The holiday season is undoubtedly a big – perhaps the biggest! – opportunity to maximise your affiliate earnings. As much of your audience shifts into shopping mode, they become hungry for gift ideas, shopping tips, event-planning pointers and the like.
It’s the perfect time for you to shift into service mode: researching, sourcing, and curating on behalf of your community.
It’s an exciting time all round, but for you as a creator, it can also be overwhelming. There’s a lot to prepare and keep up with and for many, there’s a sense of underlying pressure to capitalise on the major affiliate opportunity this time of year brings. It can make you feel defeated before the holidays have even arrived. Not to worry! This is your guide to bossing it this year. It includes the fundamentals to work through ahead of time, several ideas for campaigns and content, and plenty of tactical tips. Let’s get started…
Brush Up On The Tools At Your Disposal
First things first: make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the resources available to you as an Amazon Associate. There are a variety of ways to link, share, display and optimise, all made easy through web-based tools, browser extensions and even APIs. The details and how-tos are all outlined in pages and articles under the Tools tab in Associates Central, so if you need a refresher, plan an afternoon of education and dive in! You’ll likely find a tool or two to implement that will seriously simplify your marketing efforts.
Optimise Your Site
This is not the time to embark on a full redesign. But small tweaks to your visitor experience can have a big impact, including on the success of your affiliate marketing. Some ideas:
- Evaluate the placement and relevance of your existing ads and banners
- Consider new opportunities to display ads or incorporate links
- Look through your analytics and troubleshoot any unexpected or undesired visitor behaviour – here’s a guide to valuable Google Analytics data to get you started
- Check your page-load times and overall site speed (Google Analytics offers a Site Speed report that works well for this). Google’s own PageSpeed Insights tool can also track the speed of your website. You can find a detailed article about how it works here.
Don’t stress yourself out by turning these into huge projects – you can deep-dive after the holidays. For now, just polish up the place as best you can and move on.
Create Multiple Shopping Guides
If you do one thing on this list, make it this. Creating several product guides (‘Idea Lists’, if you’re part of the Amazon Influencer Program) opens up many more opportunities for you to both further serve your community and boost your earnings. In addition to any gift guides you’re already planning – and you should do several, as most of us have a lengthy list of loved ones to shop for – think about non-gift items your followers may want or need this time of year.
A big one is hosting supplies – curate the perfect holiday-bash kits for the people in your audience who plan to host an event or two this year. Another fun one is a self-care guide. For many, the holidays can be as stressful as they are joyful, so a list of feel-good items people can pick up for themselves in the midst of gifting others is likely to be appreciated.
Audit Your Editorial Calendar
Take a look at the blog and social-media posts you have planned for the season: have you accounted for holiday (and/or shopping) themes? You don’t need to redo your whole calendar around affiliate opportunities, but if you don’t already have some relevant content planned, pop in some holiday blogs. There are plenty of authentic, brand-appropriate pieces you can create that naturally lend themselves to product recommendations, so do a quick brainstorm and insert some seasonal content into your plan.
If you don’t have a calendar set up, there are a number of great tools on the market, such as this Universal Marketing Calendar to check out.
Need ideas? We’ve included several later in this guide. Plus, make sure you’ve read our guide to being ready for big shopping moments.
Commit To A Daily Social Media Schedule
This is the perfect time to get into a regular social posting routine, or to revamp an existing one. Social content has a short lifespan and people have short attention spans, so to make sure your audience knows about your recommendations and to drive adequate traffic to your guides, you need to stay active on social media. Put a daily time-block in your calendar, and be ready with a game plan of social topics and tactics.
Share your blog posts and write original holiday social content (‘sub-holidays’, such as National Frankenstein Day, make especially fun prompts). Also make it a habit to check the Promotions tab in Associates Central. Here, you’ll find regularly updated deals and discounts you can share with your community – perfect for social media!
You should consider using an app to help you with organising and posting your social media, too.
You’ll also want to plan time to interact with your followers, as opposed to simply posting. For your holiday-affiliate efforts specifically, offer to answer questions about your posts or product recommendations, or even to research or shop on behalf of your community members.
Plan Out Great Holiday Content And Campaigns
There is so much fun content you can create this time of year, and it’s easy to find an angle that makes sense for your brand. What’s the mindset of the online shoppers you’re trying to appeal to? Google knows a thing or two about this, so always bear your customers’ wants and needs in mind as you write.
As well as our guide to getting started writing great affiliate-marketing content, here are some general ideas for inspiration:
- Holiday-themed blog posts: write about your favourite holiday memory, the best gift you ever received, your tips for great holiday parties, seasonal stress-busting techniques, etc…. Holiday-themed blog posts: write about your favourite holiday memory, the best gift you ever received, your tips for great holiday parties, seasonal stress-busting techniques, etc….
- Gift-guide blog posts: list and describe each product, and maybe even document the process as you create guides, explaining why you chose certain items. Do some sneak-peeks on social media, too
- Podcast call-outs or holiday-themed episodes: if you have one, shout out your vanity URL for your Influencer Storefront in any podcasts you’ll be a part of. If you host your own show, plan some seasonal episodes
- Product reviews: share what you love about products you recommend with blog posts, video reviews, Instagram Stories – whatever suits your style
- Done-early challenge: organise a community challenge, perhaps in your Facebook Group, to complete holiday shopping early (a push everyone could use)
- Event-planning tips campaign: are you a coordinating whizz? Create a whole series of content – blog posts, social posts, videos, and more – to share your tips
- Holiday-shopping tips campaign: same as above, with your top shopping secrets
- Holiday self-care tips campaign: if stress management is more your speed, do a series on seasonal self-care.
Each of these provide natural opportunities to link up your store, lists, and product recommendations, and/or to include native shopping ads. Now you’re ready – by working through these to-dos for your holiday affiliate marketing, you’ve laid all the necessary groundwork and you’re as prepared as possible to have a really successful season. Great work!