To prepare for the holiday season, you supplement your inventory with limited edition products and create tailored newsletters and campaigns. But what about content marketing? The holidays are the ideal time to create engaging articles surrounding the season. Shoppers are eager to consume this type of content and are expecting to see it prominently featured on retailers’ websites.
Get ahead of the competition by starting your holiday content strategy early. Use these ideas to get ready today!
The year is drawing to an end. Commemorate it by sharing a summary of your best-performing content to date. This is the time to highlight special news, mentions or other accomplishments.
For instance, if your brand was worn by a celebrity or you were featured in an important magazine, highlight it for the holiday season. It will help inspire conversions and grow your brand presence during the busiest shopping season of the year.
Typically, this type of content is formatted as a list where each point references an article. Once you have your content ready, add images to illustrate each point. These short lists help generate good website traffic with a low bounce rate, which is win-win for any online store.
Another type of summary article that can be interesting to test is one highlighting the top products of the year. Think of it as “the year’s best-selling products.” This list can help new visitors learn more about your products and provide context for the most popular products in your store. Optimize it with user generated content that shows customers interacting with the products to shorten the path to purchase.
Tease What’s Coming Next Year
Excite your customers by giving them a sneak peek of what’s in store for next year. This is your chance to get pre-sales or RSVPs to future launch events. Not sure what products to unveil next year? Use this opportunity to gauge your customers’ interest over a particular product.
Give them a list of products you may be considering and ask them for their feedback. This data can help you make better informed buying decisions and avoid wasting money on items that may not have been successful in the long run. You can also use a survey or poll through Instagram stories or Facebook.
Holiday Gift Guides
Everyone is looking for gifts on the holidays, but not everyone knows what to buy. There are so many different people on a gift list that it can be overwhelming! There are family members, friends, co-workers, partners, kids, and the list goes on and on! Help your customers shop more efficiently by providing them a detailed guide of what to buy for each person on their list.
The key to making gift guides especially useful is segmenting them as much as possible. For instance, it can be filtered based on budget, type of relationship, interests, age and hobbies. The exact segments will vary based on your customer’s profile and products.
If your average order value is around $50, that can be a good place to use as the starting price and then include some higher price items or add-on products to raise the average order value (AOV).
For example, see how goop created different gift guides according to different customer personas:
Holiday Style Guides
Holidays are full of celebrations. There are parties at work, home, friends’ houses, neighbors, etc. What is the best outfit to wear for each of those occasions? Help your customers figure it out by providing a style guide of what to wear to each type of event.
Create complete outfits and feature all the products in a style guide. For example, if you sell pants, shirts and accessories, you can showcase multiple outfits using a variety of your products based on different occasions. Think of what outfits would be most appropriate for a family gathering versus an office holiday party, for instance.
Don’t forget to add links to all your products so readers can easily visit your product pages and add products to their cart. As with the holiday gift guide, segment the guide as much as possible by focusing on different demographics. For instance, you can divide the guide between men, women and children clothing. See below how QVC launched their holiday style guide this year:
User-generated content (UGC) refers to any type of content that is not directly created by the brand. This content is really effective in influencing users because it is usually perceived as more authentic and trust-worthy than traditional advertisements.
This type of content should be highlighted year-round as part of your marketing plan. However, during the holidays, it is a good idea to leverage a special edition of UGC using holiday merchandise and seasonal messaging.
For instance, you can create a post of your top holiday outfits wore by influencers this season. It can also include tips on how to wear those outfits in different styles so there is something to please every taste.
X Days of Promotions
This content would be similar to the product and style guides we discussed earlier. The only difference lies in the format. This type of content reads more like a countdown to Christmas, where each day highlights a different outfit or product. You can also opt to feature specific deals on different days.
Ulta Beauty uses this strategy frequently, offering special discounts based on concepts like the “21 Days of Beauty Sale.” It encourages customers to come back to the store for repeated orders, which can transform them into a lifetime customer over time.
How to Maximize Results
All of these content marketing ideas are great, but they only represent half of the effort necessary to drive conversions during the holidays. The rest of the work has to be invested in distributing and promoting content to reach as many potential customers as possible. Without those additional efforts, your content will just get lost in the crowded marketplace. So, what can you do to distribute and promote your content? Let’s explore a few effective strategies to help you come out on top during the busy season ahead.
Start by using social media to publish organic and paid posts promoting your content. Keep in mind that you can create multiple posts based on the same piece of content; you just have to vary the format.
For instance, you can create a video and a series of posts using different images and copy. The key is to mix up posts to provide variety to keep engagement high.
Another vital marketing tactic is email marketing. Still holding strong in 2018, the ROI on email marketing is still double than all another digital channels. This messaging doesn’t replace social media. It’s an additional strategy that can strengthen your social media efforts by providing another opportunity to get in front of your potential customers.
More brand exposure brings higher chances of selling products. Similar to your social media posting frequency, you’ll want to send several email campaigns containing holiday-related content to maximize your reach. In the process, remember to A/B test as much as possible, especially subject lines.
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s time to harness the power of content marketing to maximize revenue and grow your brand online. Armed with a winning strategy, your holiday messaging will help you outpace the competition and take home a larger percentage of seasonal sales.