Browsed by
Category: E-commerce

How to Maximize Revenue with StackMedia

How to Maximize Revenue with StackMedia

You have the perfect piece of content that speaks passionately to your readers. You add some amazing eye candy: lifestyle shots, an infographic, and a can’t-miss CTA button. You post to your homepage. And…crickets.

Even with an incredibly engaging article, you won’t generate a dollar in revenue if nobody sees it. These top tips and tricks, based on network-wide performance data, will help you maximize the success of your campaign using marketing tools already at your fingertips.

Let’s make the best campaign yet.

Share Your Content Via Email

Chances are that you likely send an email newsletter to your readers on a pretty regular cadence. Try featuring your StackMedia article(s) in an email send, even after it’s cycled off your homepage. Matching the article stylistically to the other featured articles and including it amongst related topics is a great way to add value to the overall reader experience, while making sure you meet your revenue goals, too. 

Grow Your Email List

Of course, the more email subscribers, the more potential clicks you’ll garner. That’s basic human reasoning, right? Here are some quick tips for building your email list.

-Add an email pop-up form to your homepage to capture more email addresses.

-Feature your newsletter sign-up in the HelloBar (pinned to the top of each page).

-Include a slide-in CTA that triggers as users scroll 50% down the page (there are easy plugins in WordPress).

Use Facebook Ads to Remarket

Paid Marketing is the most effective way to drive traffic to your sponsored content. If you’re not already doing it, you’ll want to focus in on the platforms where your target readers hang out — whether it be LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. Google Ads are also a fantastic way to drive readers to your content. Not sure where to start?

Try Facebook Ads.

Tips for Using Paid Facebook Marketing:

-Launch your ads to a wide set of audiences starting with those closest to your brand. You can identify those audiences based on:

  • Page Likes
  • Friends Of Likes
  • FB Page Engagement
  • IG Page Engagement (if relevant)
  • 50%, 75%, Video Views (video is a great way to reach readers that know your brand, but may not actively ‘like’ it)
  • Lookalike Audiences — let Facebook do the heavy lifting 
  • Optimize on the “Traffic” conversion event at the campaign level. Facebook will find you the most traffic for the lowest cost.
  • A/B test your copy and creative to find what combinations drive the lowest CPC (Cost-Per-Click).

-Optimize your placement: if you see the majority and lowest cost traffic coming from a certain placement (newsfeed, audience network, or Instagram), you can deploy more budget to the highest performing placement.

-Set up retargeting: you can create ‘follow up’ ads for audiences that have seen your previous content or advertisements.

-Start small! Even running $25/day can provide a meaningful boost in your traffic!

Pin Your Content to Your Homepage and/or Article Recirculation Tool

Give your content the chance it deserves by pinning it to a highly-trafficked page like your homepage or within an article recirculation unit.

Share On Social Media

Use your social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to get fresh eyes on your content organically. After all, it’s free! Share across all platforms, and share often.

Make It Simple For Readers To Share Your Content

Here are some quick ways to make your content easily shareable:

-Add “Tweetable” blurbs to your content for easy posting on Twitter with a tool like Click to Tweet.

-Add “Pin It” buttons to visuals and infographics for easy sharing on Pinterest.

-Use SumoMe’s website add-on to create a social share button overlay for your image.

Promote Your Content On The HelloBar

Grant permission to your Account Manager to easily change out HelloBar text/links or change out the text on your own.

Update Relevant Content Pages with Links to StackMedia Content

Take advantage of relevant high-ranking articles covering similar topics by adding links to your sponsored content within the article. This quick update can make a significant difference.

Submit to a Content Community

Submit your StackMedia content to a relevant community like those listed below:

StackMedia connects marketers with targeted audiences across hundreds of publisher websites. Learn more about how our products can drive results here.

Case Story: How VPN Unlimited Sold Over 237k VPN Subscriptions

Case Story: How VPN Unlimited Sold Over 237k VPN Subscriptions

Marketing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is no cakewalk in 2018 — but imagine the task at hand four years ago when VPNs were a foreign concept to most. A secret server that takes your invisible data and does what exactly? Where would you find the right audience? How would you even begin to explain such a complex subject within the confines of a simple ad unit?

This dilemma is what sparked the partnership between KeepSolid (and their product, VPN Unlimited) and StackCommerce. Four years later, the two have sold over 237k subscriptions to VPN Unlimited and KeepSolid has expanded its offering to six products. But let’s pause there and start at the very beginning, shall we?

Designing a Content Marketing Plan 

In August of 2014, KeepSolid, a productivity and privacy protection software company, was looking to expand its product portfolio into digital information security. Long before Equifax, Target, and the daily data breach news reel, there was still a demand, albeit more niche, for an online consumer security solution. In other words, people were seriously skeptical about using the internet, especially in public places.

