Working With Affiliates for Brand Building
The art of 'Brand Building' has traditionally been the preserve of 'above the line' advertising in TV and print. Increasingly, in the inexorable move to digital, Simon shows how affiliates can contribute to building the brand.
Since the turn of this century, there has been a shift change in technologies – and with it, new channels to market. Traditional ads were always gauged on opportunities to view, something that has persisted with online display. There has been a move toward 'performance' modelling, though not in all areas.
Affiliate marketing has always been a driver of innovation. First appearing only just over a year after the World Wide Web was invented, the model has stayed agile and innovative. During the CV-19 crisis it was about the only sector that was thriving.
So a divide has developed between the old world and new. In recent years the old guard have moved towards performance, using econometric data to prove the value. Several of the more traditional agencies are also moving into 'affiliate', as they grow their digital divisions, with varying degrees of effectiveness.
The last few months has changed everything, particularly in the retail sector. Footfall in the malls dropped to near zero and retail has moved online in almost all markets.
So with the further move towards performance, how can affiliates become an engine for brand-building?
The types of publishers monetizing their sites using the affiliate model has broadened hugely. Fashion bloggers first started to use affiliate links over 4 years ago as Google's attitude to affiliate softened. Google had stopped penalizing publishers for using affiliate network links so it was a practical move enabling them to broaden monetization sources.
While for some a CPA could be seen as a high cost, don't forget that advertisers get free brand awareness. Publishers feature their brand – and are only paid for an actual sale. To take this further, extending your affiliate portfolio outside your immediate vertical (such as Louis Vuitton in Travel blogs), you extend your brand reach into sometimes entirely new audiences.
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Chris Tradgett, Publisher Discovery