service and they classify support as a marketing investment.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is placing ads on search engines like Google. It’s sometimes called “pay-per-click” because you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.
SEM works well for companies looking to sell directly to their target customer. You’re capturing people who are actively searching for solutions.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) The percentage of ad impressions that result in clicks to your site.
Cost per Click (CPC) The amount it costs to buy a click on an ad.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA) How much it costs you to acquire a customer, not just a click. If you buy clicks at $1 and 10% of people who hit your site make a purchase. This makes your CPA at $10.
CPA = CPC / conversion percentage

SEM to get early customer data

You can use SEM as a way to get early customer data in a controlled and predictable way. Even if you don’t expect to be profitable, you can decide to spend a certain amount of money to get an early base of customers and users to inform you about important metrics such as landing page conversion rates, average cost per customer, and lifetime value.
Archives.com used AdWords to drive traffic to their landing pages, even before they built a product, to test interest in a specific product approach. By measuring the CTR for each ad and conversions, they determined which product aspects were the most compelling to potential customers and what those people would actually pay for. When they finally built their product, they built something they knew the market would want.

SEM strategy

Find high-potential keywords, group them into ad groups, and test different ad copy and landing pages within each ad group. As data flows in, remove underperforming ads and landing pages and make tweaks to keep improving results.
Use tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B tests on your landing pages.

Keyword research

Use Google’s keyword planner to discover top keywords your target customers use to find products like yours. You could also use tools such as KeywordSpy, SEMrush, and SpyFu to discover keywords your competition is using.
You can refine your keyword list by adding more terms to the end of each base term to create long-tail keywords. They’re less competitive and have lower search volumes which makes them ideal for testing on smaller groups of customers.
SEM is more expensive for more competitive keywords, so you’ll need to limit yourself to keywords with profitable conversion rates.
You shouldn’t expect your campaigns to be profitable right away, but if you can run a campaign that breaks even after a short period of time, then SEM could be an excellent channel for you to focus on.

Writing ads

Write ads with titles that are catchy, memorable, and relevant to the keywords you’ve paired with it. Include the keyword at least once in the body of your ad and conclude with a prominent call to action like “Check out discounted Nike sneakers!”
Each of your ads and ad groups will have a quality score associated with it. A high-quality score will get you better ad placements and better ad pricing. Click-through rate has the biggest influence on quality score, so you should tailor your ads to the keywords. Google assigns a low-quality score to ads with CTRs below 1.5%

Tactics

Social and Display Ads

Display ads are banner ads you see on websites. Social ads are ads you see on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Large display campaigns are often used for branding and awareness, much like offline ads. They can also elicit a direct response such as signing up for an email newsletter or buying a product.
Social ads perform exceptionally well is when they’re used to build an audience and engage with them over time, and eventually convert them to customers.

Display ads

The largest display ad networks are Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Advertising.com, Tribal Fusion, Conversant, and Adblade. Niche ad networks focus on smaller sites that fit certain audience demographics, such as dog lovers or Apple fanatics.
To get started in display advertising, you could start to find out types of ads that work in your industry. You could use tools like MixRank and Adbeat to show you ads your competitors are running and where they place them. Alexa and Quantcast can help you determine who visits the sites that feature your competitors’ ads.

Social ads

Social ads work well for creating interest among potential new customers. The goal is often awareness oriented, not conversion oriented. A purchase takes place further down the line. People visit social media sites for entertainment and interaction, not to see ads.
An effective social ad strategy takes advantage of this reality. Use ads to start conversations about your products by creating compelling content. Instead of directing people to a conversion page, direct them to a piece of content that explains why you developed your product or has other purposes than immediately completing a sale. If you have a piece of content that has high organic reach, when you put paid ads behind that piece, magic happens. Paid is only as good as the content you put behind it. You should employ social ads when you know that a fire is starting around your message and you want to put more oil on it.
Major social sites you may consider are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and many others.

Offline Ads

Even today, advertisers spend more on offline ads than they do online. When buying offline ads, You should try to advertise to demographics that match up with your target audience. Ask for an audience prospectus or ad kit.
Not sure if magazine ads are a good channel for you? Buy a small ad in a niche publication and give it a test. Want to see if newspapers would be good? Buy a few ads in a local paper. You can also try radio ads and billboards.

Magazine ads

A compelling magazine or newspaper ad will have an attention-grabbing header, an eye-catching graphic, and a description of the product’s benefits. Also, you should have a strong call to action, like an offer to get a free book.

Direct mail

You could also try direct mail by searching for “direct mail lists” and find companies selling such information. (Beware that it can be perceived as spammy)

Local print

You could also try local print ads like local fliers, directories, calendars, church bulletins, community newsletters, coupon booklets, or yellow pages. These work really well for cheap if you want to get early traction for your company in a specific area.

Outdoor advertising

If you want to buy space on a billboard, you could contact companies like Lamar, Clear Channel, or Outfront Media. Billboards aren’t effective for people to take immediate action, but it’s extremely effective for raising awareness around events, like concerts and conferences.
DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard and it got big attention and press coverage.
Transit ads can be effective as a direct response tool. You can contact Blue Line Media to help you with Transit ads.

Radio and TV

Radio ads are priced on a cost per point (CPP) basis, where each point represents what it will cost to reach 1% of the station’s listeners. It also depends on your market, when the commercial runs and how many ads you’ve bought.
TV ads are often used as branding mechanisms. Quality is critical for it and production costs can run to tens of thousands. Higher-end ones can cost $200K to make. You’ll also need an average of $350,000 for actual airtime. For smaller startups, you could try local TV spots which is much cheaper.
Infomercials work really well for products in categories like Workout equipment, household products, health products, and work-from-home businesses. They can cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and they’re always direct-response.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is improving your ranking in search engines in order to get more people to your site.
The most important thing to know about SEO is that the more high-quality links you have to a given site or page, the higher it will rank. You should also make sure you’re using the keywords you want to target appropriately on your pages, like in your page titles and headings.
There are 2 strategies to choose from: fat-head and long-tail.
Fat-head: These are one and two-word searches like “Dishwashers,” and “Facebook.” They are searched a lot and make about 30% of searches and are called.
Long-tail: These are longer searches that don’t get searched as much but add up to the majority of searches made. They make up 70% of searches.
When determining which strategy to use, you should keep in mind that the percentage of clicks drops off dramatically as you rank lower. Only 10% of clicks occur beyond the first page.

