As the end of the year approaches, so does the beginning of holiday party season.
Some people love being invited to holiday parties, others try to avoid being invited, and then there are those who wish they’d avoided the invitation after the holiday party.
Regardless of where you fall in those categories, there’s one type of party that product marketers want to be invited to: the holiday product round-up.
News feeds and social media will soon be filled with headlines like:
- 10 Fun Presents for Fido
- The Best Budget-Friendly Halloween Decorations
- 15 Tips for Saving Time During the Holidays
- 7 Pantry Essentials for an Unforgettable Thanksgiving
Each one of these is an article your product could be a part of, but you can’t sit around waiting for an invite. A good feature release is your best bet for being invited to the party.
Be Like a Pine Tree
Just as a pine tree is as vibrant in the winter as it is in the summer, your product’s feature story has to be evergreen.
There’s a reason this type of communication is called a “feature story” and not a “press release.” Press releases are traditionally about the news needed now. Feature releases, on the other hand, tell a story.
They should be able to live online for a long time, easy to fit into the constant rotation of themed editorial coverage.
Avoid focusing on time-sensitive information about new launch dates or promotions and concentrate on what makes your product great.
Bring Your Customer To The Table
When coming up with the story you want to tell, a product description or list of tech specs can be a helpful reference for ideas as long as you use them with your customer’s viewpoint in mind.
If your product is energy efficient, talk about how it helps save money. Or, as the end of the year approaches and time itself is a premium, show how your product could save minutes allowing customers to get back to quality time.
The holidays also demand the congregation of family. The “fun for the whole family” bit is a classic, as long as you put a unique spin on that fun. You want something that will help your product stand out from everyone else invited to the party.
This Isn’t a Trick: The Holidays Have Plenty of Treats for B2B, Too
When considering the perspective of your customer, remember that businesses are customers as much as consumers.
Although the holidays may seem B2C-centric, trade publications and industry blogs offer up a lot of opportunities for B2B brands to be invited to the party. You just need to get a little bit more creative.
Headlines like “5 Must Have Tools to Achieve Your Marketing Goals in 2016” or “11 Cybersecurity Services to Be Thankful For” are becoming more and more common.
Can’t find a holiday connection with your company’s products or services? Try leveraging the expertise of your thought leaders or executives for an end-of-the-year tips piece. Saving money or time during the holidays is something that everyone values; offer up an expert who can help readers do that.
The Right Timing is Everything, But Not Everything Is The Right Time
Editors of course do not want to receive your feature story too late, but they can miss it if it comes too early.
Every media point is going to be a little different, and some may publish their editorial calendars online. If they don’t, check whether your organization pitched them previously. If that was successful, schedule your outreach for a similar time this year.
If you’re truly working from scratch, there are ways to reverse engineer what the best timing may be. For instance, look up when a publication’s last holiday-themed issue came out or reach out to them and ask how far in advance they need stories for consideration.
If there’s no time for any of that, you can speak to your distribution partner, who may have their own recommended distribution dates.
The Only Good Holiday Photo
Think about how many family photos and holiday cards line your mantel. The holiday season is one big photo-friendly opportunity. And, fortunately, you don’t have to worry about your product showing up to its photoshoot in a tacky holiday sweater.
While your product doesn’t have an ugly side, don’t get too fancy with the staging and unintentionally limit an editor’s ability to incorporate your image as they may need.
Do make sure your DPI and image size are large enough so that it will look good if printed. Editors can always shrink a file; they can’t size up. You can also mention that multiple images of your product are available in case they want more than one option.
Just as you won’t be invited to every holiday party, it’s unlikely that even the best feature story will get your product in every holiday round-up. However, these tips should help you maximize those invitations. Just be sure to enjoy that eggnog in moderation.
Get more tips on reaching customers and influencers via editorial coverage with our white paper Five Keys to Crafting Press Releases that Drive ‘Earned Media.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 5 Tips for Landing Your Brand an Invite to a Holiday Product Round-Up
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