While most of the focus of partnership marketing has been on brands, publishers have enormous opportunities to embrace this channel and develop their businesses. As consumers seek content to guide their buying decisions, they are in a strong position to expand their monetisation options by helping brands engage their valuable content and audiences.
And technology is evolving to address the needs of publishers so they can take advantage of every revenue opportunity. Here are four areas where it can make a difference:
- Growing your partnerships and opportunities quicker. The faster an advertiser partner can be onboarded, the faster both parties benefit. But onboarding has traditionally been a one-way process with brands determining who to work with and then instigating publisher partnerships. At impact.com we’ve flipped this. Publishers can now connect with brands they want to work with without them having to be part of an affiliate network or on our platform. Publishers can offer their own white-label programmes, providing advertisers with a link to quickly set up an account at no cost to the advertiser. This reduces the timeframes to get partners up and running. It allows publishers to engage directly with the brands they can support and easily onboard them without relying on third-party networks – meaning both can begin to make money quicker.
- Automating your payment and performance reporting. Even if a publisher has in-house technology to support elements of its partnership programme, when it comes to proving performance and managing partner payments, most rely on manual approaches. But invoicing, extracting data from multiple networks and Google Analytics and developing reports remain resource-heavy and time-consuming. Meanwhile, it’s challenging to track content performance and provide the regular reports that brands need to monitor the success of their activity and prove the value of working with a partner. This is a huge issue for many publishers, so take advantage of automated technology that solves it.
- Maximising the value of your current – and past – content. Defunct links and out-of-stock items rapidly deplete the value of e-commerce content. And for consumers, these are major frustrations when looking to buy the products they’re reading about. But beyond this annoyance, finding an out-of-stock item leads them to go elsewhere to buy it, depriving the brand of sales and the publisher of commission. Publishers must invest in technology that automatically checks links and stock levels so broken ones can be updated and out-of-stock items redirected to a different brand or similar item. This ability to react automatically, without needing to go into the website, is critical for publishers to maintain sales and not lose opportunities.
It also extends the value of content. Some publishers’ highest-earning affiliate articles can be several years old. But while consumers might still be discovering or referring back to these, how often do publishers undertake the time-consuming process of checking and updating the article links? Now it’s easy to do this. In automatically applying link updates, they can take advantage of mid- and long-tail opportunities by ensuring the content remains relevant, up to date and profitable.
- Improving your commission revenues. As writers create branded content for your advertiser partners, your technology should allow them to optimise the content creation process by automatically providing them with these links to support the articles. Also, they should be able to identify the links that generate the highest commission, based on the article’s theme, so you can maximise the revenue potential.
Growing the partnership channel for everyone
While impact.com may be recognised as delivering a platform to support brands, as a tech business, we’re developing tools that grow the whole partnership channel. And in doing so, we need to support both sides of the market. If not, we’re stifling the channel’s development.
So we’re focusing on providing the best tools for the differing needs of advertisers and publishers, in order that both sides prosper. And for publishers, this means moving towards offering what they need – a fully integrated suite of partnership marketing tools controlled from one interface.