As affiliate marketers, we’re always trying to lock down the elusive content publishers. These affiliates are the holy grail of any merchant’s affiliate program.
They are so valuable because they are seen as an expert in their niche. Their traffic is highly targeted and these users are on their site for a very specific reason. As a marketer, this should make you salivate. You need to get your product or service in front of these highly focused eyeballs, but how can you get the affiliate’s attention?
Here are four creative ways to recruit content publishers into your affiliate program.
1) Free Samples
Make sure to always offer a free sample of your product to your content publishers. This may seem obvious, but it can easily be forgotten. Content publishers are much more likely to want to write about your products if they have had a chance to try them. This also allows the publisher to take his or her own photos and videos of your products. Content publishers love to do this because the unique photo and video content can help immensely with their SEO.
When sending out free samples, always remember to be organized. I recommend making a spreadsheet specifically for this. Log the address info for the affiliate and also set a column aside for the tracking information so you can properly follow up and make sure your products arrived.
2) Link Back To Their Site
Content publishers get a large majority of their traffic through organic search engine results. Thus, any time you can provide them with something that will help their SEO, you become more valuable to them. Why not offer to link back to their site?
If you have the capability, offering to link back to your content on their site once it’s up will be something any content affiliate will love. There’s also benefit on your end because you provide some third-party validation for your products on your own website. This works especially well with review sites or any content publisher that is providing some sort of testimonial.
3) Extend Cookie Life
Here’s an easy way to sweeten the deal when recruiting content publishers. Simply offer to increase their cookie length if they sign up for your program. Content sites love a longer cookie because there are many instances where customers will click on their link and then not end up buying the product until weeks or even months later. If you only have a 30 day cookie, there could be a lot of sales that the content publisher loses out on.
Extending the cookie life for a content affiliate is also great for you because it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s more of a gesture of goodwill and a sign to the publisher that you’re serious and truly want to build a lasting partnership.
4) Provide VIP Conversion Lines
Content publishers hate coupon sites. They absolutely hate them. The reason they hate them is because there are countless instances where a shopper is reading a review of a product on a content site and they decide they want to buy one of these products. They’ll click through the content publisher’s affiliate link, but right before they check out they see a nice little coupon code box. They’ll then do a quick search for “[merchant name] coupon codes” and grab a code from whichever coupon site happens to rank the highest. The coupon site then steals the last click from the content publisher and thus gets credit for the order. There’s got to be a way to stop this, right?
If a content publisher is on the fence because of this concern, the best way to ease their worry is to assure them that they will be a VIP affiliate and thus won’t lose any sales this way. In this case, a VIP affiliate is one who always gets credit for a sale as long as their link was clicked at some point during the sales process. They don’t have to be the last click. Each affiliate network does this differently, but there are ways to set up conversion lines on all the major networks. You can then segment your VIP affiliates into one group and any affiliate that’s in that group will no longer have orders stolen from them.
Good luck with all your recruiting efforts and feel free to email us or comment below with any comments or questions. I would love to hear from you!