With fall officially here, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. According to eMarketer, in 2016, about a third of US internet users started their holiday shopping in October or earlier, and 7% had already completed it. In 2016, Black Friday discounts effectively began a week earlier, and this trend is expected to continue in 2017, prompting shoppers to buy earlier than ever before.

Now is the time for publishers to focus on preparing for the biggest shopping period of the year. These tips will help ensure readiness for the fast-approaching holiday season:

  1. Analyze Past Holiday Performance
    Utilize the data and reporting from your affiliate network to analyze your past holiday performance. This will help you understand which types of products and what type of content led to the most sales. The data will also give insight into which promotions and key dates were the most popular. Successfully identifying what your readers want will help you create an effective campaign plan to pitch to your advertiser partners.
  2. Plan Promotions Early
    Once you’ve completed your analysis of the year before, you can start identifying which promotions and campaigns you want to duplicate for the upcoming holiday season. For publishers, it is important to create a sell sheet for your most successful advertiser partners to negotiate placement and commission opportunities. This will help you create an organized content schedule. It may also be beneficial to build focused pages such as “shop by recipient” or gift guides for specific products or product categories. Remember to track placements, incentives, contests, and all activities for next year’s prep.
  3. Optimize
    Make sure your website is completely up-to-date. A simple creative update can separate you from your publisher competitors and will help make you more visible to potential advertiser partners. Test your site often to ensure it can handle an increase in traffic and shoppers. In addition to this, check that your site is mobile-friendly, which includes speed and intuitive design. Lastly, work with your affiliate network to make sure your affiliate links are functioning and tracking properly.

By following the steps above, you will set yourself up for a stress-free and successful holiday season. Remember to remain true to your audience and authentic to your brand. This will help you focus on the appropriate personalized content to publish for increased sales and success.

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