Content affiliates are one type of internet marketer that combine affiliate and content marketing. While one may argue that the overwhelming majority of affiliate marketers are content marketers (and by extension content affiliates), I think that this misses a few subtleties implied in the term.
In this post I’ll explain what content affiliates are and whether it’s a good strategy to use.
What Are Content Affiliates?
As you might have guessed, in addition to there being a large number of affiliate types, there are also a lot of different types of content marketers, and techniques they employ. For the purposes of this post, though, we can think about content marketers in 3 groups:
These groups can overlap depending on the specific post/page in question. The term “content affiliate,” however, is usually restricted to affiliates that fall more squarely into the information category.
This means that these sites spend a lot of time and effort producing extremely high quality content, which is content that is likely to stand out from the crowd and define a unique presence for the site.
For example, inforgraphics, instructional videos, interviews, and podcasts are all types of very high quality content that a page might employ. These pieces of content are “center-pieces” around which a site might create an additional marketing campaign, via links from other posts, social media, or paid search.
Pros and Cons of the Content Affiliate Strategy
The content affiliate strategy has a lot of benefits to it. The material created tends to be informative and long-lasting, two essential ingredients for a successful site. This means that any investment in the material can be justified because the marketer expects the material to continue to provide dividends for a long period to come.
Because the material is well-done, the marketer also expects a significant return in terms of the number of users that a) visit the page, and b) convert. This is because the single piece of content itself stands out and defines the site as an authority in the niche.
The downside of this strategy is that it usually takes quite a bit of time and money to create truly amazing content. A content affiliate will often end up paying experts in the field for information, as well as designers, editors, and others depending on the medium he chooses to present the information.
This means that in order for a content strategy to be truly effective, the affiliate needs to have a site or other distribution mechanism that is already established. This marketer relies on existing sources of traffic to drive initial interest in the post, at which point the content itself may lead to a higher conversion or share rate.
Content affiliate techniques can be extremely powerful tools in an affiliate marketer’s arsenal, and if the site is already established, tends to have long lasting positive results.