Three Ways to Leverage Affiliate During Covid

By Alexis Prindle on July 27, 2020

Despite the general uneasiness of the times, the affiliate channel is thriving. As life moved indoors and online shopping exploded, the inherent pay-for-performance model of the affiliate channel served as an insulator against marketers’ shift in spend. During these times, moving budget to a performance-based channel is proving a shrewd move for marketers.

Let’s explore exactly how you can leverage affiliate to ensure where and how you spend your marketing dollars really counts:

Maximize Exposure with Influencers

Influencers seemingly hold a position of prestige, this is because their power of “influence” is often valuable and at the same time, inscrutable. In many cases, influencer fixed-fee campaigns have been slashed as a result of more marketing budget scrutiny during the pandemic. As a result, more influencers are looking for new streams of revenue. In recent weeks, publisher applications on Pepperjam’s Ascend™ Affiliate Cloud platform are up 164% YoY. Additionally, we have observed an increase in publishers classified as ‘social media’, suggesting that more influencers are turning to affiliate marketing to monetize their content. Influencer/PR teams need easy, repeatable, scalable workflows to track these types of partners. Now is the perfect time to leverage the channel’s pay-for-performance model for these types of campaigns. By working with influencers through Pepperjam’s Ascend™ Affiliate Cloud platform, marketers can easily track individual partners and groups, set commissions at will, create custom bonuses for campaigns, and track conversions referred from influencers’ social pages using clickless codes.

When it Comes to Content Partners, Think Long-Term

How can marketers get revenue and an “in” with legacy media companies like Buzzfeed, Conde Naste, and CNN Digital? Great question. The truth is most brands don’t leverage their affiliate tracking when negotiating high-value placements with these partners. The traditional thinking has been that inclusion of a monetized link will increase spend on a flat-fee campaign with little upside to the advertiser. However, we now know that the opposite is true. Integrating affiliate links increases the evergreen value of your brand to these partners beyond a one-time payday. This creates ongoing value, and ups your brand’s profile with editorial teams. Content needs to be created daily for this group to survive, having a proven track record, easily available monetized links, and a history with editorial increases long-term organic exposure from top partners, and gets you that coveted “in” position with legacy media companies.

Don’t Give Up Ground On Search 

Naturally, brands need to be in control of their branded and their non-brand paid seach efforts. However some advertisers will need pull back on their search budget to conserve short-term spend. When faced with decisions about what to cut, many don’t realize that the affiliate channel can easily pick up the slack. Partners that specialize in paid search can assume bidding on branded and non-brand keywords on behalf of a brand, garnering coverage for extended keywords or product-specific listings. Alternatively, partner use of branded trademark terms in secondary search engines is another area of opportunity to cover the SERP especially when utilized by search partners like WickFire or TriMax Media. Minimizing your paid search presence can create an opening for competitors, but leveraging a partner to do the bidding on your behalf, allows you to maintain a seamless customer experience while only paying on a conversion basis.

To learn more about how to spend your marketing dollars during Covid and beyond, visit us here.