In digital marketing, content is king when it comes to driving traffic and top-line sales.
This holds particularly true in Affiliate Marketing, where a recent industry survey cites that 60 percent of marketers plan to increase their spend on content marketing over the coming year. With that renewed focus comes greater opportunities for niche publishers to influence conversions in the affiliate channel.
Prospecting for niche publishers is no easy task! Therefore, advertisers should use all of the resources they have at their disposal to recruit the best niche publishers into their programs.
For example, there are blogger outreach tools that allow you to identify influencers, providing a vehicle for outreach and management, all in one place. The better tools come at a sizable cost, but they enable advertisers to search blogs by content, reach, social following, location, and more.
If you are on a stricter budget, I recommend using free sites like WordPress to search for and follow your favorite blogs. You don’t need to have your own blog in order to use the site, but if you wanted to create one, WordPress has an intuitive interface and strong customer support.
Of course, there are challenges to consider when adding niche publishers to affiliate programs.
While niche publishers are incredibly important, adding these relevant publishers to affiliate programs has become more challenging due to the last-click nature of the channel.
To be successful in this endeavor, marketers must think more strategically, interacting often with key vertical experts, often bloggers, to create win-win relationships between advertisers and publishers.
While higher CPAs are one enticement, niche publishers may be more apt to work with advertisers that offer more than just pay-for–performance compensation. Whether this involves incentives such as free products they can review or small placement fees depends on the particular publisher you are looking to recruit.
Recruiting and optimizing relationships with niche publishers creates balance in your affiliate program. That’s important because, while user behavior/attribution modeling may favor discount and affinity sites, content sites play a key role in influencing sales, often as the initial generator of purchase intent.
If advertisers take a more holistic view of all marketing channels and look at their purchase funnel, they’ll find that among the sites adding the most value are those with strong content and product reviews.