Top Tips: Seasonal planning for advertisers

As we progress through January, your annual planning is no doubt well underway, but what about your affiliate strategy for the year? While many advertisers can plan ahead knowing that Q4 is their busiest quarter and December is going to be their busiest month, advertisers in other verticals such as travel or utilities may have very different seasonal peaks. Whatever your seasonality, planning is key so see our top tips below…

1. Consider seasonal sales and peaks. 

Plan for your peak periods thinking about your brand and your sector and allocate your budget accordingly. Where budget is tight, timing can be crucial in optimising its impact. Be aware that your budget allocation for CPA should be attributed to your cost of sale budget, not your marketing budget. The two are completely separate and should remain that way.

2. Be prepared for product launches.

Know your biggest commercial products and know when they (or their updates) launch. Are you prepared for when they come to market? Big product launches such as the Apple iPhone 6 last year generated incredible levels of online traffic and consumer demand. Communicate product launches to your network at the beginning of the year and plan your activity with publishers to fit. That all important budget comes into play here too; make sure you can spend when you need to.

3. Look at what your competitors are doing and work quickly.

Think about how your brand looks against your competitors. Book up relevant tenancy slots with your biggest publishers to make your business stand out at peak periods. Be prepared to increase commission rates during busy periods to ensure your publishers are promoting you, rather than your competitors. Think about how you match up against your competitors not just from a customer point-of-view, but also from a publisher perspective. Appeal to publishers by being proactive in seeking tenancy packages and offering bespoke commission rates to those who drive the most traffic.

4. Share your marketing calendar with your network.

Share your marketing calendar with your account manager early on in the year. They will align it with publishers’ promotional calendars and identify potential opportunities for you with both new and existing partners.

5. Optimise your top publishers, don’t wait around!

Identify your top publishers and make sure the relationship is as strong as possible. Weigh up exposure opportunities and focus on those that are most appropriate to you. Think about whether a publisher is driving sales volume or increasing brand awareness and know what you’re trying to achieve. Work out financial costs and know what resources are needed from your side.

BONUS TIP (because we’re nice)…

6. Don’t limit yourself to one device.

Be prepared to look at different opportunities on different devices. Many advertisers still disregard mobile campaigns, yet more and more consumers are making purchases on their mobile or tablet device. It’s imperative to understand your consumers’ behaviour on different screens and how they interact with your brand in the digital space. This knowledge will allow you to optimise channels, be responsive and deliver them with up to date content and creative.

For more information on these tips, or to get further advice on seasonal planning, speak to your account manager.