Fat-head strategy

To find out if fat-head is worthwhile, research what terms people use to find products in your industry, and then see if search volumes are large enough to move the needle. You can use the keyword planner tool for that. You want to find terms that have enough volume such that if you captured 10% for a given term, it would be meaningful.
The next step is determining the difficulty of ranking high for each term. Use tools like Open Site Explorer. If a competitor has thousands of links for a term, it will likely take a lot of focus on building links and optimizing to rank above them.
Next, narrow your list of targeted keywords to just a handful. Go to Google Trends to see how your keywords have been doing. Are they searched more or less often in the last year? You can further test keywords by buying SEM ads against them. If they convert well, then you have an indication that these keywords could get you strong growth.
Next, orient your site around the terms you’ve chosen. Include phrases you are targeting in your page titles and homepage. Get other sites to link to your site. Links with exact phrase matching from high-quality sites will give you a significant boost.

Long-Tail strategy

Because it’s difficult to rank high for competitive fat-head terms, a popular SEO strategy for early-stage startups is to focus on long-tail. If you bundle a lot of long-term keywords together you can reach a meaningful number of customers.
Find out what are search volumes for a bunch of long-tail keywords in your industry? Do they add up to meaningful amounts? Also, take a look at the analytics software you use on your site or google search console to find some of the search terms people are already using to get to your site. If you’re naturally getting a significant amount of traffic from long-tail keywords, then the strategy might be a good fit. Also, check if competitors use this strategy. If they have a lot of landing pages (search for site:domain.com in google), then it’s a sign that this strategy works for your market. Also, check Alexa search rankings and look at the percentage of visitors your competitors are receiving from search.
If you proceed with a long-tail SEO strategy, you’ll need to produce significant amounts of quality content. If you can’t invest time in that, you can pay a freelancer from Upwork to write an article for every search phrase you want to target.
Another way is to use content that naturally flows from your business. Ask yourself: what data do we naturally collect or generate that other people may find useful. Large businesses like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia all gained most of their traffic by producing automated long-tail content. Sometimes the data is hidden behind a login screen and all you need to do is expose it to search engines, or aggregate it in a useful manner.

How to get links?

Don’t buy links, you’ll be penalized by search engines for it. Instead, you can do:

Content Marketing

Companies like Moz and Unbounce have well-known company blogs that are their biggest source of customer acquisition.
Unbounce started a blog and an email list from day one. They used social media to drive readers to your blog. They pinged twitter influencers to ask for feedback, gave away free infographics, and e-books. These actions don’t scale but they push them to a point where their content will spread on its own.
OkCupid is a free online dating site. They intentionally wrote controversial posts like “How your race affects the messages you get” to generate traffic and conversation.

Tactics

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a personal channel. Messages from your company sit next to emails from friends and family. That’s why email marketing works best when personalized. It can be used to build familiarity with prospects, acquire customers, and retain customers you already have.

Email marketing to Find customers

Email marketing to Engage customers

If a customer never gets the value of your product, how can you expect them to pay for it or recommend it to others?

Email marketing to Retain customers

Email marketing can be the most effective channel to bring people back to your site. Twitter sends you an email with a weekly digest of popular tweets and your new notifications.
More business-oriented products usually focus on reminders, reports, and information about how you’re getting value from the product. Mint sends a weekly financial summary to show your expenses and income over the previous week.
You can also use it to surprise and delight your customers. Planscope sends a weekly email to customers telling them how much they made that week. Photo apps will send you pictures you took a year ago.

Email marketing to Drive revenue

You can send a series of emails aimed at upselling customers.
WP Engine sends prospects an email course about Wordpress, and near the end of the email, they make a pitch to signup for its premium Wordpress hosting service.
If one of your customers abandoned a shopping cart, send her a targeted email a day or two later with a special offer for whatever item is left in the cart.
You can use email to explain a premium feature a customer is missing out on and how it can help them in a big way.

Email marketing to get referrals

Groupon generates referrals by incentivizing people to tell their friends about discounts.

Tactics

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is getting your existing customers to refer others to your product. It was the driving force behind the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
It’s so powerful that even if you can’t achieve exponential growth with it, you can still get meaningful growth. If your customer refers a new customer within the first week, you’ll go from ten customers to twenty and double every week without any additional marketing.
The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it — pure word of mouth.
Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers, like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Others grow by encouraging collaboration like Google Docs.
Some embed virality like adding “Get a free email account with Hotmail” or “Sent from iPhone” to default signatures. Mailchimp and other email marketing products add branding to free customers’ emails.
Some incentivize customers to move through a viral loop, like Dropbox giving you more space if you invite friends to sign up. Airbnb, Uber, and PayPal give you account credits for referring friends.
Some add embedded buttons and widgets to grow virally, like Reddit and YouTube.
Some broadcast users activities on their social networks, like Spotify posting on Facebook when you play a song, or Pinterest when you pin content.
The viral coefficient K is the number of additional customers you can get for each customer you bring in. It depends on i, the number of invites sent per user, and conversion percentage (who will actually sign up after receiving an invite)
K = i * conversion percentage
Any viral coefficient above 1 will result in exponential growth. Any viral coefficient over 0.5 helps your efforts to grow considerably.
You can increase the number of invites per user i by including features that encourage sharing, such as posting to social networks. You can increase the conversion percentage by testing different signup flows. Try cutting out pages or signup fields.
Viral cycle time is how long it takes a user to go through your viral loop. Shortening your cycle time drastically increases the rate at which you go viral. You can do it by creating urgency or incentivizing customers to move through the loops.

Tactics

Engineering as Marketing

You can build tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers.
HubSpot has Marketing Grade, a free marketing review tool. It’s free, gives you valuable information, and provides HubSpot with the information they use to qualify you as a potential prospect.
Moz has two free SEO tools, Followerwong and Open Site Explorer. They’ve driven tens of thousands of leads for Moz.
WP Engine has a speed testing tool that asks only for an email address in exchange for a detailed report on your site’s speed.

