Are you still trying to figure out your holiday marketing strategy? Contemplating just slapping some red and green onto your blog posts and ads to call it a day? Well, don’t settle just yet. Here are three tips to help you stand out with great content this holiday season.

1. Remember Your Purpose

People turn to your content in order to solve a problem that they have. That doesn’t change during the holidays, so think about what problems your customers are trying to solve this holiday season and how your service/products can help. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and consider:

  • What will they be doing around the holidays that they don’t normally do during the rest of the year? What pain points exist for them while performing these activities?
  • Where will they be for the holidays? How will they get there?
  • Who will they be with?
  • Are there any particular emotions that may be stirred up by the holidays (for example joy, anxiety, sadness)?

Now, how does your product or service help in these scenarios? What tools or advice can you offer them? You can also scavenge for ideas on Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn groups, and any other online forums or communities within your industry. Look at the conversations people are having and what questions are being asked. For example, here is a post from the content_marketing subreddit that helped inspire the article you’re reading right now.

Remember your purpose Simplilearn

If you are a first-timer like KhalessiOfContent mentions above, then you may want to check out our course on Content Marketing Foundation.

2. Learn From Your Past

Do you know where else you can get inspiration for great topics for 2017 holiday content? Your most popular holiday topics from last year! To find this information, first look at your website data. Set the date range in your analytics dashboard to something like November 1, 2016 to Jan 30, 2017, and identify web pages and articles that received the highest unique page views. Once you have identified the most popular content, dig deeper with engagement metrics like bounce rate and time-on-page to further narrow down your list of topics. Was last year’s gift list blog a chart topper? Chances are, it will perform well this year too, but your existing audience will be looking for fresh ideas. Recreate it with new products (including the current year in your headline for better SEO) and link to last year’s version for additional traction.   

If you don’t have analytics enabled on your website or app yet, start now! That way, you’ll have data to look at when you do your content planning for the 2018 holiday season. Simplilearn’s Digital Analytics Foundation and Advanced Web Analytics courses have everything you need to get started.

Social media is another great source for information. If you go to your Facebook page, for example, and look under the ‘Insights’ tab, you can download a file containing data on all of your posts from the previous holiday season. Identify which posts received the greatest engagement (likes, shares, clicks).

Fresh Holiday Content Simplilearn
Be mindful of the fact that organic and promoted posts will vary greatly in the level of engagement due to differences in how many people they reach. So we recommend scaling engagement metrics by the number of impressions that a post received (i.e. likes per thousand impressions) rather than looking at totals. Past emails can also provide clues about what content your customers are most receptive to. Look back at your holiday 2016 email campaign with a focus on email open rates and click rates for any links that you included.

Once you have identified your most popular holiday 2016 content, think about how you can give it a holiday 2017 update or create brand new content that is complementary to those topics. Also take a look at your worst-performing content. Maybe you published a blog post that only received a handful of views, had a landing page result in an uncharacteristically high bounce rate, or sent an email that resulted in a large number of recipients unsubscribing from your list. Figure out what caused those items to be so unpopular, and avoid repeating those mistakes again this year.

3. Know Your Audience

Before choosing your wording, consider your audience. Use more inclusive terms—such as ‘Happy Holidays’ in place of ‘Merry Christmas.’ Be sure that you aren’t alienating any one individual or group, both in your language and in your product offerings. Acknowledge any differences that exist, and show all of your customers that they are truly valued. Remember to keep your existing best practices intact during the holidays. If your audience is made up of executives, your email campaigns shouldn’t start with a “New Year, New You!” subject line.

Now it’s time for you to put these ideas into action! If our tips resonated with you or you have some holiday content marketing ideas of your own to share, let us know in the comments section down below.

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