This article is cross-posted from Adrants where it was originally posted by Steven Hall. Guest author, Josh Jaffe, is the VP of Business Development here at VigLink.
Conde Nast’s recent announcement to merge Lucky Magazine with BeachMint, an online retailer, follows the relaunch of Domino Magazine, another Conde property, as an e-commerce store. The New York media giant isn’t the only one blurring the line between content and commerce. Meredith, Thrillist and Gawker are other prominent publishers investing considerable resources in commerce.
Despite these initiatives, commerce-based revenue remains a largely untapped growth opportunity for digital media companies. Display, native and video are the primary drivers of online publishing revenue. Yet, commerce holds the potential to generate a revenue boost of at least 10% with limited investment.
Fashion bloggers have been at the forefront of the move to incorporate commerce as a meaningful line of revenue. These writers leverage their influence to drive loyal readers from their site to buy a product from an online retailer they have a commission agreement with. They’ve recently expanded to capture purchase intent on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and even YouTube.
Via its acquisition of ShopNation in 2012, Meredith is experimenting with on-site purchase as a means of driving commerce-based revenue. Men’s style publisher, Thrillist, earns most of its revenue from its JackThreads unit, the online retailer it purchased in 2010. Most publishers, though, don’t need to initiate their move into commerce by selling products direct to consumers. Gawker committed to commerce accounting for 10% of their total revenue in 2012 and achieved it last year without selling goods directly from its sites.
To start reaping commerce-based revenue, content must be created with purchase in mind. This is a natural fit for vertically oriented publishers. A technology site promotes deals at an online retailer. An outdoors publisher creates a product guide for camping or skiing. Broader media sites covering news or entertainment can also capture reader purchase intent by featuring travel deals, digital goods or style guides. Stories can be created by existing writers, non-editorial staff or a content agency trained to link story product references to online retailers.
Creating content with the intention of sending readers off-site to an online retailer may seem antithetical to product gurus charged with increasing site engagement. But, creating content that readers find useful and in tune with the brands and products they love actually boosts user loyalty and return visits.
The benefits are clear. The new found revenue is completely additive to the current revenue mix of display, native and video. It is less subject to economic downturns as advertisers are more willing to maintain budgets when spend is tied directly to revenue. And commerce-based revenue generates a predictable return on investment because revenue levers up in direct relation to the amount of content created and the audience pushed to that content.
While publishers keep mobile, social, programmatic and native top of mind, adding commerce as a core editorial and monetization strategy can yield an entirely new, meaningful line of revenue in 2015.
Written by Josh Jaffe, VP of Business Development at VigLink
Tags: AdRants, advertisers, best pratice, digital media, ecommerce, editorial, Merchants, Monetization, publishers, tech Posted in Content-Driven Commerce, Publisher Best Practices
The VigLink Merchant Team is ending the week with some great new merchants added and preferred rates secured with several existing merchants. We do it for you, our proficient publishers!
We’re eager to announce that the following merchants have agreed to raise the commission rates they offer to VigLink publishers, to help you maximize revenue.
Yoox.com is a leading multi-brand site for fashion and design. Browse by category, design or even trends to see the latest and greatest from designers like Chloe, Valentino and Lanvin.
Diesel is famous for denim, but they offer so much more, including eyewear, watches and footwear. Help your readers step their style up with styles for men, women and children.
Magazines.com is the oldest, the largest and the most dependable magazine subscription service on the Internet. With thousands of magazines, calendars and books on sale every day, Magazines.com offers great deals at discounted prices.
Since 1996, Birthday in a Box has helped parents host memorable, affordable, fun and educational parties. They know how time-consuming it can be to put together a birthday party, so they deliver high-quality, birthday party favors, supplies, piñatas and personalized items.
Wholesale Halloween Costumes is the world’s newest and most exciting costume and accessory retailer. They offer the same great costumes sold everywhere else at low wholesale prices all year-round with no membership fees.
Adobe’s product suite is expansive, and includes products you know and love like Photoshop and Digital Publishing Suite. Now, get Lightroom 4 for only $99 when purchased with Photoshop.
FanswithPride.com boasts a plethora of products for sports fans. Until October 31st, they’re offering 10% off all NFL merchandise. Use code 10NFLFWP at checkout.
LimogesJewelry.com offers affordable, personalized jewelry and gifts for every stage of your life; including class rings, couples jewelry, engagement and wedding rings, family jewelry and more! Every item can be one-of-a-kind with engraved messages, names, and birthstones at no additional cost.
