The holidays are coming up fast and practically everyone we know is scrambling around for fabulous, inspired gift ideas. No one wants to give Uncle Fred another boring neck tie. There’s opportunity here, for online retailers, both to create gift guides tailored to your shop, and to potentially reach out to other gift guide creators to have your niche product featured. If done right, this is a great way to drive traffic to your site.
There are a couple of ways to create gift guides, and a million ways to organize them. If your online site has an active blog, consider a gift guide post in your niche. For instance, if you carry exclusively kitchen gadgets, a “15 Best Gifts for the Home Chef” post is a great idea. If your store is more broad and wide-ranging, consider an entire series, or even creating a gift guide page on your website, with multiple guides tailored to specific needs. Some popular guides include “Gifts for Him/Her,” “Gifts Under $20/$50/$100” and the ever-popular, “Gifts for the Chef/Guitar Player/Technophile” etc. etc. Think creatively and come up with a guide that’s fun and engaging, while also hitting all the SEO keywords relevant to your endeavor.
The key is to tailor your guide to your product and your audience. If you sell only the highest end products in your field, a “Best Gifts Under $20” post probably isn’t for you, but maybe instead, a “Best Gifts for the Chef with Everything” is more appropriate. You know your market better than anyone else so put that knowledge to its best use.
Creating your guide, or series of guides, doesn’t have to be overly time consuming or difficult. Curate a small list—we suggest 10-20 products—and write a quick intro. Maximize keywords in all the right places—your intro, page title, URL, etc.— and you’re most of the way there.
Once your guide is online, promote it! Post it to your social media accounts, add it to your email marketing, and get the word out to blogs in your niche market, asking them to feature it as well.
Another option—which is especially perfect for niche retailers— is to reach out to existing gift guides in your niche to see if they’ll consider featuring your product. Admittedly, this approach takes more time and effort, but the pay-off is worth it if you’ve got a limited number of products, or fit a very specific market.
Let’s say your product is a very cool, high-tech pasta maker. It’s your only main product, so your own gift guide is not a good option. But getting your pasta maker featured in other gift guides aimed at the culinary set and budding home chefs could mean big-time exposure you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Start by doing your research. What are the most popular guides you can find in your niche? Are they active? Do they have a strong social media presence? If so, start keeping a spreadsheet and reaching out to them. A simple, “I loved your post on such and such, this is what I produce, would you consider featuring it” email is all you need—but never, never, ever mass mail. Make it personal! Resist the urge to be overly wordy—concise and complimentary is the tone that gets the most results. And don’t be afraid to follow up if you haven’t heard back in a week or so. It’s amazing how much further you get with just that one extra step.
Keep in mind, this is a little like fishing—you’re going to have to put out a lot of bait to land a few keepers. Every 20 inquiries will get you one, maybe two responses and features. But if you can handle the leg work, it’s a fantastic way to get your product out there and to drive traffic to your site.
Take advantage of the holiday season with an easy-to-create gift guide and you’ll find it’s easier and more effective than you ever imagined.