By Eric McGehearty, Globe Runner SEO
What would make you merry this holiday season? Figgy pudding? A partridge in a pear tree? Or lots of holiday shoppers buying your goods? If you chose the last option, there’s good news: Content marketing can put your retail business in front of holiday consumers and increase your end-of-year bottom line.
The Package – Coming Up with Content
The holiday season offers lots of potential for content marketing. Of course, it’s best to tailor any content to suit your business and to reflect the searches of potential buyers, but these ideas should give you a jump-start:
Write a Gift Giving Guide
Not only are gift guides a boon for the clueless, they’re great for attracting search traffic and give you a chance to reference your best gift products. Moreover, they’re likely to be shared on social media.
• Business Gift Guide – Offer advice on selecting the appropriate gift for employees and clients. Could include what amount to spend and business faux pas (like “don’t send your alcoholic coworker a bottle of wine”).
• Gifts for the _______ in Your Life. Tailor the _____ to fit your business (e.g. if you sell outdoor goods, it could be the “Outdoor Enthusiast in Your Life").
Make a List and Check It Twice
Numbered lists are a go-to content marketing concept, and the holidays are a great time to pull one out of your holly trimmed hat. This is an easy way to be helpful to your consumers and show off products at the same time.
• 25 Books That Make a Perfect Gift
• 8 Thoughtful Gifts Your Wife Will Love
• 100 Gift Ideas Under $20
Put Your Dollars Where Your Heart Is
People love to buy from genuine companies. If you give back to your community, let shoppers know. People will see that you care, you could get some great press, and you may even be able to give a bit more with the help of your holiday shoppers.
• Join Us in Supporting XYZ Charity
• XX% of our Holiday Sales go to XYZ Charity
• Give More this Holiday: When You Buy ___ from Us, We’ll Give ___ to XYZ Charity
Show Some Style
If consumers look to you for a sense of style and panache, you can have home décor for the holidays covered. Write articles that offer advice on how to decorate their apartments, front yards, or cubicles, or how to be best-dressed at the annual office party. Décor and fashion sites are always looking for good holiday-themed content.
• Home for the Holidays – Cover the newest decorating trends
• 5 Things Not to Wear to a Holiday Party
Keep It Close to Home
Not only is “Buy Local” a big trend in the marketplace, but local SEO can be a critical factor in boosting your holiday sales. If you’re a small business, make sure you get local search traffic by including the name of your city or service area in your article or blog post headline.
• Dallas Holidays Shopping Tips
• Great Family Holiday Activities in Austin
Special Delivery - Getting Your Content to Consumers
Once you’ve been inspired by one of the lists above, write it up with style (and maybe a sprinkling of good cheer—it is the holidays, after all). Relevant, well-written content is key. If your article is good enough, people will share, like and spread it for you. Users will keep the ball rolling if content is good enough, but how do you get that ball started? How do you deliver that content to would-be online holiday shoppers?
Post it on all social channels. Yes, this may be obvious, but it’s easy to overlook the obvious, especially during your busy season.
Write a shorter version. Send it to your email list, and include a link to the full article. Make sure you highlight the value of the information: what you have to offer readers can help them manage the holiday crunch.
Do a Google search for your topic. Find a blog post or article where you can provide a comment, add one that engages readers, and include a link to your article. Even better, find sites that also list resources, and reach out to their webmasters. If writing an article about family holiday activities in Austin, for example, you might check with freefuninaustin.com and austineavesdropper.com. If you’re lucky, they will link back to your article or share it on their social network.
Ask relevant business contacts to share your article with their networks. And remember, “give to get.” Be ready to reciprocate. Always be willing to help your contacts share content.
Boost your Facebook post. If you think your article has potential, spend the extra cash to boost your post on Facebook using Promoted Posts. You just spent three hours putting together great content; don’t be afraid to spend $10-$20 to get it in front of the right people.
Create a press release. If your article has a news hook, like a charity component, consider putting out a press release. It doesn’t have to be the biggest, shiniest press release in the world to get some traction—even a $25 release might do the trick.
Give your article its own page. If you think the content has long-term relevance, post your article as an individual page on your site. Then write a short version as a blog post, with a link to your full article. You’ll build keyword relevance for your page with internal linking.
Promote it with a banner ad. Content marketing and banner ads go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream. It’s almost like offering a service. You’re not pushing a direct purchase; you’re just helping an interested reader find their way from one blog to another, even more fascinating blog. And the cherry on top? These types of clicks can be significantly cheaper than those for search marketing campaigns.
No matter what article you choose to write, or how you to choose to deliver it, put content marketing at the top of your gift list. After all, for businesses, a batch of fresh new buyers is even better than a plate full of gingerbread cookies.
Eric McGehearty is the CEO of Globe Runner SEO, a top-performing, SEO and digital marketing firm. Eric, who received his master’s degree from UNT, is an advisor to non-profits, an advocate for people with learning disabilities, and an award-winning sculptor. Though Eric has achieved success in many fields, the role he cherishes most is that of husband to his wife and father to his four children.