“Testing is the key to success” – Jason Hunt
Jason Hunt, Co-founder of Merged Media, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Jason Hunt from Merged Media speaks about Merged Media, which he describes as a one-stop-shop for all digital things. He adds that their ability to think outside the box is crucial to their clients’ success – follow his story below.
Tell us a bit more about your business model, concept, and culture.
Once upon a time, a social media firm crossed paths with an SEO firm, and the rest is history. We’re a digital marketing firm that specialises in web design, SEO, social media marketing, and content creation for businesses all around the world. Our team works together to solve problems and come up with unique, creative solutions for each customer. Just as the infamous Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Our ability to think outside the box is crucial to our clients’ success. With our high-quality Web Design, SEO services, Social Media Marketing, and other services, our clients can achieve their objectives in no time.
What helps make your performance successful? What are the main challenges?
We’re a one-stop-shop for all digital things. Our clients appreciate the fact that all of their campaign’s work is completed under one roof. Dealing with several companies for all of their digital marketing is a pain point for many of our clients. We handle everything from hosting (on our own dedicated server) to websites to Google and Facebook ads all in one location. The biggest challenge we face in our industry are the ‘gurus’ that claim to be digital experts after taking an SMMA course. We’ve been successful through the experience we’ve had and testing with our own budgets before deploying our strategies to our clients.
How can affiliate marketing help someone’s business? How do you do that? How do you improve conversion rates and online presence?
Test. Test. Test. Testing is the key to success. You need to be patience when using platforms like Facebook to generate results. My suggestion is 90 days to see success and reap the benefits of a Facebook ad campaign.
What incremental value will your provide?
We’re not a one trick pony. If we see that there are some great opportunities to rank for relevant keywords based on search volume and keyword difficulty then we’ll suggest we deploy resources in those areas. We work with the budget our clients provide and allocate it where we see the best opportunities to win.
By which KPIs do you measure your success?
Depends on the client, in service it is usually lead generation and how many leads we can bring to the table. For our e-commerce clients, it is purchases. We are not so fixated on reach and impressions. We are very interested in getting information on the clients purchasers or lead nurturing systems. This gives us good information on what we need to be doing with our messaging at the top of funnel to breed a good quality lead.
What is your approach in the initial stages of a new partnership?
We typically take a good week to onboard a client, we spend a good amount of time on research to understand the brand and the voice we need to get out there to convert browsers into customers. The closer we can marry the message to the user seeing it, the better result we see.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
We are actively looking for rising brands and businesses to partner with. In 2020, we became partners in a growing landscape company and a popular Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine.
Can you explain briefly what, in your view, is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing refers to the ability to persuade a tribe or audience to buy someone else’s product or service.
Is social media activity an important part of affiliate marketing?
Of course, how else are you going to remain top of mind with your ideal audience aside from email. The targeting abilities on a platform like Facebook are like no other. Facebook knows more about your audience than you do. I mean, do you know the books and movies your audience reads or watches? Okay maybe, but do you know if your audience has the tendency to click on content and make purchases on websites? Facebook has this data and you can use it to your advantage.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of this type of marketing?
Unfortunately, we, as marketers, tend to spoil everything, therefore affiliate marketers must maintain a cutting-edge strategy. The strategies we used six months ago are no longer effective. We must always stay one step ahead of the competition, or we will be left in the dust by the astute marketers who are willing to take chances and reap the rewards.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most in-demand skills. Why in your view?
We now live in a digital world and thanks to Covid-19, those businesses that were relying solely on trade shows or storefront retail had no choice but to pivot to digital. If you were into affiliate marketing prior to 2020 then you are laughing. Traffic volumes are up across the board and people’s buying behaviours have changed. The baby boomers out there who did not trust online shopping have now converted and is the fastest demographic becoming accustomed to online platforms.
What makes a successful affiliate marketing campaign?
Patience. You won’t hit a home run the first time up to bat, you got to spend hours in the batting cage learning how to hit a baseball before you make contact. The same applies to social media marketing.
How can affiliate marketing improve?
Adding the personal branding element to affiliate marketing, people need to continue to connect with people. People buy from people.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
With our company operating virtually, we’ve had no choice but to double down on all technology whether it be our communication platforms like slack and zoom or video email platforms like BombBomb. We’ve relied heavily on these digital platforms and have integrated them into our daily processes.
In your opinion, is affiliate marketing still expanding?
The more reliance on product purchases and customer service being made in a digital world then the more we can expect affiliate marketing to expand.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas – which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, Covid-19 permitting? Did you attend SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam Expo in Dubai?
In Canada we are just coming out of a lockdown, so once the restrictions ease I would love to see myself on a flight to SiGMA Europe in 2021!
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favourite book, favourite quote, etc.
Aside from being a co-founder at Merged Media, I’m a dad to 3 awesome kids and a fur-baby. We can usually be seen on weekends taking an adventure to a nearby park and creating TikTok’s.
I also host a marketing podcast called The Merged Marketing Podcast which can be heard on your go-to podcast platform.
Next up: Malta Week
Don’t miss out on amazing networking opportunities and exclusive industry insights at Malta Week. Four leading shows will bring the best of the business back-to-back to a first-class meeting point. Malta Week will consist of events of SiGMA, AIBC, Med-Tech World and AGS, each presenting the top developments of their focal industries.
The cross-collaboration of each brand make Malta Week the number one destination for leading think-tanks of the gaming sector, emerging tech, digital health and digital marketing. The middle of the Mediterranean is the perfect place for multi-faceted business deals and face-to-face conversations with leading affiliates, policy makers and thought leaders.