At the end of July, I was invited to attend Affiliate Summit East in New York City, one of the affiliate marketing industry’s top events. This event provides an opportunity for top affiliate marketers to meet, mingle and network while keeping up with the latest trends for agencies, bloggers, podcasters, startups and others who are taking advantage of affiliate marketing.

This year’s conference saw dozen of presentations, panels and three keynote presentations; the first was delivered by Joe Theismann, entrepreneur and former MVP and Super Bowl champion quarterback for the Washington Redskins, the second by Larry Kim, founder of Wordstream and Mobile Monkey, and the third by J.B. Glossinger, the motivational speaker behind MorningCoach.com. Below I’ve compiled the top lessons I brought home from these keynotes and other presentations from the top affiliate marketers in the World.

Top 3 Takeaways From #ASE17

1. Change is happening, embrace it.

Joe Theismann kicked off with an impressive conversation with the thousands in the audience. He discussed how he had to evolve and become a brand in college. “There has never been a better opportunity to do what you love. Every day is a learning opportunity to grow as a human being. Take advantage of the world around you. There are no participation trophies in the real world. Embrace change and open your mind. Today we live in a global society and you cannot be a success by yourself, it takes a team.”

Joe touched on topics of having goals, a better attitude, education, teamwork and motivation. He emphasized that we need to write down our goals. Whether those are personal or business goals, we need to write them down, see them everyday and work to achieve them. “Don’t be a rudderless ship in the night – plot your course.” He encouraged all of us to set high goals and not be average. He next went into what motivates us to be better. Everyday we have the opportunity to learn from different people. The enthusiasm we have carries over to the people around us, so he challenged us to not be afraid of something new and to make sure we take time to be an excited learner. He went on to proclaim that he has never had a failure, only educational experiences that did not go his way.

He concluded his inspirational keynote with the fact that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM). Make sure that you have pride in what you do everyday. Understand what gets you going everyday and follow that passion. Do not sit on the sidelines. Every step you take, whether it’s in NYC or your own city, you see something new, and life is for us to live and learn. Be excited and continue to grow.

2. Solve a problem, earn trust.

I also had the opportunity to listen to the industry’s most well-known and successful bloggers as they shared their expertise, insight and knowledge on how to build a successful million dollar business through blogging during a panel presentation led by 7-figure blogger John Chow, with featured guests John Rampton, Syed Balkhi and Zac Johnson. Insights from this panel were focused on building a business around blogging and solving a problem; in turn this will build trust over time. You have to build the audience first before you can focus on monetization.

The all-star affiliate panel also gave feedback on focusing on your content’s headline. If no one clicks on the post, no one reads the content. You need to have a strong CTA to entice the click. When you’re writing headlines, the focus needs to be on who is actually going to read the content – write for them.

3. Social media advertising requires a Unicorn.

Monday’s keynote, led by Wordstream founder Larry Kim, covered a range of social media advertising “hacks”. I’ve seen Larry present dozens of times over the last 5 years and am always entertained and educated. If you’ve ever seen Larry present you know that he loves Unicorns, which are the top 1-2% of your content. Everyone has a Unicorn. No matter how crappy your content is, everyone has a handful of Unicorn pieces of content. You have to focus all of your energy and attention on your most highly engaged posts, and that will drive high quality scores and thus reduce the CPC when promoting the posts. My favorite quote from Larry during his keynote: “Donkeys (poor content) are not made for the rigors of space travel, you can only send Unicorns”.

Success (in content marketing) is less about having a formula to create more Unicorns (top performing content), but more so about how to maximize and extract maximum value out of the Unicorns you do create.

Larry Kim’s Hacks for Promoting Content on Facebook and Twitter

(a) Paid Social Ads Provide Most Scalable Content Promotion

  1. CREATE: Produce content and share on social media
  2. AMPLIFY: Selectively promote top content on social media
  3. TAG: Build remarketing audience by tagging site visitors with cookie

(b) Social Ads Turn Visitors into Leads and Customers

  1. FILTER: Apply behavioral and demographic filters on audience
  2. REMARKET: Remarket your audience with display and social ads and Remarketing Lists for search ads and promote offers
  3. CONVERT: Capture qualified leads for sales

If you’re interested in taking your business to the next level with digital marketing, including affiliate marketing, get in touch; my team would love to hear more about your business and start a conversation about how we can help you grow!