Archive for Tutorials

Affiliate Tools For Easy Social Media Marketing

Nov 19, 2013 No Comments by
Image credit: Jason A Howie, Flickr CC

Image credit: Jason A Howie, Flickr CC

We often get questions about what tools affiliates can use to promote merchant sales and products over social media. For affiliates who manage Facebook pages, Twitter accounts or have a following on any social channel, affiliate links can be a powerful way to monetize those channels.

Before looking at these basic tools, there’s a few rules that are important to keep in mind when using social media as a channel for your affiliate efforts:

  1. Remember That Social Media Is Voluntary: The most important thing to remember when marketing over social channels is that your audience has volunteered their time to participate on that channel. As such, they will be sensitive to anything that comes across as a sales pitch and will readily abandon participating if it feels like they’re being sold to.
  2. Keep Posting To A Minimum: Strategically plan the posting of affiliate links to your social channel to avoid “overselling” your followers. Affiliate links should be shared sparingly and used among a healthy mix of other posts.
  3. Post Only Relevant Links: The affiliate links you post should be relevant to the content on your social channel. While this may seem like conventional wisdom, when an affiliate link promoting and brand, item or sale that’s inline with the interest of the group, the “marketing” side almost become invisible. Products that your followers get excited about is often a great conversation starter, which can all but eliminate the feeling of “being sold to”.

So, we have the theory in place, but what tools at AvantLink can be used to for affiliate marketing on social channels?

Merchant Text Ads For Social Media

  1. Merchant Text Ad: Text ads are one of the most quintessential tools in the affiliate world and the only type of merchant ads that you can actively promote on social channels. To get a merchant text ad, log into your account and click “Ad Tools>Merchant Ads>Get Ads” and search for an ad from the merchant you would like to promote.Once you’ve found an ad, click the ‘Get HTML’ option to bring up a configuration screen. From here, it’s important that you select the ‘URL Only’ option to strip the link from all HTML. Remember that most social channels won’t parse HTML, limiting the type of affiliate marketing you can do to posting simple written text and URLs. When selecting this ‘URL Only’ option, you’re given the actual written portion of the text ad and the raw affiliate link. Copy both and paste it to your social channel with some conversation flair around the link. Here’s a great real life example of an affiliate who posted a text link for a babySTEALs sale (note the added conversation around the link):
    Social Media Affiliate Marketing
  2. Custom Link Tool: Using custom affiliate links generally allow you to get far more granular with what you’re advertising than standard merchant ads do. Have a specific product that you’d like to let your followers know about? Promote that product by changing it into an affiliate link! Here’s how.First, start by finding whatever product it is you’d like to promote on the website of a merchant you’re currently an active affiliate for. Copy the URL of that product page and then head over to the AvantLink Custom Link Tool by clicking “Ad Tools>Custom Link Builder>Create Custom Link“. From here, choose the merchant the URL is associated with, paste that URL into the link builder form, select a link shortener (optional) and click ‘Get HTML’.These custom links allow you to not only talk about a brand but address a line of products or even a specific product related to the brand. In the example below, I asked my Twitter followers if they’ve had any experience with the Under Armour shoe I was linking to with a custom link.

     

  3. SnapLinker: Like the idea of creating custom affiliate links for you social channels but are keen on having to log into the AvantLink interface each time you would like to create one? A new tool on AvantLink called the SnapLinker helps eliminate this process. The SnapLinker is a small bookmarklet that lets you instantly create affiliate links out of  any URL on a merchant’s website and tweet it out of share it on Facebook instantaneously. It’s easy to use and very effective for creating affiliate links for social channels. Get the SnapLinker by going to “Ad Tools>App Market>Browse Apps>SnapLinker” and learn more about it in short tutorial video below:
  4. AvantLink Firefox Affiliate Marketing Add-OnAvantLink Firefox Add-on: For any Mozilla Firefox users out there, AvantLink offers a fantastic add-on that helps you stay on top of your affiliate marketing efforts even when you’re not logged into your account on AvantLink.com. The add-on provides all basic reporting that’s found in the ‘Quick Stats’ box on your account’s home screen.

