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10 Holiday and Seasonal Content Marketing Tips
We are drawing closer to the end of another year and websites are enjoying the influx of holiday shoppers who have a little bit extra in disposable income and maybe be inclined to spoil themselves and loved ones. While it's a great time to be selling the hype will soon die down and your traffic and sales will begin to normalise.
That's not to say we can't take advantage of trend spikes all year around. While you can normally count on the annual holiday and seasonal trends like Academic Season, Valentines Day, Mother and Fathers' Day etc to spike traffic and sales, ramping up your efforts to be proactive won't hurt your cause.
Planning your marketing around any holiday and seasonal trends is the easiest way to piggy-back off of initial interest and generate revenue. So let's begin, break out those excel sheets and prepare that yearly marketing game plan, reserve the holiday's you're keen to participate in and timelines for preparation, I recommend working a minimum of 2 weeks prior. Now that you've marked out your calendar, here at the top 10 tips to get your site ready to take full advantage of holiday and seasonal shoppers.
1. Get visual
It's a known fact among UX and Digital Marketing that quality images drive conversion. It's also an instant indicator that the user is on the correct page or path to finding what they want. Plan out your visual needs. Make a list of all your image needs from social media images, email, on-site, affiliate banners, display and remarketing banners and blog post images all skinned in your campaign creative. This helps users quickly identify with your offers and brand, improves click through and drives quality return visits by driving harmony and synergy between all your marketing efforts.
2. Have Fun
Don’t be afraid to get silly, poke fun at things like ugly sweaters and stuffed family members after holiday dinners. As long as you’re keeping it kind and respectful, it’s all in good fun and your readers will appreciate you for it. Get personal, show some empathy, speak directly to your audience. Show that there is a human aspect behind the brand and that the brand has a personality.
3. Kit out your site
You don’t need to go over the top with neon elves that light-up, but adding some festive holiday visuals to your site is an excellent way to get people into the holiday spirit and ensure that your content is the one gift that truly keeps on giving. Make sure to maintain your brand identity in the process, work to make sure that your holiday additions stay in-line with your company colours, voice, and approach. Additionally, work to find areas in your existing brand strategy where you can add some holiday flair.
4. Rehash The Old
If you’ve ever created holiday-focused content before, now is an excellent time to bring it out to play once more. Recycling holiday content from previous years by breaking an old blog post into Tweets, turning a blog into a visual presentation, or featuring a timeline of your holiday content through the years. There are so many ways to address recycling of old content and there’s no question that the decision to do it is an excellent way to get the most traction, with little effort. Holiday copy doesn’t limit itself to just blog posts or product descriptions, and getting creative with your holiday copy is an excellent way to one up your competitors.
5. Be Trend Setter
While many sites will be competing for traffic during the usual holiday periods from Valentines Day to Christmas. It would be wise to pick up on days others may neglect or days that your offerings may be applicable in. Picking up the holidays not catered for can easily set you up as a front runner on the topic. From secretaries day to Arbour day, there are so many things to celebrate and an audience that needs to be catered for.
Protip! After you've created your calendar and see gaps where you feel you need a reason to give it a spike. Then create your own day, it could be your birthday or something you've come up with that's unique to your site like free shipping Friday.
6. Cross-channel marketing
As mentioned in the visual step, preparing your channels for an all out unified assault will help amplify your content marketing efforts. Drive your content via social media, email marketing, SEM and PR. New topical content is always going to sit well readers. If you're driving quality content and amplifying it via the channels mentioned earlier, it sets up a platform for social media virality and content syndication that could drive thousands of visits at no extra cost to you.
7. Put up a calendar
Content creation is enough of a pain at the easiest times of the year, and it can become downright stressful with all the hype and excitement around the holidays. You won't be the only one suffering from the holiday rush, so planning ahead and structuring a calendar of what content to push out when will give you a distinct advantage over your competition. In addition to allowing you to forget about the burden of being sure you’re posting all of your content on time, this simple approach will also enable you to ensure you’re hitting all of the important targets of the holiday season and that there aren’t any “gaps” in your content strategy.
8. Get retrospective
Retrospectives have become very popular in the viral content marketing space. Pieces of content within which the writer looks back at the year that’s just passed and defines the best or worst changes in a given industry. In addition to being relevant to your readers (since most of them will have lived through it right alongside you), a retrospective like this is also a great way to provide a summary of the year that past, and the look forward, collectively, to the year ahead.
9. Pick Your Battles
If you've never created content for holiday and seasonal trends, evergreen topics are a great place to start. As the name implies, evergreen content doesn't lose value over time. Your blog post from five years ago titled "Survival Strategies: Managing the Christmas Choas" is still applicable as long there are still crowds. When you have evergreen content you republish the content on social media pages to bring awareness back (#ThrowbackThursday is great for something like this) or you can provide an updated version as a new post with some of the old content still intact.
Timed content, on the other hand, has an expiration date. Sorry, but your listicle on "10 Best Items on Sale in 2003!" won't be very useful to the 2016 holiday season. However, the concept can be reused as a series and that's important to note with timed content - if the content itself is no longer relevant, but the format was well received, you may want to consider revisiting that style. Another strength of creating a series of time-sensitive content is doing year on year comparisons, to document changes and how the trend has evolved. Placing you as a key authority on the topic, which search engines and users will love.
10. Generate excitement
It's all well and good to offer users compelling content on a stunning looking website, but we still need them to transact. While the rest of your efforts are all geared to convince them to buy your product or service. You still have a duty to get them over the finish line or to the checkout page. This holiday cake can be sliced in so many different ways namely:
- Sales and special offers
- Ways to earn gifts
- Early Bird/Flash/sign up notification sales
- Product reviews
- Last minute shopping and express delivery
- Holiday advice
- Holiday shopper shopping lists
- Holiday shopper budget tips
- Merchandising recommended holiday products
There you have it, simple as that. Got it? Good. Now, onto prepping that content!
If you want to know more about content marketing for the holidays don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us here