John Tackett

Why Savvy Marketers Establish Affiliate Relationships with Bloggers

June 20th, 2014

Having in-house bloggers on your marketing team can keep your content flowing, but there are limits to the audience they can reach.

One way to solve this challenge, according to Carolyn Kmet, Chief Marketing Officer, All Inclusive Marketing, is strategically recruiting third-party bloggers outside of your team to help deliver the right mix of credibility and content that can reach new audiences.

At this year’s Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago, MarketingSherpa hosted the event’s official Media Center. Our team of reporters interviewed marketers from across a variety of business verticals to learn insights on what works in ecommerce marketing.

As Carolyn explained to Allison Banko, Reporter, MECLABS, third-party bloggers can deliver additional exposure opportunities for your brand.

“Bloggers can position brands beyond traditional reach,” Carolyn explained.


According to the MarketingSherpa E-commerce Benchmark Study, less than 40% of all companies surveyed utilize affiliate marketing as a traffic driver to an ecommerce site. Using bloggers as affiliates can help with driving traffic from audiences outside of your reach.

The trick is, as Carolyn explained, is to build relationships with bloggers and offer them content opportunities that make exposing your brand to their audience worthwhile.

To do that, she often recruits third-party bloggers outside of her team as affiliates and helps them access industry thought leaders for interviews that would be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain otherwise.

The affiliates create content from those interviews to share with their respective audiences.

“There’s a lot of transparency, Carolyn said. “It gives them fresh content for their audiences.”


Editorial independence is the only way unbiased credibility works

Giving bloggers editorial independence is often tough for a lot of companies that want content buffed to a fine polish by their legal and PR teams before it can be published.

From my personal experiences as a blogger, the larger a company gets, the harder it generally pushes for polish. Thankfully at MarketingSherpa, we have the editorial freedom to decline those requests and we exercise it when needed.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that clearly laying out the “no polish before publish” guideline right upfront is a great way to set the right expectations with your sources.

It also saves you time on interviewing and drafting because most folks who would ask to polish your blog post will decline to participate much earlier in your blogging process if you share that guideline at the start.

Remember, content marketers always want to cover an interesting story, but covering stories and fabricating them are not the same and audiences certainly know the difference.

Providing editorial freedom for affiliate bloggers who are aiding in your content marketing helps in creating posts that are valuable for everyone involved.

So when it comes to respecting audiences, in this blogger’s view, Carolyn gets it.

She understands true credibility rests in autonomy, or as she mentioned in her interview, “credibility is what garners an audience.”

If you want to see more interviews like Carolyn’s, you can visit the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE page.


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