With the holidays just around the corner, online retailers and small businesses are gearing up for increased traffic and sales. The big question now is, “Can you use content marketing to delight holiday shoppers and help influence a sale?” We say, “YES!”

Early bird shoppers are already beginning their search for the best gifts this holiday season.  If your content marketing isn’t prepared to delight them at every touch point, you could lose valuable opportunities to grow your business.

To help you whip your content marketing strategy into shape, here is a two-part series that outlines a few ways small businesses can meet and exceed holiday customers’ expectations this year:

Use (or Update) Personas to Guide Your Holiday Content Creation

If you use buyer personas to guide your marketing throughout the rest of the year, then you probably know how valuable they can be for content creation.  However, many content marketers don’t adjust their personas for the holiday season.

The needs and pain points of your audience may change during the holidays, so having an up-to-date profile for each of them can be helpful for creating new and interesting content.  Do they need or want fast and free shipping?  Who are they likely to shop for this year?  Are your customers more likely to prefer convenience over deals? Does location or price of a specific item influence their purchase decision or are they brand loyal?

This simple task will help you maximize the effectiveness of your content and win over more holiday shoppers than your competitors.

Create Content That Helps Not Hinders

More and more people are turning to on-the-spot research when it comes to mobile decision making. This new age of assistance is not only changing the way we do business, but it’s also impacting the way consumers consume content. If businesses can create relevant, timely and easy-to-access information that can help a consumer conquer the holidays, it won’t go unnoticed.

So, what can businesses do to meet the needs of their consumers during the holiday hustle and bustle? We’ve got some ideas.

Meet Consumers’ Mobile Wants

Once you have your buyer personas nailed down, you should have a pretty good idea of how and when your target audience visits your website. If you want to be sure you are grabbing and keeping the attention of your mobile-viewing audience, consider doing a quick audit of your mobile site’s user experience.

Today’s consumer is interested in “on demand” content. We want what we want, when we want it. According to Google, 53% of people will leave a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Google continues to say, “We’ve actually see that for every one second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12%.” Ouch! That’s not something you want to see during the holiday season.

So, if your mobile site isn’t giving the people what they want in a timely manner, make the necessary changes or updates fast, or risk losing sales.

Anticipate Their Needs

This new age of impatience is driving up the need for more relevant and personalized content. The days of mass-produced advertisements are no longer interesting, and consumers don’t want to have to put a lot of effort into their search.

Depending on a consumer’s search term, you can get ahead of the game by anticipating what they need. Whether they are in the early or late stages of the purchase funnel, putting your content where they are, is imperative to a successful holiday season. Breaking down parts of the purchase funnel – research, comparison shopping, or ready to buy – can enable you to create content that really resonates with them on a personal level.

Give Them the Goods, But Don’t Interrupt Them

Mobile users are a research-obsessed bunch. As Google notes, the search term “best” has increased 80% in just the last two years. That’s pretty good evidence that people want to know more about the products they are looking to buy.  And this research term isn’t only limited to high-impact decisions.  Consumers are researching low-impact purchases as well; including everyday items like toothbrushes.

So, it only makes sense that if a consumer is in research mode, they don’t want to be interrupted by an ad or other piece of content that distracts them from their end goal.

According to Google, 46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive mobile experience.

 So, do you want to risk it? We say it’s best to steer clear of annoying pop-ups or full-screen ads that would force a user to scroll or keep them from seeing the content they want to see. These negative user experiences will drive your customers away when they are trying to do exactly what you want them to do, make a purchase.


Whew! That was a lot of information! But we have more!

Take a look at Part 2 of How Small Businesses Can Use Content Marketing to Delight Holiday Shoppers. You won’t want to miss the other ways you can win over your customers this holiday season. We think they are easy, but super effective ways.