How to Create a Powerful 4th Quarter Affiliate Marketing Plan

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Are you ready to get the most out of your 4th quarter affiliate marketing?

From Halloween (now at a record $8.4 billion in retail spending) to the winter holidays, now’s the time to make your list and check it twice… your content marketing plan checklist, that is.

Assuming you’ve got your overall content marketing plan in place – you’re clear on your audience, know how to write for people (with search engines in mind), picked your most effective social channels, and have a handle on your SEO, here are four action items to help you hone in on your content strategy for the rest of the year.

1) Customize your content marketing mission statement so it directly speaks to your audience.  

For starters, take the words “content” and “marketing” out of the equation. Your goal isn’t just to write content or just to market to your audience; your mission is to deliver to your clients exceptional, valuable information that they can’t get anywhere else.

For example, if you blog about shoes, you need a strong, specific mission statement: I want to help people find the best deals on designer shoes. Now, hone it in for your 4th quarter marketing mission: I want to help people find the best deals on the hottest designer shoes for the holiday season. This level of detail clarifies your niche and allows you to laser beam focus on the hottest trends and topics of the season.

2) Tailor your topics to address your audience’s biggest challenges, questions and concerns.

At Social Media Marketing World, Marcus Sheridan of the Sales Lion cautioned publishers to get away from the fluff and grab the gusto with his “Big 5” blog or article topics that will “move the needle.” In order to drive traffic, traction and clicks -- not just year round, but especially during the holidays when everyone is vying for consumers’ time, attention, and wallet -- the types of posts Sheridan recommends are those that:

●      Solve readers’ problems

●      Provide information about cost/price

●      Offers clear, comprehensive comparisons

●      Gives honest, meaningful reviews

●      Ranks the “best of” or “top

If you need help anticipating your readers’ queries, check out BuzzSumo’s new Question Analyzer. This helpful tool allows you to input a keyword or phrase, and then scours hundreds of thousands of forums and websites to deliver the most commonly asked questions related to that topic – plus links to the best answers. For example, if you put in “Halloween costume,” you’ll find the most searched questions revolve around “best Halloween costume ideas,” “Halloween costume for a(n) x year old,” and “cute Halloween costumes.” This tool can help you hone in on your readers’ burning questions to develop valuable, “Big 5” content.

3) Leverage eBay’s marketing efforts to amplify your own.

You want to deliver the best, most relevant results and information to your audience… and we’re with you every step of the way. Take for example Halloween: eBay’s online Halloween hub, aka “Costume Closet,” makes it easy for buyers to quickly find the exact costume they’re looking for. It also makes it simple for you to find great recommendations for costumes to share with your readers.

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As Black Friday (November 24th), Cyber Monday (November 27th) and all holiday shopping points in between draw near, be sure to read the EPN blog regularly, as we will continue to spotlight special promotions and earnings opportunities on eBay for the season’s hottest and hardest to find gifts.

4) Review your analytics and reports to identify your best opportunities and audience.

From traffic to demographics, your site analytics to date, as well as those from 4th quarter 2016, will give you rich insight into what makes your audience tick – and click. Your social media analytics should also give you an idea of the content and themes that are most engaging to your followers. And take a good look at your EPN reports to see sales trends so you know what’s worked over time, and what hasn’t. Don’t just skim the surface; take a deep dive into your stats. As we advised in our previous post on how to earn double commissions by converting high quality buyers, make sure you examine data from rich reports like the Transaction Download Report (TDR), which helps you determine which categories, pages and listings are producing new or reactivated buyers – and thereby earn double commissions during the busiest time of the year by targeting these buyers.

Set your sights on holiday content marketing success by making sure you’ve hit all the highlights on this holiday prep checklist. And let us know in the comments what you’re doing to get ready to rock your 4th quarter marketing plan.

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