As many of us performance marketers will know, the growth of media publishers through affiliate marketing has been a much-discussed topic for the last few years. But precisely how can brands engage with media publishers, both large and small, that use affiliate marketing?

Looking at publishers such as Buzzfeed may lead affiliate marketers to believe Amazon dominates this content space. However, this does not mean Buzzfeed are not open to working with specific brands; H&M and Feel Unique have also benefited from their editorials. Brands who fall under the categories of fashion, beauty, household and even niche sites such as Wickeduncle and Prezzybox can benefit from their ability to highlight certain products with an innate credibility and longevity that cannot be matched.

Engaging with media publishers, large and small

Larger media sources such as Marie Claire and Hearst Magazine Group also work within the affiliate space, this is important to evaluate as part of any affiliate strategy as they have specific demographics which can be accessed via multiple mediums on a CPA model. Due to their size and scale, they are a very efficient way to promote content whilst also driving sales. It is possible to access their user-bases via their content-rich websites, newsletters and their social media outlets on a risk-free model encouraging both the brand and the media outlet to maximise ROI in a way that has never been possible before. Due to their level of brand recognition, the conversion rates are higher and the consumers are more trusting, for example Good Housekeeping can also provide their seal of approval to products. 

Using this to amplify any affiliate strategy will increase conversion rates significantly. Engagement, which is naturally hard to measure within affiliate tracking systems, is also a significant KPI. The life-time value is a key consideration when evaluating any campaign’s success with media publishers.

Don’t discount smaller media publishers which may usually be considered as content publishers as there is very little difference between media and content publishers once they get large enough. Getting in early will make all the difference when negotiating commissions and building up the relationship. These publishers work very well for specific audience targeting and have an engaged and high-quality user-base such as with

How brands can make the most of affiliate marketing

When working with media publishers, it is important to identify all those who work on an affiliate model and precisely how they go about doing this. Larger editorial sites will usually work directly with brands and sign-up to their affiliate tracking network. Some media publishers, however, have plugged in solutions such as Daily Mail’s solution with Global Savings Group. 

Incentives are also an important consideration, does the publisher have any minimum commissions or do they only promote best-in-market offers. Ensure incentives align with the overall objective and have a profitable ROI.

A clear objective is essential

Finally, as with any affiliate strategy, it is important to have a clear objective – such as obtaining new customers or driving sales of a specific category or product. It is essential that this objective is shared and agreed on with the publisher with measurable KPIs will ensure the best outcome is achieved. This, along with the points above, are all vitally important to consider to ensure your brand is making the most out of affiliate marketing.