The holiday season can be the most fruitful time of year for brands with regard to sales and moving product off the shelves. This is a period when most consumers are in “buying mode” and are heavily influenced by strategic marketing and Holiday gift guides. Often seen as a crucial period of the year to secure media placements across different mediums including web, print, and broadcast for many brands, these guides are a great way to leverage the Holiday season and further expose your products to millions of potential customers.
What many brands don’t realize is that timing is everything for these gift guides.
Given the fact that many of the longer-lead ones (i.e. print publications, broadcast, and marquee outlets) close their doors as early as August, timing is crucial. From a digital marketing perspective, this lead in time is a great opportunity to begin developing assets and content that will run alongside your Holiday media initiatives. Cohesion between your PR team and digital team is paramount; ensuring that both teams are on the same page will lend itself greatly to achieving your Holiday goals. A great PR agency will prepare for gift guides months in advance, with messaging tailored to individual vertical markets and aligned with editorial calendars to position their clients in an efficient, easy to digest way for the media. This also means that an agency is already discussing gift guide opportunities with the media in July and even as early as June.
However, not all hope is lost for those jumping on board in the September/October time frame! Short-lead gift guides will sometimes close as late as the week of Black Friday, with many media outlets publishing “Last Minute Gift Guides” to help consumers that haven’t quite made up their minds. The shorter lead guides are typically web based and require a more at-the-ready mentality, sometimes put together as little as a week before being published, with publications relying on a few of their go-to sources. At GreenRoom for instance, our strong relationship with the media has established us as a good source for great products to fill these last-minute gift guides, as the media knows we are a very consumer brand focused agency.
Not only should your team aim to get in the door early, they should also be mindful of the editorial calendars and timelines.
In a season known for being hectic, with brands competing madly for the attention of the consumer, one of our aims has always been to make this time of year extremely easy for both the media and our clients. In addition to benefits of the gift guides, a well-equipped agency will not only look to secure placement in a particular gift guide, but also secure an additional product review with the same publication – resulting in two separate hits within the same media outlet.
According to Business Insider, it typically takes 7 – 8 exposures to the consumer before a consumer decides to purchase, making every additional opportunity important. It’s always good to be mindful of developing your PR strategy not only to benefit from gift guides, but also to acquire additional coverage thereafter. Our focus on leveraging Holiday gift guides, strong relationships with the media, and timing conscious approach are just a few of the many strategies we employ to ensure strong coverage year-round and position our clients for great success.