Digital PR is a widely used tool for advertisers to showcase new products, newsworthy stories and viral content. For emerging brands, it offers the chance to work with some of the leading publications to grow their “as seen in” portfolio of recommendations.
Typically, content is shared through press releases or is picked up by publications when it has gained popularity. This strategy, particularly with a trending product or category, can gain significant traction through product and gift guides, “top 10” articles and similar features. However, getting in front of the right team or person at the publication can be the biggest challenge.
Digital PR requires emphasis on journalist relationships for editorial, and with many brands vying for their attention, cutting through the noise for an inclusion takes work. And, even with those relationships, inclusion into an article is never guaranteed. 94% of PR experts agree that a 1:1 approach offers the best chance for an inclusion, the resource required to achieve such a feat is often a struggle for brands.
Alongside the organic digital PR approach, partner marketing offers an additional stream to major publications. The Sun, Telegraph, Evening Standard, Grazia, HEAT and many more publications are all adopting, or already have adopted, affiliate partnerships for the promotion of products and services.
For brands, this offers a more direct route to content partnerships, giving the opportunity for publications to monetise content around new product and category launches. Particularly in Q4 where competition is high, opting for an affiliate relationship with a publication offers more security for coverage, but crucially amplifying to more publications than organic digital PR alone.
In the first instance, affiliate relationships are performance-based. Publications promote products within their articles for commission, relying on their audience to click and convert. The relationship is always measured, with all traffic tracked through the affiliate link, offering real-time performance results of that relationship. With an higher commission offered, publications often increase the position of the placement, leading to enhanced coverage and increased results.
While digital PR and the affiliate model remain an upper-funnel initiative, being able to track and monitor audiences from each of these publications enables brands to build and optimise their customer demographic, delivering valuable insights to brands in support of building affinities with their preferred publications.
Commercially, the affiliate route to market for digital PR is almost certainly cost-effective. Working to a commission model, it’s tailored to suit margins and be a profitable partnership. Publications almost always favour brands with an affiliate program because it enables to monetise content and offers them an additional revenue stream. As a first step for brands building their relationships with publications, offering a commercial route increases inclusion success at more than 67% versus a journalist-only approach.
Establishing PR within your affiliate program is a vital diversification tool for every brand. Thoughtmix supports its clients by leveraging the digital PR opportunities the affiliate channel can bring, having secured inclusions across some or the largest publications.