Holiday Content Strategies to Start Now
“Christmas”, I whisper to my colleagues. They wince. Nobody likes to discuss the holidays in September. Despite the lack of enthusiasm from people, the commercialized holiday season is edging into our lives. If you’ve been to a supermarket recently, you will see decorations and gift ideas already creeping onto the shelves.
As much as we don’t like to talk about the holidays a couple months early, businesses need to be talking about it right now. In fact, retail companies have likely planned for it all year; if not, there's still time when it comes to outreach.
The holiday season is one of those perfect events to plan content around and a great way to gain some backlinks and brand exposure. Even if you’re not a retailer, there are some great opportunities (and reasons) to get your brand out there over the holiday period.
Why Focus on the Holiday Season?
Malls are looking a bit sparse these days due to the increase in e-commerce websites. People can now do all their holiday shopping in the comfort of their homes.
There is some serious money to be made over the holiday season and it’s starting right now. If we look at how many people searched for "Christmas gifts" over the past five years, the searches start to increase toward the end of September.
If you wait until December, you’ll usually find yourself behind the competition and struggling to catch up. It will be easier to get noticed for "gift guides" for example in early October than December because of higher competition.
Even for websites not focused on e-commerce, there are ways to get involved and create holiday-themed content.
Here’s how to get started if you haven’t already. If you have kicked things off and want some extra tips or to freshen up your content and ideas from last year, check out these suggestions.
Plan Content for Your Website
With any luck, you’re already creating diverse and engaging content that adapts to annual events. Here’s how to create content that’s relevant for the holiday season.
- Note Important Dates
Even within the holiday season, there can be content made about holiday-related events. For example, the children breaking from school, last posting dates for Christmas cards and the festival lights being switched on (a great idea for local businesses). Remember other important holidays too such as Thanksgiving (Nov. 23), Black Friday (Nov. 24), Cyber Monday (Nov. 27), Hanukkah (Dec. 12-20), Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan.1), Boxing Day (Dec. 26), New Year's Even (Dec. 31) and New Year's Day (Jan. 1).
Writing blog posts focused on questions that people are likely to be searching for around holiday time is essential (e.g., what are the top gifts for 3 year olds, how can non-retailers use holiday marketing). If you have a selection of products that are top sellers, write an enticing blog post about these. Make them fun, shareable and have an exciting, enticing call to action on every single one.
Even if your website doesn’t operate in e-commerce, creating blog posts with holiday-themed topics can lead customers to your brand. For example, an accounting company might not have increased sales in December, but they could write about holiday finances. CoSchedule’s headline analyzer is a great way to create titles that are appealing to an audience.
Infographics are another great content tool that can be posted both on your website and used in outreach. A café, for example, could create an infographic entitled ‘How to survive Christmas shopping in London.’ Reel off some tips on how to stay sane whilst shopping in December, recommend taking a breather at your café, and you've got a some useful, relevant, engaging content representing your business.
So, you’ve embraced the festive spirit early and put together some handy content to represent your brand. Now, it’s time to create some backlinks to point to the content and spread the word about your brand.
- Find Bloggers for Gift Guides
If you already have relationships with bloggers, this is excellent. If not, now is the time to start! If a product is reviewed or recommended by a blogger, it gives it an endorsement from a trusted source — and a valuable one at that. Fifty-four percent of people will visit a website after reading a positive review. This means it’s imperative to find bloggers and influencers to write about and review your products.
Gift guides are so popular among bloggers. Many will write multiple gift guides; one for mothers, fathers, techies, children and so forth. How do you find these bloggers? One of the easiest and quickest ways is to find them on Twitter. If you’re not already using the #journorequest and #prrequest hashtag, now is the time. Search and you’ll find bloggers asking for features in their gift guide (there are already a lot of bloggers doing this on Twitter right now, as you’re reading this article!).
Sending a product to a blogger is an excellent way to get featured and have hundreds or even thousands of people reading a review of your product. The important thing is to make sure you’re targeting the right audience.
Another sure-fire way to find a blogger within a certain niche is on Buzzsumo. Select the ‘Influencers’ tab at the top and search for your specific target audience.
- Share Your Infographics
If you’ve created an awesome holiday-themed infographic for your website, you can also use this in outreach on blogs and websites. We’ve found that infographics tend to be shared a lot more than blog posts, because people love something visual. Make it fun and be sure to find the infographic sharing websites to get it out into the digital realm.
Is Your Website Ready for Christmas?
You can do a great amount of influencer outreach, write amazing blogs and create shareable infographics, but it’s crucial to remember that your website needs to be on top form for all of this digital PR to be beneficial. If somebody reads a product review and clicks on your website, but it’s difficult to navigate or they can’t see how to swiftly make a purchase, this is a problem.
Make sure that any Christmas or holiday season promotions you are running are clearly visible from your site’s homepage. A user testing service is a good way of getting insight into how visitors are interacting with your website.
It’s also worth checking your website hosting service is able to handle the droves of potential new visitors over the festive period.
The holiday season is a super-busy time for businesses and consumers, but it’s also an enjoyable time spent with family and with stories about fictional characters and magical events. Always remember the positive feelings that people have at this time of year and create content that makes them emotive and happy. This is how they will remember you and your brand.
About the Author
Helen Anglin is a content marketer for digital marketing agency Exposure Ninja. She loves creating digital campaigns and writing creative, shareable content — she also loves Christmas.