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Affiliate Marketing 101: 5 Common Affiliate Publisher Types

Last Modified: February 9, 2023

The affiliate marketing space consists of affiliates and the brands they partner with, dating back to the early days of the internet. Since then, affiliate marketing has exploded in popularity and growth, with 80% of brands using it and a projected $9 billion in affiliate marketing spend expected in 2023 in the US alone, a recent Pushground study reports.

The Abdalslam study found that worldwide affiliate marketing spend is increasing at a 27% compound annual growth rate, with 38% of all marketers saying that affiliate marketing is their top customer acquisition method. 

The 27% compound annual growth rate is impressive when you consider that 10% is regarded as a strong growth rate for most sales channels for small-medium-sized businesses. These astounding affiliate marketing stats show just how critical it is for brands to find the right partners to add to their growing affiliate program.

There’s no one-size-fits-all affiliate partner strategy when it comes to building an affiliate marketing program, as many different affiliate publisher types exist, with each serving a unique purpose. Brands looking to be successful in the highly competitive affiliate marketing space should keep a diversified mix of affiliate publisher types they partner with. 

A notable study by Affise found that an astonishing 94% of marketers are using multiple affiliate marketing networks and affiliate publisher types. Brands should partner with multiple affiliate publisher types to not keep all of their eggs in one basket. Using a healthy mix of affiliate publisher types that uniquely contribute to your brand’s affiliate marketing program hedges against risk and provides you with a safety net should any of them start underperforming.  

This article will walk through all the different affiliate types and how brands can best utilize them to increase their affiliate marketing program’s ROI.

5 Most Common Affiliate Publisher Types

Most common Affiliate publisher types

Bloggers and Content Publishers

Perhaps among the most common publishers are bloggers and content publishers. They focus on creating relevant and valuable content for the niche they specialize in to promote a brand’s product to their audience. As a result, their audience often perceives them as experts in their niche and as they provide valuable research that influences their audience’s purchase behavior. As a result, bloggers and content publishers create a lot of meaningful brand awareness and affiliate revenue for the brands they partner with.

Loyalty and Cashback Publishers

Loyalty and cashback publishers are very popular types of publishers in the affiliate marketing space. They generate their revenue through commissions they receive from affiliate links that users on their sites use to purchase from. Cashback publishers function on a cash reward principle, where they share a portion of their commission revenue with their users. Loyalty publishers operate on a similar principle, but instead of cash offer their users redeemable points that they can use to redeem for other products. As a result, these publishers can create a high volume of affiliate sales for the brands that they partner with.

Shopping Comparison Publishers

Shopping comparison publishers are another popular type of affiliate publisher that helps their users save time and find the best deals on products by comparing products by filtering for price, features, and other search criteria. Brands that partner with shopping comparison sites can significantly scale their affiliate revenue. This is because these sites are deemed trustworthy by their users, and the users often have a very high purchase intent when they use them.

Social Media Publishers

Social media publishers are a highly popular affiliate publisher type and are very similar to bloggers and content publishers in the way they operate. Like bloggers and content publishers, they are content creators but exclusively promote their content through their profiles on social media platforms. They are highly influential and are often perceived as experts by their highly engaged audiences, just like bloggers and content publishers. Brands that partner with social media publishers benefit from high brand awareness in front of highly engaged audiences. 

Email Marketing Publishers

Email marketing publishers are another popular affiliate publisher type that creates customized and highly influential emails that appear to come from the brand. They typically have a robust collection of email databases for different audience types, so they can benefit brands in virtually any industry and increase their brand awareness and drive affiliate conversions. 

The Bottom Line

When choosing which affiliate publisher type to partner with, brands must first set a goal for their affiliate program and define their key performance indicators to determine what affiliate publisher types will help them reach their goals. 

Next, brands need to take a deep dive into their affiliate marketing program to identify which sales provide the most value to their affiliate program. Refersion’s robust affiliate marketing platform, along with its deep expertise and experience in the affiliate marketing space, helps brands decide which affiliate publisher type is best for their brand. Brands looking to partner with the best affiliate publisher types to maximize their affiliate marketing program’s ROI should contact a Refersion expert today.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey