Programmatic media buying and affiliate strategy have a lot in common. Affiliates are constantly looking to recruit, retain, and optimize high quality publishers and influencers. Programmatic isn’t that much different. It’s all about leveraging data to identify and optimize media placements across a wide array of publishers.
While affiliate and paid media teams are traditionally viewed as completely separate disciplines, there are a lot of synergies where programmatic can be leveraged to amplify affiliate programs. Below we look at Connected TV and Influencer/Publisher Amplification as two immediate opportunities for affiliate marketers to leverage programmatic tactics:
Connected TV: Connected TV is the most powerful paid media opportunity available to marketers today. It combines the impact of television ads with the precision of digital targeting. Connected TV hits on all of the important metrics that make a successful marketing channel:
Reach: Over 80% of internet connected households in the United States stream at least some of their television content.
Demographics: All demographics are represented with the average age of a streamer being 42.
Impact: Connected TV ads have a 95% completion rate and drives up to 4 times the number of website visits compared to YouTube ads.
At this point you might be thinking “this sounds great, but I can’t afford it.” That couldn’t be further from the truth! Highly targeted CTV campaigns can be done at a small fraction of the cost of a traditional TV buy. There is even good news for advertisers that haven’t invested in a video ad. The cost of video production has fallen substantially during the last decade. Shooting a high quality commercial can be done with just about any budget. Finally, to link everything back to your affiliate program, tracking can be done by creating custom coupon codes in your affiliate platform.
Influencer/Publisher Amplification: Influencer outreach is a booming area in affiliate marketing. Programmatic tactics can reach into the channels that your influencers use such as social media, digital audio, and digital video. Chances are you already advertise on social media. So why shouldn’t you also be in digital audio and video? If it works for the influencers you are partnering with, it will work for you too.
Another interesting fact to consider is that many of the publishers and influencers you currently work with leverage programmatic exchanges to fill ad inventory on their websites and mobile apps. When you know your product or service will be a part of a publisher/influencer post, look for opportunities to place display, native, or even video ads on the publisher website. This can help you reinforce the message and nudge window shoppers into your funnel.
In conclusion, programmatic is not that different than the affiliate channel. Leveraging programmatic tactics and channels with your affiliate program can provide a significant boost to both your affiliate and paid media strategies.