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4 Festive Holiday Content Marketing Strategies

The holidays are one of the best shopping times of the year for most retail content marketing strategybusinesses, whether they sell out of a physical location or from an online store. Even those that don’t sell online do much of their marketing in the digital space, so driving traffic becomes a vital part of their holiday program. From electronics to food, clothing and camping gear, inbound marketers do everything they can to encourage prospective customers to come looking for them, generate desire for their products and choose their company over the competition.

Here are four ways to ramp up your content marketing ahead of the festive season.

Social Media Mania

It’s not a myth! Internet thought leaders at Gartner predict that by 2015, a full 50% of online sales will be generated through social media. It’s already begun; according to a September article in Forbes, IBM reported almost 70% increase in sales from social networks referrals in the back-to-school rush this year.

To showcase your holiday content, use options such as:

  • Facebook Gifts, which lets customers buy gifts from inside the social network
  • Pinterest, where you can display images of your products with direct links to buy from your online store
  • Virtual catalogs, which you can set up yourself using apps and link to from all your social media profiles
  • Twitter’s Promoted Accounts option, which shows up your profile for users to follow if they have similar interests.

Use your social media profiles to encourage holiday buying through publishing customer reviews, engaging your followers in discussions about your products, contests, special deals and promotions, and responsive customer service right on your page. 

Festive Blogging Basics

Blogs remain the pivot on which content marketing hinges and it’s likely to stay that way for some time, so make your blog festive:

  • Change up the look! If you’ve ever been to Macy’s during the holidays, you know what a difference holiday decorations can make. It’s no different online; zoosh up your website and blog in readiness for the season. Add some bells and whistles, snowflakes and Santas, or whatever is appropriate for your target market. Google does it too, with holiday doodles that users love, share and talk about. 
  • Work “holiday-speak” into your content, with blog posts that generate excitement, count down the days to special events, or remind readers regularly about the gifts they need to buy.

Drive buyers from your blog with deep links that take them directly to specific products. If you sell Christmas gift wrap, for example, link your blog post on the history of wrapping gifts directly to that product. Most users hate nothing more than clicking through to your store and having to search for the item they thought they were getting.

Email Energy

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to reach your existing and prospective customers with news and deals. The secret to success is having your promotional emails opened because of an impossible-to-ignore subject line, and then getting click-throughs to your store using infallible links.

Create an editorial calendar for your email marketing campaign that allocates promotions to specific dates, such as announcing the arrival of your gift catalog or guide, a date before which free shipping applies or a red-hot special offer coupon. Then, for those who leave shopping to the 11th hour, add a “last chance” option with special delivery to get there in time.

Adopt a Cause

In Western culture, Christmas ‘tis the season of goodwill, charity and sharing. It’s a time to think of those less fortunate than ourselves and to show solidarity with our fellow humans. Adopting a charitable cause is a great way to generate holiday-related content, win over the hearts and minds of your customers (and hopefully their wallets, too!) and do something good for someone deserving.

“Cause marketing” is particularly effective when it’s tied to something your target audience relates strongly to, such as:

  • A computer literacy cause for retailers of electronics
  • Learning to read for book retailers
  • A Toy Drive for toy sellers
  • Building winter kennels for outside dogs for pet supply companies.

Few things build up loyalty among customers as much as giving to a worthy cause does, and implementing this during the period when customers are actively looking to buy gives them a reason to choose your products over your competitors. It also gives you lots to tweet and Facebook about, a topic for press releases and images to pin.

Building up your festive content is also cost-effective. Chances are good that much of it can be repurposed again next year, saving you money and time in the long term. Happy holidays!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock