FF&M has launched an affiliate marketing programme for clients across all sectors. With print advertising sales declining, many digital titles have diversified and are now able to earn commission from the editorial content they publish. Implementing an affiliate marketing programme can help your brand achieve more editorial coverage as titles are rewarded for any successful sales of your products generated by their content.
Read on to find out more about affiliate marketing and how it can benefit your business.
For information on FF&M’s affiliate marketing service, including bespoke pricing, email email@example.com.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing channel facilitated by ‘networks’ that allow brands to work with content publishers (also known as publications) on a performance basis i.e. sales, to promote and sell their goods and services.
Typically, affiliate marketing can drive around 10% of a brand’s e-commerce revenue when it works with the full range of content publishers. This includes digital magazine and newspaper titles, loyalty programmes and influencers alongside voucher code websites and buy-now-pay-later partners.
Depending on your brand positioning, we recommend working with as wide a range of content publishers as possible. However, not all publishers are relevant for every brand and it’s important to be selective as to where you position your brand and only work with publishers that reflect your brand’s identity and values.
Even if you don’t achieve an immediate increase in sales after implementing an affiliate marketing programme, you will still benefit from greater brand awareness as the coverage will appear regardless. Your business is more likely to be featured in editorial content if publishers know they can earn commission by placing your products on their pages, so the coverage will inevitably grow. Your target audience will see your business being more frequently featured in these articles. This is another touch point for your target audience to get to know your brand.
An important note: you only pay a commission on a successful sale driven by publishers’ content. You do not pay for being placed in editorial content.
How can it benefit my business?
Content publishers, including digital magazines and newspapers, are businesses that need to generate revenue to keep offering content to their audiences. Previously this revenue has come from printed adverts and, more recently, digital campaigns. This has not changed the fact that publishers will look more favourably upon brands that offer commission for sales driven via publishers’ content. Rather, it’s now done in a more transparent and transactional format. This allows brands to begin building mutually beneficial relationships with individual titles which, when it comes to pitching for editorial coverage, will encourage a journalist to include your brand rather than a competitor. Journalists have also been known to do call-outs for ‘affiliate brands only’. This isn’t to say they don’t still champion independent brands editorially but it is important to note that offering affiliate commission does help secure further editorial coverage.
How does it differ from traditional advertising?
Unlike traditional forms of advertising such as paid ads in magazines and newspapers, you will only pay a commission on successfully-converted sales. This means that it is much easier to determine the ROI of affiliate marketing compared to paid ads, given the metrics for assessing the ROI on paid ads often rely on readership numbers which are not always accurate. Affiliate marketing is also much more responsive than traditional advertising methods. For instance, you can vary the commission rates you offer to publications, allowing you to incentivise your top target publications to feature your business. Plus you can match or beat a retailer’s commission to drive direct sales via your website rather than through retailers’ websites, helping improve your margins.
Are there any drawbacks to be aware of?
While affiliate marketing is great for supporting your PR outreach, there are some elements to consider. Firstly, if your business is operating on tight product margins, offering a commission to publishers may be unaffordable. Secondly, if your business joins an affiliate network, magazines and newspapers that previously included pure editorial links to your products may only link to your products using an affiliate link, incurring a commission payment on a successful sale when previously you didn’t pay one via a pure editorial link. However, offering publishers commission on successful sales of your products driven by their content can encourage them to feature your brand more often in a more prominent way because they are rewarded sales this drives. The benefit of this increase in editorial coverage should always outweigh the commission payments, as more readers see your products which enhances brand awareness and ultimately drives revenue further.
How do I get started?
FF&M requires the following to get your affiliate marketing programme started:
Implementation of the tracking and technical setup steps on your website
Imagery and product descriptions for advertising assets
Guidance on commission rates you’d like to offer to publishers
Any publishers you wish to offer exclusive commission rates to
Any types of publisher you wish to avoid working with
Outdoor clothing brand Timberland moved to a new affiliate marketing platform to increase sales driven by affiliate marketing. Within the first three months of moving its programme, Timberland exceeded their revenue goal by 48% and enjoyed a 70% increase in sales compared to the previous year.