Publisher Types in Affiliate Marketing

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What are the advantages of a self-service affiliate platform?

If you have an affiliate program running, or you’re planning to, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of different types of publishers to work with and to pick from. It’s important to understand the types of publishers that are present within the industry. It can help you develop a strong affiliate marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals and brand values.

Categorizing publishers can be challenging since many hybrids models have emerged, like cashback sites that also offer vouchers codes. For this blog, we choose to only talk about the 9 most important types of affiliate publishers.

Tip: an Affiliate Marketplace with extensive filtering options makes it easier to choose the right publisher.

Table of Contents

1. Blogs and Content Sites

Blogs, and other content sites, are a very common type of publisher. They focus on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract a clearly defined audience. The hard part is reaching that audience and convincing them to take action, which is why these types of publishers are very valuable. If they’re good, they have highly engaged and loyal audiences and are very influential in purchasing decisions.
Advantages
They have a highly engaged audience and are often experts in certain niches. They help customers with purchasing intent to do their research and create a lot of brand awareness. They are highly influential and create very professional content, which reflects positively on your brand.
How do you engage your audience on blogs and content sites?
The best way is to make deals with the publishers, have them create content for your brand, or allow your advertisements on their website. Send them samples and product information in order to help them do their job. Be sure to give your top sellers good commissions, they are worth it!

2. Loyalty and Cashback Sites

Cashback sites are website sites that use the commission they earn from the advertiser to pay a percentage back to their users. They basically split the commission with the end-user, which gives the end-user a great incentive to purchase from their website. A loyalty site works with the same principle, but instead of cash, the end-users earn some form of redeemable points.
Advantages
The biggest advantage of loyalty and cashback sites is that they can create a very high volume. Since the end-user gets some form of ‘free’ money, they are very eager to use sites like these. And when they did use the website and received their payment, they are often very loyal to that site, making sure that every possible purchase is done through the site in order to receive as much cashback or loyalty points as possible. It’s a great way to reach new customers, create brand awareness, and motivate them to buy your products or services.
How do you engage your audience on loyalty and cashback sites?
Your biggest challenge is to find a way to stand out in those cashback and loyalty websites. You can do this by offering exclusive deals for the website, offer products and services for different budgets or give out voucher codes people can use those websites in order to drive traffic to them.

3. Communities & User-Generated-Content (UGC)

There are a lot of online shopping communities where consumers give each other advice, share information, or ask for help. Often in the form of discussion forums. They also use these forums to access deals, discounts, and freebies.
Advantages
Your audience is highly engaged with customers who do (a lot of) research. It’s a great way to create brand awareness in your niche and it provides you with an opportunity to build a loyal client base.
How do you engage these communities?
Offer them exclusive codes and tell them about the latest offers. Be sure to create content specially designed with these communities in mind. Make sure they feel heard since this is one of the best ways to get close to your audience.

4. Comparison Search Engines

A comparison search engine is designed to help consumers find and compare products based on their search query. They can filter on things like price, features, reviews, or other criteria. As an advertiser you often pay to be displayed in the engine, you pay for conversion/sales or you pay to get a higher spot in the search results.
Advantages
The prices of these comparison search engines are often very competitive because there is a lot of competition. The engines offer you the ability to display your entire product range in one go. Another important feature is that comparison search engines are often trusted by consumers. When a consumer uses the search engine, they often have very real purchase intent, making this a valuable publisher type.
How do you engage your audience in the comparison search engines?
Since most comparison search engines have a CPC model you simply pay for your engagement. Having a strong product feed and highlighting your marketing leading products or market leading prices also helps.

5. Social Media Publishers

Social media publishers are found on all social networks out there. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. They have their own pages or profiles on these websites with a lot of fans or followers. They use these pages or profiles to engage with their audiences.
Advantages
The audience often follows a person, an influencer and they are more likely to listen to someone they look up to or idolize. These highly engaged audiences are a great way to push brand awareness in your niche.
How to engage your audiences using social media publishers
Let the publisher create relevant paid content for your business. Send them samples and product information to help them do their job well. Make sure to award your top sellers with better offers, they are the ones that really push your sales.

6. Email Marketing

Good email affiliate publishers have different databases with different audiences to pick from. When you start a partnership with an email marketing publisher they will send content promoting your business to relevant audiences using email.
Advantages
With email marketing, it’s extremely important to find the best publishers out there. They are the people that can really target people specifically for your niche. They use trend analysis to create the best results and they typically have a large reach. The best email marketers will ask for a CPA payment model, meaning you only pay when they deliver.
How to engage your audiences using email
People receive a lot of emails these days. So be sure to be creative, it’s important to stand out. Use strong, limited time offers to entice your customers. It helps to really know your audience, and engage them. Also, make sure that the user journey is as easy as possible.

7. Retargeting and Remarketing

When working with retargeting and remarketing publishers, you’re basically working with online marketers. They will create advertisements that are shown to people based on their previous activities on the internet. They allow you to reach people who abandoned their shopping cart, people who searched for your product, people who searched for competitors’ products, and more.
Advantages
By using retargeting and remarketing your reaching people who have already shown interest in your business or similar businesses. Meaning that they’ll have a higher chance to convert. Because of the CPA model used here, you’ll only pay for results. There are a lot of different possibilities with retargeting and remarketing, making this an important publisher for your affiliate marketing program.
How do you engage your audience in retargeting and remarketing
Be creative and give the publisher the tools he or she needs to create campaigns suitable for your business. The publisher does most of the work.

8. Shopping Directories and portals

A shopping portal or directory is a website that lists companies that sell a certain product or service. This can be really specific, like rakes. Or more general, like garden supplies. You can use these websites to display your products and services to customers.
Advantages
It’s a great way to create brand awareness among potential customers who are researching products or services like your own. You can also use email marketing to follow up on customers who showed interest in your products but didn’t make a purchase.
How to engage with customers on shopping directories and portals
These kinds of websites often have a large variety of products and services, so it’s important to stand out. Create exclusive codes and communicate the latest offers with these websites. Create professional content (text and images) to go with your products. On sites like these, you often get one chance to convince customers, be sure to make the most out of that chance.

9. Voucher Code Websites

These websites list voucher codes and other promotions that shoppers can use to receive a discount on your website. Shoppers often search for discounts before making a purchase, having one available can be the final push they need to make a purchase.
Advantages
You can reach a lot of people with little effort and you can easily create certain specified codes, like single-use codes or mobile online codes. It’s a great way to reach new audiences and create brand awareness. And if the codes only work with a minimal amount spent, it can drive up your average order value a lot.
How to engage customers with the voucher code website
Don’t use a single offer for too long, keep creating new and enticing offers to persuade your customer to keep coming back. Create some decent content to go with the offers and be sure to make the offers feel exclusive. Because of the pay per click model, you only pay for results.

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