We’re always adding new merchants. Please join us in welcoming the latest merchants:
Bodie and FOU
Tags: Merchants Posted in Merchant Happenings
At VigLink, we work hard to capture all the value publishers are providing when they choose to link out to a particular merchant. That’s why our Merchant Team is focused on increasing the commissions from our 30,000+ merchants. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that social shopping pioneer OpenSky has agreed to offer VigLink publishers an extremely attractive rate.
OpenSky provides a shopping experience that matches your individual taste with the exceptional finds of industry insiders like Bethenny Frankel and Bobby Flay. From beauty to electronics to home goods, OpenSky offers excellent products recommended by the people who know them best.
Here are a few of the fantastic products OpenSky’s curators recommend:
Shea Terra Chocolate and Bananas Exfoliating Body Creme Bundle
Endorsed by Sophie Uliano
PowerCube Emergency Lighting and Charging System
Endorsed by Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson
Layer Cake Slicing Kit
Endorsed by Buddy Valastro
Take a moment to explore the wide variety of products that OpenSky features. You’re sure to find a huge array of interesting and unique products that will spark your readers’ interest (and maybe even inspire them to buy).
Whitney Smith, VigLink Marketing Communications Manager
Tags: Merchant Happenings, Merchants Posted in Merchant Happenings
We’re always working to increase the value of VigLink to our publishers. Between adding new merchants every week (we’re now well over 30,000) and working directly with existing merchants to bring preferred rates, publishers can be confident that VigLink has developed a world-class network of merchants.
We’re happy to announce the following merchants have agreed to offer higher commission rates to VigLink publishers. Consider linking to the following merchants to maximize your earnings:
From beauty to fashion to home decor, AhaLife has it all, and their products are curated by global tastemakers like Donna Karan and Tim Gunn. AhaLife is a discovery destination where you can learn about and purchase items from all over the world.
It’s that time again – Halloween costumes and candy are around the corner, and Costume Discounters has everything you need for a ghoulish good time. You’ll find popular characters and themes, as well as new costumes for 2012 here. There’s a costume for just about everyone!
Beauty from Provence? Don’t mind if we do. L’Occitane’s skincare, haircare and fragrance for both men and women will have you coming back for more. Visit their website to see what people are saying about products like their Immortelle Precious Serum.
TheOutNet is the ultimate in chic designer shopping at a discount. It’s been raved about by magazines like Marie Claire and Lucky. It’s a vibrant, fun destination for the global sale shopper.
It’s always nice when you get more without doing more. Enjoy!
Each month we take a look at a few of our favorite VigLink merchants as part of our Spotlight on the Merchants series. In our July edition, we share a few of our favorite merchants for finding that perfect summer outfit, tune, or activity.
Each of these merchants is an eligible VigLink merchant, which means if you are a VigLink user and send traffic to any of these sites that results in a sale, you’ll get paid! When you are creating content centered around summer, consider linking to these merchants when you reference products and services.
Roses are red, violets are blue, someone deserves flowers – how about you? 1-800flowers.com is a family-owned business that arranges flowers individually for every joyful recipient. The person on the receiving end is sure to have a brightened day with one of these beautiful bouquets. This month, check out the discounts on summer bouquets – some even come with a free vase!
Did you take a trip around the world this summer? We didn’t either. Teavanna.com can help transport you around the world with their delicious exotic iced teas collection. Be sure to take a peek at the various teapots, cups and infusers from their sale selection.
Looking for something unique to add to your life? SSENSE.com has over 1,000 sales items for men and women ranging from luggage, sunglasses and shoes to jewelry, ties, and jumpsuits. They have tons of items at 50% off and offer free shipping on orders $200 or more within the U.S. There is something for every reader at this e-retailer.
Summer is the time when friends and family get together for the holidays, take fun trips, and spend quality time together in the sun. Why not capture those moments for only $60.99 using this camera from DinoDirect.com? DinoDirect.com is currently having their 3 Year Anniversary sale where you’ll find electronics, car accessories, sporting goods, toys & hobbies, clothing and shoes and much more, all at fantastic prices.
Tags: Merchants Posted in Company Milestones
Each month we take a look at a few of our favorite VigLink merchants as part of our Spotlight on the Merchants series. In our June edition, we share a few of our favorite merchants for finding that perfect summer outfit, tune, or activity.
For readers with an eye for Vintage, Nasty Gal has a great selection of vintage inspired swimwear and other summer essentials. When you are creating content around summer styles and fashion, be sure to include links to Nasty Gal’s fun summer items.
When you are creating content around electronics or gadgets that can enhance your day by the pool or beach, Newegg has you covered. For readers who will be spending their summers poolside, Newegg offers portable speakers, mp3 players, and waterproof cameras, all at great prices.
