As part of our Affiliates series, we have provided insights on how to choose the right network and publisher, and then the five key publishers that can benefit your programme. To further highlight its importance, this post will cover how to create and maintain those relationships.
Pre-Launch Programme Publisher Base
Once you have decided on your network, gone through the necessary testing and geared up for your launch into the channel, one hurdle still remains: you don’t have any publishers to promote your brand. Here are some pointers to help grow your publisher base before you’ve even launched.
If you are fortunate enough to work with an agency, or have someone in your team that has experience in the industry, it is likely that they will already have relationships in the space. iProspect has a wealth of connections to leading publishers across all markets - the team's first port of call for any new launch is to speak to each publisher on an individual basis.
Networks also have relationships across the board, with the largest networks having dedicated publisher teams which can help to identify the best opportunities for your brand. Most networks have an ‘invite’ function that makes it easier to recruit. It is key to have this relationship long before the launch date as some publishers will need copy and creative assets bespoke to their site. They may also need to set up landing pages for your brand.
Post-Launch Publisher Recruitment
You’ve launched! You’ve got a good core group of publishers already on the programme all ready to promote. What next?
A great way to encourage your publishers to promote your brand in the market and give it visibility is a launch incentive. This is normally an increased CPA for a short time or even a bonus for a certain number of sales. This is when you then need to start using the tools at your disposal, talk about your programme on LinkedIn or your network’s blog, and start contributing to industry discussions. Some people think that publishers will apply without any input from the brand, but you should give them a reason to join your programme.
Speak often with your chosen network about what you want from your programme and the publishers that are currently working well. If you find that a certain type of publisher is working well for you, speak to the network about this and look to actively recruit new publishers.
Communication with Publishers
As mentioned in previous posts, the key is to have regular, transparent, and high-quality communication with publishers. Use the tools that you have at your disposal i.e. send weekly newsletters to publishers with top performing products/product types, inform them of special offers and upcoming sales. If your newsletter has quality content, publishers will use it for information. Be sure to have one-to-one conversations with your top publishers, be open about the goals you want to achieve for your brand and work with them to achieve these together. Publisher days are also a great way to get face time with publishers.
Remember this should be a mutual relationship. Respond in a timely manner to queries, help when issues arise and communicate regularly.
Prioritise pre-launch conversations
Recruitment should be actively undertaken and not a passive activity
Maintain regular communication with publishers and have one-to-one conversations as often as possible with key partners
A good relationship is mutually beneficial for all parties. Good rule of thumb: you get out of it what you put into it.