May 2012

Disclosure: If I'm not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on my part and will be corrected soon.

The Affiliate Summit Orlando May Meetup was held on  Tuesday, May 29th at the Sweetwater Golf and Country Club.

I wasn’t sure what the turn out would be given that we were coming off of Memorial Day weekend and it had been pouring rain all day.  But 30+ Affiliate Marketers did make it out for networking, yummy snacks and to share their favorite WordPress Plugins.

We also shared some of our favorite widgets and other tools, many of which I added to my site yesterday.

The Affiliate Summit Orlando Meetup Group meets on the last Tuesday of every month.  There is never a charge to attend.  You can join the Affiliate Summit Orlando Meetup Group and follow us twitter.com/otownaffiliates at to stay on top of our local affiliate marketing events.

If you would like to present on a topic in the future, please contact me at orlando@affiliatesummit.com.

Here are the WordPress plugins, widgets and other tools that we talked about.  All have come highly recommended by the marketers in attendance. Click on each to enlarge.

Viewbix - Video Tools for Affiliate MarketersTracking affiliate sales and the full reach from video marketing has been a pain in the neck for affiliates for years. We use urls and annotations on our videos, we try using distribution networks with analytics and some people mention the url during their video. Although this can give you a solid estimate of how many views you had, there’s no way to accurately measure the sales that came from your video or really capture customer data and leads.

So when I heard about Viewbix, I had to check it out.

What Viewbix Can Do for Affiliate Marketers

Viewbix is a new video marketing tool that enables you to not only create a customizable skin for your YouTube, Vimeo Pro, Amazon Web Services and other videos, but you can also add in everything from clickable calls to action, newsletter sign ups and a Skype app directly into your video as well as get an entire suite of analytics with your pro account.

Because Viewbix is in HTML 5, Viewbix is able to be seen via mobile devices and virtually all of the functionality of the player remains in tact when your videos are shared on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Affiliate marketers can accurately measure their reach across social sites as well as begin turning views into conversions because they’ll now have the ability to gather email addresses to remarket back to their viewers, view clicks and conversions with analytics across multiple social sites and their embedded videos on their own website and total views per video.

If you’re into split testing and measuring what features generate more clicks, sales and views, Viewbix also features an easy to use cloning tool to create hundreds of clones in no time at all. They also offer customizable skins, which is very cool.

Many of the video uploading and sharing sites took away the ability to create custom skins with logos, colors and players. With Viewbix, affiliates can take their videos from those sites and now have a branded player for their site. Not only does this help the videos to look better, but as people notice and recognize your branding, they may click on more of your videos since they know the quality and content will match that of your website. Viewbix allows you to choose custom colors, rounded or squared corners, fonts and with your pro account you can also upload a clickable banner to the top.

You can try Viewbix for free by using the Basic plan or upgrade to a Pro account and have access to all of the advanced features and apps.

Viewbix Screenshots

Viewbix is so easy to use.  Here are some screen shots of the Viewbix process flow using their free version.  You may recognize that girl if you’ve been around my blog for a while 🙂

Step1: Choose Your Existing Video

Step 2: Customize Colors, Title, Button and Link

Step 3: Choose the Apps You Want to Add to the Player

Step 4: Configure the Apps with Your Information

Step 5: Share or Embed

Easy, right?

Using Viewbix Pro

While Viewbix’s free product is awesome in that it allows you to use calls to action in the video, add interactive apps and share it basically everywhere, it does come with a couple of limitations. Viewbix Basic only allows for up to 2 players, 10k impressions per month and only provides integration with their standard Apps.

Viewbix Pro allows you to personalize your players with your logo, choice of fonts, etc.; provides analytics into how your players are being used and shared and offers an expanded library of Apps which will let you further monetize your videos. It also allows up to 100 players and 250k impressions per month.

The price for the Viewbix Pro version is $19.95/month or $199.95/year. I think it’s a steal if you’re even thinking about monetizing your videos.

Viewbix also offers an Enterprise Version with unlimited players and and additional bells and whistles for the video-marketing-mogul. You’d have to contact them for pricing.

See Viewbix in Action

Check out Viewbix in action on my post here: I Love Coast Original Soap.

Go ahead, give Viewbix a shot on your own and let me know what you think.

youtube marketing

ShareASale ThinkTank 2012 was held May 16-18 at the beautiful Lakeway Resort & Spa on Lake Travis in Austin. It took place immediately after Affiliate Summit Central 2012 ended, which was held at the Hilton in Downtown Austin.

ShareASale ThinkTank 2012

Golf with the ShareASale CEO

After powering through our show’s wrap-up, I immediately scooted over to meet up with my fourseome on Falconhead Golf Club where the ShareASale Golf outing was taking place. Although I was super-late, I did manage to golf two holes with Brian Littleton, CEO of ShareASale. Oddly enough, even though I’ve attended the last few year’s ThinkTanks, this was the first time that I finally got to show off my golf talent (which was negligible considering I golfed with the opposite hand just for giggles.)

The quick bus-ride back to Lakeway was filled with ThinkTank attendees who recounted their foursome’s golf tales, many of which included funny stories of the best whiffs of the day. We laughed the whole way back.

ShareASale ThinkTank’s OPM’s and Appetizers

ShareASale ThinkTank 2012 Merchant Shirt My ShareASale ThinkTank 2012 Merchant Shirt

At 8pm, I headed off to the “OPMs & Appetizers Welcome Reception”. This event enabled OPM’s and Agencies to meet with ShareASale’s Merchants and Affiliates. Each company was given a table to house their materials and appetizers to provide to the attendees. {Smart, because us affiliate marketers like food!}

As attendees entered wearing their ShareASale-provided color-coded shirt (affiliate or merchant) that had their name and company name on it, they were greeted with open bar, yummy food stations and an opportunity to participate in a drawing to win 2 tickets to Hawaii by visiting each OPM/Agency table and getting their card stamped.

