Last Thursday the Rakuten Marketing team were joined by leading retailers and content publishers at Mon Bijou, in Melbourne’s Flinders Lane for an evening of Cocktails & Content. Taking place at sunset with views of the Melbourne skyline, guest settled in with cocktails in hand to hear about the latest innovations in affiliate and content marketing.

Rakuten Marketing Director of Publisher Development, Camille Mandray, lead attendees through the evolution of content publishers within the affiliate space. Ranging from bloggers and influencers crafting bespoke pieces and leveraging social media, to large internationally recognised media houses and magazines, the broad landscape of content is consistently changing and somewhere in the sea of information are brands.

Whilst traditional forms of advertising continue to play an important role in the marketing mix, the digital evolution has certainly changed things. Brands are now asking themselves, how do we reach people via billboards, when they have their eyes glued to their phones? How do we ensure consumers don’t get lost between reading a great post about a brand, and then trying to find the product within a brands own ecommerce environment?

The answer is via content and by making content in all its form work for the individual brand.

Camille highlighted how Rakuten Marketing has worked as a bridging party between brands and their content affiliates for many years and has recognised that there is somewhat of a disconnect between the two. A great article in a magazine doesn’t always lead to an immediate sale, meaning a publisher isn’t always rewarded for the part they play in driving conversions.

There is however, a great opportunity for brands and content affiliates to make their invaluable partnerships better work.  This can be done by redefining success and better incentivising content affiliates.

Success is often calculated by the number of likes, comments, shares, clicks and of course sales generated. This is a great way to measure how people are interacting with a brand, although it doesn’t always reflect the true success of a campaign. Further to this, in the affiliate world, it doesn’t always result in content affiliates being rewarded for their work.

Content is used a place of discovery. Consumers are turning to Instagram and other social media sites to discover new products and brands, however, the current attribution model for affiliate sees publishers rewarded on a last click-basis. By introducing a multi-touch commissioning structure, cost-per-link or flat fee placements, brands can reward publishers for the role they play in the conversion journey and ensure content affiliates are compensated for their valuable contribution.

Following the presentation, Camille was joined by Verity Beard – Head of Affiliate Marketing, Allure Media, Cameron Lawson – Head of Digital and CRM, Forever New, James Gibson – eCom Operations and CRM Manager, Jeanswest, and Fashion and Lifestyle Influencer Chloe Ting for an All-Star panel discussing how brands and affiliates can further strengthen relationships. The evening concluded with Rakuten Marketing MD, JJ Eastwood hosting a round of trivia!

View all the event photos at our Facebook page!

Missed out on attending our Cocktails & Content event and want to find out more? Reach out to us here!