Business Development

With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.
Google got most of its initial traction from a partnership with Netscape to be the default search engine and an agreement with Yahoo to power its online searches.
Business development can take the form of:
You should have already defined your traction goal and milestones, and you shouldn’t accept any partnership that doesn’t align with it. Many startups waste resources because it’s tempting to make deals with bigger companies.

Sales

Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and converting them into paying customers. It’s particularly useful for expensive and enterprise products.

Structuring the sales conversation

Situation questions. Ask one or two questions per conversation. The more you ask situation questions, the less likely they’re going to close.
Problem questions. Use sparingly.
Implication questions. Meant to make a prospect aware of the large implications that stem from the problem.
Need-payoff questions. Focus attention on your solution and get buyers to think about the benefits of solving the problem.

Cold calls

Be judicious about the people you contact. You want someone who is one-two levels up in the organization. They have enough perspective on the problem and some authority for decision making. Avoid starting at the top unless you’re calling a very small business.
Try to get answers about:

Tactics

It’s better to gain traction through a marketing channel first, then use sales as a conversion tool to close leads. The next stage is lead qualification: determine how ready a prospect is to buy. Once you’ve qualified the leads, you should lay out exactly what are you going to do for the customer. Set up a timetable for it and get them to commit with a yes or no whether they’re going to buy. Closing leads can be done by a sales team who does a webinar or product demo and has an ongoing email sequence that ends with a purchase request. In other cases, you may need a field sales team that actually visits prospective customers for some part of the process.
A checklist that can help you with sales:
submitted by alollou to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Affilcoin results and plans

Affilcoin results and plans
Hi there! 👋🏻 In this post, we will tell you about our results and plans!
📖 A roadmap is a structured project development plan, goals, and planned milestones towards the launch and successful operation of the project.
❗️ Despite the visually linearly structured map, work on the assigned tasks takes place in parallel, simultaneously in several directions. Our roadmap gives you an insight into the Affil team values, our achievements, and future plans.
✅ 2019
June - Affiliate Coin Conceptualized with Specs and Timings
July - Conceptual Prototype Testing
August - Main Development Phase
November - Affil Blockchain Beta Testing
December - Launch of Partnership Program, Wallet Setup and Mining Initiated
✅ 2020
Q1 - Launch of Affil Blockchain; Affil Coin listing on multiple exchanges
Q2 - Launch of Affil Blockchain Coin Constructor
Q3 - Launch of Wallet Mobile Application and International Cashback Platform
Q4 - Launch of Affil Blockchain CPA Network, Launch of Affiliate Integrations for Gambling Platforms
Our team will regularly inform Affilcoin community about our achievements, decisions made, results of work done, events, and more.
📢 Be sure to subscribe to our channels in social media so as not to miss important messages about the project!
📢 Join our Telegram channel and participate in discussions. Your participation has a direct impact on our development. Your opinion and feedback are very important to us!
https://preview.redd.it/bwkad8hxvq251.png?width=2400&format=png&auto=webp&s=930fa67180dbe2d5f554d9dfecd18f8e89b66424
submitted by VS_community to affilcoin [link] [comments]

CASE STUDY - Growing Another Purchased Affiliate Site - Attempt #2 - Month 1 (April 2020)

Here we go again! I did a very active Case Study on this subreddit of taking a site from $1,000/mo to now $13,000/mo, selling it, retaining 25% equity, and still managing the site for a fee. Read all of that here in Month 10 of the Case Study. That site is doing well. We closed in on $13,000 profit in April 2020
I am back with another case study. Similar to the first case study, I also purchased this site very recently. Let's get started with where the domain stands as of when it was purchased.

Case Study Website Details

Why Did I Buy This Site

Let's get started on what I did in April 2020 right after buying the website.

Month 1: April 2020

I had a full month in April 2020 to stabilize the site, plus a few days in late March 2020 as well.
Let's start with some April 2020 stats and then we can get into the nitty-gritty of what I did to increase income:
Monetization:

Quick Wins for April 2020

Whenever I acquire a website, I like to go for quick wins. Here are the quick wins that I did within April 2020.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

If a website has traffic, it's easier to increase income through Conversion Rate Optimization. That's exactly what I did.
  1. Add more affiliate links: Affiliate links were missing on a few critical places on the main landing page of the website.
  2. Added Comparison tables above the fold
  3. Added Amazon Native Ads at the bottom of each post

Improve On-Page SEO

  1. Increase page speed, caching, etc: Changed server hosting to Digital Ocean with plugins like WP Rocket, and services like Cloudflare to make the site much faster
  2. Optimize Image size: Ran the site through ShortPixel to reduce image size
  3. Related Articles: pages on the website did not have any related articles at the bottom of the articles. Users were left with a "dead end" after reading the article. Adding a Related Post plugin increased the Number of Pages view, and decreased the Bounce Rate on the website immediately.
  4. Interlink Articles: Installed Link Whisper plugin. Use the plugin to easily link all of the articles to high-traffic potential articles.

Keyword Research

Using AHREFs, I found hundreds of product-related keywords. Since my domain is strong, I don't really care how much competition the keywords have as my site is an authority in the niche and it will take the top 3 positions rather quickly.
My focus now are keywords with the following format "Best X...", "X vs Y", and "X review". These are easy to rank for and very lucrative.

Content, Content, Content

Using the same process as in my first Case Study, I immediately hired a team of writers. Currently, I have 8 writers. Of those, 3 writers do hands-on reviews for brands that want to sponsor reviews. The others have some background in the niche but I do not give them products to review.
As I said, all of the writers are experts in the niche. Therefore, they actually have many of the products being reviewed. I make sure they write in the 1st person, share personal experiences, provide actual images of the products, etc. This provides a much more valuable article!

Integrated More Amazon Affiliate Links

The previous owner was not strongly promoting Amazon or any network for that matter. They were doing it as a hobby.
Comparison Tables: I immediately implemented comparison tables. I created my own HTML+CSS table so that I can embed both Amazon and other affiliate network links. I use AAWP to create the Amazon links that get embedded into my handmade tables. The tables look great on Desktop and Mobile.
Amazon Native Ads: I usually put one of these at the bottom of each post.

