The holiday season is here, so if you haven’t started prepping your holiday pitch, now is the time to get started! This is part one of our two-part holiday campaign series.
While many businesses are shifting to digital storefronts and amping up their sales strategy on social, now is the perfect time to make new connections that could turn into ongoing relationships in the new year.
The holidays are one of the most lucrative times for businesses and influencers alike, however, they can also be the most competitive. So how do you make sure your pitch gets noticed?
If you’re still working on perfecting your pitch, we’ve got you covered. We’re sharing all the basics and our top tips to help land your dream partnership.
When it comes to putting (digital) pen to paper, it’s best to keep things short and sweet. While potential partners are left skimming hundreds of pitches a day, you want to make sure they’re skimming through all your best points.
First, let’s cover the basics. Here are a few points your pitch should include:
- Brief introduction
- What you love about the company and/or product
- Creative partnership ideas
- Previous partnership examples
- Performance metrics
Tip: Think of the subject line as a “preview” for what’s to come in your pitch. For example, your subject line could include your name and the type of content you’re pitching (@lexiecarbone Holiday Gift Guide).
Once you have their attention and they’ve clicked through, move straight into your pitch, including your most important details in bold.
Now that we’ve covered what to include, it’s time to start prepping your holiday pitch! If you’re not sure where to get started, we’ve created a helpful checklist to help you write the perfect pitch and get brands’ attention.
When it comes to pitching for the holiday season, it’s best to get started sooner than later. However, if you’re getting a late start this year, there’s still a few ways you can make sure your pitch stands out.
Before you start pitching, it’s important to figure out exactly why a partnership makes sense for both you and the brand.
First, think about the products already included in your day-to-day routine and how they’ve made a difference in your life. Brands naturally gravitate toward creators who have already interacted with their brand or have a positive experience to share.
With that being said, the holidays are a great time to form new relationships with brands you're interested in working with too – it just requires a bit more research.
Here are a few questions to help write your pitch to potential (new) partners:
First, research each business you plan to pitch. You can do this by looking through the brand’s website, social profiles, or even a quick Google search.
Keep an eye out for what makes the brand unique: this includes brand value, mission statement, or details about the founder and how the business got started:
You’ll want to think about conversations you’re already having on social with your community. Are there any brands that would seamlessly fit into these conversations?
As you’re going through your search, make a list of anything that stands out or closely relates to you and your community. This will help you write your why and set your pitch apart.What Does a Successful Partnership Look Like for Their Brand?
It’s time to start scrolling.
An easy way to uncover previous brand partnerships and influencers they’ve worked with is by going through their tagged photos. Specifically, you’ll want to keep an eye out for posts with a #sponsored or #paid tag and note how they performed.
You can also try to identify past partnerships by searching a specific hashtag used for campaigns and product launches:If a brand is actively posting UGC to their Instagram feed or stories, this is another good indicator of what type of content they are looking for:Ultimately, partnership teams will be looking for influencers who closely resemble their brand. By uncovering the why behind their business and products, you’ll be able to describe exactly what makes you a great fit to share their message.
The holidays are the most competitive time of the year for businesses, and many brands use the opportunity to go all out for the occasion.To celebrate the season, brands often launch new collections, gift sets, or focus on featured products. Take for example NYX Cosmetics. After a quick glance at their profile, there’s no doubt they’re all in with their shimmering shades this holiday season:By taking a look at their posts and UGC, it’s also clear they’re running a new campaign using the hashtag #icedathome.
Partnership teams receive endless pitches from influencers “excited about the opportunity to collab!”, so it’s important to include the specifics to help you stand out from the crowd.
Instead, try to answer why you’re excited to work with the brand. This is where your brand research comes into play.
Tell your potential partner exactly what it is about you or your community that makes this collab make sense for you both. For example, your pitch could include: My followers have been asking about gift ideas for their significant others. I’d love to create content around [product] because XYZ.
The goal of any influencer partnership is about reaching a niche and engaged audience who would be interested in the brand’s product. In order to pitch a successful partnership, it’s important to convey an authentic alignment between the brand and yourself.
For example, the popular hair care brand Crown Affair recently launched The Holiday Collection, a limited edition kit including the brand’s cult favorites:The kit is described as “a collection that invites you to give the gift of ritual to the ones you love,” whether you’re near or far this year. This is the type of messaging that’s important to look out for as you're doing your research to weave it into your messaging.
