Tag : seasonality

Winning at Affiliate Survivor

affiliate survivalSometimes being an affiliate can be like participating in Survivor. To win you have to need to outwit, outlast, and outplay your competitors.

There’s a reason the show Survivor has endured on TV for 36 seasons. The premise is very simple. However, it plays out with unexpected twists and turns each time as the mix of various personalities navigate a social experiment with many factors out of their control. Participants surely understand the basics. Many are even super-fans or devoted students of the game. But crucial to the competition are adaptability and savvy in all facets of the game.

And while there’s no getting voted off the affiliate island, consumers do “vote”with their wallets. That means affiliates must be able to deftly navigate a myriad of areas including social, content, brand building, SEO, business planning and more. Faltering in any of those areas might extinguish your affiliate aspirations. Game over.

Outwit

Have a Plan – You’ve got to have a plan and execute on it. It’s inevitable  that things change – and rapidly. You’ll need to adapt and be flexible. But without a solid plan going in or an evolving plan, you’re not going to be able to move forward.You should review your business plans every 6 months and update as necessary.

Go Deep – Going a mile wide and an inch deep, isn’t going to get you to success. Instead think about doing the opposite. By focusing on a very specific niche and taking deeper dive into that specific market, you’ll be able to better serve the needs of the audience. It’s a more effective tactic to have a small, extremely loyal user base. , than a huge base that isn’t invented in what you are promoting. Maybe as a travel affiliate your niche is Las Vegas or vacationing families or roadtrippers or foodies.

Outplay

Leverage Content – One way to outplay rivals is to create content they can’t compete with. Because affiliates are often smaller companies they are more nimble than the brands they promote. This enables them to innovate more quickly. That’s true of leveraging content marketing as well. Creating unique, compelling content that has a laser focus on the target market, can be done very quickly by affiliates. And by using analytics it’s simple to see what resonates with the audience and what converts.

Be a Trendsetter – Get in front of breakout and seasonal trends. If you’re planning in advance it’s easier to see in July what might be hot for the holidays. There are also more seasonal events emerging – like Spring Break. Always be on the lookout for new trends in pop culture, art, among celebrities, etc. Often trends from other areas can be easily translated (with a bit of creativity) to specific niches. It might be a color that is hot, a style of decor or a something in fashion. For example if you’re a travel affiliate, you could leverage a return to nostalgia. More people are looking for experience getaways that recreate their childhood – like renting an RV and visiting all the National Parks or taking in baseball games at several major league parks.

Get Creative with Content – Think beyond the blog. Posts are great for some content. But think about mixing it up. You can use quizzes, infographics, video, reviews, user generated content. unusual content formats for recommending products and more. Variety keeps regular visitors interested. It also adds interest and can help with search rankings. Check out more ways to get creative with your content.

Outlast

Build a Brand – Consider what you’re doing to develop the brand of your affiliate website. That’s because brand building comes with many benefits. They include recognition, loyalty, a perception of size and quality, and the perception of experience and reliability.  These combine to provide a significant comfort level for potential customers. Establishing overall trust helps shoppers eventually become repeat customers, which can increase average order value and lifetime customer value – all important success metrics.

Think Recurring Revenue – With affiliate marketing, there is no assurance that your current strategy will work in a month. It could be Google updating their ranking algorithm, your favorite affiliate program shutting down, or media buying costs increasing. It’s wise to mitigate against the possibility of major changes.

Diversify Revenue –  Don’t rely on a single traffic source or a single monetization method. Affiliate, pay-per-click, sponsorships, paid placements all help your affiliate business from being vulnerable to one source of making money.

Look for New Promotional Opportunities – There may be some brands that perform well for your affiliate sites, but consider also joining new programs. Don’t get stuck in what’s working now. But you may be overlooking other programs to help increase your affiliate revenue and work well with in your niche.