Vasyl Ivanov, CEO of KeepSolid, noted “existing VPNs were complicated and expensive, so we decided to create a user-friendly, easy-to-use — and at the same time affordable — solution.” The idea was there, but the lean team had no dedicated marketing resources for the service, and enlisted StackCommerce to help get it off the ground.

Reaching New Audiences

Turns out that StackCommerce’s publisher partners provided the perfect ecosystem of engaged readers, starting with tech sites like Engadget, Cult of Mac, and Macworld, to grow the VPN’s user base. Through the distribution of advertorial content ranging from 200-1,000 words, each personalized to individual publisher audiences, KeepSolid was able to fully explain the value of a VPN as a solution to a very serious, growing problem.

VPN Unlimited on Engadget

Not only did they connect with targeted groups of iOS enthusiasts from Stack’s Apple-centric publishers, but they quickly realized an interest in the Android, Windows, and Linux communities, as well — allowing them to prioritize building alternative client apps without significant risk. Later, they started connecting with men’s lifestyle publications. News outlets. Women’s lifestyle blogs. People recognized they weren’t safe from hackers and everyone is ultimately interested in protecting themselves.

Finding a Content Angle

KeepSolid elevated its success even further by curating a “lifetime” deal to be offered exclusively on StackCommerce’s network. That’s when they struck gold. Lifetime access?! You’ll never have to worry about hackers again?! There’s the story — and publisher audiences were ready and willing to get onboard. This deal alone accounted for over half of the overall sales (164k units), thanks to the unique, newsworthy angle.

VPN Unlimited

But we don’t just love this story because of the numbers. We partner with new-to-market brands every day in hopes that they will see the same success as KeepSolid. “The partnership with StackCommerce gave us the chance to make a leap to the next level of quality and performance as well as invest in new projects. We had big expectations from StackCommerce. They surpassed them,” said Ivanov. Music to our ears. Are you ready to become the next KeepSolid? Contact our Sales Department today sales@stackcommerce.com to get started.

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your E-Commerce Earnings

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your E-Commerce Earnings

Every brand wants more customers. More sales. More brand recognition.

If your brand is currently running a promotion with StackCommerce, congratulations! You’re already ahead of the game. But as you battle to stand out amongst the Amazons of the world, there’s never too much you can do to increase brand awareness and boost your acquisition efforts. So whether you’re already working with StackCommerce or just looking for new ways to grow your content marketing efforts, here are five tried-and-true methods that have proven successful across our network.

Price Drop When Possible

It may seem obvious, but pricing is one of the most dangerous weapons you have when it comes to securing content placement across influential publishers. An example:

Say you own a brand of luxury watches and you just saw enormous success from an article posted on The Daily Beast. Although you’re still enjoying the longtail effects of acquiring TDB’s highly-engaged readers, traffic to the article has tapered off as the news cycle continues to move.

You ask if The Daily Beast will do a follow-up article.

Not interested — been there, done that.

You pitch a new article that focuses on your fresh line of watches and also promotes a $30 price reduction on the watches in the original article.

Now they’ve got a story — and they’re in.

Duplicate content is highly taboo in the content world, and price reductions help shape a new story worthy of writing and reading. There’s no tool more powerful or more effective in your arsenal than a price reduction — so use it wisely.

Invest In A Custom Email Placement

dedicated email placement

What’s the simplest way to get your brand in front of a new customer’s eyes? Their inbox, of course. StackCommerce has over 4-million highly-engaged email subscribers, and a custom paid placement is the easiest and fastest way to get a premium placement. With email, your product and brand will immediately reach a considerably larger, more diverse audience than a single editorial post. Chat with your sales representative to secure a spot on the calendar.

Find Your Edge & Tell Your Story

Every product has a story and content marketing is your vehicle for telling it. From your website to email to editorial placements via StackCommerce’s publisher network, make sure you’re sharing your unique story.

Do you have an epic rags-to-riches founder story that’s been totally left out of your featured articles? Is your manufacturing process unique? Are we missing a key use case for your smart gadget?

Make sure to contact our team so we can get it right.

Earn A Fast Shipping Badge

We all know that Amazon sets an unrealistic precedent when it comes to shipping times (although we all admit to using Prime two-day shipping anyway…). But the truth is that customers are becoming accustomed to fast turnaround times, especially due to the pervasive procrastination that plagues us all around gifting-heavy holidays.

Enter: the fast-ship badge.

We built the fast-ship badge to reward brands with rapid turnaround times and alert customers of this significant selling-point. Earn yourself a fast-ship badge and start reaping the benefits.

If you are interested in having the fast-ship badge on your products, reach out to vendortracking@stackcommerce.com for more information on how to earn one!

