Using holiday marketing content to grow business now
Around the world – as summer ends and fall begins – savvy business owners are thinking of making money during the major holidays.
Entire industries, including retail, automakers, technology and luxury spas, realize the winter holiday period is indeed money time.
Supply chains are optimized. Marketing campaigns are coordinated. And seasonal hiring needs are anticipated.
These are the championship months of the year. The annual mad push begins to make the forecast numbers. If things go sideways, CEOs may be fired, thousands will lose jobs and millions in potential profit will go unrealized.
This is why strategic business owners establish a loving relationship with their customers throughout the year. It is time for the fall harvest.
There are three secret ingredients these top content marketers utilize on a consistent basis: uniqueness, effectiveness and coolness.
The great news is that you can also apply these factors to your holiday marketing recipe, and create a content mix that is abundantly potent.
Whether your goal is to get more people coming through your offline storefront or making clicks on your website, utilizing content marketing is the key to making it happen.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
We can see how our three elements enhance the functionality of this definition from a business perspective.
Content that is unique will be valuable to the audience. Effective content will activate the target audience. And cool content will be so relevant that it will strike at the heart of the community.
Great content feels personal and customized to your audience.
If you do not have the “right” content, you won’t get the “right” visitors, and your traffic won’t convert into paying customers.
When most people think of content, they think of text. Articles, blog posts and social media updates are critically important. However, text is only one of several types of holiday content that should be created. Let’s look at some of the others.
- Visual content is shared more frequently and includes images, infographics and memes.
- Audio content like podcasts and interviews are great because consumers can listen while doing other activities.
- And don’t forget video content. It’s the most preferred type of media, and you can use it to bring your audience inside your business.
- If you want to boost engagement with your audience try interactive content. Contests, polls, surveys and games that center on your customer can be extremely effective.
It is true that people buy from people they know, like and trust. Your content mix needs to be developed to turbo-charge this business reality.
Review what you learned from your audience during marketing campaigns earlier in the year. What was most sticky? Which posts got the most shares or generated the most comments? These are clues as to what moves your audience.
For example, if a particular image, blog post or video spikes comments and social sharing during Halloween, put this content back into rotation for Christmas. Your customers will feel like they’re seeing an old and trusted friend.
By effectively extending your message, your brand won’t be viewed as a digital peddler. We all know those brands that only come around when they’re trying to sell something. They have no commitment to building a relationship with the audience. Don’t be that brand — they’re doing it wrong.
The shift to content marketing is a huge mountain for some companies to climb.
Traditionally, the marketing game was about pushing a canned message to the audience. Back then, there was no email marketing, social proof and mobile apps. It was primarily instinct, gut feeling and throwing more advertising dollars while hoping something would stick. By the time real results came in, it was too late to change course.
Content marketing that works requires a new process of creating and distributing messages to attract customers.
It’s pull or attraction marketing. It’s a dramatic shift in the marketing mindset and demands a steady stream of unique, effective and cool content emanating from your brand.
Content can be original, shared or even crowd-sourced. What is most important is that it is interesting, useful and valuable for your audience. Make them want to engage and share with their own contacts.
So how can this be done? Part of the psychology of marketing is to be able to change the point of view of your audience. For example, it is widely believed that “the holidays can be stressful”.
Travel plans, shopping lists, family time and the impending deadlines all converge to make the season uniquely challenging and unpredictable. So how can you use content creation and marketing to make it easier for your audience?
How about creating a downloadable e-book, special report, or how-to guide that is perfectly timed to help those searching for ideas to counter the stress?
B2B marketers, in turn, should be focused on creating content geared to help business people do their jobs better.
In today’s economy people are cost-conscious. How can you help your audience save money, time or both? What are you doing that is on the leading edge? Can this be turned into a behind-the-scenes video?
Brainstorm a few solutions with your team that you can offer or create. Perhaps you deliver a content series instead of just a one-off so that your audience remains engaged over a longer period of time.
Think of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”. It’s a great example of keeping people engaged over an extended period by using a song. How creative can you get?
I mentioned that visual and video content gets shared a lot more than text alone. So there is a greater opportunity for the content to go viral. What if you create a series of images that turn into a slide-show, or a picture gallery type of blog post?
You could even create a new infographic by including some images, numbers and surprising facts, or impressive stats that your audience can use and share.
The art of communication is to make the complex visual and simple. And of course video is extremely powerful for telling your story. Make it engaging, entertaining, exclusive or build some type of mystique that makes your audience want to share it across their multiple social media platforms.
Speaking of sharing, make sure your content can be easily passed along. You need to have social sharing buttons, fast downloads and links that work.
One of the biggest “gotchas” in content marketing is broken links. Whether it’s social media, a link to a third party site or content you’re hosting directly make sure the links work and load properly.
Because of the increased traffic during the holidays, the demands on your servers can be heavier, and consumer patience is shorter. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Now is the time to increase your storage or bandwidth so that the user experience is fast and responsive.
Finally, the idea behind taking charge of your content marketing is to be proactive. Create and distribute unique, effective and cool holiday-themed content that engages your audience and leads them to take action.
By applying these tactics today, you’ll build a loyal audience, increased relevance and increased revenue.
How do you market your business during holiday seasons?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter in the comments below.