The 2020 year has been full of unforeseen obstacles, and every month we seem to graduate to a new, more difficult level. Nothing is constant, and everything feels up in the air concerning smart, responsible business decisions.
No matter what the rest of the year holds – one thing will stand true: Somehow, we will celebrate holidays. Will we be with family in person on thanksgiving? Will we need to share hot chocolate and eggnog over a zoom meeting? Everyone you ask will have a different answer.
Holiday cheer is a force to be reckoned with, and people will get creative with revamping traditional holiday activities. And if I’m sure about anything this year, it’s this: creative gift-giving will be essential.
Because connecting with your loved ones on holidays may not be in person this year, gift-giving is an even more important channel of gratitude and self-expression. That’s a lot of pressure on gift-givers, and they will be reaching out for help.
For companies, this is a great opportunity to get in front of your audience with rave reviews, beautiful product photos, and social proof from trusted sources right when they are researching the perfect gift.
So, how do we get our products on these lucrative and coveted lists?
Don’t waste time chasing down spots on gift guides that don’t benefit you. When in doubt, focus on your audience.
When looking for a good gift guide to pursue, keep in mind your audience’s price point, and find a guide where you fit smack dab in the middle. Being a mid-range price option in a list is a good strategy because your product will be perceived as quality but not a needless splurge. If your product is the most expensive item on a guide, it will be considered out of the price range for readers. If it is the most inexpensive thing on the list, it may be seen as cheap.
Don’t stop at the December holidays. If you can find your audience on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Grad gift guides, these are great goals that probably have less competition.
Look for niche guides. There are many people out there who have an idea of what they want to gift, but just need to see a list of good options. Make sure to be on that list by reaching out to niche gift guides. Niche or theme gift guides can be as general as “10 gifts for the outdoorsy person in your life” or as specific as “10 lip glosses perfect for a stocking stuffer.” Whether it’s industry-specific or product-specific, these specific gift guides can reach someone who just needs the last bit of info before landing on the right brand.
While it would be nice to be featured on every year’s gift guide going forward, one good gift guide shoutout can have clout for years. Find older guides that are still powerful by doing a little investigation:
Chances are a few guides will pop up, and chances are they aren’t all from this year. Those older guides are still incredibly valuable opportunities, and if the author is still active, they may appreciate the fresh recommendations.
The horizon for gift guides is broader than Google’s results because it’s not the only place to search for and find quality gift guides. There will be different results on each platform you research, and therefore more opportunities for outreach and partnerships.
For example, Pinterest is a very popular avenue for gift idea creation and research. There is no shortage of general and niche gift guides on this platform to explore.
You can even break out of the box of articles and look at YouTube for gift guide vlogs. This is a great opportunity to create partnerships with influencers and open the door to having your products featured in future YouTube videos.
The early bird gets the worm.
If you’re reaching out to content creators in November, or even October to be showcased on this year’s gift list, in many cases you may have missed the train by a long shot. Well-made gift guides are planned months in advance, so the earlier you can start a conversation, the better.
Want to have your request or pitch taken seriously? Never send boilerplate outreach! If your ask seems general, boring, and ordinary, that’s how content creators will view your product. No one wants to answer boilerplate outreach, so make sure to reflect your brand and what you can bring to the table every time you reach out to a potential gift guide creator
You can increase your chances by sweetening the deal. This process is quite commonplace, and many content creators may not consider editing or adding to their gift guides unless there is something in it for them.
In your outreach, you can add an incentive that’s hard to ignore. If you’re reaching out to a single author, blogger, or influencer, sending samples, free trials, or a free experience can help them feel confident promoting your product.
If you’re reaching out to a company, consider paying for the spot or offering a small commission with every purchase that comes from the guide.
With gift guides, you only have a couple of lines to convince a reader that your product would be the perfect gift. Make sure to jam-pack it with the most compelling and relevant information.
Describing a feeling your product brings instead of just listing product attributes can help paint a picture in the mind of the reader. That can go a long way in helping potential customers imagine how their loved-one will use and appreciate the gift.
Include information on if your product does good for communities and/or the environment. Something about the holidays makes us want to be the best possible versions of ourselves as consumers. Sharing the positive impact a consumer makes by supporting your company can be the deciding factor if your competitor doesn’t touch on that at all.
Not only does thoughtful copy inspire readers to purchase, offering a draft of your product showcase makes the editing and adding of your product infinitely easier for the author, and they may be more likely to copy/paste it in.
During the hectic schedules of holidays, convenience will win almost every time.
Gift guide creators want to capitalize on that convenience-based value, so promoting these benefits may set you apart from alternative gift recommendations that don’t.
Convenience like Free shipping and return, Hand-written notes, Tasteful gift-wrapping and extra little gifts are all little gems of value that look great on a gift guide description. They can also convince a potential customer that your product is a low-risk option that makes their gifting a snap.
If no little gift guide fish are biting at your bait, don’t worry – you can still get on a gift guide. Your own! The main objective is to offer (seemingly) unbiased and well-researched recommendations while still highlighting your product as the best option.
While backlinks and third-party recommendations are great, some benefits come with being your own gift promoter.
You are the expert of your own audience, so you can speak to what they want to see. By writing a gift guide, you have full creative control over your product information and the other recommendations available. You can choose how much content is dedicated to your product, and work it to set it apart from the rest of the options.
Making it on a coveted gift guide can feel like you made it on the cover of the New York Times. Increase your chances of drumming up interest in your gift recommendations by making this year’s round of gift guides! If you need help getting your awesome gifts in front of your audience, reach out to our team!