Securing the foundations of the affiliate channel

Content publishers are a highly sought after commodity, ranked as the second most valuable affiliate type in this year’s IAB UK Affiliate and Partnerships Buyers’ Survey.

They are also the most prevalent – by far, around 60% of new publishers joining Awin’s affiliate network fall into the “content” classification. While this seems like the recipe for success, the reality can be a little different. Turning a nascent publisher account into a profitable and profitable operation takes a lot of work and time; content creation, user acquisition, marketing, not to mention the technical preparation and understanding needed to build traceable links and find suitable partners and products to promote. For a typical content publisher who lacks technical knowledge, the latter usually presents the biggest hurdle.

In an earlier era of affiliate marketing, this was not too much of a problem. The links used by Awin, like other networks, have a logical structure, once understood the creation is quite simple.

Making affiliate marketing easier is a mantra that many in the industry have pursued to make the channel as accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Over time, Awin created additional link generation tools to automate the process.

While this type of link is still valid, Safari’s introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in 2017 set the industry on a new path when it comes to user privacy and tracking techniques.

With Chrome and Firefox following suit and the rise of privacy-focused browsers like Brave, the affiliate industry has experienced a tech boom as service providers have no choice but to adapt to changing market conditions. follow-up or die. Previously, the last major milestone in tracking was cross-device tracking, in 2014. This in turn boosted affiliates with a large mobile-first audience, typically social media and content affiliates.

The future?

However, in the last few years alone, tracking technologies have been continually and more frequently updated and scalable to remain viable in this developing environment.

The future of affiliate tracking technology is secure with plug and play solutions that remove reliance on cookies, or more complex server-to-server (API) tracking that bypass browser technology entirely.

Naturally, these advances require deeper integration with publishers; The latest Awin tracking, for example, is only available through our main tag solution which requires adding JavaScript to a website’s template files. However, there are clear benefits to these deeper and more complex integrations as they not only provide more tracking, but they also reduce page load times for consumers, which in turn increases conversions.

However, the Publisher MasterTag is not just a means of tracking, but allows the Affiliate Channel to rethink the reach of Affiliate Partners and the solutions available to them.

The growing ecosystem of partners and technology solutions transforms the affiliate channel into its next phase of development.

Rather than the flow of publisher-network-advertiser relationships, a new layer of technology solutions is transforming the way affiliate marketing is positioned beyond cost per acquisition of the last click. Think of technology that increases cart revenue or recommends products, allowing publishers and advertisers to optimize their traffic and their customer journeys.

In addition to third-party companies, new network technologies can be enabled and plugged in, such as disclosure tools and automatic link generators.

As we move towards this greater scope of tracking, we need to ensure that affiliates are able to navigate the technical waters to take advantage of all available solutions.

If you want to know more about these types of solutions, we are launching three tutorial sites specifically dedicated to publishers using the Square space, Wix and WordPress platforms, with educational webinars this month.

About William Stockman

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