Think of affiliate marketing as the charming and confident suitor who can win over an audience. At the same time, public relations is a sophisticated and well-connected matchmaker that can introduce you to the right people. When these two come together, it’s a match made in heaven!
Combining affiliate marketing and PR strategies like a wedding ceremony requires careful planning and execution. But don’t worry; with the proper guidance and a little effort, you can create a harmonious partnership that will have your customers saying “I do!” to your brand.
Did you know that 84 percent of businesses use affiliate programs? This goes to show the power of affiliate marketing!
So grab your virtual bouquet and get ready to explore the secrets to a successful affiliate marketing and PR union. It’s time to say “I do” to a thriving business!
Image source: MarketSplash
What is affiliate marketing & how does it work?
Affiliate marketing is where a business partner with one or more affiliates to promote its products or services. The affiliates, also known as publishers, earn a commission for each sale or lead they generate through their promotional content.
Affiliate marketing has rapidly grown in popularity and is shaping the marketing industry in a big way. Affiliate marketing has a market value of over $17 billion as of 2023.
There are various types of affiliate marketing, including pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click. Each type provides a unique approach for affiliates to earn commissions and for businesses to reach their target audience.
Affiliate marketing works by establishing a partnership between a business and one or more affiliates. The company provides the affiliates with unique links or promotional codes that allow them to promote the business’s products or services.
Affiliates receive an affiliate commission when a customer clicks their link or uses their promo code to make a purchase, which can be a percentage of the sale amount, a flat fee, or a combination of both.
The business benefits from the increased exposure and reach of the affiliates and the potential for new customers. The affiliates benefit from the commission they earn for each sale they generate.
It’s important to note that the affiliate must abide by the business’s terms and conditions, such as not engaging in spamming or other unethical practices. Companies that use social listening tools can keep track of influencers’ work and ensure they obey the rules.
The business must also provide the affiliates with the necessary tools and resources to promote their products or services effectively. Companies that know social listening tools can keep track of their performance and affiliates’ work.
Why should your business consider affiliate marketing for PR strategies?
There are several reasons why businesses should consider incorporating affiliate marketing into their marketing strategy.
- Increased reach and exposure: Affiliate marketing allows businesses to reach new audiences and expand their customer base. With the help of affiliates, companies can tap into new markets and reach a wider audience than they could on their own.
- Cost-effective: Unlike other forms of advertising, affiliate marketing allows businesses to only pay for actual results, such as a sale or lead. This makes it a cost-effective way to drive conversion rates and increase revenue.
- Access to affiliate platforms: The affiliate marketing industry has grown significantly recently. Now, numerous affiliate platforms can help businesses find and partner with affiliates. These platforms make it easier for companies to manage their affiliate relationships and track their results.
Regarding PR strategies, there are several benefits to incorporating affiliate marketing:
- Increased search volume: Affiliate marketing can drive significant traffic to a business’s website, increasing its search volume and visibility online. SEO and PR are also crucial since they help generate more business traffic.
- Diversification of marketing channels: By adding affiliate marketing to their PR strategies, businesses can diversify their marketing efforts and reach new audiences through different types of affiliate marketing, such as pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click.
- Improved brand awareness: Businesses can improve brand awareness and reach new audiences through trusted sources by partnering with affiliates like influencers who share their values and goals. This can increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction, further strengthening the business’s reputation. Stay updated with the latest influencer marketing trends to make your brand stand out.
Image source: MarketSplash
5 steps to elevate your PR strategy with affiliate marketing:
1. Create an affiliate program
The first step is to create an affiliate program for your business. This involves setting up a system to track affiliate links, pay commissions, and manage affiliate relationships.
The best practices to create an affiliate program:
- Set clear objectives: Define the goals of your affiliate program, such as increasing sales, generating leads, or raising brand awareness. This will help guide your decision-making process throughout the program’s development and execution.
- Choose the right platform: Research an affiliate management platform that best suits your needs. This platform should provide tracking, reporting, and payment features that streamline the administration of your program.
- Develop competitive commission structures: Offer attractive commissions to incentivize affiliates to promote your products or services. Ensure your commission structure is competitive within your industry to attract high-quality affiliates.
- Provide marketing materials: Create banners, ad copy, and other promotional materials that affiliates can easily use to promote your brand. High-quality, easily customizable materials help affiliates drive traffic and sales more effectively.
- Recruit targeted affiliates: Seek affiliates with a relevant audience for your products or services. This can include bloggers, influencers, or industry-specific websites. A targeted approach will help ensure your promotional efforts reach the right customers.
- Offer ongoing support: Maintain open lines of communication with your affiliates and provide them with the necessary tools, resources, and training to succeed. Regularly update your marketing materials and inform affiliates about product or promotion changes.
- Monitor and analyze performance: Track the performance of your affiliates using the data provided by your affiliate management platform, such as WeCanTrack. Identify top performers, analyze their strategies, and adjust your program to maximize results.
- Establish clear program terms and conditions: Clearly outline the rules, requirements, and expectations for affiliates participating in your program. This will help prevent misunderstandings, ensure compliance, and maintain the integrity of your brand.
