It seems that every food and beverage comes in a pumpkin flavor variety and sidewalks are scattered with leaves that make an awesome extra crunchy sound.
For many people this means Fall is here!
For marketers, this means it’s time to wrap up your plan to promote your brand to holiday shoppers.
Two thirds of shoppers plan to do at least part of their Christmas shopping online this year and bloggers are one of the most sought out sources for gift guides. Yup, these two facts tell us that blogger outreach is an essential part of a holiday season marketing strategy.
This post highlights the most important things you need to know when it comes to working with bloggers for holiday brand promotion.
What’s the Deal with Gift Guides?
Many bloggers put together gift guides each year that highlight products in their blog’s niche.
Fashion bloggers recommend the trendiest clothing, cooking bloggers recommend neat new gadgets, DIY bloggers recommend the best craft stores for gifting and Mom bloggers are recommending quality toys for children.
This fact makes marketing strategy stray a bit from traditional blogger outreach campaigns.
Traditionally I encourage marketers to work with brands on an ongoing basis and to work with bloggers who are the perfect contextual fit with their brand.
While I very much believe in this I want everyone to keep in mind that this is the time of year that shoppers are googling for and seeking out gift guides that line up with the person they are buying for.
Thus a husband may not follow cooking blogs but he knows his wife does so he’s consulting them for gift ideas.
Or a mother doesn’t follow beauty blogs but she knows her tween does and she consults these blogs for gift ideas.
Catch my drift?
Gift guides are being sought out and you want to make sure your brand is on them!
Engage the Blogger’s Audience
Think past getting the blogger to like your brand and include how you can get your blogger’s audience to also like your brand.
The types of blogger outreach campaigns that drive the most engagement are the ones that reach past the world of the blogger and in to their network.
Many brands run giveaways with the bloggers they work with. Usually this consists of sending the blogger a product to highlight in a post and then the blogger offers a chance for their network to win the same product. This tactic can be fun for all involved and gets great engagement rates.
Consider what types of people that are hard to find gifts for that your product or service can help with. Position yourself as the perfect solution for this hard to shop for person on gift giver’s lists. Thus, reaching out to a blogger and explaining why their audience would resonate with your brand helps make it a more fulfilling experience for everyone involved.
Me telling you to start your blogger outreach yesterday isn’t dramatic. In fact, it’s very likely that you have started your outreach already and have in place some awesome bloggers that you don’t know about.
This is a perfect opportunity to tap in to and evaluate your brand’s current network and work with them to share their experience with your brand’s product or service. They already are fans of your brand so helping them share your brand as a gift option for the holidays should be fairly easy.
Send them free versions of the product or service you’re promoting so they can tell their audience why it’s so cool and how it would be a great Christmas gift.
Incentivize your bloggers for sharing and keep tabs on which ones bring in the most traffic and purchases from your site.
Respect the Editorial Process
There are two key things to keep in mind when working with bloggers—especially at the busiest time of year.
- Many bloggers plan their posts and guides far in advance so you need to reach out sooner than later
- Bloggers all have their own unique and authentic ways of engaging with their audience. Letting them decide how they want to mention your brand makes for a more sincere brand mention.
Do you have any questions about working with bloggers for the holiday season? I’ve been doing this for a long time and am always happy to lend my advice so just ask in the comments!