Preparation and Communication for a Solid Q4

Q4 is a busy time for bloggers, social media influencers, and the brands they work with. For many businesses – blogging businesses included – Q4 brings in the most revenue. With the proper amount of planning, it can also bring in the most profit.

We talked to digital marketing expert, Karen Garcia from Lab6 Media about Q4 and what she suggests that bloggers do to make the most of the monetization opportunities this season brings.

DEFINITION: “Q4” refers to the fourth quarter of the year, the calendar months of October, November, and December. Since these three months are largely focused on holiday planning, shopping, and gatherings, Q4 is a time when marketers, and their blogging partners work together to influence consumer buying patterns.

Winning Q4 With Preparation and Communication

Below are the questions that we asked Karen, along with her insightful answers that focus on preparation and communication:

Q: Why do you believe Q4 requires special attention from Influencer Marketers?

A: Q4 is an important time of year for marketing in general, but for Influencers, this is the time of year when potential customers are actively seeking information, advice, and recommendations more than any other time of the year. Additionally, they’re looking for a multitude of items:

  • Gift ideas
  • Holiday travel suggestions
  • Winter activities
  • Recipes
  • Home decor
  • Large household purchases.

Regardless of your specific focus as an influencer, there is definitely a wide variety of monetization opportunities for you in Q4.

Q: What are some opportunities that influencers and/or brands could miss out on if they aren’t strategically planning for Q4?

A: Despite an amazing amount of pre-planning, brands always have last minute opportunities. Influencers who have planned ahead and have updated media kits, placement ideas, and are easy to contact are going to be the ones who win big during Q4. If you do paid placements, have a clear price list you can share and respond swiftly. During the hustle of the holidays, there isn’t a lot of time for lengthy negotiations, so those that are upfront with competitive offers will be rewarded with a brand’s attention.

Q: What are some things that you are doing to prepare for Q4?

A: Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of outreach to existing partners to ensure they have what they need for the upcoming months as well as contacting new potential partners we are interested in working with for the holidays.

Also, a successful Q4 requires a lot of behind the scenes preparation by affiliate managers from setting up promotional campaigns, to crafting newsletters and announcements and even preparing January postmortem documentation that will be used in advance of Q4 in 2019.

Q: What are some things that an influencer and/or brand can do to make the most out of Q4?

A: To make the most out of your Q4, I highly recommend that influencers take a little time to update your media kit to your most recent metrics and make sure your social media handles are listed correctly. Also, take a good look at your site from a variety of browsers to ensure that it’s displaying properly, even if you focus mostly on social media. I would also recommend following the social media accounts of brands you are interested in working with as well as their management agencies. This allows them to easily message you and start conversations that can lead to collaborations. Make sure you have already joined the affiliate programs and newsletter lists of brands you want to work with as well as those brands with current collaborations. Keep an eye out for product launches, new feature emails, and other newsworthy items you can promote and then proactively contact the manager with your own content and promotion ideas.

Get Q4 Ready Today

Take Karen’s advice and start getting your site and your media kit ready for Q4 now. Your advance planning will put you in a great spot competitively, and will ensure that you have time to enjoy the holidays with your family.

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Karen has more than eighteen years of experience in e-commerce and marketing. Since 1999, she has consulted on and profitably managed dozens of affiliate programs, from large national brands to niche merchants. She received the 2009 ShareASale “Pay It Forward” Award for Industry Advocate, speaks frequently at conferences, has many published industry articles, and served on the Board of Directors for the PMA. She was honored with a 2016 Pinnacle Award nomination for Affiliate Manager of the Year.

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