Category Archives: affiliate marketing

2016 Holiday Gift Guides – Publishers Monetize Audiences with Affiliate Links

christmas shoppingTis the season to scour the internet’s Holiday Gift Guides for the best presents for all the friends and family on your shopping list this year.

Publications have found a new way to monetize their audiences by producing content with shopping recommendations utilizing affiliate links.

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which the advertiser rewards an “affiliate” (aka publisher – online or otherwise) for each sale driven by that affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

So in other words, when you see a Gift Guide with clickable links published by the New York Times and you end up purchasing a product they recommend, that advertiser will give the publisher a percent of the sale to reward their efforts.

Instagram has made many of their “influencers” rich through affiliate networks such as RStyle, LIKEtoKNOW.it, ShareASale, Impact Radius, and others. This has long been popular among bloggers and independent website publishers as well. Though there are ongoing issues with disclosure and there may be more regulations in the future, this revenue stream is likely here to stay.

Now, many publications are getting into the game. The New York Times launched a beautiful interactive Gift Guide with dozens of product recommendations divided by category. This comes as no surprise following their acquisition of The Wirecutter, an online consumer guide which publishes in-depth product reviews.

 

The NYT includes the following disclosure (if you know where to look for it). But for many readers of the NYT unfamiliar with this type of advertising, it certainly further blurs the lines between editorial and advertising.

The gifts included in this guide were chosen solely by The New York Times. Our editorial content, including that by Wirecutter, which recently became a part of the company, is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.

Through a third party, we may receive commissions on sales made on the linked sites. When our editors and writers make selections, they do not know what products may generate a commission, or what that commission might be, and payments play no part in their decisions.

Similarly, New York Magazine has a recommendation page called The Strategist. Real Simple has many holiday gift guides available as well, and I’m sure most magazines are building these types of pages now, if they haven’t already. Wired, The Atlantic, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, the list goes on and on.

 

Buying print advertising, for years we’ve seen publications try to maintain “church and state” separation between their editorial recommendations and the revenue generated from their advertisers. But there are huge monetary opportunities from affiliate advertising revenue in providing product recommendations to loyal readers.

Sometimes we describe what we do here at Mediabids with per response advertising (or performance marketing) as affiliate advertising since many e-commerce companies are already familiar with affiliate programs and do these types of campaigns online. Supplementing their online affiliate campaigns with a print campaign is a great way for advertisers to reach a new and desirable audience. Likewise, it benefits publications by bringing revenue back to print through advertisers that wouldn’t otherwise consider the medium.

For publications looking to add an alternate revenue stream, or if you’re an advertiser interested in reaching new consumers…call Mediabids today at 860-379-9602.

Advertising is Dead

cemetery

I’m sure on a Monday morning, at the beginning of a long week of anticipated sales and prospecting, the last thing anyone would want to read is that their industry is ”dead.” I’ll admit ”Advertising is Dead” is a strange title for a post, especially given that Mediabids is in the advertising business and our last blog post title happened to be  ”6 great ads that prove print isn’t dead.” Obviously advertising isn’t dead but the way many people still think of advertising -meaning the way many of your clients still think of advertising- is very much dead. This is particularly true at the local SMB level where advertising for the purposes of reach (i.e. to get the word out or simply build awareness) is very much dead.

As we all know, digital has been disrupting the advertising business for many years now. To date, the greatest disruption has been to the newspaper and magazine business but lately the bigger story is the disruption in local TV and radio. SMBs have increasingly relied on digital advertising channels – first it was local search ads and now it’s search plus social media advertising. Why?

It’s not that fewer people can be reached by local TV and radio, quite the opposite.

It’s not that local TV and radio have lost all their considerable powers to influence an audience.

It’s not necessarily about the cost of creating TV and radio spots (although for some SMBs this may be an excuse they frequently give to media sales people.)

It’s also not even about the cost of buying local TV or radio time (although it’s not inexpensive.) If advertisers could better measure the impact of local TV and radio, the sticker price would be less of an issue. In other words, what advertisers don’t want to pay for is the unknowns.

Earlier this year, eMarketer announced that digital display ad spending would exceed search spending for the first time. In 2016, digital display ad spending is projected to increase 23% while search spending would grow another 10% this year. The reasons for the growth in digital display are several: the improvement in the user-experience online (or UX as the fancy people call it); the explosion in smart phone adoption; and perhaps most importantly, the ability to better qualify (and CONVERT) traffic and customers through the use of video, rich media and native advertising online.

As I said, advertising in terms of reach is dead. But advertising in terms of conversion, as the eMarketer article suggests, is booming. It’s all about conversion now, especially at the SMB level. Automakers, soft drinks and snack makers, national quick-serve chains and some retailers still need big reach to drive people into store locations. However, many SMBs are much more interested in the conversion of digital traffic to paying customers. This means a mix of media that allow SMBs to qualify callers and site visitors -such as digital display, search, email, social media and PRINT.

Yes, I subtly added print advertising to the list.

