Affiliate PR FAQ

Affiliate PR FAQ

We get it. You’ve got questions. We’re here to answer them.

Q: What is affiliate PR?

A: Affiliate PR combines affiliate marketing with PR pitching to secure top-tier media coverage for consumer brands. From gift guide roundups to product features, today’s brands must offer affiliate links to their products to be considered for editorial coverage.

Q: What is an affiliate link?

A: An affiliate link is a unique URL that allows someone to earn a commission when they recommend a product for purchase. When you click an affiliate link and buy something, the web site that shared the link earns a percentage of the sale – sort of like a little thank you for the referral.

Q: Why are media outlets using affiliate links in editorial coverage?

A: To make money. When a reader makes a purchase using a link from an article, the media outlet makes a commission ranging from 5-20% or more. This has created a new revenue stream for traditional outlets that have been losing subscribers and ad dollars by the millions to social media.

Q: Isn’t this considered pay-for-play?

A: Nope. The media still independently selects and recommends the products they feature; affiliate links do not guarantee coverage. Affiliate PR still requires a great product and a great pitch. However, having affiliate set up is the only way to be considered for that initial editorial review.

Q: Do I need an affiliate platform?

A: If you’re selling on a major retail platform – no. The media loves using links from Amazon, Target, and Walmart, and gets their commission directly from them. But if you want the media to direct readers to your own e-commerce site, you need to set up an affiliate platform on the back end.

Q: How does the affiliate platform on my web site work with the media?

A: The media uses a content tool called Skimlinks, which automates the process of creating commerce links for their stories. As a merchant, the only way to connect with Skimlinks is through an affiliate network. Examples include ShareASale, Impact, Commission Junction, and others.

Q: So I can use any affiliate platform that connects with Skimlinks?

A: No. At this time, the media almost exclusively prefers ShareASale and Impact. Unfortunately this means that even if you already have an affiliate platform in place – even if it connects with Skimlinks! – you must still set up ShareASale and Impact to be considered for earned media coverage.

One big caveat – if you’re only looking for influencer coverage, other affiliate platforms are more widely accepted.

Q: How much does an affiliate platform cost?

A: You can find transparent pricing information clearly on the ShareASale and Impact web sites. Typically, you’ll be paying an upfront fee to get set up, then a percentage of the commission on each sale – a win/win as you start to generate a new revenue stream from affiliate links.

Q: How can I save money on affiliate?

A: If you purchase any affiliate PR service with Resound, we can offer an agency discount on most platform setup fees. We can also refer you to our partners to help maximize your investment through traditional affiliate marketing initiatives like coupons, deals, and more.

Q: Can I set up affiliate myself?

A: Yes! Anyone can sign up as a merchant. Just keep in mind that setting up an affiliate platform for PR or influencer engagement is slightly different than using it for traditional affiliate marketing. Want help? Our affordable setup service will save you time and money.

Q: How quickly will I see press coverage?

A: Remember, affiliate PR is not guaranteed coverage. As with any earned PR, it requires great pitches, timely tie-ins, strong relationships, persistence, and patience! Coverage can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on your product, targets, timing, and other factors.

Q: Does affiliate PR guarantee product sales?

A: Again, there are no guarantees. First and foremost, affiliate PR is an opportunity to earn visibility and credibility from top-tier media. But yes, it can create an additional sales channel that can be tracked back directly to PR, and we have seen some great ROI from that over time. Plus, it’s a foolproof way to generate earned press and influencer placements, without paying for coverage.