Applied to Other Affiliate Networks

Amazon cut commissions in April. This has caused many affiliates to diversify income. This was part of my plan anyway since most of the manufacturers I am promoting have private affiliate networks through Impact Radius, AvantLink, or Commission Junction.
Therefore, I applied to these networks. I currently am accepted to over 80 company affiliate programs through these networks.
The challenge that this site has is that most people buy random stuff in the niche when going to Amazon. Therefore, other programs will only work if these criteria are met:
If these are not met, then it makes no sense to promote such a product. Smaller priced products should be promoted through Amazon since you have a high chance of extra products being purchased.
Each niche is different. Do your own research on this.

CPA Offers

The niche I am in has many CPA offers through private networks, Clickbank, etc. Of the revenue generated above, $500 or so is from CPA offers.
I was accepted to a private CPA network with specific offers for this niche. Looking to expand into CPA offers over time with this site.

Email Newsletters

There are over 3,400 email subscribers. I have everything set up in Aweber costing about $50 per month.
Using Elementor, I setup popups on the site to capture email subscribers. I am getting about 10 subscribers per day average.
The email list has generated about $200 of revenue so far. This is how I structure the email blasts:
The email list generates traffic back to the site plus gets some revenue coming in. I will be testing the email list over time to see what sticks.
This is my first time with email lists so if you all have any suggestions do let me know.

Social Media

The social media following is above 180,000 for this site on it's Facebook page. The strategy is simple. Using Buffer.com, I schedule out articles 1 month in advance, 4 times day.
My strategy is as follows:
  1. Share Informative articles on the site
  2. Share Buying Guides
  3. Share CPA offers
  4. Share Product review articles with a link to Amazon or another network where the user can buy the product. hoping to generate a nice income from the Facebook following as well
Trying to continue growing the Facebook page. Any advice on how to grow apart from what I am doing, please let me know

June 2020 Plans

Here is what I plan to do in June 2020:
What do I expect in June 2020:
Thanks for reading! I hope you found some tidbits here that was useful. Questions, comments, and criticism welcome!
Edit:
I started a free newsletter where you can read more details of my case studies, how to buy grow sell sites, and more. I have 12 years of experience in this industry and sharing my expertise through the newsletter.
You can join here: https://websiteflipping.substack.com
submitted by msar123 to juststart [link] [comments]

Progress report

Progress report

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For those new or recently joined the mission of 888team is to build the biggest hybrid i-gaming platform with an unique limited 888token dividend model. This will be a game changer to the traditional online gambling scene worldwide who only offer bonus deposits, promo codes and cashbacks. We will invest and work hard to continue to grow each year until we become one of the best and biggest platforms worldwide.
A lot of people are excited about the future updates of 888starz. Since there are a lot of people working on different parts of this project, I went around asking and came up with this brief overview:
👉 Curaçao company: fully ready and operational 👉 Cyprus company: legal department has done all the paperwork + waiting for local authorities to complete the company registration (very soon) 👉 FIAT currency: all different payment methods (over 20+) will become available in approximately two weeks after we receive the gaming license and finish Cyprus company incorporation. All we can do is wait on other atm. 👉 Gambling license: everything is done and paid for from our part - just waiting on gaming board to give the license (very soon) 👉 dividend model: multicurrency + FIAT currency (euro, usd,...) = final coding + lawyers legal checks (Fiat) + security audit of the code (soon) 👉 new content: some projects will add two or three gaming providers per quarter... we will try to add one every two weeks from now on so we will have the biggest content of all online platforms 👉 new improved features and feel/UI of 888starz (one week) 👉 888news channel will be updated and will show more info: all current and upcoming bonuses and sport matches (very soon) 👉 TRX wallet connection = coding will be done in a couple of days + security audit next week 👉 added list of crypto exchanges on 888starz to use (live today) 👉 ROI 888token in USD over the last six months is approx. 56% 👉 affiliate marketing: going very well - 9 networks have been integrated so far. 888team managers are integrating 3 or 4 new CPA networks per week. Some networks are still waiting for FIAT money acceptance since they do not work with crypto, but unique dividend model feature is really appreciated and innovating for them and they are excited to run promo campaigns for us 👉 whitepaper: is being written and finalized 👉 website/landing page: small delay as its based on the final version of WP. 👉 GGR this month after 3 weeks - positive result so far - final check 1st week of July 👉 number of accounts 888starz - steady growth -a lot of new accounts are being made on daily basis 👉 sports betting is becoming more and more popular and successful. We have over 1800 events to bet on and more to come in the next months 👉 50M TRX event will be ended soon when TRX wallet connection and dividend model is live on 888starz.bet and prize money will be adjusted upwards according to extra tokens mined 👉 Mastercard deal: website - partnership platform is being coded and will go live in July - worldwide shipping
Sometimes we will encounter obstacles, roadblocks, technical issues, legal issues that can cause some delay, but in the end we will deliver what we promise to do 💪 All you have to do is relax, sit back and enjoy 😉
I have also noticed that some people are sometimes easy on the critics, but hardly do anything positive to help us grow. So don't be afraid to like and retweet our tweets and spread the word around to people you know. All help is appreciated. All support is welcome and heartwarming.
Greetings,
Ruslan.
submitted by 888tron to 888Tron [link] [comments]

