The advertisers are companies that sell something online. Through their online shops, these companies market products or services. The quantities in sales and revenue differ significantly from each other. There are very small web shops created to serve the online market. They only have a small number of sales a week when it comes to affiliate marketing. However, there are also online shops that sell hundreds of products a day. These are companies that we see daily in the streets, at home on television and on the internet.The purpose of these companies is to maximize sales and therefore generate more online visitors. Each shop has its own audience. Some people view the site several times, but how can these online companies approach new consumers and make more sales? Answer: through other websites.
Reaching new target groups
Imagine that each site has its own audience. Besides their own audience, companies advertising on those sites can then reach these other audiences as well. That is why advertisers use publishers for marketing. It gives them the opportunity to reach new target groups and consumers by making use of the audience of other websites. The purpose of web shops is to generate sales and leads. Don’t confuse these two – these are two different things. A 'sale' refers to the sale of a product or service. By ‘lead’ we mean: registration for a shop, a newsletter, but also a request for an insurance quote or anything of that matter. Concluding we can state that publishers give advertisers a greater online reach and generate sales and leads through their websites for advertisers. In the next section we will elaborate on what types of publishers are out there, but first we want to give you an example of a collaboration between a publisher and an advertiser.
In this example, a pump can be found on the website of shopstyle.com. shopstyle.com is a publisher website with a list of many different products that belong to the category of 'fashion'. On the website of shopstyle.com the consumer sees pumps offered online by Hugo Boss. If the consumer likes the pumps and decides to click on them, she/he will be directed through to the website of Hugo Boss. If the consumer ends up buying the pumps, the publisher has fulfilled its role of promoting Hugo Boss and sending customers to their site. The publisher will be rewarded by Hugo Boss for his efforts. In this case the publisher will earn a percentage of the price paid by the consumer to the advertiser.
An affiliate network fulfills several roles. First, an affiliate network acts as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers. Advertisers get access to a network of publishers and vice versa. This means that the network provides opportunities for advertisers to advertise on other sites and conversely, publishers can promote different advertisers on their site.
The system of an affiliate network acts as a platform where advertisers and publishers can find each other. For example, a publisher can sign up for a program and, after approval by the advertiser, make use of the online advertising material. Through the network, publishers are also notified when new campaigns and promotions of advertisers start. Moreover, the network provides the opportunity for advertisers and publishers to monitor their performance. The network plays an important role in measuring all clicks and post-click activity. The sales that are generated are linked back to the last click (on the site of a publisher). The publisher is then rewarded for its promotional activity. The performance of both parties is reflected in the statistics, through the platform of the affiliate network. This allows publishers to see exactly how much traffic (in clicks) they generated to the web shop of an advertiser and how many sales ensue from this traffic. Conversely, advertisers can see how much traffic from publishers is sent to their site, and how many sales ensue from this traffic. Finally, the publishers are compensated for the promotional activities on their site.
In the previous paragraph it has become clear that the publishers are active on the internet and that their websites form the basis of their online activities. Publishers have their own audiences. For example fashion bloggers have a completely different audience than a comparable website. However, it is not unusual that these groups may overlap. The objectives of publishers can also differ depending on the type of website. For example, fashion bloggers aim to inform their followers about the latest trends in fashion. A comparison site aims to improve the online shopping experience for consumers.