Holiday planning in the middle of summer may not make sense at first thought, but the holidays are a crucial time for all your product-based clients as they are counting on you to put them on the map! Gift guides are a powerhouse marketing strategy; however, the planning takes time and of course a lot of creativity!
When to plan
RIGHT NOW! Start thinking of your client’s products, what makes them “gifty”, and where you could place their product in the media. Being proactive will always make your clients happy, especially when it shows that you have big plans for their company.
When to pitch
Ideally, you want to pitch your client’s products for long-lead and short-lead media coverage. For long-lead, you must get your pitch in front of editors in August. Editors receive a high volume of pitches during late August and early September; therefore, you need to be on their radar before the wave.
Short lead-pitches are just as important. Media is looking for products that can be delivered quickly, at a discounted rate, with free shipping – anything that will grab attention as a steal for their consumers. These come out as “last-minute shopping” guides.
HOW TO PREPARE
Preparation with the Client
Learn what marketing goals your client has for the holiday season. They may have a particular product they want to promote, a new product launch, or a specific audience they want to target. Talk to them about pricing, sales/promotions, new packaging, and where the product will be sold.
Something else to consider that will grab media attention are commission links. These links are unique to the article they are featured in. When clicked by a consumer, the sale from that consumer will be tracked by cookies and the blogger or writer will earn a commission from the sale.
The fun stuff. This is where you can come up with how you will create the hype for your product. What is going to make your product a must-buy item for the holidays? You need to frame your gift guide to a certain target market such as; the best present to give your energetic toddler, stocking stuffer must-haves, the gift for your glamour girl and much more!
Take advantage of every significant shopping day during the season! It starts as soon as black Friday, don’t forget about small business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals! People go nuts for these national days and are eager to get the best products with the best deals.
For your client, it is simply the uptick in sales. There is a reason why every PR firm wants their client’s merchandise on a gift guide – people that are searching and reading articles about trending products are looking to make a purchase. These guides exist on all media platforms such as TV, print, radio, podcasts, online and on social media and you can benefit from each one!
According to mckinsey.com, in 2021, 58% of consumers said that social media would influence their holiday purchases. Individuals of all ages are consuming media nonstop during this busy time and it’s up to you to take advantage of it!
Pitching your product with the right creative angle in mind will better set you up for success. Think about what you might google to find a gift to align with a particular interest. The placement in industry focused blogs, magazines, or TV channels will throw your brand in new hands, increasing overall brand awareness!
In terms of benefits for your firm, it is a perfect time to show your client what you can do for their company. This is around the same time that they are budgeting for the next year, which may lead them to consider increasing their scope with you for the following year!
Media is a competitive game! You need to know the players and know the rules. Start to create your game plan now, then don’t stop the hustle till the ball drops in Times Square.