The Crucial Relationship Between Content-Driven Publishers and Advertisers


Building and maintaining an affiliate marketing strategy is a symbiotic relationship between the advertiser and the publisher. In order to maintain success both the advertiser and the publisher need to have an understanding of how to reach their target customers, what those customers are interested in, and how to convert them into making a purchase. In this article, we examine the important relationship between content-driven publishers and advertisers using the travel vertical as an example, and how this relationship can yield strong results for both parties. 

The Importance of Reach

The relationship between publishers and advertisers is crucial to the success of any affiliate marketing program. In many verticals, one crucial dynamic in the advertiser-publisher relationship is the concept of “reach.” For publishers, their reach is their ability to connect with a certain audience that may not be attainable through other forms of marketing. This concept is prevalent in content creation publishers and is critical to an advertiser’s affiliate marketing success.

This is because the audience for content-driven publishers doesn't just promote a deal or offer on the merits of the deal/offer alone, they promote it in a way that benefits the audience that the content is created for. This is especially useful for niche audiences who have specific needs but are looking for a reason to jump on this deal being offered. They don’t just offer a deal, they offer a deal and tailor it to their specific audience, for example, mothers looking to travel with the family, 20-year-olds looking to go on Spring Break, or businessmen and women looking to find the best deals and spots while away for work.

The Desire for Content

This "desire for content" by consumers isn't entirely unfounded. For example, think about the travel vertical. Travel, of any kind, is an experience unlike any other for most, and they want to make the most of that experience. Relying on content-driven publishers to provide insights for how a travel experience can align with their personal interests is what helps yields results in this vertical. Some of the most popular ways customers became interested in a travel brand were through content that spoke to them on a more human level. In fact, reading blog posts or watching videos about humorous, dramatic, or heartwarming stories was the second most popular way a customer became interested in a travel brand. Not far behind was using social media to find fun status updates, using product reviews to find out the pros and cons of a travel brand, and researching hints, tips, and how-to guides.

You may notice that with the exception of discount vouchers or competitions, all these types of content have something in common: they're all reliant on content-driven publishers to reach customers in a way that no other form of affiliate marketing can. Yes, discounts and the like might be the most popular way, but the importance of content comes in both its breadth and depth; content-driven publishers can reach customers in ways that resonate much deeper and in more ways than a "20% off" type of voucher could ever hope for.

Here are a few examples of what a publisher's reach means for an advertiser:

Building Brand Exposure

    • Partnering with content-driven publishers helps new customers discover advertisers and learn what they’re all about. While not every blog visitor will become a customer, the exposure does help build crucial brand awareness.

Converting Niche Customers

    • These customers have specific needs and ideas for their travel experiences, and the content publishers they visit are the ones informing them of how to make the most of these thoughts. Associating the brand with these trusted content publishers will build an association that the company can provide the specific needs and wants these niche customers are looking to have fulfilled.

Adding a Human Touch

    • The most powerful aspect of partnering with content-driven publishers is the humanizing feel they’re able to add to an advertiser’s offers and promotions. This type of perspective can be illustrated by content publishers, who can add context to a promotion and talk about the merits/benefits of a specific deal in relation to the audience they write for.

Advertisers and publishers have several key opportunities to promote deals. These opportunities vary based on the goals of the advertiser, the type of publisher, and the type of customer, and each method requires a different approach. Below, you will find common strategies that can be leveraged to help increase revenue, and what publishers can do to make the most of these offers.

Advertiser Activation Campaigns

    • Activation campaigns are done by an advertiser having a contest with some or all of their publishers when pushing out a new deal. Running an activation campaign can be a great way to incentivize publishers to promote out special deals you’re offering, as well as driving more sales from increased exposure. The advertiser sends the promotion with the incentive that the publisher(s) who drive the most sales from the promotion will get rewarded with a flat fee, higher commission, or some other type of reward.

Publisher Audience Focus

    • Start by asking yourself “what will my audience get out of this offer? How does it benefit them?” and work your content backwards. These types of opportunities are especially effective for content-driven publishers who have an established audience, a human connection, and can understand what their visitors are looking for from a particular sale.

Sponsored Content

    • Sponsored content posts have a lot of benefits. In addition to creating great exposure to the services and deals you offer, these types of promotions help add a humanizing voice to the deal you’re offering out, and the services you provide. For example, working with a blogger on a sponsored blog post enables the blogger to share their experiences with your airline or services, highlighting things that are important to them – and transversely, their audience that advertisers are trying to target.
    • Bloggers and content creators are fantastic publishers for sponsored content, especially niche bloggers. They’ll know exactly what resonates with their audience and will help highlight what’s important to their visitors, thereby driving conversions on deals being offered.

Take Action: What To Do Next

For content-driven publishers there's the opportunity to create lists of great airline deals, share stories on certain travel locations, lodging and experiences, or talk about the benefits of a travel package. The key to success is to always keep the target audience in mind; a romantic getaway package for two is great to create content for, but if your audience is prominently mothers looking for vacations the whole family can enjoy then you may want to reconsider what you're promoting.

For Publishers the Audience is Key

  • Focus on who is your audience and what makes them unique
  • Creating content focusing on your niche audience will help drive conversions and establish your value to the advertiser.
  • Content-driven publishers have the advantage of connecting with a community in a way that resonates specifically towards that community.
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