view_from_the_topAnother great ShareASale ThinkTank conference is in the books. The elite annual event was stellar as usual as ShareASale Founder and CEO Brian Littleton and his team did an amazing job developing educational sessions, networking events and coordinating some off-site fun.

This year’s event, held earlier this week in Chicago not far from ShareASale’s headquarters, brought together so many of the constituencies of affiliate marketing – The ShareASale affiliate network, retailers, affiliates, agencies, bloggers and more.

There was a lot of great information at the conference, but for me it really was the chance to connect with many of our current affiliates, and the opportunity to meet new and potential affiliates and let them know about our clients’ programs..

But what I really learned was more about how affiliates, bloggers and influencers want to work with brands. As ad blockers become more prevalent, brands need to find and develop long-term relationships with content creators that can help expand their brand’s presence and reach a loyal, targeted audience.

After meeting with many bloggers and influencers, I gained some crucial insight into this key groups of influencers:

  • Many bloggers want relatively high pay-per-post fees from brands and often times, they are getting them.
  • Bloggers are getting infinitely more sophisticated in understanding their audience, reach and engagement, which leads to a better value proposition for everyone.
  • There are still a large number of bloggers who don’t make money and don’t seem to know exactly how to do so. Affiliate marketing may be an answer for them, but they aren’t sure.
  • Overall,blogger capabilities and quality is increasing and  ShareASale is definitely a leader in the outreach and recruitment of this important channel.

These points were echoed over and over by the bloggers I met. It’s extremely helpful insight move forward and tweaking our own continued outreach to cultivate this highly-desirable group of influencers.
Thanks again to ShareASale for giving me the opportunity to gain additional knowledge about our rapidly changing space and meet some great new people while doing it.I can’t wait to take action on what I’ve learn and look forward to ThinkTank 2017.