Empowering SA Businesses Through Online Marketing - SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, Internet Marketing, Website Design, PPC, Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing - Get Online SA http://www.getonlinesa.com Empowering SA Businesses Through Online Marketing Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:16:29 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.5 Get Online SA Builds The PR Awards Social Network http://www.getonlinesa.com/get-online-sa-builds-the-pr-awards-social-network/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/get-online-sa-builds-the-pr-awards-social-network/#comments Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:16:29 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=1085

PRISM AWARDS 2011

Communities underpin the fabric of most industries, and South Africa’s PR industry should be no different.

The platform we’ve developed enables the reconnection of like-minded people – people who are complimentary, and who share a sense of purpose and passion.

It is the enabler that allows PR professionals to speak to one another about what is best practice and to rally around each other as an industry and to participate in a ‘community of practice’.

It is a forum for testing a whole range of ideas including campaign strategy, planning, development, testing and execution.

What Is The ROI?

This community’s success can ultimately be determined by measuring the return on investment (ROI) for your companies and your clients.

The stories that emerge from the community should be viewed as a key metric for success. Great stories are inherently viral and can have a profound impact on decision making in an organisation.

Transformative communities blur the lines between company and customer and portend a future where the success of a PR campaign goes well beyond ratings and reviews and as a result they provide problem solving, public relations mentors, campaign development and other services directly from the community.

These stories can provide wonderful testimonials, research material and prompt changes for smart organisations that are willing to listen and engage with their customers in this way.

How To Participate

PR businesses should begin with the question, “how can I satisfy the needs of this community?” – and then follow the community’s lead. Be open to the unexpected.

The key question is: What can you create that will get people in the PR industry to rally around each other?

Once the value of this community is determined to your customers and to your employees, only afterwards can you look at how it aligns with your business processes.

Think Bigger

Most companies have a mindset that reflects the legal, contractual and hierarchical underpinnings of their business and carry these behaviours with them into the community. This informs their planning, measurement and how they encourage contribution.

These incentives have little sway on the ‘Social Web’ where the mindset is social and trust, reputation and relationship are big drivers of contribution. The social framework of evaluating PR events and campaigns is invaluable – your participation in this community has the potential to transform your business and to improve the PR industry in South Africa as a hole.

“Matt Brown – The Instigator. Get Online SA”

Review and vote for the best PR campaigns in South Africa during 2010 by clicking here.

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Sansui Summer Cup – 2 x VIP Access Up For Grabs http://www.getonlinesa.com/sansui-summer-cup-2-x-vip-access-up-for-grabs/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/sansui-summer-cup-2-x-vip-access-up-for-grabs/#comments Mon, 22 Nov 2010 12:32:43 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=1071

Get Online SA

Johannesburg’s premier horseracing and sound experience, the Sansui Summer Cup takes place this Saturday at the Turffontein Racecourse and Brandslut and Get Online SA are offering 2 gold access VIP tickets  to the Neo Africa Summer Lounge valued at R960 to one lucky reader and his/her partner in crime. Entering is easy peasy lemon squeasy, these are a few ways to get your paws on these golden tickets of awesomeness:

1. E-mail a photo of you and a mate imitating a horse and jockey combo to twitternews@getonlinesa.co.za – entering in this way gets you two entries

2. Leave a comment on this blog post – any comment will do

3. Like Brandslut on Facebook by clicking here, and then leave a comment on the wall

4. Like Get Online SA on Facebook by clicking here, and then leave a comment on the wall

5. Tweet about this fabulous competition, but don’t forget to include @Brandslut_ or @getonlinesa

Simples.

“The private and exclusive Neo Africa Summer Lounge is where all the glamour, excitement and entertainment of the day will take place. It is positioned right next to the race horse parade ring on the finish line, in front of the Main Grandstand, within the Neo Africa Sound Experience powered by Sansui. It boasts incredible views of both the racetrack and finish line and is simply unrivalled anywhere on the course.