Improve Your Product Images

Product images are one of the most important marketing tools you have. They make an immediate impact on the potential customer, and bad images can lose them forever. The last thing you want is to waste a premium placement on a top publisher due to low-quality images.

Be sure to consider where your images will end up. If you’re selling a pair of headphones that will be promoted in an article on Mashable, you’ll want a photo of a young person actually wearing the headphones and doing something relatable.

man wearing headphone in nature

Why?

A photo of the headphones on a white background may make your native article look like an ad — totally defeating the point of your content distribution efforts.

Invest in quality images. It’s worth it.

Our 5 Favorite Holiday Gift Guides of 2016—And What They Did Right

Our 5 Favorite Holiday Gift Guides of 2016—And What They Did Right

The sugar high of Halloween has not yet begun, let alone dissipated, and yet the holiday season is upon us ladies and gentlemen. Black Friday articles are up earlier than ever and holiday gift guides in October don’t so much as raise an eyebrow. This is our reality and it’s time to make the most of it. As you scramble to throw together the gift guide of the century, check out 5 ridiculously cool gift guides that graced our presence in 2016—and what we loved about them— picked by your very own StackCommerce Content Team.

Katy’s Picks:

The Verge Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Holiday Gift Guide from The Verge
Credit: The Verge

Why I Loved It:

Apart from the fact that this guide is freaking amazing to look at, The Verge delivered a welcome departure from the typical persona-driven gift guide formula. Rather than breaking up gifts according to the usual suspects (e.g. Gifts for Soccer Moms, Gifts for the Man Cave, Gifts for Besties, etc.), they focused in on where and when a gift might actually be used. Interesting, right?

Friends with a bunch of homebodies? Buy them something to use at home. Shopping for coworkers? You might (choose to) know absolutely nothing about them, but you’re positive they come to work every day. Buy them something to use at work!

By taking the road less followed, The Verge’s guide becomes not just another gift guide, but a totally fresh resource for shopping the season.

Refinery29 Gift Curator

Refinery29 Gift Guide
Credit: Refinery29

Why I Loved It:

There are two universal truths we can all agree on: holiday shopping sucks and people don’t read. Agreed? Great. Refinery29 took that to heart and made a unique gift guide experience that renders both those things insignificant.

Firstly, their interactive gift guide handholds you through the gifting process like a “Which Friends Character Are You” Buzzfeed quiz. It’s pleasant, engaging, and best of all, easy. Once you graduate from the questionnaire phase, you’ll land on a clear list of gifting options, curated specifically for your shopping list. The large, clear on-white imagery and single sentence descriptions are just simple enough to work. Thank you Refinery29, for the gift of easy gifting.

Nick’s Picks

CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide 2016

CNET Holiday Gift Guide
Credit: CNET

Why I Loved It:

They say content is king, and CNET takes that idiom to heart with this gift guide. Their content-driven guide adds one more wall before getting a customer on an actual sale page, but it also invites them to browse a much larger inventory, while still catering to their personal preferences. Better yet, if you really do just want to scan products rather than read a full post, CNET provides a “Gifts” button that opens the article’s featured deals in a slideshow format for you to preview without leaving the main Buyer’s Guide page.

You could very easily fall down the shopping rabbit hole in the CNET Buyer’s Guide, and that’s exactly how you want a gift guide to be.

Consumer Reports

Gift Guide
Credit: Consumer Reports

Why I Loved It

Unlike CNET, CR opts for a far more basic design which befits their no-frills style throughout the rest of the year. While it’s a basic guide, it makes a lot of sense. They have a smart, quick intro to the Gift Guide that reminds the reader that their entire M.O. is to “buy and test all year long, so we can tell you which excel in performance, safety, efficiency, and value.” In a hot second, they’ve reaffirmed why you want to look at this guide—they’re true authorities.

Their categories are exceedingly general and don’t always lead to productive commerce articles (See: the entire Food & Drink section) but it’s easy to peruse and maintains a friendly tone that doesn’t try to force sales down your gullet.

The New York Times

The New York Times Gift Guide
Credit: The New York Times

Why I Loved It
There are things to love and things to hate about this gift guide. On the one hand, I can’t stop clicking refresh to see the gorgeous multimedia page descend from the snowy heavens into an interactive urban cityscape of clickable gift buckets. It’s an undeniable attractive main page, and while the animations on some of the headings draw your eye, there are too many “Where’s Waldo” elements. If you can find the “Tech” bucket in less than six seconds I applaud you. “Experience” is even cut off at the bottom in such a blatant QA whiff that it cheapens the whole page just a tad.

However, click into any of these buckets and you’ve got a beautiful outlay of just straight PRODUCTS. Each page is extremely friendly to browsing—especially on mobile—with simple product images on white and quick 1-2 sentence descriptions of the product with a subtle, yet still unmissable CTA.

