Updated 9.17.21 One sure sign that holiday-gift guide deadlines are looming is a dramatic uptick in reporter inquiries. Last year, CBD Marketing Hub tracked hundreds of notices from holiday-gift editors. Although we pass on as many inquiries as we can, there are a few simple things CBD brands can do on their own too.
Getting 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 our complimentary tools, you’re sure to make those all-important gift guides this holiday season.
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 holiday 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 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 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 holiday gift guide suggestions such as:
Include package descriptions, cost and related information. If you are promoting free shipping or other value-add offers like complimentary gift wrapping, mention it.
5. 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.
6. PREPARE A PRESS RELEASE
A good story line goes a long way in getting coverage. See our ‘Pitch Perfect’ sample press release for pitch ideas. If your story line is good, the editor may elevate your brand to a feature story or segment versus a line listing.
7. BE MINDFUL OF MEDIA MANNERS
If you land a position in the holiday-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 holidays” or New Year’s greeting can help your brand build rapport, which may prove helpful for future coverage (think “New Year, New You” story idea).
8. PROMOTE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS STATUS
If you are among the 97 percent of CBD brands that meet the SBA’s small business guidelines, make it a call out. With Google’s report that 66 percent of all shoppers plan to ‘Shop Small’ over the holiday season, your small business status can be a big differentiator.
That’s whey CBD Marketing Hub created this universal Small Business icon. Use it on websites, social media platforms and packaging, as well as holiday promotions. It’s free and a fantastic way to amp up your holiday promotions.
Following these simple 8 tips will go along way in getting your CBD products listed.
Editor’s Note: To learn more contact CBD Marketing Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734.634.9275