Media companies and publishers have a crucial role in affiliate marketing, as they have the power to influence search engine rankings and generate significant revenue for businesses. However, the industry has recently experienced a shift, with traditional publications losing their traffic and smaller players dominating the top positions on Google. As an SEO expert and paraphrasing guru, I’ve worked with media organizations looking to boost their traffic and revenue through affiliate marketing. In this article, I’ll share valuable insights and recommendations to help media companies succeed in this field, where reputation and backlinks no longer guarantee instant returns.
Organic Traffic Performance: Established Publications vs. Newer Publishers
When tracking the performance of media companies engaged in affiliate marketing, I noticed a decline in traffic for established brands. The screenshots below illustrate the overall organic traffic performance of these websites, covering all sections, not just those related to affiliate marketing.
While some of these publications charge a media fee and feature only big brands and the same products, newer publications are emerging to take their place. Some of these new players are making the same mistakes, while others are adopting different strategies. Let’s take a look at some of the new players who are thriving in the affiliate marketing space.
Reasons Behind the Movements
The lack of variety and alternatives in affiliate programs could be a significant reason for these shifts. Many media outlets focus solely on big brands and overlook diversifying their affiliate marketing lists. This negatively impacts the consumer experience and contradicts Google’s reviews update, which emphasizes the importance of offering variety in shopping options.
In some cases, publications choose not to work with new or up-and-coming brands because their affiliate team requires sponsorships and advertorial purchases. This limits their options and prevents collaboration with smaller brands that could bring unique benefits, such as social media sharing and increased search engine crawling.
The struggle to balance helpful content with monetization is another challenge faced by media companies. Syndicating lists with the same vendors across different brands reduces the quality of the content and limits its value. It’s essential to allow editors to remain independent from the affiliate and ads teams, ensuring that they can focus on providing researched, expert-driven content.
However, there is a risk of ads and affiliate lists overshadowing the valuable content. While ads and monetization are necessary for revenue generation, they should not compromise the usefulness and quality of the content. It’s crucial to strike a balance between delivering engaging content and displaying ads or affiliate lists.
Recommendations for Success
Based on my expertise, I recommend the following strategies for media companies looking to succeed in affiliate marketing:
- Include 20-30% lesser-known and unique brands or products on your affiliate lists, rather than featuring only commonly found options.
- Provide a unique perspective on the products by testing them firsthand and sharing both positive and negative experiences.
- Focus on delivering original and engaging content that stands out from generic “best” or “top” lists.
- Seek out emerging brands and independent retailers through retail shows, affiliate networks, and direct outreach.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase original photos and demonstrate your personal experience with the products, which positively impacts E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
By following these recommendations, media companies can differentiate themselves in the competitive affiliate marketing landscape, attract a diverse audience, and drive significant traffic and revenue.
At Bridgewell Marketing, we specialize in providing top-notch SEO services to help media companies and publishers succeed in their affiliate marketing endeavors. Contact us here to learn more about how we can boost your online presence and maximize your revenue potential.