Recap of TEC Summit 2015

The inaugural TEC Summit has come and gone and we were blown away by the success. Between our fabulous speakers, the beautiful venue, the delicious food and the inspiring workshop leaders, the two days went by way too fast.

Speed Networking Session

Speed Networking Session

We kicked off the event with a speed networking session where everyone met 10 new contacts in 30 minutes.

John Yembrick, head of all social media at NASA

John Yembrick, head of all social media at NASA

Our first speaker was a fascinating keynote presentation by John Yembrick, the head of all social media at NASA. Did you know that NASA has 409 social media accounts on 12 platforms?? John also talked about how social media has completely `changed the news and storytelling industry. Gone are the days of scheduled press broadcasts. Today news happens 24/7 and we rely on social media to get our information  in real-time.

[left to right] Holly Hamann, Walter Knapp, Tina Weyand

[left to right] Holly Hamann, Walter Knapp, Tina Weyand

Our first panel, “How Technology is Making Influence a Predictable and Scalable Business” included speakers Holly Hamann, Co-founder and CMO of TapInfluence, Walter Knapp, CEO of sovrn Holdings, Inc., Tina Weyand, GM Content at Ask.com and our moderator John Gable, Founder of AllSides. The discussion centered around how technology has affected content and the ways in which brands communicate with publishers and consumers. According to Holly Hamann of TapInfluence, social media is where content lives but consumers don’t call it content. Consumers are using social media for the experience and to find people similar to them. Brands need to keep this in mind in order to relate to the consumer. Technology has affected influence by providing additional platforms for shareability and scalability, but at the end of the day our panelists agreed it all boils down to trust between the consumer and the brand.

[left to right] John Rampton, Jon Alain Guzik, Heidi Nazarudin, John Toskey

[left to right] John Rampton, Jon Alain Guzik, Heidi Nazarudin, John Toskey

The next panel was, “Maintaining Editorial Authenticity While Meeting Revenue Targets” where we heard from Heidi Nazarudin, Co-founder of BloggerBabes.com, John Toskey, Director of Global eBay Partner Network, Jon Alain Guzik, Founder of PasioMedia, and our moderator John Rampton, CEO of Due.com. Our panelists talked about how they walk the line of driving revenue and building their brands. Heidi Nazarudin says she’s turned down paid opportunities before because they weren’t true to her brand and she urged other bloggers to do the same. Jon Alain Guzik of PasioMedia said he turned down a partner who was driving 33% of his revenue because they were promoting overstocked products every day and that wasn’t the type of content he wanted to provide for his readers. The moral of the panel: focus on building a loyal following and the revenue will follow.

Alexy Khrabrov of By the Bay

Alexy Khrabrov of By the Bay

After a delicious lunch, Alexy Khrabrov, Chief Scientist at Nitro and Principal of By the Bay shared best practices for Twitter and online influence in his session, “So You Aren’t Justin. But You Can Be Amanda.” His talk looked at how a Justin Bieber super fan turned into a twitter celebrity in her own right. He looked at the data of how that happened and how you can replicate that success. The key message was that timely authentic content and picking up on what trends are hot at the time to your audience are the most important strategies.

[left to right] Tom Furukawa, Geoff DeFrance, Kate Kendall, Alan Fields, Steve Roy

[left to right] Tom Furukawa, Geoff DeFrance, Kate Kendall, Alan Fields, Steve Roy

The next afternoon panel was, “Building and Leveraging the Influence of Online Communities” with expert speakers Steve Roy, VP of Marketing at Disqus, Geoff DeFrance, SVP Digital at TEN, Alan Fields, Co-founder at Windsor Peak, Kate Kendall, Founder of CloudPeeps and our moderator Tom Furukawa, CEO & Co-founder of Enstigo. The panel discussed the difference between social media and communities. While social media has affected communities, the panelists said social media should be seen as a distribution tool and not a platform for engagement. Communities should be formed to give the audience a voice, an identity and a presence and then companies should determine how they will bring that experience to the rest of their online brand.

