Holiday Gift Guides: A Brand’s Time to Shine

December 4th, 2015

Ring in a Successful Holiday Gift Guide Marketing Campaign

For small businesses, the most wonderful time of the year is also usually the busiest as consumers flock to stores and go online to shop for gifts for their loved ones. However, this time of the year is also the most important time for businesses and their marketing departments to focus on their public relations and social media efforts, to help promote their products and drive sales before the year’s end.

So, how can businesses and their marketing departments, already stretched thin, shine their product in the best marketing light and cash in on the shopping craze? Simply wear a few more hats – that are well coordinated of course! Evoke Marketing offers some tips for a successful holiday gift guide public relations blitz:

  • Get Ahead of the Game: Magazines and other long-lead media work months in advance, closing their issues while we’re still soaking up the last bits of the summer sun. So, when possible, pitch long lead media at least 3-4 months in advance for consideration. Also, plan ahead with your marketing team, by setting up brainstorming sessions, calendar alerts and casually reminding them of deadlines during calls and meetings. If there’s no way your brand (or your client) will have the holiday product information and images in time, still take the initiative to “tease” select key media to see if they bite and are willing to extend the deadline.
  • Quality Over Quantity: When it comes to pitching media and securing holiday coverage, think quality over quantity. Use your time to research writers and craft smart pitches (that they are more likely to answer) rather than building huge lists and blasting irrelevant press releases to media. With the oversaturation of holiday products, you and your brand have one email to shine, so make it count. One tip I’ve found useful includes researching the publications gift guide from the previous year to see who wrote it, what the angle was and if they would actually be interested in my product. Don’t waste your time pitching an editor or publication that obviously won’t have an interest in your product.
  • Sane Product Sampling: Sending product samples are essential, especially during the holiday season as writers look to touch, feel, taste and experience the products before they promote it to their loyal readers. Though it’s essential, it is also very time-consuming and can easily turn into an organizational nightmare. Remain calm and work to keep yourself organized. At Evoke Marketing, we use an excel grid detailing contact information, mailing dates, follow up notes and coverage updates. For your client, consolidate requests as much as possible by drafting concise, detailed emails usually sent the same day each week, or same time of the day, so they know when to expect the influx of requests.
  • Scheduled Social Posts: With helpful social media tools such as Hootsuite, businesses can easily schedule social media posts (up to 100) on multiple platforms social media platform weeks in advance. Schedule these posts up so you don’t have the hassle later. Also, keep holiday posts creative and engaging. For those who do not have an in-house graphic artist, we recommend using Canva.com, a website that lets you easily and affordably design creative brand content using stock photographs, graphics, and fonts.

So there you have it folks. Now, sit back, relax, watch your product shine, and drink some egg nog.
Happy Holidays

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