Profile of an Affiliate Publisher

Jun 6, 2024 | Affiliate Marketing

Affiliates come in all shapes and sizes. Learn the main types and how they operate to diversify your marketing program.

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When planning your digital advertising strategy, affiliate marketing should be part of the mix. This powerful advertising channel allows you to deliver loyalty-building deals closer to audiences. However, it also requires businesses ("advertisers" or "merchants," in affiliate marketing terms) to do a lot of tedious work, like searching through the thousands of different ad publishers on the market.

If you're looking for a strategy to start your affiliate search, start by grouping publishers into these four general profile types, and then recruit a variety of publishers that meet your needs as an advertiser. 

Learn more: What to look for in an affiliate marketing partnership.

Cashback & Reward Sites

Today's digital shopper is always looking for ways to get the most out of their purchases.

Well-known publishers such as Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and TopCashBack have been offering users rewards for purchasing through their sites, both in the U.S. and internationally, for years.

These programs use part or all of the commissions that they earn from sales and offer it back to users that sign up for their program in either cash or gift cards. 

Cashback and reward sites have high conversion rates, because they appeal to customers who have already decided to make a purchase, and who are already in the ecosystem. 

Cashback and reward affiliate publishers can make a case for producing sizable increases in average order value. A 2020 report found that cashback promotions increase conversions by 3.4 times on average and can drive a nearly 50% increase in average order value (AOV).

Some analysts attribute this to a phenomenon known as "spaving," where consumers will spend more in order to get the benefit offered by a deal. 

Coupon & Deal Sites 

Everyone loves a good deal. These sites find a variety of ways to take your offers and serve them up to audiences hungry for your promotions: 

  • Users can search for local coupons (Groupon)
  • Dedicated editors search for the best online deals (Brad's Deals)
  • Users share deals they find at affiliate merchant sites (RetailMeNot)

Coupon promotions can be extremely useful when an advertiser is looking to clear out older inventory or shorten the customer’s journey from introduction to sale. 

However, some businesses worry coupons can diminish their brand value. And some affiliate programs must be strictly maintained to make sure that fake and outdated coupons aren’t being fraudulently advertised. The right affiliate strategy all depends on how your customers see your brand and what they’re hoping to get from it with their purchase. We can help you sort that all out. 

Learn More: Our complete guide to maintaining your affiliate program. 

Content & Blogging Sites 

Content is still king online, with Google prioritizing high-quality, original content in the age of AI. Blogging and content creation for affiliate marketing requires a different strategy to optimize returns, they also give you the access to a loyal and targeted audience for your products. 

These types of affiliates can promote your products in a variety of ways—most often by writing about your product or service and including an affiliate link to your conversion point: 

  • Video features
  • Tutorials 
  • Case Studies 
  • Influencer collaborations 
  • Podcasts 
  • Interviews 

Some blogging and content partners will include your affiliate link organically, as in part of a tutorial, while others give you the option to promote products with banner or text ads. We can help you decide on the best partners for your specific business strategy. 

Product & Price Comparison Sites

True to their name, these sites compare the features of similar products, or the prices of similar products and services across different sites. 

80% of shoppers do product research online, according to WebFX, so these sites have the capacity to generate huge amounts of traffic. And even though affiliate sites are pay-to-play, appearing on a comparison site can lend real credibility to a brand.

One downside to product and comparison shopping sites is that maintaining your product catalog can require a fair amount of upkeep, especially if you have many products or SKUs. There are fortunately many product listing automation tools available today that can help you manage and update your digital product listings; many affiliate platforms can also help you establish a product feed that automatically imports and updates available products. 

Check out our full guide to starting your affiliate marketing program for a more comprehensive list of publisher types. The Informatics Digital Marketing Team works with hundreds of publishers and is poised to help you get the most out of your efforts.

Contact us to learn more about getting started with affiliate marketing or optimizing your campaigns today. 

Ready to boost your affiliate program?

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