Senior Director of PR & Operations at ChicExecs PR & Retail Strategy Firm.
Media outlets rely on advertising revenue to make money. But passive ads aren’t the only way publishers are boosting their revenue today. When you hear “affiliate marketing,” you might think of influencers or bloggers, but media outlets can take advantage of affiliate links, too.
If an outlet mentions a product on its site, it’s common practice to use an affiliate link to that product. When a customer clicks that link and makes a purchase, the publisher gets a finder’s fee. While most affiliate commissions are modest, they add up with more clicks and views. Affiliate commission can be a great source of revenue for media outlets, especially if they want to rely less on advertising.
As a brand, you want to give publishers every reason to say yes to your pitch. If you’re promoting your newest product in a pitch, an editor is likely to ask, “Do you have an affiliate link?”
I find it’s best to send editors an affiliate link for any product you’re pitching. This does mean you have to do more work to get your pitch approved, but it can benefit brands to embrace affiliate links.
Five Tips To Marry Affiliate Links And PR
Remember, editors receive dozens of product pitches every day. Make it easier to secure a coveted spot in their outlet by using these five tips to master affiliate links and PR pitches.
1. Create an affiliate program.
If you don’t already have an affiliate program, now’s the time to get moving! Fortunately, if you’re selling your product on Amazon, you can direct editors to your Amazon affiliate links. However, not all outlets want to use Amazon’s program. They might ask you to use a particular platform or your own internal affiliate program.
If you do create your own affiliate program, remember to give each media outlet its own unique link. That way, you can not only track that outlet’s performance but also compensate them for every purchase.
Convince e-commerce editors that you’re worth their time. Always have an affiliate program (and maybe a few backup options) available so your pitch stands out.
2. Get to know your e-commerce editor.
Every media outlet is different. It’s a good idea to know your editors’ preferences, but it’s especially helpful to understand their affiliate policies. Do they work exclusively with Amazon links? Do they require a certain percentage of each sale?
Know what your editor is looking for. That will help you tailor your affiliate policies and pitch to get the most features possible.
3. Open up your affiliate program.
Who says that media outlets get all the fun? You can make more sales and boost your brand by offering affiliate deals to bloggers or influencers.
Open up your affiliate program to other online content creators. This will not only build buzz and boost sales but also help you gather data on your affiliate program. If an outlet asks for your average affiliate earnings or any other metrics, you’ll have the data ready to go.
4. Pitch to relevant outlets.
The purpose of an affiliate partnership is to boost sales. That means you want your pitch in front of the editors of the most relevant media outlets for your audience.
Good Housekeeping is a huge outlet, but do your customers read it? Don’t pitch to everyone and anyone. The best pitches are ones that go to relevant outlets that your audience already frequents. That’s going to give you more affiliate clicks and sales.
5. Start locally.
Editors see a lot of products. You can build clout for your product first by targeting smaller, more local outlets. Local coverage helps you build a reputation with your product. It’s also the perfect chance to refine your affiliate processes before you pitch in the big leagues.
The Bottom Line
By the end of 2020, it’s estimated that affiliate marketing will be a $6.8 billion industry. It’s a growing practice that’s only gaining more traction as media outlets turn to affiliate income to boost profits.
As a brand, you can increase your odds of landing a media feature by embracing affiliate programs. Remember, this doesn’t have to be a one-and-done feature, either. Keep engaging with your e-commerce editor to land more mentions, boost sales and secure your place in the market.