Evolve your programme's publisher recruitment strategy

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As new and exciting publishers are continuously coming to the fore,  publisher recruitment is an evergreen requirement to keep your brand's affiliate programme healthy. 

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As a Global affiliate marketing network, we understand the value publisher relationships can provide and are constantly looking for ways to further facilitate online partnerships between Awin's advertisers and publishers. Drawing from our expertise, we’re sharing some key considerations for advertisers looking to evolve their publisher recruitment strategy.

Identify targets

Determine which publisher types (cashback, media partners, voucher code, blogger, influencer, etc.) could be strong potential contributors to your affiliate programme. One way of doing this is to work in conjunction with an Awin account manager to generate a gap analysis for your brand’s programme against similar programmes. This gap analysis will reveal the biggest revenue drivers, vital information when ascertaining which publisher types are peforming well and the publisher types which require additional recruitment.

Activate your existing “influencer” base

Accoring to Statista, there were 2.46 billion users on social media in 2017 and this is set to increase to 2.77 billion in 2019, so the chances of customers already talking about or promoting your brand without being prompted is high. If they already have a web presence, invite these customers to join your programme as a publisher in order to maximise those already-occurring efforts and send them free products or offer insider access to an upcoming product launch. Help build their authority and they will help your affiliate programme grow with their influence.

Be proactive

Directly contacting websites, blogs, and other web publishers with a well-written recruitment email is a great way to bring new publishers to your programme. To be done effectively, we recommend sending a personalised message for each new publisher. We appreciate this may sound time consuming, but by doing so will generate a higher response rate as custom messages indicate you spent time understanding this publisher and why you would find this partnership valuable.

Ensure your website is SEO optimised

Having an SEO optimised website makes it easier for  publishers looking for your affiliate programme to find it. One organic way for you to improve your website's SEO ranking is to regularly generate new online content, including blog posts, video and press releases. Additionally, incorporating internal links (links to content across your brand’s site) and external links (links to content from other trusted sources) within your content will further boost SEO. For more information on how to create an SEO optimised website, check out this valuable how-to by inbound marketing guru HubSpot.

Establish a dedicated webpage that describes your affiliate programme, with a link to your sign-up page. This page can be placed in the footer and will aid your recruitment efforts.

Image courtesy of Missguided

Use social media to show personality

Social media is a great way for advertisers to establish a brand voice and engage with prospective and inactive publishers. The possibilities are endless – from establishing a private Facebook group dedicated to your affiliate programme, to sharing publisher spotlights across social pages, to opening a discussion for answering individual questions. Provide publishers with some love and they will promote you in return.

Attend industry events

Industry events such as  PILive and Affiliate Huddle are great ways to meet new publishers and niche content partners. Do your research before attending to see who will be there and identify which partners you want to schedule meetings in with. Schedules fill up quickly and it's sometimes hard to pin peole down on the day.

Run a special campaign

Create a special offer or commission increase to recruit and engage new publishers. It’s one thing to join them to your programme, and another to hand them fresh relevant content to use in their next post. Help them help you. You can find examples of advertisers doing this when new programmes are launched or during an incentive campaign

Utilise the power of Awin

Opportunity Marketplace is a supermarket of offers from publishers across the network and a great tool for advertisers searching for opportunities which may not be visible in media packs, or belong to publishers you may not have exposure to.  In 2017, Opportunity Marketplace featured over 8,000 listings and more than 5,000  offers were made from advertisers. 

Awin's client-only events such as The Affiliate Code and Influencer Meet Up are opportunities to network face to face with publishers on the network in an accommodating environment and learn about the network’s products so you can best utilise them for new partners. 

Your Account Manager is your secret weapon for recruiting and activating new publishers to your programme. They can assist you with a multitude of efforts, including securing placements in Awin’s publisher newsletters and Advertiser of the Month placements, reengaging existing but dormant publishers, and posting new promotions on The Hub. You’re busy, let us handle some of the heavy lifting.

Whether you chose to engage in some or all of these efforts, remember things do not magically happen overnight - recruitment requires you to be and continuous. Results aren’t instant, but these publishers will provide a great foundational relationship with your brand. 

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