The holiday season in 2022 is going to look very different from 2020 and 2021, with rising inflation, post-pandemic return to brick-and-mortar store shopping, and potential supply chain issues; now is the time to ensure your affiliate program is optimized.
Shoppers are starting their Christmas gift buying as early as September, with planning even earlier in the corporate market. Consumers are becoming savvier, and are more frequently searching coupon, loyalty, and cashback sites for the best deal. This is consistent with what we have seen at AIM, with coupon and loyalty sites bringing in large amounts of program revenue in B2C, and even 2B programs.
With a shift to more budget-focused decision-making and earlier shopping trends, focusing on the affiliate program is an exceptional way to bring in additional revenue for the Q4 holiday season. By implementing the following proven strategies, you can unlock huge growth this quarter.
Quality Monitoring and Engagement with Partners
Ensuring your affiliate program is tracking and reporting properly before the holiday season will ensure success. This is done by consistently monitoring your top partners’ performance to see who is bringing in the most revenue. Take advantage of network reporting but also ensure to build out your own robust bespoke reporting for each program. If your program is well established, look at those who were the highest performing in Q4 in 2020 and 2021. You’ll want to engage with these publishers and offer up additional commissions to boost performance.
On top of reaching out to your previously high-performing partners, you will also want to use the relationship building you have been working on throughout the year to reach out to other publishers in your programs and offer additional incentives to increase revenue-driving partners.
Your brands and clients may even be looking to spend some additional budget on paid placements for holiday list guides and sponsored content around the holiday season. With most of these being booked earlier and earlier in the year, it’s important to engage with publishers you have in your pipeline and work quickly to get them launched, activated, and promoting. Whilst ensuring that thorough tracking is in place so that their performance can be monitored.
Diversify the Partners in Your Affiliate Program
As well as engaging with current publishers to activate and optimize, it’s important to continue to bring in new publishers into your program, this will allow you to continue to grow the affiliate program throughout Q4 and into 2023.
A successful affiliate program has a diverse mix of partners, meaning that the brand is at every touch point of the consumer journey. Ensuring that you have content across all levels of the funnel helps shore up your program. Also, having publishers in a wide range of fields helps to increase brand recognition, engages consumer interest, and ensures they move from consideration to conversion.
You can do this by:
- Incorporating publishers across social media platforms, including the use of influencers.
- Bringing in content partners to raise brand awareness.
- Using comparison and loyalty sites to promote your program.
- Having a diverse range of coupons, cash back, and buy now later programs (which are becoming ever more popular this year with a more budget-savvy shopper).
Have Clear Call to Actions
With consumers being savvier it’s important that all messaging is clear and there is a compelling call to action in publishers’ posts. With shoppers spending more time comparing prices across sites, it’s important to have an urgent and clear call to action. This includes having them throughout posts and ensuring it’s the first and last thing the consumer sees when searching your brand or reading content.
Consumers are aware of the fact that prices tend to increase as we get closer to the holidays, so ensure to use the best offer you have available in your posts and phrases such as “take advantage of this limited time offer” and “purchase now while this offer is still available”.
Succeed in Q4 and Beyond
Whilst no two programs are the same and each affiliate program needs to be tailored to the client, these proven techniques can help any affiliate strategy drive revenue in what looks to be a unique Q4. Afterall, in a changing market with the consumer concerned about the economic outlook, it’s important to use all available strategies. This ensures you are engaging with publishers and the consumer. By having optimized partners, in a diverse range of arenas, with compelling messaging and consistent monitoring and engagement, you are sure to see success in Q4 and beyond.
If you’re a brand looking to grow your affiliate program and need assistance, please contact an expert today!