Hey all! I hope your 2013 is going well and you are ready to take advantage of the holiday shopping season! I wanted to put together some useful tips for generating more traffic and affiliate commissions during the busy holiday shopping season so you can maximize your affiliate marketing earnings. More people are shopping online this year than ever before, so it’s must to take advantage of that with your affiliate marketing. Here are some online marketing tips you can use to maximize your online marketing efforts this holiday shopping season:
1. Post about hot gift items – posting about the hottest holiday gift items is a great way to build your site or blog with content people are actually searching for during the holidays, ex. “10 hottest gift ideas for 2013? or “What are the top gadget gifts for 2013?” Do your research and depending on your niche there will be a set of hot products that are in-demand this holiday season. Then, create pages on your site or blog with good content write-ups about these hot products and use “lists” as well because they tend to be read and shared, such as: Top 11 Tech Gadget Gifts for 2013, 6 Must-have Corporate Gifts Ideas to Impress Your Clients, 8 Innovated Gifts for Your Children. Titles like that can really pull in the traffic and are more likely to be commented on. Remember, the more content you post the more search rankings you can garner with each page of your site, so post a lot of pages and fill them with great, keyword-rich content and titles to maximize your SEO benefits. Gear your December promotions towards holiday savings, coupons, and great shopping deals, which a lot of people will be searching those keywords for various merchants, so make sure to weave that content into your postings and pages. Great deals for the holidays that can be promoted all month long every day. Finally, you have your after-Christmas sales that can promoted from every merchant you affiliate with.
2. Ask for Special Coupons or Promos – asking your affiliate managers and advertisers for special deals, coupon promotions, or vanity coupon codes (coupon word matching your site) are great ways to leverage your site’s branding to market exclusive deals to your traffic, subscribers, fans, and followers. Not all affiliate advertisers will be able to provide this because they can’t do it for everyone or may not at all due to lack of resources, but you can get lucky with a great promotions sometimes and really kill it. Make sure to get the current month’s deals from the advertisers you are promoting so the offers in the posts will be compelling and convert higher with your visitors. Make sure to keep your deals current and timely, otherwise visitors will hit brick walls when trying shop using the codes, which isn’t ideal at all. Just keep posting those great deals as you get them from your affiliate advertisers and then share the pasts/pages on Facebook and Twitter. Also, make sure you are emailing your database weekly with all the latest and greatest promotions.
3. Ramp-Up Your Social Networking – Make sure you are adding Facebook friends, Facebook fans from your site traffic, and Twitter followers on a constant basis so you have more people to expose your offers, promotions, and pages to during the holidays. However, don’t crush people with too many offers in a short span or they may get turned off from your frequency. Don’t recommend something you haven’t tried yourself, however you can make product suggestions and promote really good deals and coupons from merchants you are affiliated with. If you always have fresh content and promotions your audience will really appreciate that and you will be building website branding with your traffic which is good for repeat traffic. Check out Facebook Promoted Posts which allow you to advertise your fan page wall post to a larger amount of your fans and their friends, it really spurs engagement! One of my $200 promoted posts got 3000 likes and a ton of comments, so the exposure can be huge. Also, Facebook allows you to promote a post on your personal profile, which can get you some extra exposure for cheap on Facebook.
4. Post Your Butt Off – Posting tons of original articles to your site or blog, then sharing it all socially, are the best ways to ramp up your traffic in advance of the holidays. Adding frequent posts of fresh content to your site can really expand the number of pages you have indexed in Google, Yahoo, and MSN/Bing which increases the chances your site will rank under a larger variety of search phrases and bring in more free traffic to your site. Once you make a new post on your site you can immediately share the title and page url on Facebook, Twitter, and your fan page. Make sure to add something like, “Isn’t this a wonderful deal?” to your postings to increase interaction and response especially on Facebook. Your goal is to get as make Likes, Comments, and Shares on Facebook as you possibly can to gain the most exposure and traffic. Also, make sure to submit your new posts to Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, and other bookmarking sites to maximize your exposure. Post other versions of your articles and posts to 3rd party article directories, like ezinearticles.com, with rewrites of your articles and titles to maximize your organic rankings. I recommend 1-10 posts a day to your site to increase your frequency and page count. But you can never post too much to your site as long as it’s all unique content. Over time, you can build your page count into the thousands of pages which will bring your site more free “organic” search traffic. Make sure you have the Sharethis.com social buttons at the top of each post and your Facebook fan page widget at the top of the right column of your site or blog. Check out aweber.com to implement a pop-up to gain the visitor’s name and email in exchange for your helpful guide or newsletter subscription. This can really maximize the number of people you can remarket to via email and send back to your site or fan page.
