If your business is going through a quiet spell because of Covid-19 or shifting consumer trends, it's important to be proactive.
Here are five affiliate marketing strategies you can use to get your sales back on track and set your campaign up for future success.
Further reading: What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?
Monitor your competitors
Even if your sector is struggling or in the off-season right now, try to maintain prominence across key affiliate sites. This will pay off when sales start to pick up.
While it's likely that you're dealing with a restricted budget, your peers probably are too. So, monitor their offerings and promotions to ensure you remain competitive, and make sure to take advantage of any opportunities they've missed.
It's a good idea to focus your efforts on performance-based affiliates, where you'll only pay for conversions. This will help you to gain a foothold ahead of the peak period — and secure valuable brand exposure in the meantime — without incurring profit-eating costs.
Work on reviews
Consumers are spending more time online researching products and services, and reviews are more crucial than ever to attracting and acquiring customers.
During quiet spells, I'd recommend recruiting aggressively around content affiliates and influencers, securing honest reviews by gifting products or offering service trials. This type of content will help raise brand awareness and convert incrementally.
Focus on recruitment
While affiliate recruitment should be carried out year-round, it's all too easy to put off when you're busy fulfilling orders and making the most of your peak period. So, when business is slow, take the opportunity to investigate new affiliates and solutions, so you can set yourself up for future success.
Check out our post '4 affiliate marketing strategies that merchants often miss' for inspiration.
Reward your affiliates
Any downtime is hard on affiliates too: if your sales drop, they aren't earning any commission.
Avoid the temptation to reduce rates in order to cut the cost of the campaign. Instead, strengthen your partnerships by offering exclusive deals and bonuses based on performance. As well as being incentivised to generate conversions now, they should be more motivated to work with your brand once sales pick up again.
Create your own seasonality
You can use the affiliate channel to shift any stagnant stock by creating unique deals for your customers. By creating offers outside of the standard seasonal opportunities, you can add nuance to your sales techniques and generate demand where you need it.
For example, fashion retailers can incentivise shoppers to refresh their wardrobe in late winter, before spring/summer lines are launched, by offering special cashback rates on relevant collections.
Quiet periods aren't all doom and gloom: they present a great opportunity to re-evaluate your marketing and set your business up for future success. If you're interested in working with an affiliate marketing agency, now is the perfect time to get in touch for a free consultation.