Welcome to Affil Coin

A new decentralized solution for network and affiliate marketers looking to develop stronger value propositions to their network will benefit from Affil Coin.
The Affil Coin project aims to develop a proof-of-stake token which will empower a new cashback rewards program and a CPA network. Another exciting feature, businesses will have the opportunity to develop their own tokens within the Affil Coin network. These three benefits will help to not only attract new businesses to the Affil Coin network but also help to retain them through monetization models that reward longer investment windows.
Furthermore, the digital ecosystem behind Affil Coin will have a strong technological foundation so new applications and features can be added to benefit marketers further. This will empower developers to be able to create new features on the Affil Coin network as the platform grows and matures.
With these features, the Affil Coin team hopes to establish a strong contender to empower network and affiliate markets across the many digital ecosystems that exist today.
What is Affil Coin?
Affil Coin will empower marketers with a decentralized and dedicated blockchain-powered by Tendermint and Cosmos. This will empower the Affil Coin community with a suite of tools to better service their networks. Basically, bringing more value to their networks with features such as proof-of-stake delegation and cashback rewards program.
Token Creation Platform
Businesses will be able to create their own tokens with the technology behind Affil Coin. These blockchains will be based upon Tendermint and Cosmos technologies, two of the cutting edge blockchain platforms today. Terndermint offers best-in-class BFT consensus engines to power an individual business’s blockchain. Furthermore, the company works within the Cosmos SDK which allows for easy integration across many different blockchains.
Delegated Proof-of-Stake
An underlying foundation of blockchain technology will help to secure the Affil Coin network. With this, a proof-of-stake model will be implemented. This brings many benefits such as encouraging long-term staking of the token but also will help to increase the functionality of the payment systems security protocols to help secure the network from outside attacks. These two core benefits of a proof-of-stake model make it an ideal candidate to become the foundation of the Affil Coin project.
Cashback Platform
Another exciting core feature of Affil Coin will be the cashback program. This will enable consumers to benefit from a variety of different cashback offers such as for online shopping. Through this cashback program, consumers should have more of an incentive to get on board with any other business promotions being offered in tandem to this feature. While the precise list of cashback options will be released in the coming months, we already have a few exciting deals closed which should make for a strong value proposition to bring to the Affil Coin community.
CPA Network
A core benefit of CPA Networks comes from their ability to offer businesses a cost-effective marketing model. Oftentimes, to reach a target audience, businesses must deploy marketing models that will drive traffic monetization without ballooning the budget. This model empowers marketers to take advantage of their network and communication skills to rely on the business offering to the right target audience and capitalize through an affiliate style system. All of which creates a win, win system for both businesses and marketers as long as there is the infrastructure to support such a relationship. The Affil Coin CPA network will offer businesses, marketers, a suite of features that will be tailored to suit their needs. Through this structural foundation, both parties within the synergistic relationship will be able to operate with more efficiency and thus, effectiveness. For marketers, users can easily be created on the Affil coin website and from there access the majority of the Affil Coin benefits such as having a fast and convenient payment system. Other benefits that may help marketers, in particular, will be native on the Affil Coin platform including foundational blocks to a CPA network such as tracking and analytics features. On the other hand, businesses will have the ability to develop their own blockchain system to manage many of the more technical aspects of the CPA network. Through this process, the Affil Coin will play a foundational role for both businesses and marketers.
Digital Ecosystem
Affil Coin plans to deploy all of these features within a cohesive digital ecosystem. With the main objective of building a strong foundation for marketers and businesses to benefit from one another more concurrently. With the goal of building a synergistic relationship, both parties involved will hopefully be presented with more win-win negotiations than previously capable of occurring.
Furthermore, the platform will help establish a basis for a larger digital ecosystem that will in time offer a suite of services to benefit all parties within the system. To this point, the technology stacks chosen to develop the Afill Coin network will allow the platform to scale and become a more robust service tool with great ease. Develops, businesses, and marketers should benefit from this strong foundation of technology being built into the digital ecosystem.
Finally, another core objective of the Affil Coin platform will be to create an easy to use interface for businesses and marketers. As the digital world continues to take up more and more of everyone’s time, the need for a proper user interface on the platform has never been greater. To this point, the Affil Coin website and supporting technology stacks will empower the users of this niche digital ecosystem.
Technology Foundation
The Affil Coin network will be built upon two of the leading blockchain networks in use today. These include Cosmos and Tendermint which will help to ensure a secure network for all Affil Coin holders. Through these technology stacks, Affil Coin will be poised for a strong value proposition to bring to network marketers and businesses across the vast digital landscape. One of which will be to power the fast and secure payments across the CPA network. Since payment collection can be a challenge for marketers within a CPA network, the Affil Coin protocol will solve this with a fast and secure payment method built into their system.
That being said, businesses within the Affil Coin network may benefit the most from these two blockchain powerhouses. As aforementioned, the Cosmos and Tendermint projects offer users the ability to develop personalized blockchain solutions without investing in huge and expensive tech teams. While some integration with a professional technician is still required, the two platforms make this process far more efficient than previously available. With this in mind, businesses will be able to deploy individual blockchains to suit their core objectives more efficiently than ever before as well.
Why Affil Coin? Empower Marketers with Decentralized Technology
The Affill Coin project aims to solve a core problem within the relationship between businesses and network marketers within a CPA network. Through the development of the many exciting tools highlighted above, this relationship will hopefully become a stronger one while utilizing Affil Coin. Businesses and marketers should feel empowered by decentralized technology. To this point, a core objective of the Affil Coin team will be to build a suite of tools tailored to help create a feeling of empowerment and helping to foster a synergy between all parties involved in a robust and profitable CPA network.
Remember, if you ever have any questions about the Affil Coin project, a member of our team is happy to help where we can! Join the conversation about Affil Coin on Telegram or visit our website to learn more about CPA Networks.
submitted by affilcoin to affilcoin [link] [comments]

May 2020 Report

May 2020 Report

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Financials.
Despite the negative financial result in May of -27K euro, covered by the team, the number and volume of bets on the platform shows steady increase.
In the second half of May, the volume of bets on 888starz.bet increased by 3 times from 168K euro of the previous reporting period to almost 600K euro in the last two weeks.
The total volume of bets in May amounted to about 768K euro. The vast majority of bets were made on sports, despite the fact that due to COVID-19 the number of sports events held in the world were minimal.
The data allows us to conclude about the effectiveness of ongoing advertising campaigns and the removal of quarantine restrictions in the EU. The extension of the partner network should have a positive impact on the bid volumes of the platform in the future.
The main focus should be on connecting fiducial payments as soon as possible, launching the dividend model and conducting an massive and aggressive advertising campaign this summer (July/August).

