Tips to ensure your product placement stands out in a crowded market

November 1, 2021

The boos and bangs of Halloween and Bonfire Night may still be waiting in the wings – but it’s never too early to start advertising for Christmas.

You may have seen the (Studio) TV ad showing children dressed for Halloween peering at a full-on festive themed decorated home, and the short-wearing cyclist pulling up alongside a tinsel clad car?

Although the ad is a little tongue in cheek, and politely pokes fun at those who are Christmas ready at least two months in advance, it is an excellent example of product placement #teamearly.

And with the ever-changing media landscape, staying a few creative steps ahead of the curve is still easily achievable.

Cetti Long, PR manager at Peterborough-based PR and digital marketing specialists Media Matters has some tips.

“As a PR professional there is no better feeling than securing great coverage for a client. However, with the media landscape continually changing, journalists being busier than ever, and every brand under the sun fighting for coverage – it’s not always an easy ride getting a brand or product in print, on digital platforms or broadcast media.

“That’s why more often than not, product placement has come to rely on advertising, paid for by a business. But if you don’t have a big budget or a Love Island (other celebrities are available) endorsement – there’s plenty you can do to get your brand noticed.”

Know your audience:  It goes without saying, always have your target audience at the forefront of your mind and think about the media outlets and influencers who would make your product aspirational to your intended audience. Timing is key. For example, if you’re trying to secure product placement for a fitness related product, chances are this is going to be a topical subject come January – right after the Christmas binge.

Social platforms:  Look at all your available options and tailor your brand message accordingly. For a more ‘professional’ feel use LinkedIn (ensuring of course that even your company page portrays an element of personality) as well as Facebook, Twitter, and image-led Instagram. The pandemic has changed the way consumers shop and gather information on how they want to spend their money – so creating a content plan, which also includes video, for social media and posting regularly is a must.

Get a hashtag: Hashtags help make content discoverable in on-platform searches and in turn, reach more people. Creating a branded hashtag can be an effective way to promote your business and drive conversations. Remember to ensure your accounts are public so your content is seen by non-followers. Make sure your hashtags are relevant, relatively short and easy to remember.

Go back to basics: There is still much to be gained from using print media. Engage with local journalists and ensure that your content is snappy and easily digestible. Meeting with busy journalists in person has always been something of an issue, given the busy nature of newsrooms. But even though the networking world has re-opened, connecting with useful contacts remains important – and post-pandemic, is easy through LinkedIn and other social media platforms including Twitter’s #journorequests.

Say cheese!: Product placement is visual – so ensure that your photography portrays your product as you want it to. It is always a good idea to invest in some professional photography and have a suite of images available on request. It will also give your marketing team more scope to vary your social media messaging and keep it looking fresh.

Get gifting: There’s no better way to convince someone that your product or service is fantastic than by getting it in front of them or letting them experience it. Build some budget into marketing and PR plans for media gifting and or send some samples of your latest breakfast cereal or branded clothing directly to your target influencer.