For example, in her recent collaboration with Crown Affair, lifestyle influencer Kathryn Zahorak seamlessly shared the brand’s message along with her intention to purchase gifts for her loved ones “that add beauty and functionality to their everyday lives at home.”By offering your trusted and authentic voice to deliver the brand’s message, businesses will have the opportunity to create a story that makes sense for the brand and resonates with your audience.
Now that you’ve done your brand research and determined you’re a great match, it’s time to figure out what you plan to create. Your creative content ideas should always include a clearly defined purpose and serve both your audience and the brand’s goals.
This year, new platforms and tools flooded the social scene giving influencers more creative sharing power than ever.
With new monetization tools, platforms (hello, Reels), and more and more influencers showing up on TikTok, there are tons of new ways to pitch partnerships outside of the standard single-image post this season.
Here are a few specifics you can include in your pitch:
- Platform: Blog, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok
- Format: Photo, full-length video, 15-second clip, Stories series
- Concept: Holiday gift guide, clean beauty roundup
- Messaging: “Stay at home” holiday video, shop small, giving back
For example, if you decide to focus on messaging and platform, your pitch could include: To encourage my community to shop small this season, I’m spotlighting local businesses on my Instagram feed and Stories and would love to include your business.
Next, move into the why.
Remember, your initial pitch isn’t the time to spill all the details, but rather give your potential partner a preview of your plan. This is a great way to let them know you’ve already given the potential partnership thought and a clear idea of what partnering with you could look like.
Now that you’ve covered the what and why it’s time to provide the proof to really grab your potential partners’ attention. Sharing your performance metrics gives brands a better understanding of how they will benefit from your partnership.
Performance metrics are usually presented in a media kit, however, can also be included in a few bullet points within your email.
Key metrics to highlight in your pitch include:
- Engagement (Likes, Comments, Shares)
- Audience and demographics
- Reach & Impressions
- Link clicks
Ultimately, brands are looking to understand what ROI your partnership will produce. This means how much money they’re paying you vs. how much traffic or money it brings back to their business.
The more information you can provide brands including ways you’ve driven traffic or conversions for similar brands, the more likely you are to sell them on your pitch.
Your “best-of” reel is another great example of “proof” for your holiday pitch. It’s important to not only tell a brand why you’re a good fit but to show them, too.
Sharing your past collaborations gives potential partners a sense of what’s important to you. This can include content examples, testimonials, or simply a list of brands you’ve worked with in the past.
Do you have a holiday partnership example from the previous year? Is there a specific campaign related to their industry you’re proud of? By showcasing previous (successful) partnerships, brands can better understand what you have to offer.Much like any job interview, showing brands your previous “work experience” is an easy way to signal that you know the drill and will be easy to work with.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure to find the best contact for your outreach. Here are a few easy ways to help you get your pitch in front of the right person:
This can usually be found on an About Us page, or linked in the website footer. Many businesses have also started including information for influencers directly on their website:Businesses’ may also specify details or subject lines to include for your pitch. It’s important to pay close attention to what they’ve already shared, as many businesses will simply filter out any requests that don’t include all the details they’ve asked for.
A quick Google or LinkedIn search is an easy way to track down the right contact– just type in the brand name and possible titles such as PR, influencer marketing, partnerships, or other related keywords.
After searching LinkedIn for my “potential partner”, I was able to find the company’s Influencer & Partnerships Manager:Now that you have a name associated with the position, you can easily track down their email on their profile or in a separate search.
There are a handful of free tools that help you find contacts for most companies. Every tool has a different method of collecting email addresses, so it’s best to try a few out and decide which one works best for you!
If you’re looking for a contact from a specific company, then Hunter might be right for you since they pride themselves on their domain search.Hunter gives you 50 free searches a month, and anything over that you’ll have to pay for.
If you’re looking for a way to enrich LinkedIn profiles, checkout Apollo. As long as you’ve installed their Chrome plugin, you can get verified email addresses & phone numbers from LinkedIn even if you’re not directly connected. Oh, and did we mention they’re also FREE?!
Apollo has a bunch of other features we didn’t even cover, but if you do a lot of brand outreach, make sure you check ‘em out 😉
If the first three methods have failed, it’s time to go straight to the source.
That being said: you should never send your pitch through Instagram. However, sending the social media manager a short message asking for the PR & partnerships contact is a great way to get the information you’re looking for.
As businesses are being flooded with emails this time of year, it’s crucial to get your pitch in front of the right person. Typically this contact will be different from who is running the brands’ social accounts.
Remember, pitching brands takes time and practice. However, taking the extra time to craft your pitch with care will help your pitch stand out during the holiday season and create lasting relationships with partners that continue into the new year.