Welcome to the 2015 publisher showcase series, aimed at exploring the different ways publishers can drive traffic and sales for advertisers. Each addition we will be discussing a different publisher model with hints and tips to encourage and inform advertisers about the different potential that lies within each model.
This month we are focusing on content publishers. The emphasis on the long tail is stronger than ever at the moment, and here we will discuss the best ways to maximise the potential with content publishers, utilise their reach and refer to key examples of how certain advertisers have done it well. Why should content publishers be a key part of your affiliate strategy?
In the last six months, 59% of the new publisher sign-ups to affilinet were from content publishers. The movement away from vouchers and price comparison has begun, we are now realising the opportunities and potential that come from maximising the long tail. Among others, the key benefit of a content publisher is the undeniable reach that they can provide to an advertiser; they can reach and influence audiences that an advertiser wouldn’t normally be able to reach. A single blogger can have a dedicated following on-site, and on various social media channels.
“Personal recommendations and reviews are a valuable marketing asset”. (PerformanceIN Performance Marketing Guide 2015)
As emphasised in this year’s Performance Marketing Guide, content publishers can act like brand ambassadors. The role of content publishers really comes into play at the stage in the consumer journey where the decision has been made to purchase an item, and the consumer is seeking some reassurance or something to confirm the decision in their head. A consumer is far more likely to buy a product after reading reviews and pieces written about it by someone who has tried and tested and given their opinion. The consumer sees a blogger, for example, as someone independent of a brand – their opinion can be unbiased and they are seen as a member of the public, as opposed to being a spokesperson for a brand.
Working with content publishers
As well as working on the standard CPA model, the key feature of content publishers is the opportunity for reviews and sponsored posts. An advertiser will choose to work with a content publisher, not only as a way to increase sales or bump up revenue, but also as a way to increase brand loyalty – to gain and maintain customers. It is not just a transactional relationship, it is one focused on the long term. Given the extended available to a brand through these types of publishers, an advertiser can seek to increase the number of returning customers and extend their consumer base.
Recognising the potential
Here at affilinet, we have engaged in numerous activities to maximise the long tail. Our Performance Ads program is aimed at just that. We have created a way of connecting traditional long tail content sites and blogs with advertisers who are looking to broaden their reach. We have recognised the growth in the blogspace, and really cemented our investment in this area by launching a WordPress plugin for Performance Ads. A blogger can download the plugin, and sign up to our network directly through it. Once they do that, they are automatically signed up to Performance Ads. We have recognised the growth in the blogosphere and we see the role that affiliate marketing can play in it.
Similarly, Debenhams have been actively involved in a blogger project over the last quarter. The objective was to introduce Debenhams and their product range to a younger demographic. We have achieved this goal by utilising the reach and influence of bloggers to bring Debenhams’s offerings to the masses.
Tips and tricks
Choose your content site carefully – it must fit in with the style and feel of your products; high content quality and aesthetics are important. A blog full of tagged links and banner ads is not what will gain you customers.
Look for content sites and blogs that have a strong social media presence, as a brand’s reach can be extended through a blogger’s activity in these channels. It is also worth noting whether the site contains Guest Posts/Sponsored Posts; this is a key indicator of its prominence and popularity as a site, implying it gets sufficient traffic and has a sufficient audience to successfully promote a brand’s products.
That’s all for this month, stay tuned for the next piece in our Publisher Showcase Series. Until next time!