If you are like the Anicca Digital team, you will use your downtime to scour the internet for the best Black Friday deals. Once a way of celebrating the holiday period after Thanksgiving in the USA, Black Friday became popular over the pond in 2010 when Amazon brought the phrase, and the bargains to our screens. Fast forward over a decade, and Black Friday is now not restricted to one date, but in fact like Christmas, pretty much the whole of one month is dedicated to big deals and promotions from small and large retailers and brands alike.
In this blog, we look at how public relations strategies can be leveraged to maximise Black Friday and other peak shopping times of the year, and how this established discipline can be
more effective when used alongside other digital outreach techniques.
Understanding the opportunity
Like all strategic activities, you need first to define your objective. When we specifically consider peak shopping times, the aim will be to maximise awareness of your brand or product to increase sales. The outreach around this can be industry-dependent, so consider Cyber Monday, holiday seasons such as Easter and Christmas, and industry-specific events. Use audience segmentation and research to determine when your customers are most active and, therefore, the most responsive to digital marketing and PR techniques. At this point, you can tailor your approach accordingly, determining channel mix, and outreach techniques.
Making the front page
To help build awareness and standout coverage, PR needs to tell an engaging and compelling story. This means developing narratives that resonate with your audience, highlight the unique value proposition of your products or services during peak times – and stand out enough to take column inches away from your competitors. At Anicca, some of the ways we achieve this are by sharing success stories, supporting launches and promoting exclusive offers.
Building Relationships with Influencers
An accepted way to create standout campaigns at peak times of the year is to leverage influencers to help amplify your message. Like having a core press list, it’s essential to identify key influencers in your industry ahead of a campaign to help establish authentic partnerships. Share relevant information and news with them and maintain communication to boost gravitas to your messaging. If successful, the relationship will extend the reach of your activity, build trust with your audience, and create a buzz around your brand during peak shopping periods.
Strategic Press Releases
To support your objectives, use tactical press releases to announce special promotions, product launches, or exclusive deals during peak times. However, timing is key – the amount of ‘noise’ at peak times of year means generating coverage is incredibly difficult. Think carefully about the timing of your messaging, considering publication lead times and feature/news opportunities. Learn who the most applicable journalists are and approach
them with plenty of time ahead of their deadline to secure the placement of your story. Also think more broadly than print; what are the relevant online platforms and media outlets to maximize visibility and generate excitement around your brand and news?
To ensure you achieve maximum exposure, include links in all the materials you are producing. Link building plays a crucial role in SEO, and high-quality backlinks can significantly improve your websites search engine ranking, helping you to get ‘found’. When planning your campaign, incorporate a link-building strategy that focuses on gaining links from reputable websites with a high domain authority, especially during peak shopping seasons. Tactics that can be included to build your link profile span guest posts, collaborations and partnerships.
Creating Resourceful Content
To support press release distribution, blogs and case studies can created to provide valuable and shareable content. Ensure that materials address the needs and interests of your target audience, with content such as holiday gift guides, how-to articles, or informative blog posts related to your products.
Utilising Social Media
Social media can extend brand engagement with your target audience. Executed in a timely manner, message distribution on your core social channels can be an effective way of extending reach and gaining additional engagement. If followers share positive feedback and product insights it can help build your brand and boost messaging.
Review and refine
It is important to not become complacent so ensure you review your PR and social media performance. This might result in the tweaking of your link building strategy and messaging to ensure you continue to stand out against your competitors. Look at data, tracking your key metrics, and adapt your strategies based on real-time feedback. This approach will ensure you stay agile and responsive to the evolving needs of your audience. For all your digital marketing needs, speak to Anicca about how we can support your objectives across core campaigns and to maintain competitor advantage across the course of the year.