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eBay Puts Affiliate Spin on Sponsored Content Strategy

eBay uses sponsored content to help generate traffic, and it’s found a way to put a pay-for-performance spin on the technique by using a new service from Izea called SocialLinks.

Izea helps connect brands with bloggers, writers, and social networking personalities who are willing to write advertorial. eBay has been using Izea’s services for some time, according to John Toskey, director of eBay’s eBay Partner Network affiliate program. With the new integration, Toskey said eBay is able to connect with Izea “creators” and their social following in a whole new way.

SocialLinks for eBay gives Izea content producers “unlimited ability” to monetize their blogs and social channels. The company explained last week, “SocialLinks for eBay bridges the gap between fixed-fee sponsorships and performance-based incentives by allowing qualified Creators to search through select eBay listings to generate affiliate links quickly and easily directly inside of the IZEAx experience.”

It’s no secret that eBay has suffered greatly from Google SEO problems for more than a year now, and eBay CEO Devin Wenig said Thursday that the company was looking for diversified sources of traffic and user acquisition.

“Along these lines, we continue to expand our use of social channels, and traffic from these channels saw significant growth in Q3,” Wenig said. “We’re now consistently leveraging 10 unique social channels on a regular basis.”

As an example of a content producer who was paid to promote eBay, author and blogger Chris Pirillo wrote this post. A disclaimer at the top of the blog post states, “This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of eBay for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.” Now presumably Pirillo and others like him will be able to use SocialLinks for eBay to get affiliate revenue for any resulting sales from such posts.

Izea CEO Ted Murphy told the Orlando Business Journal, “We are the creator economy. We now have the power to send products flying off shelves.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.