This 2800 square metre venue offers clients the unique combined experience of an elegant social occasion, coupled with the thrill of our premium raised viewing vantage point.

This desirable environment allows one to be entertained in a relaxed and comfortable party atmosphere, while still allowing guests to engage in the sophistication of the day – the contest of the thoroughbred horses.

The Neo Africa Summer Lounge, in the Neo Africa Sound Experience powered by Sansui, connects fashion, flavour, uplifting live music entertainment, and beautiful individuals with the focus of the day on the spirit of true South African horse racing.”

Click here for more information on the sound stages, music and sexiness that awaits you. If you don’t win, sorry about that, and tickets to the event can be purchased directly from Rusco of Neo Africa Sound Experience on 011 0235261 and Computicket

Get commenting, tweeting, liking, crazy and good luck!

See you Saturday.

Get Online SA

T’s & C’s and things:

* Entering this competition must be done as outlined above, photographs receive 2 entries

* The prize includes 2 x VIP gold access to the Sansui Summer Cup on 27th November 2010 valued at R480 each. These premium hospitality tickets allow you access into the private Summer Lounge within the Sansui Sound Experience which includes private bars, Tote betting facilities, luxury toilets, private viewing decks. This gives you access to the race course and all ground level activities, the main dance floor and bars within the Sansui Sound Experience, as well as access to food stations and bar chill areas.

* The winner will be selected at noon on Friday November 26th and tickets will be available for collection at the door of the event on Saturday November 27th

* The competition will close at midnight on Thursday November 25th 2010. Any entries after this time will not be included in the draw

* The winners will be drawn at random (using Random.org) and then notified by email/Twitter/Facebook as appropriate

* The judge’s decision is final

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How To Calculate Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) For Business Owners http://www.getonlinesa.com/how-to-calculate-cost-per-acquisition-cpa-for-business-startups/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/how-to-calculate-cost-per-acquisition-cpa-for-business-startups/#comments Mon, 15 Nov 2010 15:11:43 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=828

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
When it comes to products that directly monetize their audience using subscription, ecommerce, virtual items, etc., it can make a lot of sense to rely on advertising as a distribution channel. The reason for this is there are 100s of millions of internet users, and only a small fraction (usually <1%) will be in-market for your services at any given time. As a result, you are looking to acquire these users, and only these users, and everyone else is considered wasted energy.

Note that the freemium model is a variation on this concept – where you acquire a large base of “casual users” that stick around, and you slowly convert some % of them to subscribers. You can think of it as vertically integrating your distribution, and instead of spending money to buy ads, instead you are spending money to support this large base of free users.

Understanding The Process Of Buying Advertising

These days, it’s simple to think that advertising is about placing javascript code on a page, and seeing what numbers AdSense gives back to you. Instead of thinking about it that way, publishers would do their customers (their advertisers) a great service by understanding what it means for ad inventory to perform or not perform. They should really understand how advertisers analyze their cost-per-acquisition so that the publisher can better provide a service to them – that’s at the heart of indirect monetization. If you’re not selling directly yourself, you’re helping someone else sell.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – The Common Currency Of User Acquisition

The first step is to understand your user acquisition funnel, from start to end. Although there are many ways to price things, be it CPM, CPC, or CPA, the key is that it all rolls back to how much it costs you to have a registered user on your business website. You need this cost-per-acquisition number to be lower than the lifetime value (LTV) number, and what you have left is profit (before cost of infrastructure, etc).

So you want to build something that looks like this:

Source Ads bought
CTR Clicks Signup % Upload pic Users Cost CPA
Google 1M 0.50% 5,000 20% 50% 500 R 5,000.00 R 10.00
Ad.com 20M 0.10% 20,000 10% 50% 1000 R 20,000.00 R 20.00

The above is an example of two traffic sources, Google and Advertising.com (the latter being an ad network), as well as clickthrough rates, signup %s, and the cost per acquisition.