[left to right] Bridget Silvi, Lawrence Jones, Jesse Leimgruber

[left to right] Bridget Silvi, Lawrence Jones, Jesse Leimgruber

The next panel discussed, “What does Mobile Bring to the Enthusiast/Influencer Marketing Party?” This panel was led by our moderator Barry Levine, Senior Writer at VentureBeat and included Bridget Silvi, Sr. Director of Business Development at WeHeartIt, Lawrence Jones, Founder of Unlaced, and Jesse Leimgruber, CEO of NeoReach. Barry asked all of the panelists what they would do if smartphones were outlawed tomorrow. Bridget Silvi of WeHeartIt summed up everyone’s response when she said that their business would be in big trouble. However, she also said that all businesses would be in trouble without smartphones, especially if they were trying to reach the younger generation. Mobile has continued to grow in popularity and has become a crucial tool in every brand’s toolkit. But what’s next in terms of reaching consumers? Lawrence Jones of Unlaced said he thinks TV will come back and play a larger role in user targeting while Jesse Leimgruber of NeoReach chose virtual reality.

[left to right] Nathan Johnson, Vlad Dusil, Robyn Hagan Cain, Maghan McDowell, Tyler Blake

[left to right] Nathan Johnson, Vlad Dusil, Robyn Hagan Cain, Maghan McDowell, Tyler Blake

Our last (but not least) panel of the day was, “How Enthusiasts Have Changed the Face of the Fashion Industry” led by our moderator Maghan McDowell, Style Reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. The speakers featured Tyler Blake, Entrepreneur, Vlad Dusil, Co-founder and COO of PurseBlog, Nathan Johnson, COO and Co-founder of Artful Gentleman, and Robyn Hagan Cain, Editorial Manager at Joyus. The panelists talked about the use of social media in promoting fashion, for example, the objective of Instagram is to create desire and is not all about sales. When selecting influencers, brands need to decide if they want to drive long-term traction, or if they want to drive traction now, said Vlad Dusil of Purse Blog. In the fashion field, influencers can include bloggers, social media stars or celebrity athletes, but no matter what our experts said they are key to a fashion brand’s marketing strategy.

TEC_9

Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN

We closed down the day with Jeffri Chadiha, Sports Journalist at ESPN who talked about his experiences with journalists, sports personalities and how modern day media has been affected.

Thank you to all of our speakers, partners, sponsors and attendees, we couldn’t have put on this wonderful event without each and every one of you. A special thanks to our MC John Rampton.

Closing remarks by Oliver Roup, Founder & CEO of VigLink

Closing remarks by Oliver Roup, Founder & CEO of VigLink

For more details on all of the panels and sessions, please check out the videos on YouTube and additional photos from the two-day event on our Facebook page. Stay tuned for the 2016 event, we hope to see you all there!

TEC Summit Spotlight: The Community Panel

TEC logo

TEC Summit is just a few days away and we wanted to spotlight one of our fascinating panels: Building and Leveraging the Influence of Online Communities. Companies have recognized that an online community is a valuable resource for customers, partners and more, but in today’s fragmented multi-device world, building a strong community is difficult. Social media has affected communities, but has it helped them or hindered them? While communities and forums may be successful today, will the younger generations continue this trend in the future?

Tom Furukawa, Co-founder and CEO of Enstigo, will be moderating and asking these questions and more from our panel of industry experts:

  • Steve Roy, VP of Marketing at Disqus
  • Geoff DeFrance, SVP Digital at TEN
  • Alan Fields, Co-Founder of Windsor Peak
  • Kate Kendall, Founder of CloudPeeps

We’ll hear how these executives have helped build communities from scratch and adapt to today’s technology. This panel will be on Day 1 of TEC Summit at 2:00 p.m. so don’t miss it! Register today: http://tecsummit.com/register

Do you have any questions for this panel? If so, leave them in the comments below!

Upgraded Dashboard Launched!

We’re excited to announce the release of our newly upgraded dashboard! We’ve been listening and learning about what makes you successful and are excited to relay the features that are now available to you. They include, but are not limited to:

  1. Date range controls allowing you to analyze a specific time series of interest
  2. Advanced filters allowing one, several, or all campaigns and products to be analyzed together
  3. Interactive charts that yield visual insights along with easy data downloads for more in depth analysis

mocked dashboard screenshot

We’ve already received positive feedback from VigLink publishers who are using the new dashboard.

“VigLink’s updated dashboard gives us far more insight regarding click and revenue data. Its clear interface makes it easy to quickly get an overview of program performance and pull reporting. Not only will the new dashboard save us time, but it will also help us improve our monetization strategy,” stated Alan Fields of Windsor Peak.