    Besides providing reporting, the add-on also gives you the ability to get affiliate links very quickly through two different methods. Looking at the photo to the right of the add-on menu, you’ll see an option to “Create an affiliate link to this page”. When you’re on a merchant’s homepage or viewing a specific product page that you would like to make into an affiliate link, simply click that option from the add-on menu and a pop up screen with an affiliate link for that page will be generated for you.

    Even more helpful is the ability to get merchant ads on demand. By clicking on the “Retrieve merchant ad campaigns” option, you’ll be taken to a page within your browsers that gives you the instant ability to search and get the code for any merchant ad you’d like to use, as demonstrated in the photo below.
    AvantLink Firefox Add-on | Instantly get merchant ads
    For affiliates who are looking to market through social channels but don’t have the time to be logged into their AvantLink account all day, the Firefox add-on is an absolute must. It can be found by going to “Account>Notification Center>Firefox Add-On”.

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AvantLink Merchants: Interface Training Recap & Video

Oct 04, 2012 2 Comments by

**If you find this training video & blog post helpful, please share ——>**

On the first Wednesday of every month we hold a merchant interface training webinar to get newcomer program managers and veterans alike up-to-speed on the AvantLink merchant interface. There is a lot to learn, and we often add new functionality to the AvantLink system that program managers need to be aware of; the recently implemented automated seasonal deal sheets is a great example of this.

Our last training webinar was held on October 3rd. For those of you who missed it, the whole presentation was recorded and is available for viewing or download here:

10/3/2012 Merchant Interface Training Video

(Please see the latest, most up-to-date webinar recording here)

AvantLink Support Screencast Series

The Screencast Series section found in all AvantLink merchant account interfaces.

Generally, in these webinars we cover a number of topics that follow the list of items found under the “Screencast Series” section in the “Support” page of your merchant interface. These topics are the core elements that need to be understood when it comes to managing a program on AvantLink.com and include:

  • Affiliate application management tools
  • Ad campaign management tools
  • Affiliate email tools
  • Editing program terms
  • Editing standard email templates
  • Affiliate recruitment tools
  • Notification center & tools
  • Reporting

Should you ever have any questions about any one of these specific elements, just click on any item listed in this Screencast Series section and you’ll be taken to a YouTube video that explains that specific tool.

For those who aren’t aware, AvantLink’s YouTube channel is a pretty awesome resource for affiliate marketing training videos. This channel is full of education videos ranging from training on affiliate tools to affiliate program management tips and tactics. If you haven’t already, subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on the latest training and tutorial videos.

Is there a specific webinar or video you’d like to see? Tell us so in the comments below!

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Webinar Series: AvantLink WP (Part 2)

Mar 22, 2011 No Comments by

When: March 29, 2011 (tue) – 5:30pm-6pm Mountain Time

Chad decided to try and have AvantLink WP Part 2 in the evening, so hopefully some other folks in different time zones will be able to attend. Part one was on March 15th, and here is the archived session @YouTube. Remember these webinars and a multitude of screencasts are all archived at the AvantLink YouTube channel, so don’t sweat it if you cannot be there.

This next training webinar will continue to cover the AvantLink WordPress Plugin available to all affiliates in AvantLink. We’ll be covering the remainder of the tools included with the plugin including the Product Ad Widget, Related Products, and Product Search bar.

Please note the time and date and register if you plan to attend: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/923407571

AvantLink WP (WordPress) Plugin Settings

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AvantLink WordPress Plugin Tutorials

Mar 11, 2011 No Comments by

On February 23rd 2011, we announced the release of AvantLink WP, our official Affiliate plugin for WordPress. Here are some related articles & news:

In order to make sure interested WordPress Affiliates fully understand all the functionality that’s available with this plugin, our in-house screencast tutorial guru Chad Waite has put together a five part series on AvantLink WP. Nice work Chad! Here is the list with links to YouTube…and below that we have embedded each one starting first with the plugin installation and set-up.

IMPORTANT: This is a time sensitive note. There is a live training webinar for AvantLink WP (Part 1) on March 15th at 1pm mountain time. Register now, or find the archived session on our YouTube channel by 3/16.

