How can PR and affiliate marketing work together?

pr and affiliate marketing

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Affiliate marketing and public relations are two powerful tools that businesses can use to grow their brand. 

When used correctly, these strategies can help you reach a larger audience and generate more revenue. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how affiliate marketing and PR can work together to help your business grow. 

What is affiliate marketing and why is it getting more popular?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based advertising. Businesses pay affiliates commission for driving traffic to their website. When the customer makes a sale, the affiliate partner receives a slice of the profit.

The affiliate marketing industry has grown significantly in recent years and is now worth billions. 

There are several reasons for this growth, but one of them is the increasing popularity of this income generation model by established publications.

Big websites with powerful domains are discovering the advantage they have over newer websites and are now including affiliate links in their articles.

Since their domain is already trusted by search engines, their articles can rank significantly faster than if the same article was published by a smaller publication, adding another source of income to the publisher.

Similarly, successful social media influencers can monetize their ever-growing audience by promoting products or services from companies and receiving an affiliate commission in return.

How can PR supercharge this process?

Adding a public relations strategy to your marketing mix can help you reach a larger audience and generate more traffic. 

By proactively managing your media relations, you can create earned media placements that build trust and credibility with potential customers. 

And, by leveraging those relationships, you can secure more opportunities to showcase your – or someone else’s – product or service. Ultimately, public relations can help you expand your reach and boost your bottom line in multiple ways.

PR can also help you build relationships with influencers who can promote your business to their followers. 

When used together, affiliate marketing and PR can be powerful tools for growing your business. 

What is the difference between editorial and eCommerce teams?

In large publishers, editorial teams are sometimes separate from the eCommerce teams, although both write content.

Editorial teams may or may not add affiliate links to their articles, sometimes the eCommerce teams add affiliate links to content written by the editorial team later.  Some eCommerce teams are also in charge of writing affiliate content that will only have affiliate brands in them. With the rapid rise in focus on affiliate revenue by publishers, we think this gap between editorial and eCommerce teams will continue to shrink over the next 2 years. 

This means that PR teams can leverage huge opportunities when working more closely with affiliate teams.  For example, online publishers frequently will not link out to non-affiliate brands and simply offer a text mention of a brand if they aren’t part of an affiliate program.  In these instances, no SEO value is lost.

Increasingly editorial teams are choosing brands to feature that use affiliate links over those that don’t.  

In small publications and with bloggers and influencers, the affiliate and editorial content are written by the same person.  As they are keen to monetize their content, these writers will generally choose affiliate content over non-affiliate.  This means there is a huge opportunity for PR teams to get a better response to their pitches, press releases, and sampling when they combine their work with offering affiliate commission as well.

Tips on getting the PR and affiliate teams working together

PR and affiliate marketing teams often work in parallel ways, each having its own work methods and targets. Here is how to make them work together effectively.  The key issue can be conflicting goals, the PR team is in charge of pure “earned media” and want to build backlinks for SEO, and the affiliate team wants to maximize revenue from affiliate links.

Communication is key

Have both teams sit down together with the objective of learning more about how the other team operates. This will help to build a relationship of trust and understanding.

Chances are they will also discover synergies and ways that can help the other team by spotting opportunities that may be valuable to the other team.

For example, the affiliate team might spot an opportunity for the PR team to get more media coverage. 

Conversely, the PR team might be able to help the affiliate team secure better/more deals with affiliates by leveraging their relationships.

Both teams should also agree on a set of KPIs that they will both work towards. This will help to keep everyone accountable and focused on the same goal.

Sharing resources and connections

Each team has its own network of contacts and resources. Some of these may be less valuable for one team but they could be a great opportunity for the other.

It is important to share these with the other team so that they can be better used for the benefit of the company.

Taking advantage of data

The affiliate team is usually working together with one or more affiliate networks and has access to tracking data on individual publishers. 

By comparing traffic size and quality they can often identify smaller but very effective publications or influencers that could have easily been overlooked by the PR team due to their size.

Using this data-driven approach, the partners that generate the most sales could be worth the effort of more direct work with the PR team.

Why is a collaboration between PR and affiliate teams more important than ever?

Today’s business environment is more challenging than ever. The pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and other external factors are forcing companies to be more strategic in the way they allocate their resources. 

Downsizing and other ways to save money are on the top of the list for many managers.

For the brand to succeed and keep its workforce, it is important to take advantage of every tool at its disposal. 

Integrating PR with affiliate marketing is a prime example of adapting to change and making the most of what you have.

This collaboration can both save on the expense side and add more income by using resources and connections more effectively.

It is also a method that is used by a growing number of competitors. If you don’t want to fall behind, better start working on integrating it into your arsenal as well.