For our latest Publisher Spotlight, we speak to Linkby, a publisher on the Webgains network, to learn more about their upcoming opportunities and what makes them different.
What is Linkby all about and how does it work?
Linkby is a first-to-market ad tech platform that allows DTC brands, both big and small, to secure dedicated and listicle coverage across the world’s biggest publishers on a cost-per-click basis (CPC) – or what we like to call “Performance PR”.
Here at Linkby, we have the likes of VICE, Buzzfeed, Mail Online, InStyle, ELLE, Refinery29, The Independent and 270+ other titles on the platform, operating across the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and Singapore.
‘We have the likes of VICE, Buzzfeed, Mail Online, InStyle, ELLE, Refinery29, The Independent and 270+ other titles on the platform’.
We’re a free platform to use (no sign-up or membership fees), where you only pay for the clicks back to your website from the published article on a pre-agreed CPC (with the ability to budget cap) – with all content written by the actual writers at each of our publisher partners. Further, we are fully integrated as a publisher with all major affiliate networks globally (including Webgains!), so brands are able to apply third party tracking to any Linkby activity where required. Brands we’ve worked with to date include the likes of AllSaints, Samsung, Augustinus Bader, Shiseido, Bugaboo, Monica Vinader and many more.
Please tell us what are your brand’s core business values.
Digital publishers create billions of moments of trust every day but are monetising them in pennies not pounds. D2C brands looking to drive sales and find new scalable performance channels can amplify their brand messages to these digital publishers via Linkby, finding a cost-effective and performance-focused way of working with publishers to grow their brand across markets. Linkby is the infrastructure that brings both publisher and brand together.
‘Digital publishers create billions of moments of trust every day but are monetising them in pennies not pounds’.
What would you say are the biggest benefits for an advertiser working with your business and which advertisers do you work best with?
In terms of what advertisers work best for Linkby, it’s quite broad due to the ranging content our publishers can create. In saying this, we’ve found the below categories see the strongest pick-up and delivery rates to-date:
- Beauty – including skincare, hairecare, beauty tech etc.
- Fashion – including clothing, accessories, footwear, jewellery etc.
- Homewear – including cooking appliances, home decorations etc.
- Sexual wellness – including sex toys, sexual health products etc.
- Fitness / Health – including fitness products, supplements etc.
In terms of benefits, where to start! As Linkby is a new way for brands to work with some of the world’s biggest publishers, there’s plenty of benefits for using the platform. These include:
- Only pay for the performance: Best thing about Linkby? You only pay for the performance when running campaigns with us. Due to our CPC model, brands only pay for clicks through to their website – meaning that if they see zero traffic to their website, they’ll pay £/$0 from using us. Typical native content (purchased directly with publishers) is measured via page views or video views.
- High placement positions: As the publisher has more control when it comes to CPC (as they have to drive their readers off their site and onto the brands website vs needing their reader to purchase a product to receive affiliate commission), they’ll often prioritise CPC content when it comes to their coverage – especially when it comes to listicle placements. As an example, Refinery29’s BFCM wrap-up this year has Linkby brands in their top 10 positions (out of 44).
- Dedicated coverage when you need it: With Linkby, our bread and butter is dedicated content for brands, so you are able to use us to get this highly sought after coverage when you really need to move the needle as you set the start and end dates of the campaign. For example, you’re able to use Linkby to generate 10+ dedicated articles for moments including product launches, key retail periods like BFCM, collaborations and more.
- Additional promotion: When brands run promotions or launches via Linkby, they are also able to receive more on and off-site promotion as the CPC model is often more profitable to the publisher. An example: Boohoo’s BFCM article on The Sun was originally CPA, but they moved this to CPC and gave them additional listicle and EDM placements over the week.
- Straight to the inbox of the right writers: While PR samples might be sent to the editorial Fashion writer (who would receive thousands of products each year!), with Linkby, a brand’s campaign will fall into the inbox of the publisher’s e-commerce and shopping writers. These writers are experts in creating shoppable content, with their main goal being to drive their audience to the brand’s website to purchase – so Linkby campaigns always have really strong CTAs. Further, as they’re notified via email, you’ll often see your brief picked up within 24-48 hours.