WordPress Plugin Install and Setup
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Related Products Tool using the WordPress Plugin
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Affiliate Link Encoder Setup using the WordPress Plugin
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Product Ad Widget Setup using WordPress Plugin
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Product Search Setup Using WordPress Plugin
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Webinar Series: AvantLink WP (Part 1)

Mar 09, 2011 4 Comments by

When: March 15th 2011 – 1pm-1:30pm Mountain Time

Time to announce the next tutorial in our Affiliate Webinar Series! (BTW for those who do not know, all training webinars and screencasts for both Affiliates and merchants are archived and accessible via our YouTube channel)

Next up is a thirty minute session on AvantLink WP, which is our official WordPress plugin for Affiliates. You can learn more about our plugin here, or better yet register for part 1 of several webinars Chad will be doing specifically on AvantLink WP functionality.

Please note the time and date and register if you plan to attend: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/646422610

AvantLink WP (WordPress) Plugin Settings

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More Updated Merchant Tutorials

Feb 11, 2011 No Comments by

Attention AvantLink merchants! On February 3rd we announced that Chad had updated three of our existing merchant tutorials available in the merchant management interface (we currently cover the main management components via screencasts in the merchant “Support” area). Well here are three more… nice work Chad!

AvantLink Merchants: Editing Standard Email Templates
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AvantLink Merchants: Edit Program Terms
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AvantLink Merchants: Notification Center
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Updated Merchant Tutorials

Feb 03, 2011 1 Comment by

One of our newer employees, Chad Waite, has come up to speed very quickly on both Affiliate and merchant functionality on our network. He’s a real life Affiliate network rock star, so he’s already produced three updated screencasts for our merchant knowledge base. Keep an eye out because soon Chad will be conducting regular training webinars open to anyone interested in learning more about our technology.

BTW you can browse all our tutorials and screencasts currently at our YouTube channel, but we’re in the process of refining things over there so it will be changing a lot in the coming months..

AvantLink Merchants: Affiliate Applications & Management
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AvantLink Merchants: Affiliate Email Tool
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AvantLink Merchants: Affiliate Ad List & Campaign Management
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Affiliate Link Encoder Webinar

Aug 11, 2010 1 Comment by

Yesterday I hosted my first GotoWebinar session, featuring the configuration, installation and best practices for the ALE on static HTML pages and a WordPress blog. No major complaints, although I will admit it was a bit challenging hosting my first webinar.

We’re planning to do a LOT more of these, basically one for each of the technology feature we offer. I’ll be doing more, but perhaps David can handle the more technical offerings, like our Affiliate API. Keep an eye out for a schedule in the coming weeks! Below you’ll see part 1 & 2 of the ALE webinar on YouTube. -Gary M

Best watched in 720p HD using the “Pop Out” feature.

Part 1
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Part 2
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AvantLink Webinars: Affiliate Link Encoder (ALE)

Jul 23, 2010 1 Comment by

Learn how to auto encode direct merchant links (or keywords) to Affiliate tracking links by installing one line of JavaScript on your web site or blog. The ALE is the ideal solution for monetizing existing blog or forum archives!

Join us on Monday, August 9th from 11am-11:30am mountain time for an overview of this unique tool. We will cover the quick and easy configuration of an ALE subscription, installation of the script and best practices.

If you are interested in attending please register right away, as space is limited to 100 participants. Here is the registration link: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/232565418

More information on the Affiliate Link Encoder:

http://www.avantlink.com/tools/affiliate_link_encoder.php
http://www.avantshare.com/blog/2008/11/10/affiliate-link-encoder-v20/

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Screencast: Affiliate Link Encoder

Dec 01, 2009 No Comments by

The Affiliate Link Encoder (ALE) automatically turns merchant direct links, keywords and text on your web pages into affiliate tracking links.

In this screencast we cover how this tool can be useful to bloggers, forums, community content based websites, or affiliates who would just rather not worry about logging into their affiliate account to get tracking links for their AvantLink merchants.

We also show you how you can install the ALE within a WordPress blog as well as a brief demonstration of the tool “in action”.

Scott Kalbach
AvantLink.com Affiliate Network

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