5. Ask for Higher Commissions – asking your affiliate advertisers for better commission rates during the holidays is a great way to ensure you will maximize yourearnings. Some advertisers may only do this if you have produced a good amount of sales volume in the past, but it never hurts to ask…they can only say no. Most affiliate advertisers have some room to increase affiliate commissions so you need to ask for a higher payout whenever possible. If they say no or are rude, tell them you will go and promote their competitor, which will change their attitude quickly. You can also offer paid placement on your website, blog, newsletter, or social networks. If you have a decent amount of traffic, fans and followers, there are advertisers that will pay an additional paid placement fee in addition to your affiliate commissions, so that’s a great reason to try to expand what you are doing steadily over time and build the relationship with your advertisers. You can sell them “Promoted Posts” to your fans on Facebook and charge an additional fee. Savvy advertisers know the value of a promoted post on the right fan page, however it’s a recently new advertising medium so you have to suggest it and make it sound as great of an opportunity as it is. A few case studies wouldn’t hurt either.
6. Email your list – if you maintain a database of email addresses as you should, make sure you are messaging your database at least weekly with the newest offers from your affiliate advertisers. Make sure you are growing your list with email opt-in plug-ins on your site like aweber.com. Take growing your list seriously as it will pay dividends the larger a list it is. You can use services like icontact, constantcontact, or mailchimp to blast your email list. Or just use aweber.com to handle it all. Make the investment in Dreamveaver to edit your HTML, and have a nice HTML newsletter designed which you can use as a template for all your future blasts. This time of year you can email your database daily if you have new stuff to share every day.
7. Run Sweepstakes and Contests – running sweepstakes and contests on your website during the holiday time-frame is a great idea because you will gain more fans, emails, wall postings, and user data from your existing website traffic. Using Woobox.com is a great way to inexpensively run an exciting sweepstakes or contest on your site, fan page, email list, and twitter. If you can get your affiliate advertisers to supply the prizes even better! You can do anything from giving away a $100 gift card to a multi-prize, mega-contest! This is the best ways to really maximize your traffic, fans, and followers. It’s my #1 recommendation to basically everyone, so make sure to implement a sweepstakes or contest during these pivotal next few weeks. Let me know if you need any ideas about how to run your sweepstakes promotion effectively!
8. Turn on Paid Search – Pay-per-click search is still the #1 way to obtain targeted traffic, so why not turn on some traffic to your site for the holidays! The only issues is the cost, check out Bing Ads for less expensive clicks under your popular keyword phrases. One great technique is to purchase keywords based on a merchant’s name with coupon code attached to it. Only certain companies even allow this and it can get quite competitive, but if you can drop your cookie on those types of searches it should have a profit level, since those searchers are likely in the buying process. But check with your advertisers before starting. Similarly you can target more general keyword phrases like “auto part coupon codes” (and even more product-specific searches with coupon code) and then link to a page of deals from affiliate advertisers. You could test that out to 100’s search phrases and seeing which converted and had a return. There are many angles to pursue with paid search, however since there is cost associated you have to tread extremely lightly with your keyword bids otherwise you will lose money and have nothing to show for it but some clicks.
9. Advertise for Fans on Facebook – The beautiful thing about Facebook advertising is the targeting! You can really drill down to the types of people you want to see your ads and gain just those people as fans. For instance you can target based on: age, location, sex, education, and “likes and interests” which ensures you will gain fans that are into the kinds of things that pertain to your niche or products/services you promote. There is a cost associated with this type of advertising, so you have to attempt to measure the amount of revenue your new fans are generating for you. If you can estimate your average per fan revenue you can determine how much you can afford to pay for fans and proceed to advertise each month for new fans. Then, you can do Promoted Posts to get them clicking and buying from the great deals you are sharing on your site! There’s your social media-based affiliate formula in a nutshell. 😉
10. Don’t Forget to Build Your LinkedIn – LinkedIn is really coming on as a great social network to spend time on. I’ve been using it for years, but only recently have they made it more interactive and improved the usability so people will even spend time there. I absolutely love the new functionality. You can even share your affiliate deals on LinkedIn and your connections will see it. You can use it just like Facebook now. You can start a group about any niche or industry and people will just join it, which is cool. You can really build up your connections by doing a “mass friend invite” from your email contacts. LinkedIn has fabulous tools for inviting everyone you know to get connected to you on LinkedIn. Once you have a decent amount of connections you can use LinkedIn to share your postings from your site, including your affiliate deals. In my opinion, LinkedIn is a valuable place to spend those precious online marketing hours, I would suggest an hour or so per day to really work LinkedIn and get some value out of it. Also, you never know who you can meet on LinkedIn professionally via the groups you may join, so always keep your eyes open and be proactive!!
These are some affiliate marketing strategies you can use to maximize your traffic and commissions during the holiday season! I hope it was helpful and let me know if there is anything you want to discuss more in-depth with me. I would love to hear from you! Thanks!