Beta customer, Merve Mahmutoglu of SheFinds stated, “We love that the new VigLink dashboard is easy to use to pull reports as well as to see program performance”.

In sum, these new features allow you to view your performance from a combination of attributes most important to your content strategy. These insights enable you to see what is earning the most and how you can further optimize your hyperlink traffic. While you adjust to the new dashboard, we’ve opted to keep the previous version live and will be sure to notify you before we remove it from the site. This will allow you to toggle between the two while you become accustomed to  new one.

Please note that with the increased amount of data in the new version of the dashboard clicks, page views, and revenue are updated once daily, so the two dashboards will look different for the current day view.

See the new dashboard here!

Announcing the Latest Publisher Roundtable Interview

Publisher Roundtable Primary-Logo

 

Here at VigLink we’re lucky to work with some of the brightest and most creative publishers out there, from large online publishers to smaller, enthusiast blogs we like helping our customers live their passion. We’re also thankful for the community that we have established with our publishers. As part of that, we’re excited to announce that in partnership with Netpop, Sovrn and TapInfluence, we’re rolling out the latest interview for Publisher Roundtable, the collective-insights platform. Publisher Roundtable is now in its second year and has been a huge success in connecting publishers together and learning how grow their sites, audience, develop content and incorporate monetization.

This time around, we’re discussing engagement. We want to know how publishers and bloggers plan their content, get their readers to engage more deeply and share their content with others. The objective is to combine the experience of thousands of publishers and form this collaboration that makes everyone more successful.

Publishers who participate will gain access to exclusive data that informs them how their decisions and strategies stack up against other publishers. Responses are anonymously aggregated, analyzed and packaged into “Tips” reports available exclusive to members.

Stay tuned for the results and key findings! If you’re a publisher and you’d like to participate you can enter here.

VigLink Announces TEC Summit

TEC Summit

We are very excited to officially announce our new conference, The Enthusiast Channel (TEC) Summit! If you have been to Forumcon before we’ve decided to take the best parts of that event and turn them into a new two day conference featuring inspirational keynotes, panels and expert-lead workshops. TEC Summit is centered around a broader group of influential publishers and brands who are collaborating to mold the future of online influence.

Attendees will hear from industry experts such as Holly Hamann, Co-founder and CMO at TapInfluence, Bridget Silvi, Sr. Director of Business Development at We Heart It, Jeffri Chadiha, Sports Journalist at ESPN, and more. We’re also thrilled to announce that our opening keynote speaker will be John Yembrick, Social Media Manager at NASA!

We will be discussing everything from the power of influence, how tech is affecting business scalability, the future for publishers in mobile and how enthusiasts have changed the fashion industry. Register now to meet and learn from today’s most influential publishers and brands! We’re offering a special 50% off discount for friends of VigLink. Hurry and register today because this offer is only valid until May 3rd! Just enter the code VigLink50 at checkout or use this custom registration link: http://bit.ly/1QGkMin

What: TEC Summit 2015

Where: The Bently Reserve 301 Battery Street San Francisco, CA 94111

When: May 27-28, 2015

Register here: http://tecsummit.com/register

For additional details please visit www.tecsummit.com. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @TecSummit and Facebook to stay up to date on all of our exciting announcements. We hope to see you there!

 

Who is Dominating eCommerce- Men or Women?

Stereotypes may have depicted women as the larger online shoppers but according to Bronto Software, that is not true, or at least not anymore. January 2015 research shows that three in 10 US male online shoppers reported making a purchase at least once per week, vs. fewer than one-fifth of female respondents.

Check out this graph via eMarketer:

eMarketer1

 

Men are also more likely to actively shop, 62% said they shop online at least once per month or more, compared to 58% of women. This is an increase from last year when just 55% of men said they shop online at least once per month or more.

When it comes to shopping on mobile devices, men showed us they are bigger spenders there too. According to a November 2014 study by Harris Poll, 35% of US adult male smartphone owners spent $51 or more each month on purchases via their phones, compared to 20% of females.

Were you surprised by this data? Tweet us @VigLink and let us know!

