Mass media publishers are high in priority when it comes to affiliate partnerships. Brands that are looking to gain customers and grow their revenue can use media to reach consumers at every stage of the marketing funnel and bridge the gap between discovery and purchase.
The merging of PR and mass media to the performance model has allowed for a greater reach to customers. This, in turn, will create a more effective affiliate programme.
Mass media partners are notable online and offline publications, offering quality content to their highly engaged, well-established audiences. Examples include Forbes, Bauer, Business Insider, Future Plc, etc. Their influence is well known and respected which will therefore form respected opinions on your product. But competition for their attention is fierce.
When you are pitching to a mass media publisher, be sure to come ready with your information about data trends. Your brand will stand out if it offers competitive prices on products, free shipping, excellent customer service and unique content.
Read on for tips and tricks to speak to your media partners to keep your product in their minds.
Understand the players
Mass media partnerships operate differently from other types of affiliate partnerships due to the processes and structures within their organisation. Each will have their own way of doing things that will shape every relationship and direct how they do business.
Establishing a relationship with the various contacts within their organisation is key – and hitting the right relationship is difficult. You will have to reach out to day-to-day contacts who are not decision-makers. You will also work with senior contacts who are individuals handling the business strategies. And finally there are the editors who ensure your marketing is amongst content that is valuable, relevant, and easy to absorb and share.
They all have their own roles within the company, as well as their own objectives, budgets, and responsibilities. They also will have a varied understanding of the affiliate model, so adjust how you speak about it. Tasks like pulling affiliate links, reviewing content, understanding review cycles and brand guidelines will require a level of education, consistent communication, and guidance across all departments.
Substantial lead time
A successful partnership will have to navigate a mass media publisher’s distinct and independent set-up with lead time.
Tasks like discussing topic participation, editorial calendars, upcoming launches, and seasonal and promotional calendars will all need enough time to be well-thought-out and to ensure that there isn’t any overlap with the company’s internal PR efforts. Plus, there is the very real issue of content category fatigue, which can have an impact on posting timelines or cause you to be temporarily removed from the editorial calendar.
Any mass media publishers you come across will be editorially driven, meaning that their publication’s content is their first priority. It will be created and overseen by trained editorial teams. These teams will be made up of professionals who have a way with words, understand their subject and will know how to make a story compelling. Under their critical eye, content should feel authoritative and trustworthy, while adhering to the publication’s tone of voice and speaking to their target audience.
With this in mind, expect to adhere to their brand guidelines. Some will be willing to negotiate or review cycles, but it is not uncommon for big brands to refuse to be influenced by or publish content that requires a review. Get used to the saying “the editor has the final say” and accept it. It might even mean the editor has declined to publish the content altogether.
Communication and clarification are vital to preventing frustration between you and your mass media partners. Parameters should be outlined and accepted by both parties before moving forward with a partnership to avoid a lot of work going to waste.
Keep the mass media publisher fully informed so that they can understand the goals and KPIs of your brand. This will allow you both to align ideas and strategies with equality and collaboration. It will also avoid any frustrations. The basic principle of any relationship is that they are two-way relationships that are mutually beneficial.
A well-managed partnership with mass media can create one of the most efficient and cost-effective affiliate programmes. It can be the best support in driving new customers, creating revenue, and generating high-value leads.
If you are thinking of, or are currently, navigating through a mass media partnership, you should be prepared for big gains but also the idea that you will not often get the final say. There are things you can do to learn to stand up for what your programme needs and relinquish what isn’t working. For more assistance in this area, book a free call with a member of our team!