Holiday Gift Guide Pitching Starts in the Summer
By Katie Parr
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with loved ones — and also a time to shower them in gifts. This year, consumers are expected to spend an average of over $1000 during the winter holiday season, up 4.1% from last year. For B2C companies, this increase in consumer spending presents an even bigger opportunity to capitalize on sales to close year-end.
To capture the attention of holiday shoppers, brands need to start marketing earlier than ever. In fact, 40% of U.S. consumers begin researching their holiday shopping before November even rolls around, with Google searches for “gift guides” beginning to spike in October.
Holiday gift guides are essential for both shoppers and brands alike. To meet the search demand for curated, niche lists for everyone on your list, editors start creating their lineup of recommendations long before summer temperatures start to drop.
At UPRAISE, we make sure your brand is prepared to maximize the success of your seasonal sales by including holiday gift guides in your overall public relations strategy. Keep reading to find out how.
As with any media relations initiatives, we start by doing extensive research into websites, blogs and influencers in your brand’s target market. We think about search terms consumers will use when shopping for your product and target the best outlets that will help them find it. Today’s media receive hundreds of pitches every day, making it impossible to respond to, or even read them all. We’ve spent time building relationships with key editors and influencers, so we know what they’re looking for and what their readers want to see. By crafting a personalized, creative pitch, we grab their attention and make them want to learn more.
Some editors and influencers will request a sample of your product to try for themselves before recommending to their audience. If you can afford it, this is a great way to secure inclusion in holiday gift guides and possibly a more in-depth article or blog post reviewing your product. Consumers trust other consumers, not brands, so we leverage the power of influencers to receive endorsements promoting your product.
The benefit of these reviews is that they are authentic, generating trust among your audience. While the editor will give their own recommendations in reviews, it is helpful to create a reviewer’s guide to ensure they review your product correctly, against the correct set of competitive products.
No one said you couldn’t create your own gift guide for the holiday season, in fact, we’re encouraging it! Who better to create a list that showcases your products, than YOU (or your trusted PR agency 😉).
To get started, think about your best-selling products and which would make the best gifts for dad, girlfriend, mother-in-law, boss, etc. You can also use a tool like Google Trends to identify opportunities in your location or industry to improve your SEO.
The best part about creating your own gift guide is that you can distribute it through so many channels! Publish the list to your blog, share it on social media and send it to your email marketing database. You’ll want to get creative to ensure you stand out. A fun idea would be creating the 12 days of Christmas, promoting a new product for 12 consecutive days during the holiday season.
Gift guides are fun to curate and often provide a high return on investment for your time. When featured by key media, you’re capturing the attention of a new, targeted audience filled with shoppers that have an intent to purchase. To maximize the potential of your brand this winter, you’ll have to start now, before the leaves start to fall.