The holiday season is nearly upon us once again.
For some people, that means stress-filled weeks of obligations like parties, decorating and yes, shopping.
Fortunately, if you use content for marketing purposes, the season is ripe with opportunities to stimulate the desire to buy, appeal to the needs of the customer and boost your profits.
Below, you can learn several actionable strategies for shaping your content so that it makes a maximum impact this holiday season.
The three main things to keep in mind at all times are:
- Start forming a marketing plan as early as possible
- Be willing to adjust as time passes
- Respond to customers in relatable ways
The above principles are worth remembering whether content marketing strategies focus on the social media realm, e-mail marketing or another area.
Personalize Your Approach
How many times have you opened an e-mail or physical subject line to read a letter that began with the opener, “Dear Friend”? It’s not hard to understand why this practice gained prominence, especially because the very use of the word “friend” conveys a warm tone.
However, the Internet has made this practice very outdated, especially since it’s now much easier to use data and tweak messages so they at least include a person’s first name. Make sure not to overlook that step.
Content should reflect how you understand the unique circumstances of the holiday season, and have a way to ease the burdens a person may be facing.
You can do that through a call to action, but it’s also useful to incorporate ways to let a person save money. A few money-saving methods you could use include:
- Discount codes
- Blog posts that compile the easiest ways to save on hot holiday gifts
- Actionable content filled with little-known tips for frugal shoppers
- Percentages off for people who follow your page on social media
You may not sell content directly on your own website, but affiliate marketing can be a great supplement to your income, especially during the holidays.
The suggestions above can all be used in ways that are equally effective whether you have your own online shop or are simply trying to craft content that points people in the direction of a store you’ve partnered with for mutual benefits.
Give Pertinent Information
Although some people diligently prepare for the holiday season for months in advance, it always seems there’s a far greater number of individuals who wait until the last minute to take care of holiday necessities.
Attend to that reality by making it as easy as possible for people to understand what you’re offering and how it could benefit them.
Perhaps you’re trying to write a blog post that’s relevant for today’s consumers. In that case, think about making a top ten list of the most in-demand holiday toys or gadgets. Instead of just listing the names and descriptions of products, include extra helpful information, like:
- Price range of the product
- Which age group the product is intended for
- Which stores are selling the product
- Where you can purchase the product online
Any and all pertinent information you can find on the product, include it in your post. Consolidating information in the holiday season is extremely beneficial because people don’t have the time or patience to find all that information themselves.
Adapting the Concept for E-mail
The suggestion you’ve just read about can also be easily adjusted for use in e-mails.
Keep in mind how people are much more likely to receive unsolicited e-mails during the holiday season, and while you may automatically think that people will just ignore your email, that’s not always the case.
Make your subject line stand out from the rest by cutting out unnecessary words and keeping it concise.
Good: Need a last-minute gift? We’ve got you covered.
Bad: Happy Holidays!! It’s time for our Big Holiday Sale!!! Whether you’re shopping for your daughter, husband, or mother, we’ve got a gift for you!
Explain why readers should open the e-mail in quick and simple terms. Free time always seems to be short during the holidays, and people will appreciate if you make your content reflect that reality.
Use Pictures to Cause Action
Mixing up content so it relies on text, graphics and sounds is great to do any time of the year, but graphics can be especially effective during the holiday season, a time when people are already in the mood to spend money.
If a product you’re discussing within a piece of content has a distinctive characteristic that could stimulate the desire to buy, don’t hesitate to take a picture and share it with the world.
Doing so can quickly help you create a buzz, especially since image-heavy websites such as Instagram have captured worldwide attention.
Experiment With a Re-Engagement Campaign
If you’ve been thinking about using tactics to encourage people who have responded to your content in the past but have been quiet in recent months, the holiday season is a great time to put those plans into action.
This is especially true if the products you carry are very specialized and there aren’t many competitors for people to go to instead.
Whether you’re typing a Facebook status about why a used backhoe loader is the perfect gift for dad, or you’re writing a blog post on how to clean the recycled jewelry you sell in an online shop, don’t forget to reach out to the people who haven’t recently made a purchase.
Tip: Short-term discounts and low-cost fast shipping options are two great ways to attract new customers during the holidays.
Now you have some effective ways to adjust content so it more readily meets the climate of the holiday season. The great thing is, they can all be used across a variety of platforms, so you can start incorporating them into your marketing strategy today.
Michelle is a blogger and freelancer with a passion for social media and blogging. She loves how social media connects people across the globe, and appreciates that blogging gives her the opportunity to voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.