How CNBC Drives Commissions from Consumer Loans Affiliate Programs?
Let’s analyze how CNBC is using affiliate marketing to monetize the different audiences it receives on its financial news digital version. Even when their site is filled with affiliate links, the editorial quality is very high and the articles help objective decision making. Other publishers working with lemonads® are exploiting the same strategies.
About CNBC, CNBC.com, and Select
CNBC is a recognized world leader in business news providing real-time financial market coverage and business content with more than 355 million readers per month across all platforms. CNBC.com is one of the digital products from CNBC’s portfolio.
CNBC Select is a branch of CNBC.com that aims to help people take control of their money. It provides high-quality personal finance advice alongside rigorous reviews and comprehensive best-of lists for people to make informed decisions and choose the right financial products.
The Select editorial team works independently from the commercial team, prides itself on high journalistic standards and ethics. They claim to make all their reviews without input from the commercial team or any outside third parties.
The cnbc.com website receives a total of 105.8 Million visits per month (from about 30 million unique visitors) with an average time spent of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Each visitor browses on average more than 1 page using navigation and internal links.
As for the geographical origin of the audience, it comes mostly from the United States as one can imagine (77%), then from other English-speaking countries such as Canada the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Nearly 50% of the non-direct traffic visiting this site comes from search engines. About 5% is coming from social platforms.
Let's analyze how this publisher leverages affiliate marketing to monetize its content.
At the top of the article, there is a disclaimer on a silver background warning of the presence of affiliate links and links to learn more about Select, as well as a link to the full advertiser disclosure
Next comes the title and a tagline. The title is concise: "Here are the best personal loans of July 2021". The tagline is short and clearly outlines what the article is about.
Further down, there is again a disclaimer about the presence of affiliate links. This time it stresses editorial independence.
One may wonder why there are 2 disclaimers, instead of one.
Right after the article begins.
An editor's note warns the reader about the ever-changing economic data, and then the first few paragraphs provide information that will allow any reader to move forward, via internal links to other articles that develop certain technical concepts in more detail, such as "How to decide between a using personal loan or a 0% APR card to get out of debt".
This helps to avoid losing readers who may not understand the information at the outset by giving them a chance to improve their understanding.
Since the figures, especially interest rates, vary over time and at the time of publication, a link to the FED website is noted so that a reader can check the most up-to-date data.
The introduction ends with a paragraph explaining the methodology used for the selection of the products.
The article starts with a selection by category. Indeed, the classification is done through different categories and this is what structures the article and the comparison of products:
Each blue link contains an anchor that leads the reader to the detailed description of the personal loan quoted. Very interestingly, Select understands that it is not easy for people to determine the best loan for their needs, so they put in the page a tool from evenfinancial.com which is a search engine, comparison and recommendation of financial services. It is a lead generation module.
The tool allows qualifying leads for loans by asking users the purpose of the loan, the amount, and the credit score, the level of education, the address, the availability of collaterals, etc. It also includes an email address and a phone number form.
It is interesting to note that the tool is not available to non-US visitors.
Below the tool, there are FAQ links. This gives the article extra authority, allowing many questions to be answered within the page.
The following part is the presentation of each loan offer and its providers.
Each "personal loan offer" is presented in a card, structured in a consistent and very readable way, highlighting the relevant information for comparison.
In the title of the card, as well as directly below the logo, in the "Learn more" button is an affiliate link. It is a link pointing to a system managing the redirection to the right advertiser, tracking, attribution, etc.
There is also a message "On LightStream's secure site" to reassure visitors and encourage them to click on the button.
For visitors who would like to read the complete advantages and disadvantages, it is possible to display the card in its full length, by clicking on the link "View more" at the bottom.
At the bottom of each card, there are one or more paragraphs "Who's this for?" providing additional information to the information on the card and multiplying the number of occasions to place the same affiliate link and some others.
Takeaways from CNBC
As you can see, CNBC uses affiliate marketing as a strategy to monetize its content. By adding a tool for readers to search on-site the best option according to their requirements, CNBC multiplies the chances of people going directly to the best lender and in consequence, increases the chances of earning an affiliate commission.
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