How brands can find successful publisher partners 

Content partnerships should make sense to your brand and align with your content strategy to succeed. Explore how brands and publishers can enter a mutually beneficial collaboration through commerce content and reach broader audiences.

find successful partners
Matt Moore
Matt Moore
Associate Manager of Product Marketing
Read time:6 mins

Commerce content happens when brands like yours partner with publishers to create helpful consumer shopping experiences. Think of publishers as the John Lennon to your Paul McCartney. To serve compelling content to your audience, it needs to be educational and help them through the buyer’s journey. Then they’ll be singing to your tune.

So, what is “commerce content,” you ask? Short answer: a new solution to your problems. According to this 2021 research report, the definition of commerce content is when an independent digital media house publishes content to readers, giving them a deeper look into the products and services the publisher stands by.

How commerce content works

With commerce content, publishers drive higher revenue shares with brands — this motivates them to produce additional content and attract more readers. More than half of brands (56 percent) work with ten or more content publishers — while 18 percent of brands work with one to five publishers.

Through content partnerships, brands work directly with publishers. This alliance is a practical alternative to many ad-tech go-betweens that prevent brands from developing long-term relationships with publishers. 

Direct deals between publishers and brands allow both parties to agree on different payment models for driving traffic to the publisher’s site, such as cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA). These deals open up honest conversations on which goals brands and publishers pay for and at what price. Here you can set expectations and even incentives. 

Any brand will benefit from a publisher partnership — it’s about finding the right fit.

How to find the right publisher to partner with

Think about your audience first before you choose a partner. The right publisher for your brand should: 

  • Connect with your target audience 
  • Send you high-quality traffic
  • Boost your sales

The wrong partner could produce the polar opposite result. Misalignment may cause issues like poorly written or failure to resonate with your audience. This all leads to brand distrust. Consider these tips for finding your perfect publisher partner:  

Showcase data to win over key stakeholders 

Publishers lean towards big brands such as Ulta Beauty and Macy’s for convenience: they carry large quantities of products on hand and can scale fast. So, your brand should highlight the revenue opportunities you could bring to publishers and stand out from the competition.

For instance, your brand recently partnered with a publisher and increased its website traffic by 20 percent with your product. Use this data to entice prospective publishers.

Align your brand goals with the publisher 

When choosing publishers, partner with those who understand and complement your brand values. A new partnership should never compromise the authenticity and integrity of your brand. 

If your brand is about being eco-friendly, you’ll want to align with a publisher promoting the same values. Remember, consumers smell phony from a mile away. When you align on your goals, the content feels authentic to the audience and will ultimately drive higher conversion rates.

Act fast when necessary 

You need a publisher that will quickly adapt to any situation — think of how companies had to pivot during the pandemic. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created a 25 percent increase in digital commerce over one year. Those who quickly moved with the times benefited from this change. The more agile the publisher, the more value they add to your brand. 

Learn how commerce content benefits you during any stage in the consumer journey. Download this ebook — Content Partnerships 101: Why you need commerce content — especially now.

Partner directly with a publisher and reap the rewards 

Publishers see commerce content as a more significant share of overall revenue for brands. They continue to drive growth yearly, and publishing teams benefit from brand partnerships in numerous ways. Here’s how: 

Built-in audience loyalty drives steady revenue 

Publishers create trust with their audiences over time — and you can use this built-in loyalty to your advantage. Get your brand’s products or services in front of people who want them with the right publisher. If you sell CBD oil and partner with a health-related publisher, your product will likely resonate with the audience. 

People rely on publications to provide them with the information they need. Over time, they trust the product recommendations from the publisher. 

Evergreen content brings in leads long after publication

Once-off content is a thing of the past. A well-written piece of content offers helpful advice — and users will keep coming back for more. It serves as evergreen content based on how your publisher presents it. It also brings leads for many months or years after publication. 

Think of it like this, fashion trends come and go, but the classics stick around. A buyer’s guide for everyday items like jeans or shoes is something users will always come back to. Remember, valuable content never goes out of style.

To maintain a “quality check,” brands work with publishers to create content calendars, plan out commerce content initiatives quarters in advance, and generate content with a long shelf-life. Use evergreen content to your advantage — consumers should find it whenever searching for information on a specific product. 

Many publishers use search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure their content reaches the right audience — and inform them on crucial topics to write about. Brands find SEO valuable too. SEO builds your brand trust organically when used right.

Increase brand awareness and guide consumers in the buying process

As an established brand, commerce content opens up a new channel of consumers to your product. Potential consumers may not even know that they need your product, but now that it’s served to them on an authentic, silver platter — how could they resist? 

For products, brands, and companies newer to the market, commerce content provides unique opportunities to level the playing field, generate organic brand awareness, and drive traffic to its website. The right publisher will kickstart your brand awareness and introduce your brand to a broader audience. 

The win-win nature of commerce content partnerships

The relationship between brands and publishers should last long, and you can trust that the benefits will grow over time. Publishers know how to leverage content with brands and deliver exactly what their audiences want. 

In return, brands can grow their revenue and audiences. It’s simply a win-win. The reality is that when your brand partners with a publisher, you’ll achieve more than ever before. Finding the right publisher is crucial for your brand and future growth opportunities. 

That’s not all folks. Check out these additional resources to learn more about commerce content:

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