Tips to Give Your PR and Marketing Strategy Some “Holidazzle”

With a little less than 30 days until Black Friday, you may still be thinking about your PR and Marketing strategy for the approaching holidays. The truth of the matter is that you’re already behind the 8-ball.

A recent research report by Yesmail Interactive shows that many brands haven’t properly aligned their marketing activities (PR and social media included) to meet consumer shopping habits. The result: missed opportunities to gain and convert consumer attention into sales.

Don’t panic. There’s still time to get some cleaver ideas together.

Consumer Holiday Shopping Trends

Yesmail’s survey found that 7 out of 10 consumers will spend the same or more this holiday season than they did in 2011. This statistic should inspire you to take immediate action (or at least read on)!

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • One-fifth of consumers say they plan to begin holiday shopping at least three months before the holidays begin
  • More than 41% of mobile device owners have made a purchase as a direct result of an email promotion viewed on their device.
  • Almost 80 percent of in-store shoppers prefer to make purchases on the weekend
  • The survey showed that social media promotions drove 34% of shoppers to make a purchase.
  • Almost 60 percent of consumers say they prefer to interact with brands on social media between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.

How do you translate this to fit YOUR goals?

Get started now. Shoppers are starting to spend earlier and earlier for the holidays. This is evident by stepping into your favorite store any time after Labor Day.

1.) You must make your website mobile friendly. Remember, 41% of consumers are making purchases directly off of a mobile device. Make it easy for them to complete that purchase and not abandon your site before they make it to the shopping cart. And please remove those flash headers that cannot be seen on Apple devices.

2.) Make your site easy for consumers to follow you and your promotions on social media.

3.) Your site must have robust press room for upcoming PR opportunities.

Public Relations

1.) If almost 80% of consumers are shopping in-store on the weekends, then focus on getting coverage  Thurs, Friday or Saturday. Morning TV shows and weekend newspaper supplements are a perfect avenue to pitch a consumer-based story.

2.) Don’t forget the bloggers! The numbers above show how important the Web is in shaping consumer holiday shopping habits. Research the top bloggers in your area or product space and send them a sample for review or a well-thought out pitch for coverage.

3.) Get creative with your story ideas. Think of different, fresh angles for your story. To get the juices flowing, look on websites such as Holiday Insights for listings of the major and unique holidays. This tip goes for the entire year – not just holiday time.

4.) News media works on different lead times. Some national publications require four to six months advance story time, where local magazines work two to three months in advance. TV and daily print works three to four weeks in advance.

Social Media

1.) To be successful this holiday season, a good brand must already be on social media. If you haven’t started yet, I recommend you hire a professional to help get you up and running faster.

2.) Know your consumer and know when they are on social media. There are many social media applications that will let you schedule your updates so they will be seen at the proper times.

3.) Social media is a conversation. You must monitor your channels and interact with your followers to truly be successful.

This is a lot to digest and can be overwhelming. Pick a place to start that makes the most sense to you and your business. Seek out a professional to help you. Ask questions. Start by leaving a comment below!

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