I know what you’re thinking – how can we possibly be nearing Q4 already? It may feel as if you only just finished taking the lights down, but the holiday season is sneaking up once again, and marketers like yourself are entering crunch time. Did you know 46% of shoppers started their holiday shopping earlier than usual in 2021? By preparing your promotional strategy in advance, you can lock in coveted placements with top publishers, and simultaneously avoid burning a hole through your holiday marketing budget.

Let’s start checking off that daunting to-do list so you can enjoy a successful, stress-free holiday shopping season – and don’t forget to check the list twice, although we’re sure you’ve been less naughty and more nice! 

Review Seasonal Historical Data and Update Creatives

Analyse your Q4 KPIs from the past few years, such as impressions, reach, revenue, click-through rate, average order value, conversions, and return on ad spend. Which publishers, channels, and promotions worked well for reaching holiday shoppers, and which didn’t? This data is extremely beneficial when revamping prior years’ seasonal campaigns, planning incremental campaigns for new business and product lines, and determining in which channels to invest your holiday advertising budgets. 

Perhaps in prior years, you focused only on one end of the funnel or the other, and now it’s time to diversify. Based on the data, you may decide to focus solely on upper-funnel content publishers or invest in a full-funnel omnichannel approach to scale order volume. Either way, it would be wise to partner with an affiliate management agency with industry experience and deep connections to publishers across a multitude of digital channels.

When optimising your holiday paid media creative, make sure you provide a variety of assets to publishers to make it as easy as possible to promote your products, including: 

  • High-quality lifestyle and product photos
  • Various approved CTAs
  • Banner ads in commonly needed sizes
  • Text links
  • Promo codes
  • Seasonal landing pages

Learn the inside scoop into how proactive planning and data-driven insights allowed QuietKat to achieve a 430% increase in revenue during peak holiday seasonality with Perform[cb] Agency.

Recruit, Test, and Optimise with Top Publishers

Don’t wait to reach out to top partners, like influencers, bloggers, and industry publications – secure the best content placements now. Publishers are eager to map out their content calendars and test placements months in advance, so brands can greatly benefit from communicating promotional plans promptly – not to mention avoiding outrageous last-minute fees.

To entice publishers during the recruitment process, brands could test running competitive commission rates, as well as unique discount codes for banner ad placements in category pages, holiday promotion pages, email, SMS marketing, push ads, and more. Working with an agency or network partner with proven experience and existing relationships within your vertical can help immensely ahead of Q4, from both a cost-savings and publisher recruitment perspective.

Do you have additional budget and are looking for areas of publisher optimisation? Try testing promotions around top Q4 shopping holidays, beyond just Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Check out Perform[cb]’s list of the top-performing 2022 shopping holidays.

Build a Full-Funnel Approach

Many brands get lost in shiny upper-funnel partnerships when it comes to holiday campaigns, such as influencers and listicles. While 40% of revenue in the affiliate channel is driven through content, seasoned marketers know that the real ROI lies within a full-funnel approach. Let’s touch on a few examples you should incorporate throughout the funnel in your Q4 campaigns:

During the season of increased traffic and competition, and with holiday sales projected to grow 16% this year, you must incorporate unique advertising tactics throughout each stage of the funnel. Publishers are always on the hunt for additional ways to maximise profitability, especially during the Q4 shopping season. From gift guide inclusions to newsletter placements, and all the promos in between, marketers shouldn’t shy away from testing and optimising their advertising efforts throughout the funnel to entice holiday shoppers.

Get Ahead or Get Left Behind

Don’t get left behind this holiday season. By analysing historical performance, planning around top-performing Q4 shopping dates, optimising new and existing partnerships, and proactively securing the best media placements for your brand, the gift of holiday ROI will not be far behind! Set yourself up for success during the busiest time of the year with Perform[cb]’s Guide to Q4 Seasonal Planning & Profitability.

Whether you currently work with an agency or are looking to layer some affiliate management muscle onto your in-house team, we know that Q4 is also the time of year when marketers start thinking about RFPs. Our agency team would love the opportunity to chat about your programme and goals. Request a no-strings meeting with us to find out more about our cutting-edge delivery model that has our clients raving!

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