- The Linkby objective: Publishers are only paid if they get readers from their article to the brand website, so it’s in their best interest to portray the brand in the best possible light (so giving bad PR isn’t the game here!). If, for any reason, the publisher didn’t like the brand / product, they’d either not accept the campaign or opt out post sampling.
Can you tell us about your audience and demographic?
As Linkby facilitates coverage for our brands across over 270+ publishers globally, we talk to a wide range of audiences and demographics for each campaign. For example, in the UK we have titles like Cosmopolitan that talks to a females 18-35 yo demographic, whilst HuffPost talks to affluent readers 35+.
As Webgains has a dedicated Account Management team here at Linkby, we’re able to provide publisher recommendations for each unique brand to ensure they’re pitching to contextually relevant publishers. In saying this, due to the user journey of Linkby content – where readers learn about the brand and offer via the articles prior to clicking through to your website – you have the flexibility to test different titles to see if they’re a strong audience fit. Readers wouldn’t choose to click-through to site if they weren’t interested (meaning you land engaged readers on-site to convert).
For advertisers looking to partner with Linkby, do you have any requirements or restrictions to work with you?
As it’s up to our publishers to decide if they accept a brand’s brief pending audience fit, Linkby doesn’t impose any restrictions to be on the platform or to submit a campaign. The only requirement to use us is to have an account, which is 100% free. You can do this via THIS link, which takes under one minute.
Any success stories you’d like to share with us relating to driving sales or traffic for advertisers?
Of course! See below some performance results we’ve driven for brands previously:
- Monica Vinader, the celebrity-loved jewellery brand, secured eight dedicated articles over BFCM weekend last year with their customer acquisition rate from Linkby being on par with Google over this key retail weekend. In terms of ROAS, they average 300%+ for their Linkby activity.
- A well-known UK skincare brand saw a 990% ROAS for their article with InStyle US, which saw a 55% click-to-conversion ratio.
- Linkby helped DK Active, one of Australia’s biggest activewear brands, widen their customer base with 37% of their audience finding them via Linkby.
- Our work with Balmonds saw an 833% increase on their standard conversion rate, with their coverage in the US selling out their US warehouse and causing a boost to their US Amazon sales.
- An article between Yoni Pleasure Palace (sexual wellness) and VICE drove them a 683% ROAS in just 4 days.
- Proto-col’s May activity in the UK saw them have their biggest month ever, with 2 x more sessions, 10 x more first-time customers and 2.5 x more sales than their average month.
‘A well-known UK skincare brand saw a 990% ROAS for their article with InStyle US, which saw a 55% click-to-conversion ratio’.
Any upcoming opportunities that you’d like to share for your business?
Currently, the biggest opportunities for brands to use us is for inclusions and dedicated coverage around Christmas Gifting. See HERE coverage we’ve already secured for this period with Lancome & Hello!.
Looking toward 2023, the next big opportunity is January’s “New Year, New Me” movement. Our publishers will be looking for brands that tap into this annual wellness trend, with categories including fitness (activewear, gym equipment, protein etc), self-care (loungewear, skincare, vitamins) and X. Further, any brands relevant to Veganuary and Dry January will see strong interest from our publishers.
‘Looking toward 2023, the next big opportunity is January’s “New Year, New Me” movement. Our publishers will be looking for brands that tap into this annual wellness trend’.
Other key retail moments in Q1 also include Valentine’s Day, Spring Cleaning and DIY.
Linkby will also be expanding into European markets within the first half of next year, and we’re excited to expand our work with Webgains within markets like Germany, Spain and France.
What makes your business stand out from your competitors and gives you the edge?
As Linkby is a market-first offering, our edge is being unique to the performance marketing industry and providing brandswith a new and cost effective way to secure highly-sought after coverage on our cost-per-click model. Further, we’re the only CPC-powered platform to have such a huge list of publishers onboard (270+ and counting!), including household names like InStyle, ELLE, HuffPost, Mail Online, Buzzfeed & more. Lastly, here at Linkby we’re all about supporting our clients. Working with us, you’ll have a dedicated AM to help with anything you need – from signing up to getting your campaigns picked up.