A couple important notes on the above:

  • the SOURCE of your traffic is the most important segmentation – make sure you track acquisition and lifetime value (LTV) numbers, since you often get vastly different numbers depending on where you are buying advertising
  • you want to break down your funnel into as small of steps that make sense, from the clicks into the sign-up page into any intermediate profile forms and then the final registered numbers. Your funnel may be larger or smaller
  • Google might charge you CPC and Ad.com might charge you CPM (cost per thousand impressions), but you have to normalize that back into how much it costs you to acquire a registered account. In a cost per click (CPC) model, you don’t care about the click through rate (CTR) much since you don’t pay for impressions that don’t result in clicks, whereas you do care about CPMs
  • the only difference between a good CPA and a bad CPA is whether it’s above or below your customer LTV
  • In addition to tracking source of traffic, you may also want to track important factors like what campaign it was in, what creative it corresponded to, the banner ad size, and other things that might affect CPA. The last thing you want is a variation that is very unprofitable, but is obscured by being grouped together
  • You may also want to group all your marketing channels into the above, including email, partnerships, blog traffic, viral invites (e.g. Facebook), etc. Obviously for stuff that’s free traffic, the CPA is infinity, but it’s good to know what kinds of funnel %s the other traffic  / marketing channels throws off, for comparison’s sake

Got all that? Good :)

The Factors That Influence Advertising Performance

The second thing worth considering is what factors actually influence GOOD numbers for CPAs versus what numbers are generally bad.

This is an anecdotal table below to enumerate some of the factors:

Type Options Importance
Source of traffic Ad networks, publishers ++
Cost model CPM, CPC, CPA +
User requirements Install, browser plug-in, Flash +++++
Audience and theme Horizontal vs vertical ++
Funnel design Landing page, length, fields +++
Viral marketing Facebook, Opensocial, email +++++
A/B testing process None, homegrown, Google +++++

A couple additional notes:

  • As mentioned previously, the source of traffic is very important – you should dedicate a significant amount of time buying lots of different kinds of traffic to see what works
  • Cost model is something you should be able to normalize into CPA and mostly ignore, except for cashflow and risk reasons
  • User requirements can be a huge issue – if you are forcing users to download, that will kill your CPA. Similarly, asking a demographic that doesn’t have credit cards for their credit number can kill you. Make sure that you understand your audience and that your funnel is optimized for them
  • Audience Theme revolves around the concept that strongly themed products are often quite vertical in nature, which causes a large % of users to reject the product. For example, a site for teens obsessed with vampires is much narrower than a web email site. The narrower the theme is, the harder it is to find appropriate ad inventory to buy
  • Funnel design and A/B testing is key – definitely worth investing in
  • Similarly, for those who can find a viral angle in their product, that can be a huge benefit as well. It has the capability to create order-of-magnitude decreases in the CPA, which can be the difference between profitability and bankruptcy! But this also has issues if your product is not widely appealing enough, since virality depends on a horizontal offering to work
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Call To Actions – Lessons For Business Owners http://www.getonlinesa.com/call-to-actions-lessons-for-business-owners/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/call-to-actions-lessons-for-business-owners/#comments Mon, 15 Nov 2010 13:28:15 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=815 Call To ActionsA call-to-action element on a website or any other web marketing medium is one that entices a reader or viewer to take note or make a decision based upon it.  A website call to action could be something like “Add to Shopping Cart”, “Buy Now” or “Subscribe to Newsletter”.

The main goal of a call to action is to persuade the visitor to click on something or interact further with your website, hopefully resulting in the visitor buying a product or service or another conversion goal. In short, a good call to action should communicate your product’s value proposition to an extent.

Every business website must have at least one call to action on every single page within their website.  When a visitor progresses through your website, you should be able to follow the path your website visitors have made along the path of exploration towards your conversion goal. This would give you a clear idea on which calls to action are working and which ones are not.  A good website is designed in such a way that when a visitor makes a slight detour to find out more information, strategically placed and worded call to action signs are there to get them back to the original conversion path.

