Whether it’s selling and positioning the most prominent holiday placements or carefully curating partner posts that highly resonate with your audience, publishers have the power to create and cultivate long-term relationships that mutually benefit them and their advertiser partners. According to Rakuten Marketing 2018 Cyber Weekend data, we found that content publishers are initiators in the customer journey. When consumers utilize multiple channels in their customer journey (display and search along with affiliate), 60% of first touchpoints are initiated by content publishers. That number significantly increases to 91% when the customer journey is only in the affiliate channel. With this data, we can see that content publishers hold the key to successful affiliate marketing partnerships.

As a publisher, you can utilize these tips to harness your power as an affiliate:

  1. Choose the right partners

    Modern consumers have come to expect authenticity from all content affiliates, whether you are a blogger, social media influencer or content site. They are demanding quality content with a transparent, original voice and want honest opinions of the services and products affiliate publishers promote. By partnering with brands that resonate with your site and your audience, you provide that authenticity naturally by promoting products and services that run true to your personal brand. By nurturing these genuine partnerships, your recommendations will resonate more with your audience, resulting in a win/win for you and your brand partners, leading to increased sales, campaigns and commissions.

  2. Listen to your audience

    Your audience trusts you and your recommendations because of your fresh and genuine perspective. They are one of the most important parts of your overall affiliate strategy. Through comments and social media, interaction with your audience is now easier than ever. Utilize this line of communication to not only answer their questions and reply to their comments, but to also learn more about what they expect or want to see from you. Encourage and celebrate this feedback because your readers hold the key to your overall success. An open line of communication translates into increased trust and transparency, ensuring you are providing value to your readers.

  3. Adapt, adapt, adapt

    The affiliate marketing industry is an ever-changing and ever-evolving space. It is crucial that you stay on top of new industry trends and ideas. For example, according to Rakuten Marketing data, 59% of marketers expressed that video is the form of content they are most likely to invest in. Let your content dictate your channel delivery. If you have a very strong written content blog, but you’re trying to review a pair of jeans and how they fit, a YouTube video will go a long way with your readers. Not only will they be able to see how the jeans fit on you, but you will also see an increase in traffic to your YouTube channel. As a publisher, adapting your content strategy to fit the demands of today’s modern consumers will help to solidify a loyal audience and make your site more desirable for advertiser partners.

Most importantly, don’t give up! Once you develop an affiliate program and start implementing links, you may expect to see an increase in commissions and sales immediately. But keep in mind, successful affiliate marketing takes time to develop. When you remain authentic to your brand and provide valuable information to your audience, you create long-term success and loyal followers. You can do it!


Rakuten Marketing is the global leader in integrated marketing solutions, spanning affiliate, display and search. Rakuten Marketing  empowers marketers to achieve the full potential of digital marketing by delivering data-driven personalized ad experiences that  engage consumers – across screens, platforms and traditional publishers – and influence them to purchase. Rakuten Marketing is  committed to transparency, providing consumer journey insights that are used to continually optimize for performance.

Rakuten Marketing is a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. The company is  headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices in Australia, Brazil, Japan, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States.  Follow us on Twitter or learn more at  rakutenmarketing.com.