Take Advantage of Tech Trends – Staying on top of what’s hot in tech can put you ahead of the competition. Whether it’s AI, chatbots, new mobile tech, blockchain and cryptocurrency developments or whatever else is coming down the pike, it’s always an advantage to be thinking about how developments might impact your business. Or better yet, how you can leverage that tech to make more money.

Careful consideration of all these areas can help make you the ultimate affiliate survivor with a sustainable, successful business.

Promoting Spring Break is Big for Affiliates

travel affiliates spring breakIf you’re a travel affiliate you know that seasonality can definitely impact your business. But affiliates promoting travel-related offers now have a new season to look forward to  – Spring Break.

Over the last few years, Spring break has officially become its own seasonal occurrence and promoting it can be big business. IBISWorld estimates that Spring Breakers spent $1.8 billion in 2017, boosting revenue for travel and hospitality industries in the United States.

Of late, consumers are more focused on taking a break and getting away than searching for a specific destination. In the past Spring Break has primarily been associated with rowdy college kids partying in warm climate locations such as Daytona Beach, Florida and Cancun, Mexico.

Spring Break began in the 1930’s as a vacation period in early spring at universities and schools, However, it now includes time off for all educational levels from kindergarten to college. It’s also often known as Easter vacation, Easter holiday, April break, Spring vacation, mid-term break, study week, reading week, reading period, or Easter week. And while Spring Break is mostly about shaking off the winter chills in a warm climate, it’s more about just taking a needed and scheduled break.

So here are some ways that travel affiliates can make hay during Spring Break:

Go Big for Spring Break

Just as you would other seasonal travel times like Christmas and Thanksgiving travel, be sure to group offers together. Having all offers in one place under a single creative on your home page can help drive sales. It also streamlines the search process for consumers who aren’t sure what they want to do over the break. 

Highlight Top Destinations

The leading booking engines will send out lists of top destinations. Be sure to highlight offers for those popular destinations. Think about having your own list of top 10 or 25 Spring Break destinations to draw in consumers.

According to Booking.com these are the top destinations for 2018 spring break

  • Atlanta
  • Atlantic City
  • Cancún
  • Clearwater Beach
  • Corpus Christi
  • Daytona Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Key West
  • Las Vegas
  • Miami
  • Miami Beach
  • Monterey
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Ocean City
  • Orlando
  • Palm Springs
  • Panama City Beach
  • Playa del Carmen

Think Beyond Fly and Flop

With Spring Break becoming more popular beyond just college partiers, you need to think about other travelers. There are families, baby boomers, and millennials. Many of those groups aren’t looking to fly to a warm beach destination and just soak in the sun. Beach destinations remain popular, but travelers are also using spring break to explore Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.

Additionally, many travelers want to balance relaxation with experiences. That can mean promoting cultural immersion tours, backpacking adventures, yoga retreats and spas, as well as wine tasting tours and more.

Think Inside the (Batter’s) Box

Often there are other annual seasonal events that correspond with Spring Break – like Spring Training. There are millions of baseball fans that are devoted to their teams. And promoting offers for destinations in Florida and Arizona where all the Major League Baseball team have training facilities, is a good way to draw in more travelers. Having a special Spring Training page and listing hotels and accomodations near each team’s Spring Training field is a good idea.

Remember Not Everyone Wants Sun

While beach and sunny destinations are hugely popular, there are a lot of travelers that relish the chance to hit the slopes in the spring. There’s still plenty of great skiing out West in Colorado, Nevada and California. In addition, many East Coast ski resorts are still experiencing perfect skiing conditions. 

Pound the Pavement

Not everyone taking a Spring Break will be flying. Some folks use the break to travel by car. Catering to these road warriors is well worth your time. Be sure to promote these offers under your Spring Break umbrella but have a separate page for road trips. You can offer links to driving maps, local attractions and promote festivals or events as well.

With Spring Break firmly establishing itself as a seasonal event, it’s important for travel affiliates to make the most of the time period. So, start establishing some solid promotional plans that can act as a foundation for you to repeat every year.