Typical call to action signs include text, buttons or banners. The various visual formats that a call to action  can be presented as : a button which stands out, a text link,  a page header or a banner.  the nature of the call to action message can vary from a gentle prod to an urgent reminder and both have their uses depending on where they’re placed.

Here are ten of the best and the worst call to action phrases that are typically used either in an email, of a website or a PPC ad or an ad banner.

The 10 Best Call to action phrases:

1. Get a free trial:  This is the HOT button. If you’re selling business software or any other utility that has a 14 or a 30 day trial period, let visitors to your website know about this. You’ll increase your funnel of prospects and have a better chance of converting them into full-time customers.

2.Talk to an Expert: Web chats are great interactive tools that influence a buyer’s decision to buy or not. Use it to the fullest extent, if you have the capability. ensure that you capture the prospect information for follow-up at a later time.

3. Free Consultation: Another great call to action phrase. Anderson Windows does it. Sears does it for the various systems they offer. If your product is a big-ticket product that involves benefit and lifestyle selling (e.g. central cooling systems for a home), make sure that your call to action sign asks the prospect to contact you for an assessment. This adds to your database of leads as well as provides you with an opportunity to convert the free consultation into an actual sale.

4. Free shipping: This is the perfect call to action for e-Commerce web sites especially during the holiday season.And  if you want to bump your sales up a bit, run it during the other holidays too like Black Friday or Labor Day weekend.

5. Contact us: This is one of the simplest and most effectives call to action phrases that fills up your leads bucket. Make sure that your ‘Contact us” form is simple and can be filled out in a few seconds. Too many fields will scare the prospect away.

6. Free Download: This is a perfect call to action phrase for websites selling software. Use this also to promote your product in the form of white papers or treatises on the benefits of your product.

7. Request for Free Quote: The phrase itself is ridiculous – I mean who pays for a quote for work to be done for them? But, this is standard phrasing for most things sold in South Africa so prospects expect this language. Use it well especially, if you’re offering some sort of customized services installation or providing insurance or home improvement.

8. Money Back: This always works. Billy Mays used it all the time. And so do auto and TV salesmen. Naturally, you will want to make sure that the terms and conditions for the money back guarantee are explained in fine print at the bottom of the web page or advertising medium where you’re using this call to action phrase.

9. Offer expires: I’m not a big fan of this bit  this does build some urgency in the decision making process of a prospect. Also, if you’re using this make sure that you add a expiration date to the offer.

10. Limited Availability/Limited Time Only: Similar to #9.

The 10 Worst Call to action phrases:

1. Click Here: If you’re thinking of using this phrase, then you might as well think of saying ‘ Don’t click here.’ This is because this phrase is so commonly used that people now shirk away from clicking something like this. Like the Who said : We wont get fooled again.”

Note however, this is is still a very potent phrase. Use it only if you’re built up a strong argument on why someone should ‘click here’.

2. Call Now: Another commonly used phrase. This urgent call is not as effective as it once was when the ‘Now’ phrases were in vogue. Today, the customer knows that the web offers a plethora of choice and by Jove, he’s going to avail of them. If you have to use this, then make sure that you have a 0800 number that features prominently on the website next to this phrase.

3. Buy today: Yeah, most visitors are so stupid that they’ll see the sense in your argument and plonk down cash for your product. I don’t think so.

4. Register now: Not a favorite of mine but does get some leads from time to time. Use this if you have a newsletter or a community that you’d like visitors to join.

5. Order now: Same comments as #3.

6.Sign-up now: See comments on #4.

7. Satisfaction guaranteed: This is basically an empty promise. How can you know what a consumer of your product is going to feel once they use it. In any case, some folks still use this in their banner ads as a small add-on. Unless you have a thorough understanding of your consumer demographics, I wouldn’t advise it .

