As part of its Affiliate Intelligence Platform and vision, Rakuten Advertising, the top global affiliate marketing network, announced that it will introduce Partnership Discovery, its newest artificial intelligence (AI) investment, at Affiliate Summit West 2024 in Las Vegas. By matching advertisers with the most productive publisher partners, this state-of-the-art artificial intelligence tool has the potential to completely change the industry by increasing audience engagement and revenue like never before.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), Partnership Discovery assists advertisers in finding the best publisher partner for product-specific affiliate campaigns that increase audience engagement and revenue. Presenting advertisers with the qualities of their audience—for which they can produce better results—will also help publishers.
Partnership Discovery powered by AI
AI is being used by Partnership Discovery, a crucial part of Rakuten Advertising’s Affiliate Intelligence platform, to transform affiliate marketing innovation. To maximize audience engagement and generate more revenue streams for product-specific affiliate campaigns, the tool offers cutting-edge features that assist advertisers in finding the best publisher partners.
Rakuten Advertising’s Affiliate Intelligence platform includes Partnership Discovery, a crucial element that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to transform affiliate marketing innovation. To help advertisers find the best publisher partners for product-specific affiliate campaigns and guarantee maximum audience engagement and increased revenue streams, the tool introduces cutting-edge features.
AI for affiliate marketing
As the vanguard of Rakuten Advertising’s Affiliate Intelligence platform, Partnership Discovery reimagines the affiliate marketing landscape by utilizing artificial intelligence’s transformative power. With the help of this cutting-edge tool, advertisers will be able to choose the best publisher partners for affiliate campaigns that are tailored to individual products, which will ultimately result in higher audience engagement and more revenue streams.
What does Partnership Discovery offer?
Partnership Discovery can:
- Accurately tag the advertiser’s product with a category from among the more than 6000 Google Product Taxonomy categories.
- Use the Rakuten Advertising network to sift through hundreds of millions of sales each year to determine which publishers are performing the best in that particular product category.
- Provide advertisers with a range of search terms and categories to choose from to identify the best publisher partners to reach consumers across product and category levels.
In an increasingly data-rich digital environment, Partnership Discovery is an efficient light. Through a painstaking process of sorting through hundreds of millions of sales per year across the Rakuten Advertising network, the tool finds publishers that routinely provide superior performance in particular product categories. With this fine-grained approach, advertisers can confidently choose publishers whose performance history matches their campaign goals by making data-driven decisions. Here, the focus is not only on reaching a large audience but also on fostering collaboration to produce the greatest outcomes.
Filtering search results
Users will be able to filter search results by the following to further refine Partnership Discovery search results and guarantee an advertiser finds the best publisher partners:
Category Sales Ratio
Find out what proportion of sales for products in a given category are influenced by a publisher that is recommended.
Use publisher classification (e.g., Silver, Gold, Platinum, etc.) to narrow down results for “top performers” in the Rakuten Advertising publisher network.
You can filter publishers based on what kind of content and price comparison sites, coupon and cashback publishers, or publishers that best suit the needs of individual advertisers.
To maximize reach, reach new audiences, or reconnect with devoted customers, filter by publisher status to find new publisher partners or re-engage current partners.
AI utilization for Advertisers
Simply put, Partnership Discovery is a strategic ally that helps advertisers navigate the tricky terrain of affiliate marketing rather than just a tool. Through the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) and unparalleled control and customization, this innovative solution enables advertisers to engage with their target audience more deeply and make meaningful and profitable partnerships with each campaign.
Partnership Discovery Key Benefits
Partnership Discovery, an AI-powered tool from Rakuten Advertising, has the potential to completely change the way that publishers and advertisers interact. This cutting-edge tool has the potential to completely change the affiliate sales landscape by making it easier for advertisers to interact with their target markets and improve their sales tactics.
Data-driven decision making
Partnership Discovery explores the vast amount of data available within the Rakuten Advertising network, going beyond traditional methods. Through painstakingly sorting through hundreds of millions of sales per year, the tool finds publishers who routinely outperform competitors in particular product categories. With the help of data-driven decision-making, advertisers can select publishers who have a track record of fostering productive partnerships and producing successful campaign results.
Here’s what they said
Nick Stamos, CEO of Rakuten Advertising said,
The launch of Partnership Discovery will bring Rakuten Advertising’s vision for Affiliate Intelligence to life. By pairing advanced AI with deep insights into the affiliate landscape, we can cultivate stronger strategic collaborations between advertisers and publishers. Not only will AI help advertisers discover new, high-performing publisher partners, but it can help them re-engage with existing partners in new and innovative ways. We will continue to innovate in service of our Affiliate Intelligence initiative to deliver advertiser and publisher solutions that are performance-driven and anchored in meaningful, innovative partnerships.
- Affiliate marketing and paid advertising are one of the top revenue sources but the real bread and butter of influencer income is brand sponsorships reveals a survey of 69 digital stars by Influencer.co
- The survey results were gathered at the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic that has changed the consumer and digital landscape.
- The result highlighted that influencers have diversified income sources and can help them earn even in an economic downturn.
A goal is a dream with a deadline.
– Napoleon Hill
Making a living out of online business is a dream that is now achievable. For many, it is a dream turned reality but with a fair share of struggles. A survey of 69 influencers conducted earlier this year by influencer platform Influence.co highlighted myriad ways available for creators to make big money in 2020.
The results gathered before the pandemic outbreak reveals Brand sponsorship as the top moneymaker with 78% of creators calling it the main source of income. 58% of creators highlight paid advertising like YouTube AdSense also amongst the top three sources of income. However, this category has been dropped off recently as advertiser demand has run down due to the pandemic.