It’s true. Print advertising still has a big role to play in our increasingly digital first world, especially for the SMB market.

At Mediabids, our advertisers have conversion rates that are well into double digits (the average is about 40%.) So advertising, as we have long known it, is dead. But what advertisers want from their investment in advertising hasn’t changed much at all – they want to pay for customers at a cost-effective rate. This means that digital and print advertising is most relevant and still kicking.

Post by Jim Jinks

 

Top Marketers to Follow @Twitter

I started using Twitter, somewhat, back in 2011. It wasn’t until 2014 that I began to be more of a daily user and started to publish tweets on a regular basis. Twitter launched in 2006 so I was a relatively late adopter -perhaps I should have little to say- but it’s 2016 and especially if you’re a salesperson for a digital and/or print publisher, you really need to be using Twitter by now.

Twitter

It really is an invaluable tool for keeping up with the news of the day, especially in both the publishing and marketing industries. For one thing, your publication’s editorial department is using Twitter. Second, many of your clients are likely using Twitter and the advertising agency buyers you call on are for sure using Twitter. Why aren’t you?

In a less than scientific survey of media reps, these are the three most frequent reasons for not using Twitter:

  1. Why would I use it if I don’t know who to follow?
  2. I don’t think anyone would care what I tweet so why bother?
  3. I already get plenty of industry email newsletters…I don’t have time for Twitter!

Let’s start with #3.

Are you reading those industry email newsletters? If you’re following the knowledgeable people that actually aim to offer their audience valuable insights and support, then it’s relatively easy to glance at Twitter -here and there throughout the day- without it taking too much time or being disruptive to your workflow.

Regarding the second objection to Twitter (”I don’t think anyone would care what I tweet.”), you may be surprised at your own value to others in your industry so don’t hesitate to tweet out if you have an original thought or something to say. But also, no one is forcing you to tweet. You can use Twitter, and it is still valuable to you, even if you never ever respond or share anything on Twitter.

Now #1 is indeed a valid objection and I can relate. Twitter is a little intimidating at first, because after all, we don’t know what we don’t know. But for those of you ready to try something new and you’d appreciate a little help in taking the leap, here’s a few leading voices in marketing to consider following, be inspired by and perhaps learn from on Twitter:

@jeffbullas

@kimgarst

@jaybaer

@dharmesh

@JoePulizzi

Of course, there are at least forty other thought leaders one could follow. But once you get started you’ll learn quickly how to curate your own list.

Be well and good luck!

Post by Jim Jinks (@JimJinksCT and @Mediabids)

 

 

Why All Newspapers Should Be Running This Print Ad

CDCPost
Sample print ad for Canada Drug Center – one of MediaBids’ Top Performing Advertisers

Chances are, sometime in your life you’ll need to take a prescription drug. According to the CDC, 50% of all Americans used a prescription drug in the past 30 days, and that number is growing.

That means a high percentage of your readers would benefit from the services of Canada Drug Center – which means your newspaper will benefit too. Here’s how:

Canada Drug Center is part of MediaBids’ Performance-Based Print Advertising Program. They will pay your newspaper or magazine for every qualifying call the ad generates. They’ve been part of this program for over 5 years, and have generated millions of dollars in revenue for publishers running their ad.

  • 73% of all Canada Drug ads that publications run generate revenue
  • 45% of all phone calls qualify as a paid response

So, what is so appealing to consumers about Canada Drug Center?

Great Prices – Consumers can save up to 90% off their regular prescription prices when they switch to Canada Drug Center.

Trusted Affiliations – Canada Drug Center is accredited by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association – an elite organization that only certifies the most trusted, compliant and high-quality pharmacies. Canada Drug Center is also verified by PharmacyChecker.com.

If your newspaper or magazine would like to earn money by running this ad, simply click here and let us know what ad size you need, and we’ll get it to you in time for your next edition. Questions? Call MediaBids at 800.545.1135 for more information.

Affiliate Summit East

AdobeStock_66358355.jpeg

We’ve covered Affiliate Advertising here on the Print Observer blog in the past…

Here: “Customer Acquisition: Using Online and Offline Affiliate Marketing to Generate New Customers

And here: “Affiliate Marketing – Changing Marketers Expectations of Advertising Results

At Mediabids, we’re uniquely positioned to help advertisers complement their online affiliate programs with our affiliate print program which allows advertisers to pay per response for reaching new customers and prospects in newspapers and magazines.

Our program which includes our exclusive network of thousands of print publications provides a performance-based model through which advertisers can drive calls and sales.

To learn more go to: https://www.mediabids.com/

We’ll be at Affiliate Summit East this coming Monday in NYC.  For any advertisers or partners looking to connect, please email Darcy Mauke at dmauke@mediabids.com.

Open Letter to Media Buyers & Marketers

newspaper machine

Is this picture of newspaper boxes kind of how you think of print? …dreary, old, outdated?

C’mon. Be honest. This is a safe space here.

