Crates of Loot from Affiliate Marketing

If you’re a nerd, geek or pop-culture freak just like I am, there is a good chance you’ve heard of the incredibly popular subscription service that has been taking the nerd-world by storm: Loot Crate.

Image result for Lootcrate logo

For the uninitiated, Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service that sends themed crates of loot all around the world filled with fantastically geeky gear and goodies. The perfect gift for pop-culture enthusiasts, gamers and gurus everywhere. Since 2012, this small privately owned business has been shipping out thousands of crates across 35 countries worldwide.

But Loot Crate aren’t small anymore. Now based in Los Angeles with a rough valuation of $116 million, Loot Crate took out the number one spot on America’s 2016 Inc. 500 List for the fastest growing privately-owned companies. With a 3 year growth of 66,789%, Loot Crate are a force to be reckoned with among all subscription based services.

But how does a small South Californian start-up like Loot Crate evolve into the nerd-world powerhouse company it is today? Through a very close understanding of their target market, and some well placed affiliate marketing.

Since their humble beginning, Loot Crate has sought to partner themselves among popular companies, channels and personas within the gaming, entertainment and pop-culture community for a very simple and deliberate reason.

Because that’s where their target market is most present.

Why bother trying to advertise to the masses of mostly uninterested people, when you can directly expose yourself to the people who are most interested in what you are offering.

Knowing this, Loot Crate has developed an extensive Affiliate Program that allows for literally anyone with some sort of online presence to partner with Loot Crate for some mutual benefits.

While Loot Crate obviously benefits from extremely valuable exposure, the affiliates themselves receive a sizable commission for each person who subscribes to Loot Crate,  as well as a few extra Loot Crate goodies. Some of the most notable affiliates are hugely popular community channels like Rooster TeethGeek and Sundry and PewDiePie.

Not a bad deal for the affiliates, who get to promote Loot Crate is creative ways of their choosing. Just like this:

But that’s not all! Loot Crate also throws in some special offers and discount codes to all those who subscribe to Loot Crate through an affiliates recommendation. So really, its a win-win for everyone.

So had you heard of Loot Crate before this post and what do you think of affiliate marketing?

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To Meme, or Not to Meme

Image result for memes memes everywhere meme

Who doesn’t love a good meme?

Today, it seems the internet revolves around them. They’re everywhere. Social media is littered with them, this blog has them, even businesses are utilising them.

Memes are easy to read, recognise, simple to digest, relatable and highly shareable. This has evolved the art of meme-ing from a innocently humorous way to communicate popular culture, into noticeably powerful art-form that reaches millions of people around the world.

And of course, this couldn’t happen without a few marketers noticing, could it?

But the dangers of businesses using memes or ‘meme hijacking’ are real. Memes are complicated and unpredictable beasts which can backfire on marketers if used unsafely. This is largely due to the complicated nature of memes:

  • They have short and fickle lifespans. What’s hot Image result for harambeone day may be socially unacceptable the next.
  • They exist simultaneously. Memes don’t take even turns in the spotlight. Meme-culture is a mess of ever changing likes and dislikes.
  • Most memes are exclusive. Not everyone understands every meme created, and that’s the way its meant to be.  Image result for Oh shit what up meme

So the question is, should businesses utilise memes in their digital marketing strategy?

The answer in most cases is,      Image result for No memeHijacking memes is very rarely a valid digital strategy.

Firstly, the memes are often just used completely out of context. They are irrelevant to the product actually being advertised and in this way, completely off-brand.

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Virgin Media’s meme attempt

Secondly, its often just too niche. Sure a minority may recognise your meme and respond positively, but most the time the majority of consumers are alienated by it and left confused.

Finally, its just lame. Marketers hijacking memes to most people just shows a lack of effort and creativity. It’s also likely to just kill the meme itself by diluting its exclusivity (and ruining the fun for everyone).

