The content marketing volume knob gets turned up to 11 around this time of year, and even consumers who are excited about the holidays may find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of blog posts, social media campaigns, and newsletters that fill up their inboxes.
How can you make sure your content marketing stands out this holiday season?
Consumers are still looking for a great content this season. According to content discovery platform Outbrain, consumers are actively searching out holiday content. The consumption of holiday content starts rising in November, peaking around Black Friday, then again right before Christmas.
Outbrain also has some great insights into how the keywords people are searching for changes throughout the season, as well as what types of devices they’re consuming content on. Yes, there may be more eyes looking at holiday content, but the arena will be oversaturated as every e-commerce company tries to get in the game.
For an e-commerce business to compete it needs to be able to cut through the clutter with its content marketing – especially during high-volume seasons like this. So how do you stay connected with consumers who are already tired of listening to Christmas music in the mall?
1. Get personal
There’s something about this time of year that can bring out the silly side and all of us. Maybe it’s the ugly sweaters, maybe it’s the ridiculous ways people try to cram eggnog into every food item, or maybe we’re just all having a collective flashback to our childhood belief in Santa Claus.
Whatever the reason, this is a good time to embrace your company’s playful side. Try spicing up your regular promotional content with behind the scenes looks that show your company getting in the holiday spirit. Here are some ideas:
- Post a photo on Facebook of your warehouse team dressed as elves.
- Post a video of your CEO reading Rudolph the red nose reindeer.
- Interview your team to get their favorite childhood holiday memories.
- Showcase snapshots of your favorite winter sports.
Whatever it is, just try to add that holiday twinkle.
(Shipping and logistics company TQ Express puts out a silly Santa card every year.)
2. Give gifts
Yes, you’re hoping to earn big this holiday season, but it’s also a good time of year for generosity. Show your appreciation for your customers with free gift-with-purchase promotions, or 2-for-1 deals where they can buy an item for themselves and get a free one for a friend.
But while consumers like to receive free gifts during holidays, it can also make a big impact on your bottom line year-round if your customers view you as a generally generous company. A study by the Marketing Science Institute, quoted in Fast Company, found that “investing in socially responsible causes not only creates goodwill towards a company but also bolsters consumer perceptions of the performance of company products.”
Organize a volunteer day in your office and post about it on social media. Choose a favorite charity and let customers know that throughout the month of December you’ll be donating a certain percentage of every sale to that charity.
A little bit of goodwill can go along way. Just check out the viral response TD, a Canadian bank got when it decided to take a day and thank their customers.
3. Focus on your loyal customers
The holiday season can be a really hard time of year to make new customers. But it’s likely you already have a loyal list of people who simply need to be reminded about you. These are people who have already visited your website, subscribe to your newsletter, or have purchased your product.
To make sure your marketing efforts are getting the most bang for your buck, it pays to target your content marketing on people who are already in your marketing funnel. But don’t just spam them with sales notifications. Spend some time to come up with truly value added content specifically for your most loyal customers.
Some forms that could take:
- a tip sheet geared towards helping them with the specific seasonal problem that your company has an answer to, such as a checklist to help them winterize the house, or stress free guide to holiday travel.
- ask your employees to dig into their family cookbooks, and publish the favorites as an e-book to give away to your customers.
- the gift guide to help them find something for the most difficult people on the list.
There’s no reason you can’t use this content publicly as well, but creating it with your core customers of mind is a great exercise in focus. Plus, it will make them feel like you care in that time of year when everyone is trying to get their attention.
4. Get practical
People are always looking for practical information about the products they want to buy, but they’re trying to make a decision about an online product, the more documentation you can offer the better. Help potential customers choose your product by providing as much information as possible, like technical specs, product demonstration videos, or reviews.
Actual customer reviews are a great way to build trust in your products. Highlight your best customer reviews as testimonials your social media, on your blog, and on the product page. That way, when an interested customer is considering your product, they don’t have to just take your word for it. They can take the words of your most satisfied customers.
Video is a great way to demonstrate how your product will work in real life – and you’ll definitely get bonus points if it something funny and shareable. Blendtec has been using this tactic for nearly a decade, blending everything from iPhones to Justin Bieber albums in a hilarious recurring video series they call “Will It Blend?”
Remember, it’s less about the piece of content you create, and more about how it resonates with potential customers and current fans. Be playful, generous, practical, and focused on your core customers. That’s the way to win the holiday content marketing game. What are some of your holiday strategies? Give the gift of sharing in the comments below.