The holiday season, affectionately known as Q4 in the industry, is an amazing time to be an affiliate. Brands often share their best offers and bonus plans for affiliates. And most importantly, your followers are shopping and looking for tips from you. Below are some tactics on how to maximize your efforts and commission checks!
I always joke that I am burnt out on the holidays by September. And while that is obviously extreme, planning early makes life easier during a busy time and sets you up for success. Here are some ideas for getting an early start.
Gift Guides – Write and publish your gift guide as early as September. This allows the search engines time to crawl your site. Remember, your gift guides don’t have to include the word “holiday.” Most people search for gift guides based on the person they are buying for such as “best gifts for dad” which works for both the holidays, birthdays, and Father’s Day. Leave the general “Best Gifts For 2021 Holidays” to the large publications as they will be difficult to compete with.
Wrote a gift guide last year? Update it with your latest brands and links. To bring to the top of your blog change the publishing date. This tactic allows you to keep your SEO juice but also attract your existing followers.
Create A Landing Page For Big Events – Starting at the end of October, people are already starting to think of gift buying. I am guilty of starting as early as September so it doesn’t hit my budget all at once. While you can’t share your offers yet, you can let your followers know that you are collecting promotions for all your favorite brands and encourage them to sign up for your newsletter to be “in the know.”
Reach Out To Your Affiliate Manager – Don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager to find out special offers and bonuses. If you come to your manager with a list of campaigns, you will be surprised by the discounts and bonuses you can receive. Share your past success and examples.
This is also a great time to request giveaways. Many brands limit the number of giveaways we can provide to affiliates so the early bird gets the goodies.
Think Beyond Black Friday
While Black Friday (or now Thanksgiving week) yields great commissions as consumers search for sales, this week is far from the only opportunity during the holidays. In fact, some of my best campaigns happen before or after Black Friday when the ad space and social media are less crowded. It can be hard to catch your followers’ attention when everyone else (and many large budgets) is vying for the same wallets. Consider promoting a couple of weeks before Black Friday or give a shout-out to gift cards as the holiday draws closer.
It’s More Than Christmas
Don’t forget that there are other holidays happening in November and December as well. Early November is a great time to promote home decor and kitchen items in preparation for Thanksgiving. Hanukkah’s dates change every year ranging from right after Thanksgiving to coinciding with Christmas. There is Kwanza which starts after Christmas this year. And don’t forget your New Year’s Resolution post!
As I mentioned before, this time of year can be very crowded with brands and affiliates competing for consumers. To stay top of mind with your followers, increase your Stories, Facebook Lives, Reels, etc. It is a great time to do fun DIY tips, self-care advice, etc. As always, you need a balance of monetized and non-monetized content to keep your followers engaged.
With the engagement, it is also a great time to remind your followers that they can support you by clicking on your links. You can further sweeten the pot by offering to donate a percentage of commissions to a good cause.
Skip The Paid Ads
This common mistake can cause quite a bit of damage. If you do not currently have a proven ad campaign with Facebook, Google, etc, the holidays are not a good time to try it out…as tempting as it may be! Why? The costs and the competition get significantly harder. With increased costs, it is challenging to gain a solid ROI for your efforts.
Schedulers Are Your Friend
Don’t Forget Your Email Campaign
Email campaigns continue to be a top converter for affiliates. The holidays are no exception. Prepare your Sales Round-Up in advance so they are ready to share. It may take more email blasts to get your desired results and to rise above crowded inboxes. However, it is still a profitable tactic.
Once the holidays are behind you, first take a nice long break and pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Second, gather all your data to see what was successful and what could be improved upon. Check out the traffic on your site using Google Analytics. Your social media management tool will also give you great stats on which days and posts saw the most engagement. Review your stats in your affiliate portals to Determine which brands and niches were the most profitable
Take it to the next level and share those successes with your brands or turn them into a case study for next season.
And once you are refreshed, it’s time to plan for Valentine’s Day and Easter 🙂