So what’s your opinion on brands using memes? Have you got time for that?Image result for aint nobody got time for that gif

A Successful Color Switch

If you’ve frequented any social media site within the last 6 months, you may have come across this familiar sight:

Color switch
Source: Fortafy Games’ Color Switch

For those of you who don’t recognise this picture, this is the home screen of the incredibly popular mobile game: Color Switch. A frustratingly addictive arcade game with over 125,000,000 downloads worldwide. On its release in early 2016, it ranked 1st among all other free-to-play games in over 100 different countries, including Australia, U.S, Canada and U.K.

Now, for such a simplistic and repetitive mobile game created by a colourblind games-developer with zero coding experience, those are some VERY impressive numbers. However, despite Color Switch’s catchy music and addictive gameplay, the app’s success was by no means an accident. Instead, a much more deliberate and forced popularity.

Before the game, Color Switch’s developer David Reichelt was a relatively unknown creator. However, the app’s potential was quickly picked up on by Fortafy Games, the gaming alias of a well-connected Australia rapper with a large online empire. The game was promptly purchased from Reichelt and published by Fortafy, thus beginning the tirade of social media ads, videos, pictures and sponsorships that many of you would come across on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and various other platforms.

However, one of the more interesting/successful advertisement methods actually turned out to be one of the more subtle ones.

Through the money connections of Fortafy, a large number of famous comedic Vine producers with large active fan bases were sponsored to create videos that included Color Switch somewhere throughout them. The game was never the main focus of these usually comedic-sketches, only featuring for a second at most. However without fail, it would always appear.

Here’s some examples:

Color Swap Conspiracy.jpg

The result? Color Switch went VIRAL!

Soon enough, everyone was asking…
WHY

Whether people wanted it or not, they were being exposed to Color Switch.

Your friends were playing it. Social media was advertising it. It was 1st on all app store charts. AND nearly every video you watched featured someone famous you like playing it.

It truly was a viral epidemic. One created by an addictive idea, money industry connections and very clever marketing.

I’m very interested to hear all your thoughts on Color Switch. Did any of you play it/still play it? And how many of you were exposed to the game just through your everyday social media lives?

STUDENT WAS WRITING HIS BLOG, WHAT HAPPENED NEXT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND…

I reeeaaally don’t like clickbait (Oh, the irony). I don’t know anyone who does.

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Source: College Humor: The History of Clickbait

So why is it that every time I’m browsing through Facebook or scrolling through my YouTube sub box, I’m bombarded with a seemingly endless amount of SHOCKING, AMAZING and UNBELIEVABLE news that will CHANGE MY LIFE FOREVER!?!?!?

Welcome to the Age of Clickbait.     scared 1.gif

Where news is disappointing, third-party sites are plenty, pop-ups run wild and advertisements rule your browser like a tyrannical monarch. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

So, if no one likes clickbait, why is it used?

Well, its the 21st century, everything is digital and exciting now! Popularity is measured in mouse gif or  facce like.png, and online ads are a legitimate source of income. Combine the two what do we get? An environment where the more views you rack up nets you a nice little profit. So its understandable as to why increasingly more businesses are selling their souls to the clickbait devil.

But the real question is, are you going to put up with this? Or will you take up arms and join the brave group fighting in the #StopClickbait revolution?

Already 32.4% of global internet users have taken an indirect approach of combating clickbait by installing various Adblockers. These tools effectively render third-party ad sites and pop-ups useless by passively removing them from your browser. A highly effective method of freeing yourself from clickbait.

However, if you happen to be as crazy passionate about combating clickbait as I am, you could contribute to the #StopClickbait campaign. A series of Facebook pages aimed at eradicating clickbait from the internet. By targeting serial clickbait offenders, like UNILAD or BuzzFeed, and spoiling the point of their articles, the clickbait is rendered entirely pointless.

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Source: Stopclickbait.com

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So what about you (yes, you)? Do you care about clickbait?

If so, how are you combating the rising threat?