I loved the idea of the T-shirts because it gave me the ability to quickly find who I wanted to speak with instead of having to scout out tiny little badges.

Sadly, I will not be going to Hawaii, but Eric Souza is. (Congrats, Eric!)

ShareASale ThinkTank Day 2 Sessions

After a delicious breakfast, the 9am sessions started in which revolved around problems faced by Merchants and Affiliates on a regular basis; and provided ideas and solutions to combat these particular issues. Sessions included: Harnessing the Power of Pay-Per-Call, Increasing Conversion on Anything, and Setting Standards & Keeping Informed.

At 9:45 attendees split up into their respective groups – Merchant, Affiliate, and OPM – and learned about the new additions to the ShareASale interface, ideas to boost their programs, and best practices for Q4.

ShareASale ThinkTank 2012 Merchant Table Staffing the Affiliate Summit Table at ShareASale ThinkTank 2012. Photo by Shawn Collins (http://www.AffiliateTip.com)

From 10:30 – 1:00pm, ShareASale provided Merchants the opportunity to set up a table to represent their company. As a ShareASale Merchant, Affiliate Summit was able to set up meetings with affiliates online ahead of time which enabled us to make the best use of our short time on site.

The best part for me was actually getting to sit down with affiliates that I already know, but ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT BUSINESS!  {That’s my buddy, Scott Jangro to the left showing me the new features in his new Shareist Publishing Platform.  I was able to launch a new website in minutes.  If you want to get in on the limited beta, drop me a comment and I’ll send you an invite code.  You’ll love it.}

BBQ & Lake Travis

After a tasty BBQ lunch outdoors, attendees headed off to an afternoon of fun networking on Lake Travis.

Rae Hoffman, Shawn Collins and I on Lake Travis during ShareASale ThinkTank 2012. Photo by Jessica Commins (http://www.renewabelle.com)

Clad in our swimwear, we hustled on down to the lake where we were greeted with wave runners, ski boats, tubes, yachts and a party barge.

The speed boats were so much fun that Shawn Collins, Rae Hoffman, Jessica Commins and I refused to get off. We took many trips around the lake and checked in with the party barge every once in a while to see if people wanted a ride back to the pier.

This afternoon had to be one of the most fun times I’ve had in a while. Sun, Fun, Ice Cold Beer and Friends!

Affiliate Summit Poolside Party and Piano Time!

After doing a fast cleanup, I headed down to the Lakeway Resort Pool to set up for the Affiliate Summit Poolside Party that Shawn Collins and I were hosting.

Cocktails, delicious food and Fallen Ash (my buddy Khris Thayer from Optizmo Technologies’band) provided ShareASale attendees more fun networking opportunities to round out the great times they had on the lake today.

Fallen Ash Check out Fallen Ash at http://www.facebook.com/FallenAsh

After our party ended, came one of my favorite parts about ShareASale ThinkTanks — and that’s enjoying Brian Littleton play the piano.

Brian Littleton on Piano ShareASale ThinkTank 2012 on Foursquare I Checked into “Brian Littleton on Piano ShareASale ThinkTank 2012 on Foursquare”

About 75 of us moved up to Josey’s Bar where Brian had rented a piano for us to have our crazy sing-a-longs.

I really don’t think there’s a song he can’t play. But, there’s definitely a lot of songs that the attendees couldn’t sing. I always get a kick out of people (myself included) shouting out the names of the songs they want to sing only to find that they only know the chorus. Brian sure has patience!

Another late night — but so worth it!

Day 3 Sessions, Spa & Pool Time!

I couldn’t quite make it in time for breakfast today, so Shawn and I decided to grab some egg sandwiches and Bloody Mary’s (hair of the dog!) at Josey’s before headed to our 10:00am – 11:30am meetings that we scheduled with Affiliates to discuss the Affiliate Summit Affiliate Program.

Enjoying Bloody Mary’s with Shawn Collins during ShareASale ThinkTank 2012

The day rounded out with more Problem-Solver Sessions including Keeping up Content Production, Managing a Search Ad Trademark Policy, and Staying in Compliance with FTC Ad Laws.

After a terrific deli-style lunch came the now famous “Things We Need to Fix Session” in which Brian Littleton sits with ShareASale ThinkTank attendees to listen to what they want to see from ShareASale in 2013. It’s a no-holds-barred opportunity for attendees to voice their opinion on any issue.

I always commend Brian for this session as there’s not a lot of CEO’s that would open themselves up like that — in such a public forum.

Pool time {feat.music from The Cure and swim up bar} Pool time {feat. music from The Cure and swim up bar}

After heart-felt goodbyes to many of the attendees who were trying to catch flights, I headed off to the Spa for a massage followed up by a trip to the pool to put my new ShareASale Beach Towel to use that I received during check-in. It was nice to wind-down for a bit after a whirlwind week of networking and learning all sorts of new stuff.

Lisa Picarille and I ended our ShareASale ThinkTank 2012 experience by having a lakeside dinner at Iguana Grill that featured a live band and afforded me the last opportunity to eat another round of fish tacos (my staple food of Austin since I don’t eat meat!).

Thank You ShareASale Staff!

The ShareASale staff as always, were gracious hosts and outdid themselves once again. This is a firt-rate event and I appreciate the opportunity to attend. If you’ve ever been on the fence about attending, hop off of it next year and do it!