If you've got a product-based business, appearing in a gift guide can be excellent to boost your sales before major events like Christmas or Valentine's Day and increase your brand awareness.
But how do you get your product in a magazine gift guide then?
There are three simple rules to getting your product into the glossy gift guide that will boost your sales for you.
The timing for releasing your product news for inclusion in gift guides is critical. Typically journalists will be working to long lead times in compiling their pages so that you need to have your contributions with them well in advance of the seasonal event you are pitching for. Christmas gift guides are often being compiled in September, with Easter in January and Valentine’s Day special gift being sought in December.
The first step though is working out which magazine gift guide you want your product to go into, and then enquiring both of who will be creating the article and what their timescale is. This enables you to target both where you want to be seen, and increase your chances of being there at just the right time to be picked up.
If on the other hand, you want to appeal to a broad group of magazines and are just interested in focusing on an event, or calendar date, then you will need to make your own timing decisions, on when the right time to post your news is. A rough guide for this is to work to a schedule of two months prior to the event.
You need then, to work with a service to distribute the release to the appropriate target journalists.Click here to read our article on how to distribute your press releases in order to reach your target publications.
Equally importantly, your content headline has to stand out from the crowd and point to what is in the release, to draw the journalist into reading more.
Then the content must have an edge to it too. If your product is to be picked for a guide, there must be something different about it.
Make sure that comes through clearly in the body of your comments. Think like the reader in putting this together. That’s whom the journalist is trying to influence, so to help them pick your product, try to give them the clear reason why they should, based on the appeal to their reader.
It might seem obvious, but to be included in a guide, you must attach a good image to the release too. This has to be of good quality and simple for the journalist to use.
A final tip. Some journalists like to be convinced to include a product in a guide by trying the product itself. If you are targeting one specific journalist and guide, to send a sample direct to them, will not only grab their interest but will also give them the chance to test it themselves.
If you are looking to a wider audience, then, think about adding a footnote to your release offering to send a sample to any interested journalist.
This not only offers them the test opportunity, but it also helps you build the list of those interested in covering your product enabling you to build your own bespoke target list for the future too.
Written by: Peter Ibbetson, Company Director