Pumpkin Spice Lattes came out today and you know what that means? It’s time to hit year end and holiday marketing plans as hard as you can. That’s right, we are skipping from the end of summer and looking to the end of December. B2C brands are supposed to be hitting most of their revenue for the year in the next few months. In fact, some brands make over 10% of their total revenue in just a few days surrounding black Friday and cyber Monday and online apparel brands report up to 60% of their annual revenue coming in during this time of year. With word of mouth recommendations being twice as effective as traditional paid advertising, many marketers are scrambling to create new strategies that facilitate third party brand recommendations as opposed to self-promotional and traditional marketing tactics. Are you one of them? Rewarding current marketing partners, affiliates, consumers and ambassadors for their performance and power to recommend your brand this upcoming quarter is the most important thing you can do to make sure you powerfully ramp up sales this time of year and capitalize on all of the amazing marketing opportunities that this time of year brings. Here are 5 new ways that you can incentivize your current marketing partners to earn creative, authentic and engaging media for the upcoming year end quarter and holiday season!

Product Usage Posts

Make sure that all of your influencers and affiliates receive the product you’re hoping to push the hardest for holiday season. In order to score posts that are full of creativity and authenticity simply ask your marketing partners to use this product or service in their everyday lives and creatively post how they incorporate it. Here are a few examples:
  • A fashion brand may send all their affiliates their new winter sweater and ask them to wear it doing something they would normally do and tag your brand. Gather up all these posts to show how versatile your product is.
  • Since the holiday season is a gold mine for food brands, a brand may mail their influencers the newest or best product that they’re pushing during Q4. They would then ask influencers to create new recipes and content around said product.
  • A brand with an affinity for crafters, decorators and artists may send their brand fans the materials to make a Christmas gift or gift a fantastic Christmas gift.
SONY DSC Whatever your product or service may be, there is a creative way to give it away to your top performers and incentivize them to create content for and about your brand showcasing it in the most authentic way possible—in their real lives!

Challenge Influencers Against Each Other

Think about human nature and how we all perform better and work harder when there is an element of competition to what we are doing. Create Facebook groups for your influencers so they can see what others are doing and get ideas and feel part of something bigger than just a one off post. Try challenging your affiliates with prizes to see who can perform highest and send an email every few days ranking your top performers to keep the excitement and competition alive.

Create Commission Tiers

Some brands offer commission tiers as a way of incentivizing and paying their affiliate partners. This helps ensure that your influencers are more invested and automatically guarantees that rewards and compensation are given based on performance. Influencers are compensated for their work and brands are satisfied knowing exactly where their budget is going.

Round Up Top Gifts

gifting Think about the top items that consumers will be seeking out to gift this year. Consider who your consumers want to buy gifts for and who would be the perfect receiver of a gift from your brand. Stay with me for a second. It’s a step further than you have to take your other buyer and influencer personas. But is important because more people than not Google for “gift giving ideas” so you will have new buyers and new eyeballs on your website. Make it easy for gift givers to find your products by rounding up the top items that you think would make great gifts and send them to your affiliates and influencers. In the spirit of the holidays and gift giving, consider sending the items as a surprise to your marketing partners for an extra level of potential earned media.


Think about how good it feels when you are the one with inside information or product knowledge that other people don’t have. Capitalize on this fact with your marketing partnerships and consider ways that you can make your affiliates feel part of your brand and in the “inside circle.”
  • Give them product samples before product is launched
  • Provide them with exclusive brand information
  • Create a newsletter just for marketing partners that has deals and information no one else has access to
  • Give your influencers a special discount they can extend to their own audience
Now that the busiest buying season is almost here, hopefully all of your marketing partners are activated and your strategy is solid. If not there is still time and feel free to reach out to us for input or help! Do you have a tip to share when it comes to activating marketing partners for the holiday season?