The Versa team had a great time at the AWIN and ShareaSale ThinkTank affiliate conference in Chicago this week! There was a fantastic keynote talk by Connor Begley from The topic was EMV (earned media value) and it being a significant metric predictor of the future sales growth of a company. Essentially, saying that the more people talking about you now vs. previously (whether repeat or net new publishers/influencers) is the best metric to predict future sales. It was a good reminder of tremendous value the affiliate channel brings outside of sales.

This sentiment was echoed by Alexandra Forsch, President Americas at AWIN, in her discussion about the state of affiliate and direction of the ShareaSale and AWIN networks.  In her talk she spoke about advocating for the channel and educating on the value affiliate partnerships can bring in addition to sales.

Both Alexandra and Conor were spot on.  In channel held to a performance standard of sales it can be difficult for brands to get excited about non sales metrics. As an advocate for the affiliate channel, it’s important to remind our brand partners to attach the added value of views, impressions, clicks, share of voice and earned media to affiliate marketing.  When viewing the channel, it just makes sense to give credit to the KPIs that other internal marketing channels are wholly based on (i.e. SEO, display, PR, influencer, etc.). The affiliate channel is in the unique position of generating sales plus additional upper and mid-funnel value.

At Versa, we’ll always be primarily focused on sales but affiliate marketing extends beyond that. It’s a channel that can generate earned media which can be licensed and leveraged in other channels. It can fill the traffic funnel and allow retargeting and other post-site-visit marketing activities to thrive. It can generate brand credibility through influencer endorsements. It can extend paid search capabilities and push out competitors from securing valuable google real-estate on brand name terms. It can be leveraged to test markets and customer segments.  It can move end-of-life inventory. It can be an entry point into leveraging sophisticated MarTech on a commission basis.

And, of course, it can generate sales. But along that path, brands can leverage the channel and our management for so much more.

Let’s chat and see how you can take advantage of the incredibly diverse eco-system of affiliate marketing!