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Progress on licensing and FIAT.
The company is now successfully registered in Curaçao. The documents have already been submitted for obtaining the gambling license. We expect to receive the first new gaming license very soon this month.
Documents have also been submitted for the registration of an affiliate company in the EU, through which fiducial payments will be processed. The time necessary for the new company with a bank account to be operational is 3 to 4 weeks.
When the new company is fully registered and active, the following fiducial deposit methods will be available:
Mastercard / Visa, QIWI, Yandex, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Advcash, Giropay, SOFORT, ZIMPLER, NEOSURF, Trustly, Paysafecard, Trustpay (EUR), Entercash, Alipay, UNIONPAY, We Chat Pay, Boleto Bancario, Ecopayz, Poli (Australia), Poli (New Zealand), Skrill, Neteller, Jeton, CCAvenue, RuPay and Webmoney.
Progress on marketing.
Four large CPA networks and more than 15 affiliate partners were integrated and tested. Advertising and promotion to various GEOS has begun to attract cryptocurrency traffic. We plan to connect around 10 CPA networks every month. The main and largest traffic is expected after connecting fiducial payment methods.
Progress on updates.
Within the next 1 to 3 weeks, the following updates are expected to go live on 888starz.bet:
  • Adding support for TRON mobile wallets
  • Adding a module for buying cryptocurrencies for fiduciary with the posibility to search for the optimal resource by geo
  • Added ability to change player account currency
  • Added new game providers;
  • Changes to the User Interface (UI) of the site
  • Our team is actively working on the integration of the Dividend Model. We plan to finish the work in June.
  • In the next 1 to 2 weeks, an info site dedicated to the 888 project will be launched.
Progress on listing.
Negotiations on listing of 888 token on fiducial cryptocurrency exchanges are ongoing.
Progress on Master Card.
In June, an affiliate website is planned to be launched, where users of 888 will be able to order a Master card debit bank card and Union Pay with a discount, with the possibility of replenishing it with crypto currency.
Attracting more people.
We are looking for affiliate managers from different countries with experience in gambling and crypto industry, webmasters, as well as artists for advertising campaigns creations.
We have some exciting times ahead of us and the next few weeks will be very important for the future development and success.
Yours sincerely,
Ruslan CEO of 888tron and 888starz.
submitted by 888tron to 888Tron [link] [comments]

A Complete Rundown of Google Ads Format Types

Google Ads is the most popular PPC and Internet advertising platform. Marketers flock to Google Ads because, let’s face it, Google is search. It’s why you say, “I’ll Google it,” instead of, “Let me search for it.”
While Bing and other search platforms may not want to admit it, Google is to search engines what Coca-Cola is to Cola or Xerox is to making copies.
But, it isn’t just the size and popularity of Google that makes Google Ads an appealing platform. It is also an incredibly robust advertising service that is bursting at the seams with options, features and other tools that you can’t get with other PPC platforms.
One of the ways that this robustness manifests itself is in the vast number of format types that Google Ads offers its users. Their already-expansive repertoire continues to grow all the time with new format types.
All of these different ad types can be a touch overwhelming for marketers. Like a kid in a toy store holding a crisp $20 bill, the options are both exciting and terrifying. How do you know where to start and what to choose?
This guide aims to help you answer that very question by breaking down each format type and exploring the advantages, disadvantages and when to use each option.

Google Search Network Ad Format Types

The Google Search Network is where most marketers start their Internet advertising journey. It’s largely considered to be the easier of the two networks to utilize. Thus, it’s best to start with ad format types on the Google Search Network.

Text Ads

This is the most straightforward format of PPC ads. A basic text ad consists of at least one ad title or headline, a display URL and up to two short descriptions and provide you up to three headings and two description at maximum. The first two headline fields are required, while the third is optional. The extra headline field allows you to include additional text in your ads.
Limitation for the text ad characters limits:
This example, provided by the Google Support Library, shows an ad with three headlines, a URL and two descriptions.

Advantages of Text Ads

Disadvantages of Text Ads

Who Should Use Text Ads?

Due to how easy and cost-efficient text ads are, it is a great choice for new Google Ads users that don’t have the time, budget or expertise for other ad format types.
That said, text ads aren’t just for beginners. Text ads promise high click through rates, which can help you improve your Google Ads Quality Score.
Text ads can be very efficient when you target keywords with high buying intent. “Buy a new mattress” is an example of a search with buying intent. “Mattress types,” on the other hand, signals that the shopper, while still interested in purchasing a mattress, is doing research and may not be ready to make a purchase right away.
Put simply, every Google Ads user can benefit from using text ads!

Cost of Text Ads

Text ads use the pay-per-click model. When a Google user clicks your text ad and follows the link to your landing page, it costs a small fee. How much you pay for each click depends on how much you have bid on the targeted keyword.

Text Ads With Ad Extensions

There are many different types of ad extensions:

Advantages of Text Ads With Ad Extensions

Disadvantages Of Text Ads With Ad Extensions

Who Should Use Text Ads With Ad Extensions?

There are several benefits to utilizing ad extensions and only a few minor drawbacks. Thus, anyone using text ads should take advantage of at least a handful of these extensions.
Adding more relevant information to your ads can significantly raise the quality of your ads and improve your click through and conversion rates for higher Quality Scores and more successful campaigns.
That said, it is important to choose ad extensions that are relevant to your business and its goals. For example, a store that only sells products online doesn’t need to include a location extension because they aren’t trying to draw in-store traffic.
A service company, on the other hand, can take great advantage of call extensions to make booking appointments easier.

Cost of Text Ads With Ad Extension

Since ad extensions don’t increase how much a marketer spends per click, then there is no difference between the cost of regular text ads and these expanded text ads.
If a Google user clicks on any part of your ad (address, phone number, sitelinks or otherwise), you are assessed the cost of a click.

Call-Only Ads

Call-only ads are mobile-specific ads that directly focus on encouraging search users to call your business. They only appear on mobile devices that are capable of making a ca
Users that click a call-only ad are not brought to your website. Instead, the phone app on their device opens and begins making a call to the number you have provided.
If you are using call-only ads, it is crucial that you turn on call reporting. This creates a Google Forwarding Number (GFN) that you can access to find details about your calls. Conversions are recorded when the call reaches the duration that you’ve set.
Call-only ads borrow some elements from text ads, like headlines, descriptions and display URLs. You can even enhance call-only ads with extensions.

Advantages of Call-Only Ads

Disadvantages of Call-Only Ads

Who Should Use Call-Only Ads?