However, influencers have leaned on alternate revenue streams and moved away from sponsored posts as brands have paused/postponed influencer campaigns in 2020. 41% of survey respondents have named commission-based revenue as a key income driver followed by affiliate marketing (39%). Respondents also pointed to physical merchandise (26%) as one of the top income sources.
These are income sources where influencers are paid a fee for e-commerce sales that they drive from their social accounts.
Below is the breakdown of income sources that is listed by influencers as primary revenue sources in the survey.
1. Brand Sponsorships (78%)
78% of influencers surveyed listed brand sponsorships as a primary source of income.
H&M has the largest followings as women reflect H&M style all by themselves as a part of the influencer campaign. H&M partnered for its fall 2017 collection with two influencers -fashion blogger Julie Sariñana and model Ela Velden. Sariñana promoted the clothes on her own Instagram account as she loved them.
Brand sponsorships are mostly sponsored posts on social platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. The most reliable way of making money and the main source of income has taken a hit in the last few months mainly because:
- Advertisers have trimmed their budget to save costs.
- Brands are facing economic headwinds caused by the pandemic.
As reported by Business Insider, the frequency of sponsored posts has dropped down on Instagram and 22% of creators have lowered their rates due to slow demand.
As this category is affected by the economic downturn, brands are partnering with influencers to conduct live streaming as consumers at-home interest in real-time videos have spiked.
2. Paid Ads (58%)
The second-highest source of income listed by influencers in the survey with 58%.
Influencers can directly earn through ads that play in their videos across platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
Instagram says that Live creators have seen a 70% increase in video views during the pandemic. It now prepares to launch new tools that enable video creators to earn money that includes badges that viewers can purchase during Live Instagram videos and the introduction of IGTV ads.
YouTube’s Partner Program allows influencers to earn money by placing ad breaks within the content on their channel. Ad revenue earned directly through Google placed ads is the main source of revenue and the rate YouTube pays creators depends on factors like video watch time. And viewer demographics. And if a video climbs millions of views then creators receive a big check from YouTube.
For instance, YouTube creator Groth told Business Insider that normally his channel earns $9 and $12 for every 1,000 views. BI also reported that YouTube creators earned from $3600 to $40,000 off a video with 1 million views.
3. Commissions (41%) and affiliate marketing (39%)
Affiliate marketing has been a popular source of income for influencers and 41% of influencers surveyed pointed out commission on sales as a top source of income.
Another popular revenue source for influencers.- fashion and lifestyle influencers on Instagram, Tech reviewers on YouTube, and media publishers like The New York Times that generates affiliate income on its review site, The Wirecutter.com
In this type of arrangement, creators can earn a commission on sales made through a promotional code and affiliate marketing where they promote products with a trackable link.
In March 2020, the category saw a rise in revenue as many companies shifted their focus to e-commerce sales due to lockdown policies whereas April was a mixed bag as some brands like Walmart, Victoria Secret suspended their services.
4. Event Appearances (29%)
Event Appearances and Speaking engagements are big revenue streams for some YouTube creators who have diversified their businesses.
A recent college grad and YouTube creator Ruby Asabor (170,000 subscribers) have presented for events of universities like NYU and Rutgers in the US. She is a motivational speaker and recently many events and tours have been canceled owing to the pandemic. She explains in her video how the business has changed due to coronavirus and events are postponed.
5. Physical- Merchandise sales (26%)
26% of the influencers points out physical merchandise sales as a source of revenue. The ‘merch’ trend has picked up in recent years. While some have built online direct sales to consumers and others have partnered with retailers like Walmart and others.
Blippi is a popular YouTube star who makes educational videos and has more than 21 million subscribers. The man behind the creation is Stevin John. Recently, Jazwares LLC which makes toys has created a line of items “My Buddy Blippi” which includes figures, plush toys, and toy vehicles. It aims at helping children count or learn colors by putting accessories inside numbered or colored boxes. The products will be released through Walmart and Amazon.
The North Start for the toy industry is Ryan Kaji, an 8-year-old who is the face of YouTube channel ‘Ryan’s World.’ According to Pocket. Watch, retail sales for Ryan-branded products had hit $200 million in 2019.
6. Digital Product Sales (16%):
Fitness influencers on Instagram and YouTube witnessed a spike in engagement and direct-to-consumer sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many fitness influencers sell fitness digital membership programs in the form of app or classes or websites. For instance, Rachel Brathen, aka Yoga Girl, is a Swedish yoga teacher and a New York Times’ best-selling author. She leverages her Instagram account to preach and encourages yoga lifestyle and sell classes from anywhere in the world.
As reported by Business Insider, a fashion stylist, and influencer, Audree Kate Lopez has nearly 30,000 followers and conducts an online course Fashion Fundamentals for college students.
7. Followers donations(6%)
Many influencers receive donations or gifts via live streaming through membership platforms and social media platforms respectively. Take a look:
- Influencers receive donations from followers through Patreon or Buy me Coffee.
- TikTok, Twitch also has features to donate to influencers in real-time.
- In April, Facebook announced the rollout of its star monetization program, where fans can send virtual stars to a live-streaming creator worth $0.01 each.
- YouTube content company launched the “FBE Super” Membership program using Patreon’s Memberful platform. It offers three paid tiers for fans to contribute either $5,$10, or $15 a month to receive exclusive live streams, discounts, or an opportunity to be cast in episodes.