It’s mildly irritating to have to go through the special animation each time you want to review the buckets again, but at least it keeps you in the holiday spirit. The main page may suffer slightly from over-design, but each bucket is practically and purposefully put together for easy browsing, with smart, curated picks leading the lists.

 

How to Create Compelling Commerce Content for Mother’s Day (No Matter Your Audience)

How to Create Compelling Commerce Content for Mother’s Day (No Matter Your Audience)

Mother’s Day is around the corner, which means shoppers are scrambling to not disappoint come May 14th. Whether you write commerce content for a tech publication or a female lifestyle blog, you should be using the holiday as an opportunity to cash in with native commerce.

Afterall, tech enthusiasts need to shop for Mother’s Day, too. So why not shop on the sites they read every day? Plus, Mother’s Day is the third largest retail holiday in the US, and also seemingly comes out of nowhere (wasn’t it just Valentine’s Day?). Help your readers out and share some awesome gift deals with these four tips:

Stress the Discount

Prices on everything from flowers to chocolate are notoriously inflated for Mother’s Day, and consumers are not ignorant to this fact. Write about amazing discounts (like this one) and help your readers get through the month without getting ripped off.

Think Out-Of-The-Box

Practically every mother enjoys fresh cut flowers, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t enjoy a GoPro or new headphones more. It’s 2017 – let’s not pretend that every mother has the same taste. Help your readers come up with some truly unique gifts that his or her mom will actually enjoy. As they say “it’s the thought that counts, but great gifts count for a whole lot more”. Nobody actually says that, but you get the point.

Target (Or Help Out, Rather) Procrastinators

Mother’s Day tends to sneak up on us, and this leaves many people scouring the grocery store for the last bouquet of flowers. Help your readers out with some great last minute gift options for moms near or far. Ideas likes wine subscription boxes, local flower delivery or a subscription to a service like Audible can be great, last-minute options.

Stay Mindful with Your Commerce Content

Rule number one for creating commerce content for Mother’s Day is remembering that every family is different. Don’t be quick to make assumptions about the reader. Chances are there is a mother, whether it be a wife, sister, friend, etc., in the reader’s life, but it may not be in the traditional sense. Holidays bring up emotions – so be sensitive with your language.

Case Story: Rosetta Stone Tackles A New Market with Native Commerce

Case Story: Rosetta Stone Tackles A New Market with Native Commerce

Native commerce offers brands of all sizes an amazing opportunity to grow revenues, enter new markets, and of course, gain invaluable brand equity. Although we often tout the success of niche brands working with our platform, we’ve also seen first-hand the significant role native commerce can play for large national brands like Rosetta Stone. Today, we’re here to share that story.

You’re most likely no stranger to the fact that Rosetta Stone is a household name when it comes to learning new languages in the digital age. But long before the mobile revolution, Rosetta Stone got its start selling CD-ROM software. Eager wanderlusts and budding linguists alike dove into hours of innovative learning lessons that looked unlike any high school Spanish class, and Rosetta Stone quickly became America’s leading language learning software.

The Digital Age Challenge  

As technology quickly evolved, once cutting-edge CD-ROMs became less and less relevant and Rosetta Stone adapted by offering its digital experience via the cloud. As with any drastic product change, this posed the massive challenge of getting their message out to a totally new, younger, and mobile-centric audience. And with shipping challenges eliminated, there was a fantastic opportunity to break into the international market.

Rosetta Stone partnered with StackCommerce with hopes of tackling these challenges through exposure across our vast publisher network. The first step was constructing a robust marketing strategy that spoke to both Rosetta Stone’s core brand message and the wide array of publisher audiences that would be engaging with the content.

By taking into account demographic, interests, and price point, StackCommerce targeted readers who would connect to the Rosetta Stone story, but may not have fit the profile of the typical Rosetta Stone customer.

The Power of Native Commerce Distribution

From Boing Boing to The Daily Dot to Gothamist, publishers from across the network posted a total of over 65 pieces of written native content based around Rosetta Stone, allowing them to successfully reach their targeted demographics in a natural way. Apart from the obvious brand exposure element, the campaign resulted in over 1,200 units sold and 96,000 sessions on their deal page across over 175 white-labeled publisher shops.

“We are delighted to be partnering with StackCommerce as they’ve been able to successfully help us reach a totally different customer, one who might not have looked for us in our traditional channels. The opportunities with StackCommerce not only helped us enter new markets, but enter new markets faster,” noted Mike Fishaw, North American Director of Sales.

For national brands like Rosetta Stone, the native commerce model aligns perfectly with lofty expansion goals and product launches — proving that sometimes impressive gains come from looking outside the comfort zone of traditional marketing channels. Sharing authentic, engaging brand content across publishers that people know and trust is a great place to start.