8. Best value: See comments for #7.

9. Reserve Now: This is typically used in travel websites. But, with the excessive amounts of choice available on the web, it’s not as effective as it once was. Instead, ask them to call for a free quote or to chat with someone online (if you have the chat feature).

10. Certified Expert: This is like #7. I see no value in this at all unless the certified expert is dispensing free advice.

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2 Billion Internet Users And Most From Emerging Markets http://www.getonlinesa.com/2-billion-internet-users-and-most-from-emerging-markets/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/2-billion-internet-users-and-most-from-emerging-markets/#comments Wed, 20 Oct 2010 11:39:45 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=573 If you’re a business owner whose sitting on the fence with regards to taking your business online then this post should compel you to no end to realise the potential that the internet now has to grow your business and bottom line.

It’s recently been reported that the number of Internet users worldwide have doubled in the past five years and will surpass the two billion mark in 2010, with most of the growth coming from emerging markets, says the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The ITU is an agency of the United Nations which regulates information and communication technology issues.

The ITU reports that the number of people with access to the Internet at home has increased from 1.4 billion in 2009 to almost 1.6 billion in 2010.

The organisation predicts that about 162 million of the 226 million new Internet users in 2010 will be from emerging markets, where Internet users are growing at a higher rate.

By the end of 2010, 71% of the population in developed countries will be online compared to 21% of the population in developing countries. While in developed countries 65% of people have access to the Internet at home, this is the case for only 13.5% of people in developing countries where Internet access in schools, at work and public locations is critical.

Regional differences are significant: 65% of Europeans are on the Internet, compared to only 9.6% of Africans.

With rapidly increasing high-bandwidth content and an application-based web experience, there is a growing demand for higher-speed broadband connections.

ITU says broadband is a catalyst for growth and recently launched the Broadband Commission for Digital Development that aims to promote the adoption of broadband-friendly practices and policies worldwide.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré says: “Broadband is the next tipping point, the next truly transformational technology. It can generate jobs, drive growth and productivity, and underpin long-term economic competitiveness. It is also the most powerful tool that we have at our disposal in our race to meet the Millennium Development Goals, the deadline for which is now just five years away.”

Over the past year, there has been strong growth in fixed broadband subscriptions. By the end of 2010, fixed broadband penetration will reach 8% globally. But penetration levels in developing countries remain low: 4.4 subscriptions per 100 people compared to 24.6 in developed countries.

Mobile networks available to 90% of world population

While high-speed Internet is still out of reach for many people in low-income countries, mobile telephony is becoming ubiquitous, with access to mobile networks now available to over 90% of the global population.

ITU’s new data indicate that among the estimated 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2010, 3.8 billion will be in the developing world.

Says Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Sami Al Basheer: “Mobile phone penetration in developing countries now stands at 68% — higher than any other technology before. These countries have been innovative in adapting mobile technology to their particular needs and will be able to draw even greater benefits from broadband once adequate and affordable access is available.”

In developed countries, growth in mobile subscriptions has slowed considerably during the past five years, with a year-on-year growth from 2009-2010 of only 1.6%. In those countries, the mobile market is reaching saturation levels with on average 116 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

At the same time, subscriptions to IMT2000/3G services have increased from 72 million in 2005 to 940 million in 2010. As many as 143 countries are offering IMT2000/3G services commercially, up from 95 countries in 2007.

Over the past year, mobile broadband has experienced steep growth, especially in Europe and the United States, and some countries have started to offer commercial services at even higher broadband speeds, moving to next generation wireless platforms.

200 000 SMSes sent every second globally

The trend from voice to (mobile) data applications is reflected in the growing number of SMS, or text messages sent, which tripled over the past three years to reach a staggering 6.1 trillion in 2010. In other words, close to 200 000 text messages are sent every second.

Overall, the price of ICT services is falling, but high-speed Internet access remains prohibitively expensive, especially in low-income developing countries.

