CBD Marketing Hub l Cannabis Marketing-Hub – Spring is a busy season for Gift Guide editors and publishers. Many are actively searching for interesting and innovative products to feature in their annual Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and (College) Graduation Gift Guides.
Getting your brand’s CBD holiday bundles and promotions included on the pages of community newspapers, local and national magazines, blog and influencer sites, and/or featured on area broadcasts is not as difficult as many brand advocates might imagine. With a little research and a few of complimentary tools, you’re sure to make those all-important gift guides.
The promotional team at CBD Marketing Hub l Cannabis Marketing Hub created this handy how-to guide to help brands get listed.
1. MAKE A LIST
Research local/regional/national, trade publications and other media outlets’ gift guides. Area Chambers of Commerce and other community-based organizations frequently publish gift guides, too. Enter ‘media outlet name and Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gift guide’ in your search engine to see if past gift guides pop up. Always check the outlet’s website carefully to see if their promotional calendar or posts reference a 2021 gift guide and related publication guidelines before making any contact.
If information is not available, contact the media outlet (or writer, if known) to see if a 2021 gift guide is planned. Ask about gift guide submission guidelines, deadline(s), the contact information of the person responsible for the guide as well as the guide’s focus.
It’s important to ask about the theme of the gift guide as it can shift from year-to-year. Confirming the guide’s focus may save the time, cost and embarrassment of an ill-advised outreach. Obviously, if a media outlet is focusing in on luxury items, you don’t want to send a pitch that includes best bundles under $25 or vice versa.
Ask about/verify the preferred format for the gift-guide submissions:
Never submit items in a piecemeal fashion. Editors receive a lot of information. If tracking yours becomes too complex, your information will get discarded.
Always remember to ask for the submission deadline and be prepared to meet or beat it.
2. PREPARE/PROVIDE PRODUCT PHOTOS
Assemble quality (high resolution, jpg) images of CBD Gift Bundles, Gift Cards and other promotional items. Most editors prefer to receive them along with your pitch submission, so attach or link them to your original submission.
If photo credits are needed detail the photo credit in the file name as well as in the body of the email. Example: Photo by Alvin Brown/Eye Snap Studios
3. SHIP SAMPLES
An attractively packaged sample box shipment may increase your brand’s odds of getting coverage. Consider tucking in a few snack items and a personal note into your shipment, which frequently represents a welcome addition appreciated by weary editors tethered to their desks.
Make sure you verify the editor’s physical mailing address in order to avoid shipping product to the wrong location or a workplace that has yet to re-open.
4. PACKAGE GIFT IDEAS
Don’t leave it to the editor to figure out your customer demographic or to come up with clever headings for your product gift bundles. Make your own gift guide suggestions such as:
You can even create a simple press release to support your media outreach.
Include package descriptions, cost and related information. If you are promoting free shipping or other value-add offers like a complimentary floral bouquet, gift wrapping, etc. mention it.
5. OFFER PROMOTIONAL INCENTIVES
Media outlets, publications and radio stations are always looking for subscriber/listener incentives. Consider:
6. POST GIFT IDEAS
Post your recommend Gift List on your website and social media pages. It makes it easier for editors and customers to validate (and purchase) your gift offers. A separate Gift Guide landing page is recommended and improves consumer conversion rates.
7. PREPARE A PRESS RELEASE
A good story line goes a long way in getting coverage. If your story line is good, the editor may elevate your brand to a feature story or segment versus a (product) line listing.
8. BE MINDFUL OF MEDIA MANNERS
If you land a position in a local gift guide, make sure you repost the article on your website and social-media channels and mention it in your newsletters or collateral materials as appropriate.
Publish a thank you or other appropriate comment on the publication’s site and/or social media channels. Editors appreciate the recognition and thanks, which will elevate your opportunity for future coverage.
If you are interested in further coverage, make sure you follow-up with the Gift Guide editor one additional time following the publication of the article. A well-timed “Happy Mother’s Day” or “Happy Father’s Day” message to editors can help your brand build rapport, which may prove helpful for future coverage.
9. PROMOTE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS STATUS
Your business is likely among the 97 percent of CBD brands that meet the SBA’s small business guidelines. Don’t be afraid to call out your local ownership in media outreach.
During the 2020 Christmas holiday, Google reported that 66 percent of all shoppers planned to ‘Shop Small’ and expected the trend to continue well into 2021..
Consumers are very conscious of the need to support our nation’s small business recovery efforts, so your small business status can be a big differentiator in a media outlet’s interest in your pitch or promotion.
Following these nine simple tips will go a long way in getting your CBD products listed.