By Mark Macias
Black Friday, Cyber Monday – the competition for your dollar is already underway as retailers promote discounts to increase their holiday sales.
While most Internet retailers will turn to the traditional online ads to generate traffic, they may not realize that a large chunk of their ad budget is being stolen by Internet bots.
Many investigative reports (like this story in Moz) have alleged ad networks and ad agencies are working together to provide “fake” clicks on ads that will generate more revenue for the ad networks. Here is an infographic that better explains how Internet bots work.
Many retailers may not realize it but December is a prime opportunity for generating organic publicity with the media. From a PR perspective, it can actually be one of the most cost effective ways to increase holiday sales as newsrooms become understaffed with holiday vacations and the standard for news gets lowered.
During my time as an Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York, I frequently had to find holiday consumer stories that were interesting. It isn’t as easy as you think, which is one of the reasons why I say the standard for news gets lowered during the month of December.
Here’s more proof. The number of programming hours for local TV stays the same in December even though the news staff shrinks with vacations. In print, the staff shortage can be even more pronounced as the number of newspaper pages increase with holiday advertising, while the number of staff decreases with vacation time.
Here are a few publicity tactics that can help your Internet retailer get on the media’s radar.
– Pitch Unconventional Writers
When it comes to pitching the media, one size does not fit all. You will have more success pitching freelancers or weekend writers during December.
– Establish Credibility before any Media Outreach
Credibility matters with the media. If you are pitching your story to the media, make sure you have established your expertise with the media. Journalists will want to see proof on why you are the best expert to add color to the industry.
– Identify a Holiday Gimmick (example: contests, giveaways or donations to the needy)
Finding a retail gimmick during the holiday season will have more success if you can find an interactive element. Is there a promotion your business can sponsor that will help underprivileged children during the holiday season? Can your business give away a certain percentage of holiday sales to families in need? Finding that gimmick first starts with questions and a deep understanding or your product or service, but once you start asking questions, you will find a potential promotion the media may want to cover.
You can read more PR tactics with this holiday guidebook to publicity during the holiday season.