What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the process by which a publisher or content creator earns a commission for plugging, marketing, and most importantly linking to a brand’s products. Any publisher (also known as an affiliate) can search affiliate databases for products they enjoy, and then by using a dedicated affiliate link, can promote that product and earn a piece of the profit from each sale they generate. These sales are tracked by affiliate links.
How Affiliate Marketing has changed the Nature of Earned Media
The nature of earned media as it relates to affiliate marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years and was amplified during COVID.
How are Earned Media & Affiliate Marketing Connected?
In 2020, there was a huge dip in budgets for traditional advertising across media websites. Soon, several of the major publishing houses realized that since they are in the business of promoting/selling other brands’ products, there was a major potential revenue stream being left on the table. Since then, affiliate marketing links have become the norm.
If you go to any major media outlet’s website right now and read any article or listicle on “The 10 Best Anythings,” you’ll see a discrete little disclaimer at the top that reads: “*Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.” (taken directly from InStyle.com).
In fact, they are indeed earning a commission on most products that they plug, and because 90% of their links need to be affiliate links, if you don’t offer these media outlets a competitive commission through one of their preferred affiliate programs, these coveted earned media placements are even harder to get than they already were.
How can AMP3 help your brand to leverage Affiliate Marketing?
We are aggressively following this space as it continues to grow and evolve and we are here to help! Even more so, with the importance of being able to offer affiliate links to our editorial partners, we are here to help you, help us, as this needs to be a crucial piece of your earned media outreach strategy.
We know the ins & outs of which affiliate networks each media outlet prefers, and the minimum commission it will take to prioritize you in their editorial coverage (hint: all the big guys including Hearst, Conde Nast, Meredith & Bustle Digital Group are in the game and you need to be starting in the 15-20% range).
Once we have a strategy in place, using our agency account, we can get you set up on these affiliate platforms at a discount. Essentially, the platform connects with the backend of your website to monitor sales and transfer commissions.
Once your affiliate program is alive & well, we can go out to all of our media contacts (which now include a myriad of editorial, e-commerce, and affiliate editors – we take a three-pronged approach), letting them know about the commission your brand is offering and in some cases negotiating more competitive rates in exchange for feature articles.
You can sit back and enjoy the benefits of these media outlets being incentivized to push out articles about you & your products across channels including social media and e-newsletter marketing in addition to organic coverage. The best part is that Affiliate Marketing doesn’t cost you anything upfront, you only spend money in the event that a link has led to a sale, so it’s a no-lose situation.
For us as a PR agency, this is an exciting time, because with the right tools in place, we can simultaneously help you to achieve your goals while helping our media friendlies to achieve theirs, and it allows us to show even more direct ROI from our earned media outreach efforts.
Click here to learn how you can amplify your brand with affiliate marketing.
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