We know what you’re thinking – it’s July – why are we already talking about the holidays? It seems like the holiday season starts earlier each year. Department stores start stocking their shelves (both in-store and online) for the holidays in early fall as consumers start holiday purchasing earlier each year.
Start the Holiday Season One Step Ahead With A PR Agency Partner
With almost everyone shopping e-commerce in some step of their holiday shopping journey, and at least 58 percent of consumers being influenced to purchase what they’ve seen on social media, it makes holiday marketing campaigns critical. We’re here to tell you how partnering with a PR agency can help you reach your goals during the Q4 holiday season with holiday gifting campaigns – and when to get started.
Using a PR Agency led Gift Guide Campaign to Get Top-Tier Media Coverage
Keep Tabs on Editorial Calendars
Keeping tabs on all the Tier A publications’ editorial calendars is a full-time job. Often, your large gift guide publications, such as Buzzfeed, Good Housekeeping, Parents, Today, SELF, Men/Women’s Heath, Delish etc are taking submissions in the late summer months. In fact, in 2020 the first gift guides were seen a week before Halloween-and then in mass quantities ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many of these magazines are asking for samples and beginning to build their lists as far as 3-6 months out, according to Konnect publicists. So it’s best to work with the pros so those submission deadline dates don’t slip by you.
Affiliates Links Can Make or Break
If your product can’t be bought online, or anywhere outside of your website, that is something to discuss with your agency partner as soon as possible. Many top tier publications will only share your product if it is available nationally, and most gift guides will favor Amazon availability due to the possibility of commission. As you create a 360-marketing campaign around the holidays, brands who partner with influencers should also consider having them feature product in their Amazon storefronts over the holidays for continued exposure. Traditionally, in Q4, Amazon’s most shopped days are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In an effort to save on holiday up-charge, these are deliverables you should be looking to lock in over the summer months.
Pool Your Pitches
Editors with blogs or work-related social accounts often share insight into the state of their inboxes — and it’s chaotic. They receive hundreds upon hundreds of emails a day offering product trails, taste tests, and asks for inclusions in upcoming stories. Make sure you’ve done your research on the types of products they cover; bonus points if your description matches their voice and personality as a writer. The benefits of working with a public relations agency is there are a lot of likeminded brands at their disposal, and they can sweeten the deal to a reporter by offering a handful of products for consideration in a gift guide— and only one source to correspond with for all necessary information.
Winning Social with Influencer Gifting
Invest in your Influencers
With holidays come price hikes. If your brand knows they want to activate influencers around the holidays, its best to get an early jump on negotiating holiday deliverables. There are numerous ways to activate influencers around the holidays, a few outlined below:
- Social Gift Guides: Working with influencers who curate their own gift guides is a great social play for brand awareness, because all the brands included might repost or even create ads with that content, therefore getting your brand and products in front of new audiences daily.
- Mailer Gifting: A thoughtfully packaged gift around the holidays to partners who you’ve worked with in the past can result in potential organic coverage. Conversely, launching a new product and providing a small scale mailer (product dependent) to carefully selected partners can move the needle. For example, to announce an upcoming 2022 partnership, online grocer Good Eggs sent out elegantly packaged bottles of wine ahead of the New Year, which resulted in a total potential reach of 325,200 on social across six posts.
- Giveaways: When everything comes with a price tag, who doesn’t clamor for the occasional freebee? And for the brand, it drives followers ahead of the new year, which is crucial for starting off the new year strong. As an example, last year functional supplement brand Zesty Paws activated a mix of retailer and lifestyle pages (@targettales and @dontstopmeowing) which resulted in 815 new followers to the Zesty Paws’ Instagram page.
Bolster with Brand Owned Giveaways
Brand owned giveaways reach a completely different audience — your loyal fans. With all of them tagging a friend in the comments by way of entry, your brand is marketing to folks who may have heard or seen your brand, but who have yet to try it or follow. The exciting part of a brand owned giveaway is the value add of partnering with likeminded brands to get fans excited to enter the giveaway, and reach a completely new audience. Last year, Zesty Paws brand-owned giveaway, in partnership with Harper Made, Shaya Pets and Pup Mom Crate resulted in an additional 1,098 new followers.
With a strong-armed, strategic and early approach to the holidays, you’ll find ROI from the media and social efforts put in. If you’re interested in a customized plan ahead of the holidays, Konnect with us to learn how our social, creative and media teams can help you achieve your business goals in Q4.