Once you have established your affiliate program, it’s time to marry it with your PR strategy. One way to do this is to use influencers in your industry to promote both products and services related to yours. This can be done by sending press releases or creating content featuring influencers.
2. Get to know your eCommerce editor
Ecommerce editors play a critical role in the success of affiliate marketing campaigns. These are the individuals who write about and review products for online publications. By getting to know your eCommerce editor, you can increase the likelihood of having your affiliate products featured in their articles and reviews.
Best practices to get to know your editor:
- Building relationships: Reach out to editors and introduce yourself, introducing them to your brand and what you offer. Invite them to your website or other social media channels, share relevant content, and update them on any new products or services you may launch soon.
- Share background information: Exchange professional backgrounds, expertise, and relevant experience in the eCommerce industry.
- Networking: Connect with other e-commerce editors by attending events or joining professional networks. This can help you build relationships and promote your products in their publications.
- Provide feedback and support: Offer constructive feedback on their work and be open to receiving feedback on your contributions.
- Regular check-ins: Regularly communicate to discuss ongoing projects, challenges, and successes.
3. Educate affiliates about the brand
To ensure that affiliates effectively promote your brand, educating them about your products, services, values, and goals is essential. Provide them with the tools and resources to create effective affiliate campaigns and promote your brand effectively.
You can provide them with tools like
- Promotional materials: Provide your affiliates with promotional materials that include images, videos, and other resources they can use in their campaigns. This will help them create content aligned with your brand values and goals.
- Content guidelines: Developing content guidelines for your affiliates to follow will ensure that their campaigns reflect the same values and qualities as your company. When establishing these guidelines, make sure that you clearly explain the type of content you expect them to produce.
- Training: Investing in training for your affiliates can help ensure they understand and adhere to your brand guidelines when creating content. Affiliates need to know, for example, what kind of social media posts your brand needs. This will also help them create campaigns that are more effective and better aligned with your goals.
4. Pitch to relevant media outlets
Utilizing affiliate marketing for PR purposes involves reaching out to relevant media outlets and pitching your affiliate products to them. This can include writing guest posts, pitching product reviews, and participating in roundups and gift guides.
Best practices to pitch to relevant outlets:
- Research target outlets: Identify the most relevant publications, websites, podcasts, or other media outlets that align with your target audience and subject matter.
- Understand their content: Study each outlet’s content, style, and tone to ensure your pitch aligns with their preferences and editorial guidelines.
- Find the right contact: Locate the appropriate editor, journalist, or producer responsible for covering topics similar to your pitch.
- Personalize your pitch: Address the contact by name and demonstrate knowledge of their work to show that you have done your research.
- Craft a compelling subject line: Use an attention-grabbing subject line for your email pitch that conveys the value of your story.
- Be concise and clear: Keep your pitch brief, focusing on the most newsworthy aspects of your story, and explain why it’s relevant to the outlet’s audience.
- Provide necessary materials: Include high-quality images, quotes, press releases, or other relevant resources that support your pitch and make it easier for the outlet to cover your story.
- Follow up appropriately: Wait a reasonable amount of time (usually 3-5 business days) before following up on your pitch. Be polite and respectful of the contact’s time and workload.
- Be adaptable: Be open to feedback and ready to modify your pitch based on the outlet’s requirements or suggestions.
5. Build strong local relationships
Building solid relationships with local affiliates and media outlets can help increase your brand’s visibility and drive sales. By working closely with local affiliates, you can create targeted affiliate campaigns that resonate with your local audience and help improve your search engine ranking in your area.
To build strong local relationships, it’s essential to:
- Establish open and transparent communication with your local affiliates and media outlets.
- Try updating your products or services and providing them with the tools and resources they need to promote your brand effectively.
- Provide attractive commission structures and bonuses to reward affiliates for their efforts and loyalty.
- Assist affiliates with any issues, questions, or concerns that may arise during their promotion efforts.
- Foster a sense of partnership by involving affiliates in content creation, brainstorming sessions, or strategy discussions.
- Acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of your affiliates, highlighting top performers and sharing their achievements with the broader affiliate community.
- Continuously assess and adjust your affiliate program based on performance data to ensure affiliates’ success and satisfaction.
You can also consider participating in local events and sponsoring local initiatives to establish your community presence further. Building solid relationships with local affiliates and media outlets can increase your brand’s visibility, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately drive more sales and conversions.
Image source: MarketSplash
In conclusion, combining your PR and Affiliate Marketing strategies can result in a powerful and effective marketing campaign. From increasing your reach and exposure to driving conversions and improving your brand awareness, the benefits of incorporating affiliate marketing into your PR strategy are numerous.
By following the five steps, you can take your PR strategy to the next level and tap into the full potential of affiliate marketing by:
- Creating an affiliate program
- Getting to know your ecommerce editor
- Educating affiliates about your brand
- Pitching to relevant outlets
- Building strong relationships
Overall, the marriage of affiliate marketing and PR strategies is a powerful and relevant approach for the PR industry. By leveraging the strengths of both disciplines, PR professionals can deliver innovative and effective campaigns, stay ahead of the curve, and contribute to the continued growth and success of their clients and the industry.