As a media buyer, agency exec or client-side marketer, the way you think about print media has an enormous impact on the newspaper and magazine industry.

There was yet another sour report today about print revenues. First quarter 2016 newspaper and magazine revenues were down another 3.5-4.5% YOY.

I know many of you have moved on to digital and probably haven’t given much thought to print advertising for some time. I know and it’s not entirely your fault. After all, it’s tough to not follow the herd when the stakes and demands are so high. It’s also especially tough, when you may not know better.

By largely turning our backs on print (and instead pouring dollars into digital display) we’ve missed a huge opportunity to be heroes.

Mediabids Conversion

This chart shows close rates and the average length of calls for a few of our advertisers that deliver the highest call volumes. To be clear, the decimal point is in the correct place. All of our conversion rates start with TWO numbers before the decimal point.

By comparison, here’s the latest conversion rates for digital display ads.

Digital Display Click Thru Rates

If you’ve been spending time in digital media, these conversion rates are very familiar and may be the norm. From my perspective, these conversion rates are just north of ”why bother?”

Print advertising is a huge opportunity to deliver real results and value to your clients. If you haven’t already, perhaps it’s time to update your view of print media.

Sincerely,

Jim Jinks

Q&A with Our Newest Advertiser – Home Chef

homechef

MediaBids is pleased to welcome Home Chef to its print advertising affiliate program!

Home Chef is a food delivery service that sends customers everything they need to prepare home-cooked, delicious, healthy meals in around 30 minutes. Sample menu offerings include: Bistro Steak Frites, Grilled Salmon with Lemon-Dill Yogurt Sauce and Healthy Takeout Sweet and Sour Chicken. Here’s a little bit more about the company, from the Director of Digital Marketing at Home Chef, Shane Smith:

1.) Can you give us a quick overview of how Home Chef works?  Home Chef allows customers to choose from a selection of 13 new meals each week on our website.  We then deliver fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to the customer’s home.  The delivery comes with an easy-to-follow recipe card which allows customers to cook tasty meals in about 30 minutes.

Our goal is to make dinner special by offering a convenient, fun and delicious alternative to the time consuming process of meal prepping and grocery store shopping.

2.) What makes Home Chef stand out among other meal delivery services? At Home Chef, we pride ourselves on selection.  We offer 13 new meal options each week and that variety sets us apart.  We also have vegetarian, low-carb, low-calorie and gluten free options.  No matter your dietary preferences, Home Chef has you covered.

ABC 7 New York launched an independent review of meal kit delivery services and Home Chef compared very favorably against other meal kit services and the grocery stores.

3.) What are some of the most popular meal choices? Some fan favorites include the Parmesan-crusted sirloin steak, the Thai pork lettuce wraps, and the Fried goat cheese and arugula salad.

4.) Can you tell our publishers a little bit about Home Chef’s customers? Home Chef customers enjoy cooking but are tired of the hassle associated with meal planning, grocery store shopping & cooking time-consuming recipes.  Females in particular are big fans of Home Chef but we resonate well with any busy person who enjoys home cooking but is looking for a more convenient option.

If you are with a newspaper or magazine, you can run Home Chef’s ad in your next print edition by clicking here: https://www.mediabids.com/campaign/details/home-chef/?pici=41066

If you’d like to try Home Chef and receive $30 off your first order, use promo code meal1 at checkout.

We’ll make this attractive ad specifically to your specs, and get it to you by your next deadline. Call 860-379-9602 with any questions or email pihelp@mediabids.com 

 

Why Newspapers Should Pay Attention to Reddit’s Affiliate Ad Test

Monetization written in search bar on virtual screen

A few days ago,  Reddit announced they are working with a company called VigLink to test a way to make money from links to products that Reddit users post.

Essentially, each time a Reddit user posts a link (to over 5,000 merchants that participate in VigLink’s affiliate program), the link will automatically have tracking code added to it. When someone clicks on said link and buys something, Reddit will earn revenue from the sale.

Here’s an example of what one of the links would look like:

Reddit
Source: Reddit

Cool. Seems like a worthwhile test from Reddit to see if they can create a revenue source from the massive amounts of content created on their platform.

So how does this apply to newspapers?

Every newspaper has a website. If digital direct sales are slowing, perhaps it’s time to engage with a service like VigLink to monetize the vast amount of content that they produce. Newspapers can also use online affiliate networks like Impact Radius to run digital ads alongside their online content. Newspapers get paid when their readers make a sale from the ads from the affiliate network, or potentially from sales generated from links provided by a company like Viglink.

Here at MediaBids, we’ve been working to create our own print affiliate program, and believe that the unique content newspapers produce can and should be monetized much in the same way online content has been. We track sales through online and offline tools, and sales attribution technology is getting better everyday.

Affiliate ads work in both print and online media.  Newspapers have the high-quality content that attracts affluent shoppers. Affiliate advertising within newspapers online and offline versions could be a match made in affiliate heaven – or at minimum – a complement to other revenue strategies.

Post by Jess Greiner