The average shopper spends $967 during the holiday season. However, getting a share of the pie is not easy, as competition is cut-throat. Here are the different options for retailers to get their content marketing strategy right for the crucial make-or-break season.
1. Get the Website Landing Page Content Right
With so many retailers chasing finite buyers, customers are spoiled for choice. Customers may click on an interesting link, but they are unlikely to spend anything more than a few seconds, if the landing page content does not strike their fancy, or is not clear cut enough.
The time-tested conventions on content hold true for landing page content as well. But above all, the landing page represents a few seconds of opportunity. Make it count by providing the most relevant content likely to induce the customer to convert. Such content could be the most attractive feature of the product, an unbeatable offer, or anything else sure to entice the customer. Create a sense of urgency, inducing the customer to buy immediately rather than put off the purchase for later.
Make sure the landing page makes an offer in clear-cut terms, without any ambiguity. Provide a clear and highly visible call-to-action, and if relevant, include a “buy” button on the landing page. Brevity is the soul of wit and the route to conversions. Keep the message short.
2. Invest in Social Media in a Big Way
Social media marketing is fait-accompli for retailers. About 94% of consumer-based businesses use Facebook, 82% of them use Twitter, and 77% of them use LinkedIn.
Consider some of these ways to keep the audiences engaged in the social media, during the high traffic holiday season:
- Create a theme series focusing on the season. The series could contain videos, screen-casting interviews, talks, podcasts, slideshows, infographics, and more. Connect the content to holiday themes and symbols, for relevance. For instance, go live on Facebook or Instagram with the in-house Christmas party. Be authentic and avoid transactional language. Strive to establish an emotional connect with the audience, through the content. Emotion, however, doesn’t necessary mean tugging at the heartstrings and making people cry. Even using humor the right way counts as emotional.
- Conjure up a last-minute holiday gift guide, relevant to the audience. Holiday shoppers often have no idea about what to purchase, and are always open to good recommendations. Gift guide also offers good pre-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
- Create a roll-up post highlighting the most popular blogs or content of the year. Snippets of interesting or even controversial news that occurred during the previous year also fit the bill. The audience who missed the content earlier could catch up, and even otherwise, such informative posts stand out in the clutter. Add interesting reader comments or Tweetable quotes from the content, to make the experience engaging.
- Offer a sneak peek of the 2018 plans, co-opting useful tips, and how such products or developments will benefit the user.
3. Roll out Themed AdWords Campaigns
AdWords are evergreen to get the marketing message across. Roll out exclusive, seasonal AdWords campaign targeting holiday shoppers. Base content on seasonal keywords, and make sure the content captures the spirit of the season. For instance, retailers selling women’s apparel could target keywords such as “holiday sweaters,” or “gifts for mother.”
Go beyond Adwords. Subscribe to Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and advertise on Amazon, as relevant, to expand the reach of the marketing content.
4. Opt for a Mobile-first Approach
More people access the Internet through smartphones, compared to traditional desktop devices. About 40% of shoppers buy through their mobile devices. Retailers have no option but to offer a seamless mobility experience, from the advertisement to the checkout process. Content is central to facilitating such a seamless process.
Make sure the content is brief, and gels in with the small screen and form factor of the mobile devices. But above all, personalize the message. Mobiles are personal devices, where a personalized engagement strategy is a natural fit.
5. Spread User Generated Content
Today’s highly knowledgeable customers are anyway are not swayed by the marketer’s words. They place value on genuine feedback and reviews by customers who have used the product before. The role of the marketer in such a context is to channel user content, and propel it forward. Launching a hashtag campaign, social sharing, and more are some options in this direction.
User content offers the added advantage of getting users involved, and creating motivated brand advocates.
6. Introduce Real-Time Content
Real-time content, or content which changes to reflect realities, is now gaining widespread traction. It manifests as emails which change to represent current stock levels, real-time segmentation of data, and more. With real-time content, customers need not be presented with offers, only to find out stock is already sold out.
7. Do Not Neglect Billboards
Billboards are a good way to attract both eyeballs and traffic. In today’s age of mobility and omni-channel engagement, a person seeing a huge billboard may immediately take up his or her smartphone, enter the website, and grab the offer. Or he may recollect the billboard and enter the brand store in the mall. Either way, make sure you hire billboards and fill it with content that stands out.
Creativity and brevity are the pillars of success when it comes to billboard content. A witty slogan, eye-catching imagery, and highlighting some unbelievable offers are some ways to stand out.
The bottom line is engagement. Regardless of the content type or subject, make sure the content engages and entices the audience toward the call-to-action. Only when customers are lured by the content and proceed to make a purchase, would the business survive.