If you’ve ever searched a media site for a gift idea, you probably noticed that product lists and roundups these days come with one small…but significant…disclaimer – that if you buy something via a link from the story, the outlet may earn a commission on the sale. This is affiliate-driven PR at work. And savvy brands know it’s a unique opportunity to supplement the visibility and credibility that comes with a top-tier media hit with a direct increase in clicks and sales. That’s exactly what Comma Home discovered when it engaged Resound to launch and manage an affiliate-driven PR program for its home goods and bedding line. Comma’s six-month PR investment has generated results for nine months and counting…garnering more than 5B media impressions that delivered more than 2x the average affiliate conversion rate. The resulting sales have already generated over 100 percent return on Comma’s PR investment – and counting.
The Tactics: Many media outlets prioritize products that are sold on major retail sites that have an affiliate program built in, like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. For other brands to be in the running for media stories that include affiliate links, it’s an absolute must to get set up on an affiliate marketing platform (we like ShareASale, for example). But just having an affiliate program is not enough. Affiliate-driven PR is not the same as traditional affiliate marketing…being on the right platform does not automatically result in mainstream media coverage. In addition to getting Comma set up on ShareASale, we developed a targeted, proactive strategy for press outreach – leveraging our trademark approach to creative storytelling to attract the interest of top lifestyle editors. Finally, we identified a short list of influential celebrities with significant Instagram followings to gift, in an effort to secure earned influencer coverage.
The Results: Following a one month ramp up to get the infrastructure in place, we saw a whirlwind of media attention for the Comma brand. Although the company had already had a basic affiliate profile in place, it went from generating only 149 clicks and 0 sales in the first seven months of the year, to more than 20,000 clicks and 600 purchases to date. In addition, while the average affiliate conversion rate is typically .5-1 percent, Comma’s media affiliates drove an average 2 percent conversion rate – with some outlets hitting as high as 4 percent.
Oh, and did we mention the star-studded lineup of media outlets that included Comma in their coverage? The brand was prominently featured in stories from Today, Buzzfeed, InStyle, Apartment Therapy, Country Living, PopSugar, and more. Our efforts also landed Comma a Real Simple Sleep Award that ultimately resulted in a triple play – including an online writeup, a print feature, and a live spotlight on The Today Show.
To cap things off, Comma got some added buzz on social media when influencers and celebrities including MommyShorts’ Ilana Wiles (176K followers) and Jenny Mollen (419K followers) shouted them out on Instagram.