In 2009, an entry-level fixed (wired) broadband connection cost on average 190 PPP$ (Purchasing power parity in USD) per month in developing countries, compared to only 28 PPP$ in developed countries. Mobile cellular services are much more affordable, with an average monthly cost of 15 PPP$ in developing countries compared to around 18 PPP$ in developed countries.

The relative price for ICT services (especially broadband) is highest in Africa, the region with the lowest income levels. The region lags behind when it comes to broadband access.

Although subscriptions are increasing, a penetration rate of less than one percent for fixed broadband illustrates the huge challenges that persist to increase access to high-speed, high-capacity Internet.

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When is Marketing Your Business On The Internet Worthwhile? http://www.getonlinesa.com/marketing-business-internet-worthwhile/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/marketing-business-internet-worthwhile/#comments Tue, 12 Oct 2010 07:26:19 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=563


In general the answer to this question is “always” but the answer is much more involved. Sure Internet marketing is worthwhile but as with any type of marketing it is only worthwhile if it is done well. For example you can spend thousands of dollars on a television marketing campaign but if no one sees your commercials or your commercials do not reach your target audience and generate sales, the advertising was not worthwhile. So perhaps a more appropriate answer to this question would be that Internet marketing is worthwhile when it works. This is a rather vague statement but this article will investigate the issue further and explain how you can make Internet marketing work for your business.

One of the most basic principles of marketing is to make sure you reach your target audience. This is so important because your target audience is the people who are most likely going to be interested in purchasing your products or services. It is much easier to sell your products or services to those who already have an interest in the products and services you have to offer than it is to convince those who are not interested in your products or services at all. As an example consider a business who sells fishing rods. You will want to market your products to those who enjoy fishing either competitively or as a leisure activity because among this audience you are likely to find people who may be interested in purchasing a new fishing rod. It would make sense to place an advertisement for your business on a website selling bait and tackle or a website which organizes fishing trips in exotic locations. Conversely it would not make sense to place your advertisement on a website selling telescopes because you are not likely to reach a large target audience here. There may be some stargazers with an interest in fishing but your advertising dollars and efforts would be better spent placing advertisements with websites more closely related to your business.

Another factor to consider when purchasing advertising space on another Internet website is the amount of traffic the other website receives. This is significant because you want to place your advertisement on a website which is closely related to your own and likely to attract a similar audience but you also want your advertisement to receive a large amount of attention. For this reason it is important for your advertisement to appear on a website which receives a great amount of traffic each month. This will help to ensure your business is getting a great deal of exposure through this advertising.

When it comes to Internet advertising, there is a fine line between great advertising and spam. Some business owners get carried away trying to get as much exposure as possible and can sometimes go overboard and wind up being considered spam. Internet users who see your advertisement in a couple of key locations will likely notice the advertisement and may be compelled to visit your website immediately or may keep your website in mind for future use. However, Internet users who see your advertisement everywhere they look are likely to view your advertisement as spam. This can be harmful because they are not likely to visit your website because they expect it to not be worthwhile.

In any Internet marketing campaign it is important to carefully monitor the results of your marketing efforts and make changes to your campaign as necessary. This is important because you want to make sure your marketing efforts are paying off and the best way to do this is to evaluate the results of your advertising carefully. One way to do this is to place specially coding in each one of your advertisements so you will know which advertisements are generating business for you and which ones are not. You can use this information to decide whether you should modify the ineffective website or stop running these advertisements. If you decide to modify them you will want to continue to monitor the results to determine whether or not the changes made the advertisements more effective.

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Consumers Don’t Know It All… But YOU should! http://www.getonlinesa.com/consumers-dont-know-it-all-but-you-should/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/consumers-dont-know-it-all-but-you-should/#comments Mon, 04 Oct 2010 11:32:42 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=549 Even in a hyper-connected world, it’s still possible to see The Next Big Thing coming before the ‘masses’ do. Here’s proof.