Groupon is your readers’ source for budget conscious summer fun: they offer exclusive deals for everything from international travel to summer snacks. When you are pulling together lists for summer deals or sharing tips for how to save money as the weather warms, consider featuring one or more Groupon deals in the mix.
iTunes.com is a great place to link to when discussing the best summer music, movies, apps and more. When writing content about the music for your summer party, iTunes will always have a great selection of tunes that will suit your needs.
While Zappos is certainly known for its infinite array of shoes, they also have an excellent selection of clothing, beauty products, accessories and more. When writing posts about the perfect pair of summer sandals, make sure to also include the the bathing suits and beach towels they also offer.
Tags: Merchants Posted in Merchant Spotlight
LinkShare, one of the world’s most recognized names in affiliate marketing program management, has just announced their Golden Link Award Finalists for 2012 and we’re pleased to have been short listed for the Innovative Publisher of the Year award!
VigLink is not your average publisher — we are partnered with thousands of forums, blogs, social discovery sites and editorial sites focused on everything from coin collecting to Volkswagon cars. It provides us with a unique opportunity to help a network’s merchants reach highly-targeted audiences that it can be difficult to market to via traditional affiliate marketers.
For those interested, below is a little bit more detail on how we partnered more deeply with LinkShare and our innovative approach to increasing revenue for their merchant partners.
Our objective with LinkShare over the past 12 months has been two-fold:
Our strategy centered heavily around recruiting a very specific type of publisher, one that wasn’t already working with LinkShare, but could still be a value add to the network.
Publishers were typically non-affiliates, whose sites were focused on a niche topic and whose site format was either a blog or forum, rather than a traditional affiliate site. The long-tail strategy was implemented via the customer success, marketing, and business development teams at VigLink.
The results have been great so far: VigLink is on track to drive a 240% increase in the revenue we generate for LinkShare this year versus last year!
We can’t wait for the awards ceremony on June 26, 2012 in New York City to see who wins. Our CEO, Oliver Roup, along with our merchant relationship manager, Mika Uehara will be on hand to root on the other finalists in-person at the luncheon (and are looking forward to seeing and catching up with some of you in New York!).
Tags: Merchants Posted in Merchant Best Practices, Merchant Spotlight, Re-Inventing Affiliate Marketing
Each month we take a look at a few of our favorite VigLink merchants as part of our Spotlight on the Merchants series. In our May edition, we share a few of our favorite merchants for finding that perfect Mother’s Day gift (Mother’s Day is May 15th).
Each of these merchants is an eligible VigLink merchant, which means if you are a VigLink user and send traffic to any of these sites that results in a sale, you’ll get paid! When you are creating content centered around Mother’s Day, consider linking to these merchants when you reference products and services.
SpaFinder.com is your source for spa, travel, and wellness experiences worldwide. A perfect resource to find a great spa gift certificate for Mom this year.
For the Mothers that double as wine lovers, Wine.com offers a comprehensive selection of fine and bargain wines — and they ship across the United States!
With free shipping and free 30-day returns, Jewelry.com makes jewelry shopping for Moms, wives, and significant others low-risk and hassle free.
Whether it be a perfect print, customized coffee mug, photo book, or tote, Shutterfly offers a world of ways to share your picture perfect memories as a gift that Mom is sure to love.
For the coffee drinkers, CoffeesofHawaii.com offers a large selection of gourmet coffee beans. Readers will be sure to fine just the right selection for the Mom in their lives.
KitchenandMuchMore.com offers a full selection of kitchenware, gadgets — even kitchen storage and furniture. The perfect spot to find that perfect gift for the culinary whiz in your life.
This post is a short recap by Erin Mead, Affiliate Manager at VigLink, of LinkShare Symposium West.
Last week I had the pleasure of heading out to San Francisco for LinkShare Symposium West — the event is hosted by LinkShare as a way to bring the organization’s merchants, publishers, agencies and team together. Not only was it a great opportunity to skip out on the chilly Chicago weather for a few days, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, these types of events are a great opportunity to stay connected with our top merchants and strengthen relationships with new ones. I was also able to meet with our LinkShare account manager in-person for the first time. It is amazing how a face-to-face meeting really helps build the relationship.
Though the event is just a couple of days, it is packed with great sessions and amazing keynote speakers. Not to mention a multitude of meetings! I’m excited about what the coming months hold with each of the merchants I sat down with and finding innovative ways to grow our partnership with each.
The event wound-down with a cocktail hour at The Tonga Room. It was my first time at the venue and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be telling my friends to stop by for a drink the next time they are in town!
All together it was a great week! I’m already looking forward to next time –
Erin Mead | Affiliate Manager | VigLink
Tags: LinkShare, LinkShare Symposium West, Merchants, Monetization, Partnerships, San Francisco Posted in News and Updates, Relevant Reading