16/02/2023 • Steve Baker
Getting your product in front of potential customers is a must but managing to do that can be trickier than you think.
Product placement can be defined as a business having its product in or on some kind of media to increase the chances of sales. In relation to digital marketing, this could be a placement in online magazines, national newspapers, TV or potentially radio news sections.
Product placement, for digital marketing, can be broken down into 4 different types:
Influencers - providing free products and services to influential individuals to share their experience on social media
Reviews - journalists often write reviews for specific products, if provided a sample, especially if they are in relation to a current trend or holiday
Product Roundups - also referred to as affiliate link building provides journalists with a list of the “ best” or “top” products within a particular category
Reactive PR - sending examples of exact or similar products to journalists linked to a current trending topic. These typically are trending due to celebrities with consumers looking for the same or an affordable copycat
Key to any successful product placement is picking out the right products. For a food item it could be a new flavour or for fashion something linked to a celebrity style or season.
On the other hand, it could be a product theme everyone is talking about. Over recent years anything gin or salted caramel related has been a hit.
There are other factors to take into account when reaching out with a product. Here are a few tips to give you a helping hand:
If your product is ideal for Christmas, don’t pitch it at Easter. Likewise, if you have a nice summery item, don’t send it to the press in the middle of winter. Timing is critical – get it wrong and your product will be ignored. Get it right and you’ll see it everywhere.
FACTOR IN LEAD TIMES
Press have varying lead times which are easy to overlook. As a rule of thumb, we generally allow a three /four-month lead time for monthly titles and around six weeks for weeklies and supplements. Dailies and online can be quicker and more reactive, however they will plan things like gift guides well in advance.
Always have samples available. If the item is for a gift guide, titles or websites will often want to photograph it themselves. If you’re planning to reach out to bloggers and influencers, they will definitely request samples.
You always need great photography for product-based PR. Have a selection of shots – cutouts are essential and the odd lifestyle shot.
Always have accurate product information. No one’s going to use it if you’re not sure on the price or haven’t got a URL you can supply them with. Have a good product description to hand too.
Be targeted when you’re pitching the product. Identify the team or journalist putting together a gift guide or a particular feature. There really is no point in pitching your client’s beautiful new slippers to the politics writers.
Remember to follow up if you’re sending samples to journalists, as items can get lost in the post. They also get lots of samples, so it’s easy for yours to get overlooked.
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