We regularly sit down with a member of Matter’s Precision team to ask how PR professionals can put best practices into action. This month, we asked Account Director, Kat Aronofsky, how brands can get their products into holiday gift guides. Kat has led consumer PR teams to critical coverage in Forbes, NYT Wirecutter, TODAY, Buzzfeed, Good Housekeeping, New York Magazine, Popsugar and more.
The holiday season is one of the most exciting and crucial times of the year for consumer brands. It’s a time when perspective buyers are actively seeking the perfect gifts for their loved ones, making holiday gift guides (HGG) an essential part of their decision-making process.
Securing placements in these coveted gift guides can significantly boost your brand’s visibility, credibility and sales – but many don’t know where to start.
Q: Why do holiday gift guides matter for my product lines?
A: Holiday gift guides can significantly boost sales for brands in several ways:
- Increased Visibility: When your product is featured in a reputable gift guide from a well-known publication or influencer, it gains valuable exposure to a broader audience. This increased visibility can lead to more potential customers discovering your brand and product during an intense buying season.
- Credibility and Trust: Being included in a holiday gift guide gives your brand and product a stamp of approval from trusted sources, such as media outlets, bloggers or influencers. Consumers trust recommendations from these sources and featuring your product in a gift guide can enhance your brand’s credibility while building trust with potential buyers.
- Competitor Differentiation: In highly competitive markets, being featured in a gift guide can help differentiate your product from competitors. It showcases your product’s unique features and benefits, giving it an advantage over similar offerings in the market.
Q: Ok, but it’s summer – why are we talking about this now?
A: Many media outlets and bloggers start planning their gift guides months before the holiday season, typically in July and August. Research the publication’s deadlines and aim to send your pitches at least 2-3 months ahead of time. Being early gives you a better chance of standing out and securing valuable placements.
Q: Is pitching holiday gift guides the same as other pitching? How do I land my products in the right one?
A: Holiday gift guide pitching follows many of the traditional pitching best practices, but it’s not apples to apples:
- Tailor Your Pitches: Personalization is key to successful gift guide pitching. Avoid sending generic mass emails. Instead, take the time to understand the publication’s target audience and the writer’s niche. Craft tailored pitches that demonstrate how your product aligns perfectly with their readers’ interests and needs.
- Be Concise and Compelling: Editors and bloggers receive more pitches than Santa does letters to the North Pole. Grab their attention with a concise and compelling subject line and introduction. Clearly communicate the unique selling points of your product and why it caters to your target audience.
- Make it Easy: Don’t make them hunt for the must-have details. A great HGG pitch includes a brief, two to three line product description, a high-quality image of your product with a white background, a high-quality lifestyle photo of your product, final pricing and availability – bonus points if you have an Amazon affiliate link and double bonus points if you’re offering an exclusive deal or promotion for the journalist’s audience with an offer to send a sample so the journalist can try the item for themselves.
- Build Relationships: The secret sauce of PR. Cultivate relationships with editors, bloggers and influencers throughout the year, not just during the holiday season. Building strong connections will increase the chances of your pitches being considered when it matters most.
In conclusion, holiday gift guide pitching requires a well-thought-out strategy, personalization and timely execution. By starting early, tailoring pitches and positioning your product as a unique must-have, you can increase your chances of securing valuable placements for your brand during the most wonderful time of the year. Gift guide features can be a game-changer for brands of all sizes, making the effort well worth it. If you’d like to learn more, drop Kat a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.