Chocolate and peanut butter. Popcorn and a movie. Tuesdays and Tacos. Some things just go together and make each other better.
That’s also true of marketing functions. Ideally, no marketing function exists in a vacuum; an impactful program should be integrated and synergistic, with tactics working together and amplifying each other. As public relations (PR) continues to evolve, it has increasingly worked with complementary strategies like advertising, social media, and influencers. More recently, we’ve seen that the combination of PR and affiliate marketing can achieve significant results. PR helps to generate brand awareness and credibility, while affiliate marketing helps to drive traffic and sales. When these two strategies are combined, they can create a winning formula.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing model in which an entity, like a media outlet or influencer, earns a commission for each customer they bring to a business. They do this by including an affiliate link – a unique link that tracks the traffic they send to the merchant’s website – in their content. According to statistica.com, affiliate marketing is exploding. The global affiliate marketing industry is worth over $17 billion and is expected to grow to almost $428 billion in 2027. At this point, 16% of all global e-commerce sales are from affiliate marketing. Furthermore, 81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers use affiliate marketing.
How PR and Affiliate Marketing Can Work Together
PR and affiliate marketing can work together in several ways. The first is for PR pros to provide affiliate links to editors and reporters at media outlets for inclusion in their stories. This can be done through affiliate marketing networks like CJ, Share-a-Sale and Rakuten, with SkimLinks making it easy for media to access all of them, as well as directly through Amazon. We include the affiliate link info in our pitches, and often work with e-commerce editors who focus their coverage on products that offer affiliate links. More and more, media outlets are prioritizing brands with affiliate links in their coverage and, especially in the case of gift guides and round ups, they are often only including products with affiliate links. We also simultaneously pitch deals on the affiliate network and to media directly, recruit media outlets and negotiate affiliate rates – either ourselves or working with an affiliate agency.
Another way to use PR and affiliate marketing together is to create an affiliate program for influencers. As mentioned previously, influencer programs have become integral to PR strategies. By including an affiliate link for influencers to use in their content, we further incentivize influencers and drive sales, and it can be a great way for a brand to reach a targeted audience. Additionally, affiliate programs can be worked into influencers’ compensation packages to potentially reduce marketing budget dollars.
The Benefits of Combining PR and Affiliate Marketing
There are many benefits to combining PR and affiliate marketing. For one, they amplify each other; PR generates awareness by getting the brand’s products in front of a wider audience, and affiliate marketing reinforces this awareness by driving traffic to the brand’s website. They can also be used together to target specific audiences with relevant messages and drive sales within this demographic. This can help improve the quality of traffic that a brand receives, which can lead to higher conversion rates. Additionally, it provides something that is often a challenge in PR: measurable results. You can easily track the effectiveness of certain outlets and influencers in driving sales, demonstrating ROI and making it easier to adjust your strategies.
Like chocolate and peanut butter, PR and affiliate marketing are better together. By combining these two powerful marketing strategies, brands can create a winning formula for promoting their products and services and achieve greater results.