If Content is King, Content Monitoring is Your Knight In Shining Armor
As the affiliate channel continues to evolve and diversify, content–everything from blogs and newsletters to product reviews and social media–is quickly becoming a mainstay of affiliate programs, across every vertical and every industry. In fact, content and blogs currently generate nearly 40% of affiliate publisher commissions in the United States.
Not only does content work to establish trust with your potential customers, but it can also be extremely influential in their decision to ultimately make a purchase. But it takes more than engaging content to make that happen. The truth is, there are a lot of moving parts behind every successful piece of content like optimized keywords, ironclad terms and conditions, and above all, content marketing.
Why Do I Need to Monitor My Content If I’ve Vetted My Publishers?
Without a doubt, recruiting and vetting quality publishers that are right for your brand is a crucial step in any partnership, but it is only the first step towards maximizing your return on investment.
- What if an affiliate isn’t adhering to your agreed-upon terms and conditions?
- What if an affiliate forgets to include a mandatory Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosure?
- What if an affiliate isn’t promoting your brand properly or using incorrect terms and keywords?
The only way to know if any of these things are going on is if you are actively monitoring your content across the entire affiliate landscape. Yes, even content produced by quality publishers who have a proven track record. After all, not every violation is nefarious in nature. Some result from innocent mistakes, but regardless, the penalties can be the same.
Simply put, if you’re not monitoring your content daily, weekly, and monthly, what you don’t know could cost you–big time.
Just How High Are the Stakes?
These days, illegal behavior–such as deceptive claims, hidden fine-print disclosures, and confusing terms–comes with serious repercussions like $40,000-per-day fines and permanent business closures.
It’s also important to remember that every unmonitored piece of content poses a potential risk to your brand integrity, as well. For instance, if your brand ends up on an affiliate site that is featuring disparaging content or content that doesn’t align with your values, your reputation could take a real hit. And we all know that brand integrity is the gateway to converting leads into customers and customers into advocates who will shape and grow your business.
At the very least, an inconsistent representation of your brand can create confusion and distrust in the marketplace and that, too, can seriously interfere with your ability to expand your business.
Is It Possible to Monitor My Content Manually?
It would be very difficult to manually monitor all content on all sites across the entire affiliate landscape.
Manually monitoring content is a full-time job. Seriously. It requires constant attention. Bottom line? As your affiliate program grows, manual monitoring is not sustainable.
Also, keep in mind that content monitoring isn’t just about looking for suspicious or illegal activity. It’s also about proactively looking for new content opportunities that you maybe don’t even know exist.
What’s the Best Way to Monitor My Content?
Often, the easiest and most cost-effective solution is to work with an experienced team that has the expertise, relationships, and technology needed to protect your investment. PartnerCentric is the only agency in the industry that combines award-winning account management with our proprietary software tools that we call Control Suite.
How Does Control Suite Work?
Control Suite’s Content Monitoring tool provides a detailed, real-time picture of your live content, broken down by individual URLs, across the entire affiliate space.
Control Suite’s Content Monitoring enables us to:
- Monitor for compliance issues across the affiliate channel
- Monitor the affiliate landscape for violations of set terms and conditions
- Gain invaluable insight into competitor advertising offers and promotional tactics
- Proactively find new content opportunities
- Optimize brand performance and return on investment
For one client, our content violation tool discovered that 23% of violations were caused by partners posting outdated offers. For another, we identified 105 regulatory violations, potentially saving our client hundreds of thousands in potential FTC fines.
Control Suite’s Content Monitoring can also be completely customized to your specific needs. For example, one of our insurance clients was very concerned about the use of the word “guarantee” on certain publisher pages. Control Suite allowed us to identify every publisher–and every individual URL–in the channel using that word and then drill down even further to determine which competitors were mentioned on those pages. That intel gave us the ability to take action upon specific URLs for inclusion, exclusion, or correction for something not in compliance.
Want more info about protecting your brand in the affiliate channel? Download our FREE Brand Integrity Ebook to learn more about how Control Suite can help protect your investment–and your reputation–and maximize your return.