Getting your product or service into a gift guide can be tricky. But there’s no doubt that when it comes to the holiday season, features in gift guides could make you a tidy fortune for your business (not to mention a bit of fame). Whether you’re on Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways or featured in your local newspaper, you’ll want to get in on the action.
The angst of even more work during the already hectic holiday season steers many business owners away from trying to get featured, but it really shouldn’t, because it’s much easier than you’d think.
Here are five tried and true tips to help get your product, service or business featured in a holiday gift guide:
1. Know when to pitch.
Print publications typically start planning their holiday gift guide in June — pitching early is optimal and don’t be nervous to jet a follow-up email to the person in-charge a couple months later if you haven’t heard back. With the caveat that you offer, what Wasabi Publicity publicist Michelle Tennant, calls “goodies” — more information that helps support your story that intrigues and piques the media’s interest. Regional magazines and large online publications start solidifying features at the September mark and October through mid-November is when to pitch the online versions of those same magazines.
Extra: Sending professionally-shot product photos is a non-negotiable. Think about creating vignettes or little scenes to place your product or service in that gives that audience a sense of how they might use them. Remember: People are attracted to visually stunning images. Photos can do most of the selling for you.
2. Suggest a round-up.
Pitching your product or service as a main feature may not fit into the editorial plans of the publication you’re pitching. However, placing your product as one of many suggested items with a single theme could work. Editors and producers love round-ups because you’ve done all the work for them. You’ve researched and packaged it all so nicely that they would have a hard time turning you down.
For instance: If you make custom cellphone cases you could include it in a round-up titled, “12 Must-Have Items For The Techie In The Family” and your case is just one of the twelve gorgeous gizmos. Voila!
Extra: Create a round-up board on Pinterest and include the link in your pitch. If you’re pitching a product make sure that you put in both the prices and the price alerts on whatever you’re pinning. Pins with prices are 16% more likely to get likes than those without — which increases your viralocity.
3. Keep editorial calendars handy.
Take a peek into the very editorial calendar you’d like to be featured in on EdCals. Here’s one that’s free.
4. Toss out traditional thinking.
People always associate holiday gift guides major thank you or gift giving days like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Graduation, but if you think outside the box and pitch to publication’s for holidays that commemorate cultural or personal celebrations like Mardi Gras, Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, or even National Blood Donor Month you can get coverage in a less competitive guide that’s highly targeted to your offer.
5. Go a little wild.
Don’t let your service languish because you don’t think it belongs in holiday gift guides. While services may not take first place in gift guides they do have a spot. Do you offer online cooking classes geared towards men in their twenties? Does your restaurant ship cakes right to your buyers’ doorstep? Does your company sell wigs for women with cancer who want to look their best during the holidays? There’s no reason those services shouldn’t be offered in a gift guide, too.
The average American puts over $515 into gifts for their family and friends every year during the winter months. That’s no small change.
Potential clients and customers are out there, just waiting to buy-up what you’re offering.
Why shouldn’t they be your clients or customers?
Written by media coach and marketing expert Susan Harrow.