A simple survival guide for brands planning their ‘holiday content’

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, find out how to maximise your PR with gift guides, promos and a holiday social media strategy.

There comes a moment every year when your normal grocery shop gets interrupted. When the pasta aisle is suddenly taken over by Christmas cards and candy canes and you think to yourself ‘surely not’. Try as we might, the holiday season sneaks up on us every year. Despite our very best intentions, we’re resigned to spending the last few weeks of December shopping like maniacs; filling our trollies with food, drinks, decorations, and last-minute gift ideas for the people you’ve accidentally forgotten – sorry Dad!  

While your Dad will still love you after unwrapping his gift of undies and socks (for the fifth year running!) your PR strategy won’t be quite so forgiving. For the holiday period is a treasure trove of PR opportunities. Like no other time of the year, everyone on the planet is searching for fresh gift ideas, sourcing the best prices and looking for a bit of Christmas cheer and NYE inspo. As the average person is winding down, PR campaigns are ramping up, churning out gift guides, social media posts and holiday promos. Failure to keep to up will result in being left behind as your customers turn elsewhere for the best holiday content.

But fear not! We’ve compiled all the best tips to help you plan your Holiday Content. From gift guides to season’s greetings, we’ve got you covered – including how to keep your content going through the post-Christmas food coma!

 

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MAKE GIFT GUIDES YOUR SECRET WEAPON

Gift guides are an essential part of any holiday-based PR strategy. Landing the right product in the right magazine can result in exposure, brand awareness and a massive sales spike. While the prevalence of gift guides grows with every year, so do a number of brands competing for a place in one. Here are our top tips for getting your products a gift-guide feature:

  • Narrow it down – While we’re sure all your products would make great gifts this holiday season, we’d recommend selecting three of your faves to pitch. Look through your range and select those that are most gift-worthy. Pick items that photograph well and pop off the page, with affordable price points and universal appeal if you really want to impress.
  • Know your target – If you’re a gift guide connoisseur like ourselves (all those last-minute gift dashes have taught us something!), you’ll know that gift-guides are almost always curated with a specific group in mind. Mums, dads, garden lovers and wannabe chefs will all get their own guides filled with products they’re sure to love. Make your pitch more desirable by identifying who your product appeals to and how it could best be featured.  
  • Don’t forget the details – When a journalist is putting together a gift guide, they need to know e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Make sure you include all key information about the product including the RRP, stockists and special holiday deals.
  • Get in early – If you’re anything like us, you’re not thinking about Christmas until the family are knocking on your door for Christmas lunch, but this is way too late when it comes to gift guides! The average magazine works to a three-month lead time, but Christmas issues can get under way even earlier. The amount of research, sourcing and shooting that goes into Christmas issues means that many mags start their December issue up to six months in advance! If you want that gift-guide coverage, get in early!

 

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GET COMPETITIVE 

Last year, almost half a billion dollars was spent in Aus over the holidays, with a whopping 40% of Australian retailers’ annual income being made over the December month. With such massive numbers, it’s no wonder Christmas sees some of the year’s most competitive strategies. Accordingly, working out promos, offers and bulk deals are an essential park to planning your holiday content.

The easiest way to get amongst it is to offer competitive deals and slashed prices. From free shipping to 50% sales, money talks and saving your customers serious dollars is a sure-fire way to get yourself noticed. But if you can’t afford to drop your pricing, don’t fret, there’s plenty of other ways to get competitive over Christmas!

  • Host an event this can be in store or at a designated space. Invite influencers, locals and your most valued customers to make them feel appreciated and watch your products fly off the shelves!
  • 12 days of give-aways  – A fantastic way to get noticed is to host your own 12 Days of Christmas with a giveaway each day. Get customers to follow your social media, repost an image, or make a purchase to go in the running. Giving away a separate prize every day will help extend the life of the campaign and give you great moment leading into Christmas!
  • Free downloadsWhat if your product doesn’t scream “Christmas gift” or you’re a stylist or designer and can’t get in on the action? Why not offer your customers a freebie to download? Think customised gift tags, cards or wrapping paper. Maybe you’ve got a killer Christmas table arrangement or wrapping flat lay that people can follow? Identify your strengths and get creative!

 

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NAIL YOUR HOLIDAY SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

As you party away on NYE, posting to your brand’s social media is often the last thing on your mind. While you can be forgiven for clocking off as the holiday season rolls around, be aware that the majority of people are on holidays, with plenty of free time to spend browsing their social media, catching up with blog posts and sourcing the best products to take them into the new year. If you want to stay relevant and grow your brand, your social media can’t take a day off – even if you do!

  • Show off your assets  – If you’ve read the former point and have found your competitive streak, make the most of it by running promos across social media. If you’ve got a sale on, make sure your audience knows about it with Facebook posts and Instagram shots. Film your holiday packaging on your Instagram stories and publicise your inclusions in gift guides.
  • Stay in theme Capture attention by making your posts holiday-centric. Join in on relevant hashtags and snap images of your office decorations and Christmas parties. Why not do a profile on what to wear on Christmas Day, how to decorate your tree and how to set your table in a festive way. If you want to keep your customers engaged, why not give them a branded hashtag and invite them to share images of them using your products, you can repost the best for easy content fillers!
  • Scheduling is your friend – You might resolve to post on Christmas Day but that third helping of trifle says otherwise! We recommend investing in a decent scheduler so you can keep your posts on time. The best of the bunch (we love Preview, SchedugramHootsuite and Planoly) will also report on how your posts performed so you can finetune your strategy and stay in the loop once that eggnog wears off.

 

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Looking for more tip on getting your brand noticed over the holiday period? Take a look at our posts on which media to contact with your story and how to make sure they read your pitch emails every time! Plus..stay tuned for our very own gift guide series featuring over 100 Flaunter brands…

 

Image credits: Holiday cheer by Tommy Hilfiger (banner); holiday gift guide flatlay by Stephanie Hankim; get competitive via Art Law & More; minimalist Christmas via Pinterest.