Weekly Reading Picks| Volume 40

Bob’s Weekly Reading Picks

2019.10.13 volume 40


1.How to Plan a Successful Holiday Search Strategy
2.Affiliate Marketing Parasitism (Ad Fraud)
3.Project Management in SEO
4.The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing Campaigns
5.Let’s Talk About Brand Positioning and Purpose
6.When creative and media come together, sparks fly
7.Ecommerce Conversion Rate Stats: 2019

1.How to Plan a Successful Holiday Search Strategy

Google and Bing recommend an earlier approval process for holiday copy and extensions to ensure swift changes to support your strategy and drive results.

Drive store visit

  • Location Extensions – Simple & based on how updated your Google My Business account is set up. Is an ad extension that shows alongside a typical Search text ad
  • Local inventory ads – Can feature store locations and availability on a product listing ad based on the inventory feed for any given Shopping campaign
  • Local campaigns – Feed based on your Google My Business account where ads can serve across 5 entities: Search, Maps, Place Pages, Display & YouTube. The main KPI is foot traffic in store.

2.Affiliate Marketing Parasitism (Ad Fraud)

According to BI Intelligence, affiliate marketing accounts for 16% of the U.S. eCommerce. However, per Monica Eaton-Cardone, 2% of affiliate-driven transactions are instances of affiliate fraud.Affiliate marketing orders

1). Affiliates Relying on Adware, Toolbars, etc

These parasite affiliates resort to technology (ads, spyware, malware, toolbars, etc.) to generate payouts.

  • Using downloadable software to steal user data and generate fake leads and/or sales (identity theft)
  • Stuffing internet users’ browsers with affiliate cookies or code to get paid when those users make purchases without actually promoting the merchant (cookie stuffing)
  • Using bots to imitate consumers and generate fake leads and orders
  • Forcing clicks through ads and various traffic diversion methods

2). Trademark Violators

These affiliates use the merchant’s trademark to drive traffic and sales. Some use it in paid search campaigns, bidding more than the merchant. Others use it or a slightly different version in their domain name.

Whether they’re cybersquatters, typosquatters, paid search bidders, or site-cloners, trademark violators do not add value to your affiliate marketing program. 

3). Affiliates Who Steal

Affiliates in this category steal coupons (call it coupon “harvesting” or any other way, if a coupon is not intended for the affiliate program, it’s no good), content, and other creatives that merchants make available exclusively to some affiliates and use them as their own. 

4). Spammers

Some affiliates have access to email lists that they spam with unsolicited messages in order to generate hits and leads. Others bomb their contacts with unwanted messages on various social media platforms and even on their mobile phones. 

5). Unauthorized Sources

Although most merchants prohibit their affiliates to use explicit content, gambling, violence, politics, pornography, racism, and politics to drive traffic and sales, not all affiliates comply. 

How to Prevent Affiliate Marketing Parasitism

1)Have an Affiliate Program Agreement, Rules, and Policies
2)Review Affiliates Carefully, Keeping an Eye for Red Flags

  • Affiliate Website URL
  • Promotional Methods
  • Content
  • Website Availability/Accessibility
  • Affiliate Reputation

3)Ensure a Sufficient Locking Period

How to Detect Affiliate Marketing Parasitism

  • Use Analytics to Detect Potential Parasites
  • Monitor Fraudulent and Reversed Transactions
  • Keep an Eye for Trademark Violations
  • Monitor Your Online Reputation
  • Request Affiliate Feedback

3.Project Management in SEO

SEO Frameworks and Project Management:


  • research: keyword research, gap analysis, and competitor analysis
  • evaluation: technical audit, backlink analysis, a EAT audit, and content quality evaluation. 
  • strategy:  based on the technical audit and our keyword research, we are going to change technical problems and change code on the website, in order to achieve whatever your KPIs are. Strategy is also the place that we set up measurement protocols and timelines.

  • tactics:  high, medium, and low priorities


  • broken site: fixing technical issues on the site
  • on-page: updating and creating content
  • off-page: building all the links
  • measurement: cause and effect reporting

At the start of a project, what you are going to want to do is, forecast what you think is going to happen and then show it against actual

Three Project Management Concepts

  • Waterfall
  • Agile or Scrum
  • Kanban (to do, doing, and done)

4.The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing Campaigns

What is a social media marketing campaign?
A social media campaign is a business’s coordinated marketing effort to reinforce information (about a brand, product, or service) using at least one social media platform. These campaigns are strategically focused, have measurable outcomes, and influence social media followers to feel or act in a certain way.

How to Set Social Media Marketing Campaign Goals
SMART goals setting.

  • Improve Brand Awareness
  • Connect With Your Audience
  • Increase Website Traffic
  • Drive Sales

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign

  • Research your competition
  • Craft your strategy (campaign goal, tartget audience)
  • Appeal to your target audience
  • Choose your content type and format
  • Manage your campaign strategy’s results
  • Promote your content
  • Promote one message throughout your campaign
  • Balance your promotional and non-promotional content
  • Ensure your content is unique to your business
  • Engage with your audience regularly
  • Create a unique hashtag for your campaign
  • Automate your content with scheduling software
  • Use live stream to your advantage

5.Let’s Talk About Brand Positioning and Purpose

Brands have to do more than shout from the rafters why they’re special. They have to establish an emotional connection with their customers, backed by practical and unique selling points before the customers have even set foot in the store.

1) What does the brand do for customers from a rational and emotional perspective?
2) What pain point or problem does the brand solve?
3) Why is this the brand to solve these problems?
4) Who does the brand make these products for?
5) What outcomes or results will customers experience as a result of buying this brand?

Why branding?
enforces focus, clarifies competitive difference, drives business decisions

How to create a brand’s positioning

1)Think like your customer

2)Create a brand identity prism

3)Design a brand positioning map

4)The positioning bull’s-eye framework

 brand mantras :

  • Disney’s mantra: Fun [emotional modifier] family [descriptive modifier] entertainment [function]
  • Nike’s mantra: Authentic [emotional modifier] athletic [descriptive modifier] performance [function]
  • BMW’s mantra: [emotional modifier] Ultimate [descriptive modifier] driving machine [function]

points of parity (POPdefines where brands converge and )
points of difference (POD POD defines where they diverge)

6.When creative and media come together, sparks fly

people are jumping seamlessly from channel to channel and researching more, often in unexpected ways. This explosion of consumer touchpoints means more advertising opportunities — and more complexities — for marketers.

Smart advertisers are using signals about viewers’ intent and context to inform not just who they talk to, but how and when they do so.

When you get to know your audience on a deeper level and understand who they are and what matters to them, you can uncover unexpected insights and reach them in moments when they’re most engaged and receptive.

Research shows that sequenced storytelling that combines multiple creative formats boosts message retention compared to using a 30-second ad on its own.

Tease, amplify, echo: Seed an idea to intrigue, amplify for a deeper experience, echo to remind or spur action. Direct shot: Stick to one concept, communicated in different ways. Miniseries: Break your story into thematic chapters told over time.

7.Ecommerce Conversion Rate Stats: 2019

customer journey stats

International conversion rate stats

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