Tricia Meyer and Kristen Grace (of buycostumes.com) presented a session at Affiliate Summit East 2011, moderated by Todd Farmer, on
Taking Advantage of Seasonality in Affiliate Marketing. I originally didn’t have this session marked as one for me to attend, because I didn’t think most of my sites were seasonal. However, I’m glad I went.
The panel started out by defining seasonality as referring to cycles, either regular or semiregular. The example that easily comes to mind is Christmas and sales around that time. An editorial calendar of seasonal events can be downloaded from tricia.me/calendar. You can use this calendar to:
- build new niche sites
- get ideas for content / blog
- Spotlight seasonal items on cashback, coupon, product comparison sites
A major event involving a pop icon (marriage, break-up, scandal, death) can also be a seasonal event that can be taken advantage of as an affiliate. However, be tactful on how you handle this. As Kristen said,
You have to be OK, with how you made your money today
Kristen then went on to explain how merchants can use seasonality in promoting their program to affiliates. It’s important for the merchant, who knows their business best, gives their affiliates the tools needed to succeed.
Creatives must be kept up-to-date; the example with this is how Harry Potter has changed from the first movie to the most recent one.
After Kristen talked about what merchants need to know with regards to seasonality, Tricia talked about how affiliates can take advantage of these trends.One simple change can be to alter the theme of your site to reflect the season. Add a football to your logo, or some fallen leaves to the footer of your site. These little changes will get your audience talking.
If you’re using network banners that update automatically, be careful of how this is reflected on your site. For example, if you are promoting a merchant and want to have the seasonal creative, there is no work for you to change banners when the seasons or holiday changes. However, if you have an Easter site, you don’t want your banners to update to 4th of July creative.
A great tip was about extending a seasonal event. For example, if an affiliate has a site featuring college text books, which sell in August and January, they can push branded gifts in December, and graduation gifts in June.
Going into this session, I was expecting information that would help n00bs with their holiday sites. However, Tricia and Kristen made me realize seasonality can help any niche further enhance their revenue. If you didn’t go yourself, be sure to catch the video once released.