Call-only ads are great for any business that finds value from customers calling directly. As mentioned, service companies are particularly impacted by call-only ads because these companies rely heavily on customer calls.
When customers call, they bypass the entire landing page and website experience. This helps businesses facilitate conversions more efficiently and improves the customer experience by providing a faster solution to consumer problems.
In other words, call-only ads cut out the website middle-man.
Call-only ads are also an excellent fit for companies that lack the time or resources to develop the unique landing pages and ad experiences that are required by text and other ad format types.

Cost Of Call-Only Ads

Call-only ads also use the PPC model. But, in this case, the “click” is a phone call. Marketers set their cost-per-click amounts in their Google Ads account. Call-only ads can experience higher CPCs than text ads.

Dynamic Search Ads

Many Google Search Network ad types rely on targeting the right keywords and tirelessly tracking how potential customers are searching and when. Dynamic search ads aim to lighten these pressures by automatically targeting keywords that relate to your business and generating ad components from the content that exists on your website.
This ad format type uses AI technology to change the design of your ad based on what the algorithm determines will work best. It harvests images, headlines, tags and other components from your web pages, leaving little effort asked of you.
If someone searches a term that Google deems is relevant to your site, the dynamic search ad format will generate an ad experience that relates to that search. This helps maintain a consistent ad experience from the headline to the landing page!

Advantages of Dynamic Search Ads

Disadvantages of Dynamic Search Ads

Who Should Use Dynamic Search Ads?

Based on the pros and cons of dynamic search ads, there are several different profiles that match well with this Google Ads format type. The most obvious is busy marketers that don’t have the time to create and optimize text or other types of ads.
Dynamic search ads can help generate extra search traffic through terms that you would have otherwise missed in your standard keyword planning. That said, this strategy should be avoided if you have a tight ad budget.
If your website lacks content or changes often, dynamic search ads may not be right for you either. This format type requires optimized web pages with plenty of material to be used in the automatic generation of ads.

Cost of Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic search ads use the PPC model where your costs are based on how many people click your ad and the CPC or bid amount that you’ve set. The main difference between the price of dynamic search ads and text ads is that you don’t apply bids to keywords, but rather different pages on your site that the dynamic ads will link to.

Product Shopping Ads

Product shopping ads appear when a Google user does a search that has clear shopping intent or directly relates to one of your products. This ad format type shows an image of the product, a title, the price of the item and your store/business name.
Shopping ads will display differently based on device type. The above screenshot is taken from a desktop computer. Similar to text ads, search users are brought to your website after they’ve clicked the shopping ad.
The information about your products is gathered through a data feed that you submit through your Merchant Center account. Your data feed is typically an excel sheet or XML file that organizes each product and its different qualities (name, price, color, size, etc.).
Using this data, Google will create shopping ads when product searches are made that relate to your items.
You can enhance shopping ads with product ratings, special offers and Google customer reviews.

Advantages Of Shopping Ads

Disadvantages Of Shopping Ads

Who Should Use Shopping Ads?

Shopping Ads are made for retail and ecommerce companies that want to advertise products directly on Google results pages.
This ad format is particularly impactful for businesses that offer very competitive prices on their products. When appearing alongside competing products, your low prices will stand out and attract more clicks.
Product ads are also used to acquire more real-estate on SERPs for relevant keywords because they can appear alongside your text ads. This means you can have two ad results on a page, instead of one.

Cost of Shopping Ads

Shopping ads use the same auction-style format as the other search ad types. There is a CPC charged each time someone clicks your ad and visits your landing page.
Bids for shopping ads need to be carefully weighed against the gross margins of each item. Otherwise, you could be producing a negative ROI.

Showcase Shopping Ads

Shopping Showcase Ads are an expanded version of normal product ads that create a scrolling lineup of your items. Instead of listing a single product, search users can browse a more extensive range of your offerings.
By grouping related products, you create the opportunity for consumers to explore your entire lineup. This ad style is ideal if you offer a lot of different products within a single category.
If you sell furniture, for example, and a user searches for “coffee tables,” they’ll be able to see every style of table you offer.
You can list dozens of products that relate to a more generic item category. When a user clicks your Showcase Shopping Ad, it will expand to show off all your products for that category.
Showcase Shopping Ads ask for a 1080 x 566 large image. This acts as a header for this expanded shopping ad. Choosing a photo that helps encapsulate your persona and company vibe will attract consumers that want to experience your brand, which adds additional appeal to your ads.
The other ad requirements are a text headline, an optional 120-character description, a URL and a display URL. It’s worth mentioning that these Showcase Shopping Ads are a relatively new option, which means these requirements may change.

Advantages of Showcase Shopping Ads

Disadvantages of Showcase Shopping Ads

Who Should Use Showcase Shopping Ads?

If you have a lot of products for certain categories, creating a showcase of those items can essentially allow Google users to browse your entire inventory. If you already see impactful results from regular shopping ads, it may be time to step your advertising game up!
Thanks to the header image feature for Showcase Shopping Ads, it’s a great ad format for retailers that have cultivated a powerful persona through their imagery and branding.

Cost of Showcase Shopping Ads

Showcase Shopping Ads have three different bidding options.
Minimum Cost Per Engagement (CPE) Bidding is similar to setting a max cost-per-click. The difference is that you will be charged your bid if a consumer clicks through from the ad to your website or spends more than 10 seconds scrolling through your product showcase.
Maximize Clicks Bidding is a smart bidding strategy that automatically sets your bids to give you the maximum number of engagements (clicks or long views) within your set budget.
Target ROAS Bidding is another AI-powered strategy that looks for the highest potential conversion value from Google users.

App Promotion Ads

As an app advertiser, you want to get your app into the hands of more paying users. So, how do you connect with those people? App promotion campaigns streamline the process for you, making it easy to promote your apps across Google’s largest properties including
Who should use this?
How this Ad performance is measured?
Advantages

Part 4: Google Display Network Ad Format Types

The Google Display Network is the second category of ads that users can create on the Google Ads platform. These ads display on websites owned by Google or affiliated through their AdSense program.