 

Mobile Lessons Learned at AM Days 2015

OliveratAMDays

Two weeks ago Oliver Roup, our founder and CEO, presented at the AM Days 2015 conference in San Francisco and discussed, “Content Driving Sales in a Cross-Device World.”

Affiliate Management Days (AM Days) is a leading conference for affiliate managers and marketers responsible for their company’s affiliate marketing strategy, management and operations. Oliver discussed how publishers and merchants can drive revenue across all digital platforms from desktop to mobile to social media.

In early 2014 internet usage on mobile devices surpassed desktop usage for the first time.  Oliver shared a comScore report that found more than half of all time spent on a retailer’s website is done so from a mobile device. As the industry advances, it’s clear that marketers need to think mobile-first. However, reading content and shopping on mobile devices isn’t always an easy experience. Oliver shared the following best practices in order to take advantage of the increasing mobile audience:

  • Mobile storefronts— ensure consumers have a user-friendly shopping experience on their mobile devices
  • Mobile apps— both publishers and merchants are beginning to develop their own mobile apps because that’s where consumers are engaging with content
  • Social media— Twitter, Instagram, YouTube Facebook and now Snapchat are important places to connect with consumers
  • Monetized links in content— publishers can earn revenue from the merchants they share about and merchants can tap into this highly influential market

VigLink works to connect merchants and influencers with consumers for the best ecommerce experience.

Do you have any other tips to share? If so, let us know in the comments section below or tweet us @VigLink!

AMDays logo

Perspective of a Modern-Day Mad Man On The Legacy Of ‘Mad Men’

The American television drama series, Mad Men aired its final two hour episode this past Sunday and Momentology, a digital marketing publication, sought feedback from industry professionals on what the television show has revealed about the advertising industry throughout the years and what the show’s enduring legacy will be.

Our VP of Marketing, Steven Hartman, is a fan of the show and was one of the 20 men and women discussing the show’s success and longstanding takeaways.

Steven Hartman Headshot

Steven explained that to many people the advertising industry is enjoyable on many levels, but where this show was successful was showing the insightful views of the work dynamics and giving the audience an opportunity to see how far things have come since the mid-1900s workplace.

Mad Men showed us a world where business was conducted long before anything digital existed, which is hard to even comprehend now that our world revolves around all things mobile, social, etc.

One of the most intriguing and memorable clips for Steven on how they conducted business was when advertising agencies wanted to make their client’s message flow with the media format they are consuming and then dealt with blowback for potentially misleading the consumer. Take, for example, this scene where Draper is being interviewed and questioned about their “Glow Coat Flo-Ex” commercials.

Compare that to today’s world where John Oliver takes the offensive on native ads.

Same core issue, just a different world of media where it’s surfaced.

Ultimately what Mad Men showed any professional in the ad industry is that the rate and advancement of new marketing channels happens much more quickly, but the challenge is still the same – being able to see where audiences are consuming their media and spending the correct amount to gain their attention.

To read the original article and additional insights from professionals please visit: http://www.momentology.com/5943-mad-men-legacy/

What do you think is Mad Men’s legacy? Tweet us @VigLink and let us know your thoughts!

#LiveYourPassion ft. TBlake

At VigLink our publishers come in all shapes and sizes—from large publications to YouTube sensations. All of these publishers have one thing in common, they are pursuing their passion and turning it into a business.

One such publisher is Tyler Blake, who also goes by TBlake, his online persona. Best known for his sneaker YouTube channel and Twitter feed, Tyler turned his passion and love for sneakers into a thriving enterprise. Today, he’s highly influential within the sneaker-head community and has a strong impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. His successful personal branding and monetization strategy has afforded him additional opportunities to represent popular retailers. Watch the video to learn more about how Tyler lives his passion, and share yours using #LiveYourPassion!

Come Join Us at SXSW!

VigLink Bitly SXSW Party

We are heading to SXSW in Austin, the place to be for the hottest technology companies and entrepreneurs! This is where startups like Twitter and Foursquare shot to celebrity status and became the household names they are today. We’re thrilled to be a part of the chaos this year!

Planning on attending? If so, we would be delighted if you joined us on Saturday, March 14th for our party with Bitly! There will be 80’s style dancing, drinks and maybe even a DeLorean… Remember to bring your leg warmers and your best scrunchy!

If you would like to join us, please contact us for more details. We hope to see you there!