Affiliate Marketing in PR for Beauty + Fashion Brands


Beauty, fashion, and CPG brands – do you have an affiliate marketing strategy specifically for editorial purposes? If not, you’re missing out on top-tier media coverage.

It might sound extreme, but brands need to prioritize affiliate marketing for powerful media coverage. (They also need to ensure their program is set up to fulfill editor’s needs.) At our beauty and fashion PR agency VLIV Communications, we always advise our clients to join an affiliate program.

What exactly is affiliate marketing? In a nutshell, it’s a program set up through a third party. The merchant (brand) pays out commissions to the publisher (editorial outlet) from special links the editorial outlet uses. The brand joins an afilliate platform (like Impact or ShareASale). They’ll complete the set-up by inputting their products and a commission rate. They then invite editorial outlets to join (or use a subnetwork). The editors now earn commissions on products they recommend in their articles.

The process can vary a bit, particularly if a brand is using it for influencer marketing or customer acquisition. For PR/editorial purposes, though, that’s how it works in a simplified way!

Affiliate marketing isn’t just a “nice-to-have” for PR. It’s a necessity for beauty and fashion brands who desire impactful media coverage.

Why is affiliate marketing so crucial for a long-term PR strategy? Check out our insights and recommendations below.

Why Fashion and Beauty Brands Need Affiliate Marketing in their PR Strategy

Affiliate Marketing Is How Publications Make Money

Sadly, most editors won’t even consider a brand not on an affiliate platform. Advertising no longer rakes in the dollars it used to, so outlets have turned to new ways to make money. Affiliate marketing allows them to earn a commission on items that they recommend. Outlets who run their affiliate programs well can see a substantial lift in revenue.

Customer Acquisition Tool

While having an affiliate program is important for editorial, it can also build visibility in other ways. Having a strong affiliate program can allow influencers you partner with to make money. It can also attract new consumers if the brand and program is attractive enough. You’ll structure a customer or influencer program a bit differently than with editorial, but it’s a great channel to consider.

Get Real-Time Data with Affiliate Marketing

We’re a little obsessed with data at VLIV, and we love seeing what outlets drive the most sales for clients. Affiliate marketing allows brands to gain insight on publications that drive sales, and what products certain audiences gravitate towards.

Do you currently have an affiliate program set up for your business? If not, check out the tools below:

ShareASale:This has an easy set-up, and many publications partner with it. ShareASale is a great option for brands new to affiliate marketing. The rates aren’t outrageous, and once set-up is complete, it’s fairly easy to maintain.

Skimlinks: Most publications aren’t concerned about which program you’re part of, as long as it links to a subnetwork they use. Subnetworks like Skimlinks are free to merchants, and provide clean links to editors so that they don’t have to join each brand’s affiliate program individually.