Wish you could have been at SES NY to hear the Dealing with Affiliates session? Well the live blogging by Virginia at Bruce Clay is almost as good as being there!

Moderator: Jeffrey Rohrs, VP of marketing at ExactTarget. Panelists: Kristopher Jones, CEO of Pepperjam; Jeff Ferguson, SES Advisory Board member; Lori Weiman, CEO of The Search Monitor; Peter Figueredo, CEO of NETexponent.

The group discussed issues such as transparency, direct linking, trademark bidding, cannibals and protecting your brand. I especially like Peter’s description of the heroes of search marketing (below).

Dealing With Affiliates: A Roadmap to Success

“These are the heroes of the search affiliate category. Seven characteristics embody the heroes.”

1. The Exclusive Ranger: An affiliate that agree to be exclusive with an advertiser. If you have a strong enough relationship and value proposition, you may get an exclusive deal.
2. Testy McGee: An affiliate that tests different offers for you. You can know that your tested and proven offer gets to stay with you but someone else is out there trying new things.
3. The Enricher: Some affiliates will invest in content, write it themselves, hire editors and writers and enrich the affiliate experience.
4. Doc Development: This one will build out sites for categories and brands. This benefits you by enriching the consumer experience and shows you what a conversion rate might look like if your site looked different.
5. Long Tail of the Law: If you’re not doing a good job with long tail search, affiliates can help you get exposure.
6. Marshall McShare: A trust level where your affiliate is sharing info with you. Sharing can be a two-way street. They will tell you what they’re bidding, where they are and so on.
7. Sheriff SEO: A lot of affiliates are doing SEO, not just paid search. They’re getting natural rankings through their SEO talents.

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