Well, 2020 has been a year, hasn’t it? It may be hard to believe but the holiday season is just around the corner. It is time to stop wondering how you can end the year strong and take action.
We have three words for you: content marketing strategy.
You need it.
Knowing what you want to get out of your content strategy will influence the topics you choose, what you promote, where you promote it, and what your voice and tone convey to customers. So pull on your comfy-est pants and let’s go over the elements of content strategy.
Make a Content Strategy Map to Hook Hearts and Wallets
Grabbing attention in today’s distracted world is all about staying focused. What are your goals? Trust? Drive revenue? Promote a product? Got a sale?
If you want to woo customers to your site you have to be intentional. Creating trust means offering value and to do that you need to be crystal-springs-clear about what your message is. Follow this content roadmap to avoid sinking your holiday marketing strategy ship.
Are you a nonprofit? You can use your content to drive more donations!
Know Your Audience
Not taking the time to know who you are talking to leads to your audience falling off your site like drunken flies. Put yourselves in the shoes of your customers. What problems are you uniquely positioned to solve for them around the holidays? What questions do they have that you can answer? Are they last-minute shoppers or thoughtful planners?
Tailor your content to these audiences, and create multiple pieces of content to help in all situations. Do a year end wrap up blog for trends or make predictions for the next year. Build off that “new year, new me” energy for New Year’s content that resonates.
Plan Ahead. Don’t Throw Up Random, Half-baked Ideas.
Create a content calendar with specific dates. Everyone knows they need a plan but often skip this crucial step. It’s time to pull out your yellow pad or start using that fancy project planner you have been meaning to try and begin. Don’t be scared. Just start small. You can even start by reviewing old content and see if it can be reused and updated.
As you think through new content, know when you need to have written content drafted by, which graphics you’ll use and make sure they’re prepped in advance.
- Track down any seasonal imagery you might need (and remember there’s a variety of holidays that people celebrate during this time)
- Determine which days you’ll publish content (do you know what days your audience engages the most on different platforms?)
- Figure out the best days to share content on social and through email marketing.
- Create timelines and priorities.
- Brainstorm content ideas and weed out the ones that don’t match your goals.
- Align the content creation and delivery/promotion methods to make sense for your own timeline but also for when that content will be most impactful for your audience.
Quality over Quantity
If you have been around here awhile you know we sing this song loud (possibly off-key) and often. If you haven’t seen us warbling over in the corner now you are part of the special club. There is a lot of crap floating around on the interwebs. You should not be contributing to it. Make sure all content is high-quality and your messaging is consistent. We can’t say it enough. Customers are savvy. They can see through your last minute, not-very-well-thought-thru content.
Offering something valuable to potential customers will have the most impact. Stand out from competitors and put thought into what your customers are really looking for (see Know Your Audience above). Of course a ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘25% Off’ deal will go a long way, but put some serious thought into your holiday offerings and how your messaging can serve to support this.
Connect to Your Audience Through Giving
The holidays are a time for generosity and “cause marketing” is an excellent way to put your money where your mouth is. Especially with the 2020 we’ve had, cause marketing is an excellent option for smart and socially conscious businesses.
Cause marketing is a mutually beneficial arrangement between a for-profit business and a non-profit organization that seeks to both increase profits and better society. The most common example of this is when a cashier asks you to donate to an organization at the register during a checkout, but the principal can be applied to a range of different scenarios.
Consider partnering with nonprofits whose causes you support, or align with your business values. Combine your corporate social responsibility initiatives with your content marketing efforts to create unique offers for your customers that allow them to join you in generosity. Build your content strategy around your nonprofit partnership and promote it on your various channels to get the word out. There are lots of ways to do this: pledging a donation, donating a percentage of the sale, or increasing awareness — you decide what works for your business.
Let Your Audience Guide You
Using content created by your customers can be extremely valuable. A well-placed review, social share by an influencer, or photo of your product in action can go a long way to increasing conversions.
Consider offering specials for customers who share your content, write reviews, or take product photos. For example, you can offer discount codes for reviews or social shares in your automated post-purchase emails. Or you can create contests and giveaways for liking, sharing, tagging, or otherwise engaging with your social media content.
If you have a cyber monday sale or holiday sale don’t hide it under a bushel — make sure it’s shining bright and clear on your site. Write a blog post about it. Include it in your email newsletter. Share it on your social profiles with eye-grabbing graphics.
Make sure you are giving your customers time to plan ahead. Give clear shipping deadlines so customers feel a sense of urgency and know when they need to order by. As gift-deadlines are approaching, tailor your post to speak directly to the customer who likely didn’t plan ahead and now needs reassurance in their panicked last-minute frenzy. Tell them exactly what their options are and what you could potentially offer them.
Thank your customers – especially after the 2020 we’ve all had. Showing appreciation to the customers that have stuck with you is a great opportunity to build brand loyalty. Whether through your social channels or via email (and you should be using your email lists), find a way to show your appreciation.
In these stressful times providing encouragement and connection give your customers a way to see your human side. You can even offer special discounts or promotions if they feel heartfelt and genuine.
Don’t Just Focus on the Big Holidays
Just because the fall and winter are packed with holidays, don’t sleep on the rest! You should plan for holidays year-round to make sure you’re taking full advantage of opportunities throughout the year.
Not ECommerce? You Can Create Great Holiday Content, Too
Even if your business offerings aren’t eCommerce related, you can still find relevant holiday-focused opportunities to engage with your audience.
- If you’re a trucking company, help businesses prepare for holiday shipping.
- Are you a college? Help your students by offering guidance on how to handle holiday stress.
- If you practice family law, you could empathize with clients about holiday custody arrangements.
- Nonprofits can talk about any holiday-specific initiatives you’re working on to support your community.
- If you’re a remodeler, give them ideas on how a future home addition can help with hosting family for the holidays. If their kitchen feels cramped this year, it gives them some valuable information to consider and when they are ready you might be the first place they call as they start to prepare for next year’s holiday season.
Find ways to connect with audiences on their current circumstances, this makes them feel both seen and supported.
Struggling with Your Holiday Content Marketing?
Sometimes we all need a little encouragement. Getting started with your content marketing this 2020 holiday season may feel a bit daunting but never fear – our Intuitive Digital team is here to help! We do this for a living so our team can help you get your content marketing on track so you can connect with customers with your brilliant holiday offers. Give us a call and we will help your 2020 holiday content marketing strategy run (mostly) stress-free.