Text Ads

Don’t be surprised, Text ads can also appear on the display network. There are not many differences between a display text ad and a search text ad. You are still going to need to headlines, descriptions, a URL and a display URL.
The big change is that the character limits will differ depending on where and how the ad is being displayed. This means that there is a good chance that your headlines and descriptions will be shortened. You’ll want to put the best information first!

Advantages Of Display Text Ads

Disadvantages of Display Text Ads

Who Should Use Display Text Ads

Again, because of how time- and cost-efficient text ads are, even on the Display Network, it is an excellent ad type for busy marketers that want to gain website traffic.
That said, text ads lose some of their luster on the Display Network. They aren’t nearly as enticing as on a search results page and you lose the ability to target users based on high-intent keywords.

Cost of Display Text Ads

Display Text Ads are the cheapest form of display ads. Similar to Search Network text ads, you’ll pay for clicks.
Because some industries have costly CPC rates for search keywords, Display Network text ads may actually be cheaper than on the Search Network. It all depends on what type of business you operate.

Rich Media Ads

Rich media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content. The ad can expand, float, etc. You can access aggregated metrics on your audience’s behavior, including number of expansions, multiple exits, and video completions to get granular data on the success of your campaign.
Using HTML5 technology, the ads can include multiple levels of content in one placement: videos, games, tweets from an ad, etc. If you have a simple objective to generate clicks or a more ambitious goal to create brand awareness, rich media is the format to go with.

Difference between Standard and Rich Media Ad

Standard Display Ads
Rich Media Ads

How Rich Media Ads are beneficial for PPC

Rich Media advertising is a form of advertising that utilizes Digital media, including streaming, video and audio. It represents a powerful creative opportunity, allowing campaigns to deliver far greater impact. Rich Ads tend to be larger in file size and costs to create are generally higher, however rich media ads play beneficial role in Google Ads.
  1. Rich Media ads are measurable and scalable:
  1. Higher performance levels
  1. Higher interaction rate
  1. Brand awareness:
  1. User experience

Commonly used Rich Media Formats

There are many types of rich media advertising, but three of the most common rich media ads you will experience include:

Image Ad

The Display Network is largely founded on the power of visual ad formats, such as images and videos. Image ads allow you to upload your own branded visuals to make a stunning, aesthetic advertisement.
Ads can be either static or use HTML5, GIF or Flash formats to create animated, interactive marketing messages that pop up on websites all over the Internet.
These ads come in many different shapes and sizes. Here are a few of the most common selections and their sizes:
Each size has its advantages and disadvantages. Typically, the larger the ad, the higher the costs. Thus, the best performers are generally the banners and smaller squares/rectangles, as these don’t distract from the website experience.

Advantages of Image Ads

Disadvantages of Image Ads

Who Should Use Image Ads?

While text ads are the bread-and-butter to the Search Network, Image ads are the same for the Display Network, which means most businesses can find value in these campaigns. That said, if your company doesn’t have great visuals, image ads can be ineffective.
Image ads are best suited for brand awareness campaigns. While a lot of users don’t click image ads, they are inescapable to look at it. Potential customers will recall your brand more readily when they are in the market for your products or services.

Cost of Image Ads

While images typically lead to fewer conversions, the good news is that these ad campaigns will cost less than your average search campaign. The other tradeoff is it’s harder to target in-market audiences with Display Network image ads.

Video Ads

Video ads take the visual image format to the next level. They are the most attractive and compelling type available to marketers. A great video advertisement is not only a memorable experience, but it can be more engaging than the video it is interrupting!
These ads will primarily show up YouTube, Google’s video streaming platform. It’s also the best video sharing site on the Internet with almost 2 billion active users each month. Not a bad place to advertise!
There are 6 formats of video ads that you can choose from:
Each video ad format offers unique advantages and disadvantages. And, each has a different pay structure.

Advantages of Video Ads

Disadvantages of Video Ads

Who Should Use Video Ads?

Video ads have tons of appeal that makes them a valuable option for any business. But, there is one big hurdle. Creating, producing and editing effective video content is expensive.
You may be able to shoot a quick viral video with your smartphone, but video ads need to be next-level quality to encourage users to watch past the skip button. This means you need to invest in a production company, sophisticated equipment and more.
You’ll pay more to create the ad than to publish it.
That said, with all of the different video ad formats, it is easy to find one that offers benefits to align with your advertising goals.

Cost of Video Ads

Most video ad formats work on a per-thousand-impressions basis. Others, like discovery ads, work on a CPC basis. In either case, costs will fluctuate. On average, you can expect to spend around $20.00 for 1,000 impressions, or approximately $0.25 a click on discovery-style ads.

Responsive Ads

Responsive ads automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces. So a single responsive ad may appear as a small text ad in one place and a large image ad in another.

Where responsive ads appear

These ads can appear on Google results pages and across the Google Network, which includes the

Responsive Search Ads

Responsive Display Ads

Google will add video assets for responsive display ads campaigns, the company detailed in a blog post. Advertisers can create new responsive display ads or edit existing ones with up15 marketing images with help of
Based on the intelligent decision above combinations are made to show best Ad to user.
Combination report is available to check which best combination worked well.

When you should use Responsive Ads?

If you want your Ad should appear on large scale regardless which different devices of different resolution are being used, you should go for responsive Ad.

How it works?

Google will automatically test different combinations of headlines and descriptions and learn which combinations perform best. In real-time, this is how Google ‘Responsive Ads for Display’ work:

Advantages

Conclusion

Finding the right format type for your Google Ads strategies is like buying a new car. It’s an important choice that will weigh on your budget. You need to assess your needs, means and style and find the right vehicle, or ad format, that best matches these.
It all starts with thinking about your goals. These are your needs — your objectives. The advertising formats that you choose need to support these goals and help you achieve them.
Next, consider your means — your budget and resources. How much time do you have to commit to advertising? Can you invest in more expensive ad types? What about ad types that require a lot of attention and management?
You need to be both realistic and safe with your advertising choices.
Finally, consider your company and branding. What style of ad best compliments your brand? Do you have compelling brand imagery for display ad types?
By filtering the list of ad types by needs, means, and style, you can narrow down the vast selection to just a handful of formats that will suit your PPC marketing strategies.
submitted by PPCexpo-us to DigitalMarketing [link] [comments]

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