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US City Erased From Google Maps http://www.getonlinesa.com/us-city-erased-from-google-maps/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/us-city-erased-from-google-maps/#comments Wed, 29 Sep 2010 11:56:31 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=530

US City Erased From Google Maps

In this interesting news report from the BBC – a US city is erased from Google Maps with dire consequences.

If there was ever a really good perspective on how important it is to get your business listed on Google and mammoth benefits it has for return on investments… this is it.

Click here to watch the video.

If you want your business listed on Google click here.

Alternatively, click here to see the sort of results we can get for your business.

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Using Affiliate Marketing To Promote Your Business http://www.getonlinesa.com/using-affiliate-marketing-to-promote-your-business/ http://www.getonlinesa.com/using-affiliate-marketing-to-promote-your-business/#comments Tue, 28 Sep 2010 07:06:45 +0000 Matt http://www.getonlinesa.com/?p=526

Affiliate Marketing For South African Businesses
Even if you are already using the Internet to market your business, you should consider adding affiliate marketing to you Internet marketing campaign. Affiliate marketing, when done right, can yield a great deal of positive results for your business. Furthermore, even when affiliate marketing is not done right, it will not likely be financially detrimental to the business. This is because affiliate marketing is essentially an advertising program in which you only pay the affiliates when their marketing efforts yield financial results for your business. This article will take a look at affiliate marketing and explain how it works and how you can maximize the benefits of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing essentially involves having website owners, known as affiliates, post advertisements for your website on their own website. You can learn more about affiliate marketing by checking out the Internet marketing blog at www.jeremyburns.com for weekly updates. Affiliate advertisements encourage visitors to click on the link and visit your website. The advertisements are specially coded to allow you to determine how many visitors enter your website through this advertisement. Unlike other types of Internet advertising where the business owner pays for the opportunity to place the advertisement on the website, an affiliate program does not work this way. Instead the affiliate is paid when the advertisement yields a desired result.

Affiliate advertisement can work on a pay per impression, pay per click, pay per lead or pay per sale basis. Pay per impression means the affiliate earns a profit each time the affiliate advertisement is served. This means for each unique visitor who views the advertisement the affiliate is given a predetermined amount of money. This amount will depend on a number of factors and will be agreed upon by the business owner and the affiliate before the advertisements begin appearing on the affiliate’s website. Pay per click programs reward the affiliate each time a visit clicks through the advertisement. Pay per lead programs reward the affiliate when a visitor not only clicks on the advertisement but also performs a desired action such as filling out a survey or registering with the website. Pay per sale programs reward the affiliate each time a visitor clicks through the advertisement on the affiliate’s website and also makes a purchase during this visit. The compensation plans associated with affiliate programs are so desirable because the business owner can have a number of affiliates and they only have to pay these affiliates if the advertising on the affiliate’s website is effective.

Affiliate marketing does not always work. When seeking out affiliates it is important to look for a number of different factors. An affiliate with a great deal of experience, a website with high traffic and a proven track record for producing positive results will likely be a good choice for an affiliate marketing program. These affiliates rely on their advertising knowledge to promote the businesses and do not necessarily have to understand the business they are promoting. Another excellent choice for affiliate marketing is to select another business that is closely related to your own business but does not compete with your business. This is a good idea because they may share your target audience and their website visitors will also likely be interested in visiting your website as well. For example if you sell running shoes you may wish to run an affiliate marketing campaign on a website that promotes road races such as marathons, half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks. This website does not directly compete with your business but they are likely to attract an audience that would be interested in and have a need for your products or services.

Deciding whether or not to implement an affiliate marketing campaign is easy. As we previously mentioned there is very little risk in this type of campaign so it is worthwhile in just about any situation. A more important decision to make is how you plan to compensate your affiliates. The compensation for pay per impression programs is typically pretty low because your business is not necessarily generating a sale from each impression. Conversely, pay per sale programs usually compensates the affiliate better because the business does directly generate a profit from the advertising on the affiliate’s website. This amount may a flat fee or a percentage of the sale depending on the affiliate agreement.

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