It’s that time of year again. When the clock strikes midnight and the calendar shudders to reveal October. It’s Holiday Gift Guide Season!
Every summer, our crew of media relations practitioners train their typing muscles, do their wrist calisthenics, and get to work crafting robust holiday marketing plans, laying the groundwork for product inclusions in holiday gift guide round-ups far and wide. Earned media provides a host of benefits, from increased brand awareness to major eCommerce success. However, getting the most out of your holiday gift guide coverage doesn’t just stop at securing the coverage…that’s only half the job. The other half of the success depends on what you do with earned coverage after it’s been secured.
In the spirit of the season, we’ve rolled up our sleeves, warmed up our cider, and put together a step-by-step guide for getting the most out of your media relations strategy. In this list, we’ll show you how to maximize earned media coverage effectiveness by amplifying it across your owned media channels.
Step 1: Determine the Audience Impact
As a media relations agency, we pride ourselves on knowing our target audiences inside and out. However, once earned media is secured, it’s important to dig a little bit deeper. If your holiday gift guide coverage is digital and links to your website, dive into Google Analytics and take a look at the audience data, browse through acquisition and behavior metrics, and get a better idea of coverage impact.
Need a refresher on where to find this info in your Google Analytics? Click here.
Things to consider when analyzing your coverage:
- Is your product resonating with a certain age demographic?
- Where is your audience located? Is one region outperforming another?
- Is the piece of holiday gift guide coverage linked directly? If not, review the outlet’s media kit to gather audience demographic information.
This information will help you make decisions on how and where you share this piece of PR coverage across your owned media channels.
Step 2: Determine Goals and KPIs
Next, you’ll need to determine what your goals are in sharing this coverage. Is it to:
- Increase engagement on your social posts for the week?
- Use this third-party validation to encourage more email sign-ups or engagement?
- Boost product consideration and eCommerce success?
Once you zero in on a goal, determine how you’ll measure the success of this campaign:
Social Engagement KPIs:
- Increase in followers
- Increased engagement
- Increased clicks
Email Subscriber Interest:
- Increase in email sign-ups
- Increased open rate
- Increased click rate
Product Consideration and eCommerce Success:
- Increase in number of sessions on specific product page
- Increase in ‘Add to Carts’ initiated
- Increase in eCommerce activity
Step 3: Add to Your Website
Before sharing your holiday gift guide coverage across your owned channels, consider adding a mention on your website. Ombraz Sunglasses does a great job of this. Their armless sunglasses have been widely praised in outlets from Outside to Forbes. Ombraz has pulled direct quotes from these earned media pieces and directly linked to them on their homepage. This third-party validation, earned through media relations, helps usher new visitors and potential customers through the consideration phase of the customer journey.
Step 4: Design Owned Social Strategy
Now it’s time to implement your strategy and amplify your piece of earned media coverage. By now you’ve determined:
- Which audience segment the piece resonates with the most
- The goal of sharing this piece and the metrics you’ll use to measure success
- Where on your website you’ll feature the coverage
First, you’ll need to plan out when you’ll be sharing this content. Will you be sharing it across multiple owned channels throughout the week? Be sure to use a social calendar to organize your campaign.
Next, you’ll need to craft messaging tailored to the specific owned channel you’re posting on. As you craft your message ensure that your call-to-action is aligned with your goals.
Need a refresher on the demographics of each social channel? Click here.
Finally, gather the appropriate hi-res assets for sharing. Will you be sharing this piece of coverage on Instagram Stories? Make sure your image is 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels.
Step 5: Don’t Forget about Your Newsletter
Your newsletter is a key strategic communication and eCommerce avenue. Email subscribers have already been ushered through the awareness phase of their customer journey. Your subscribers are ripe for conversion, ready to be ushered from the consideration phase to the decision phase and beyond.
Consider maintaining a content block in your newsletter that features earned media coverage. Each piece of coverage may be different, and thus the call-to-action should be aligned as such. For holiday gift guide coverage, consider pulling a quote about the product featured, and add a call-to-action button that leads customers directly to the product page of your website.
Holiday Gift Guide Season is an exciting time! As a media relations agency we understand the impact this coverage can have on a brand’s bottom line. However, it’s important to recognize that securing this coverage is only half the job. To maximize the effectiveness of holiday gift guide coverage, consider amplifying it across your owned channels. This might just lead to your most prolific Holiday Gift Guide Season yet!
If you want to learn how Darby can assist your brand with your media relations stategy and earned media success, drop us a line HERE. You can also go HERE to learn more about the successes we’ve had for our clients in both public relations and digital marketing.