If you missed Part 1 of How Small Businesses Can Use Content Marketing to Delight Holiday Shoppers, I recommend you step over here and check it out. It’s some pretty great information, and if you’re looking to get the most out of this article, Part 1 will give you even more ideas for reaching your target market.
Check out Part 1 here. Go ahead…we’ll wait.
Finished? Great! Let’s continue onto the other ways you can delight shoppers with content marketing this holiday season.
Use UGC to Win Over First-Time Customers
User-generated content (UGC) is a must-have in your content marketing arsenal. As seen in part 1 of this article, holiday shoppers are going online to research products before they make a purchase and they are wanting an outside opinion of your business before they buy.
According to a Nielsen report, 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from family and friends above all other forms of advertising. Simply put, you need to leverage UGC to convince online shoppers to buy from you this holiday season.
The good news is that user-generated content is free! All you need to do is create a good incentive that will encourage consumers to participate (such as a discount or freebie). Then, target new leads and use this UGC in your online ads to win shoppers over for the holidays.
Tell a Great Story with Holiday-Inspired Videos
Video is an effective storytelling medium that can no longer be ignored by content marketers. Not only do videos generate 1,200 percent more shares than images or text, but they can also drive sales by helping holiday shoppers make a purchase decision.
This year, make it a goal to create holiday-inspired videos that connect with your audience. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use Facebook Live to show your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business during the holidays.
- Create seasonal DIY videos (i.e., holiday recipes, gift ideas, or decorating tips) and tie it in with a blog post.
- Tap into your audience’s emotions with a funny or sentimental video. Watch the 2016 John Lewis Christmas advert to see this in action.
- If you’re advertising on YouTube, consider creating a bumper video – these really challenge your creative juices.
Pro tip: Make your holiday videos more effective this year by leveraging behavioral targeting to get your content in front of the right audience. A recent survey from Videology found that the majority of marketers surveyed rate behavioral-based targeting as the most effective targeting approach.
Show Your Customers Your Appreciation
The holidays are a time to reflect and be thankful. This year, take the time to show your customers just how much you appreciate their support through your content marketing.
Consider emailing your customers a special offer or sending them a handwritten card in the mail. Handwritten notes are memorable and your customers will no doubt appreciate the gesture.
You can also share a picture on social media of your team holding a big thank-you sign or a holiday-inspired video of them thanking your customers. Feel free to get creative with your appreciation—just remember to make it heartfelt!
Reward VIP Customers
As many small business owners know, a repeat customer is more profitable than a new customer. Although you’ll likely see many new customers during the holidays, don’t forget about your loyal customers who have supported you through every season.
Give your most loyal customers the VIP treatment by creating customer segments based on their purchase frequency. For example, you can segment your customers by total purchase order and give your most profitable customers a valuable freebie.
You can also segment your customers by past purchases and send them exclusive previews of upcoming products they might be interested in. You can grow these loyal customers into powerful brand ambassadors by simply knowing their interests and showing that you care.
Get Personal and Give Shoppers a Reason to Return!
If your holiday marketing campaigns are effective, they will likely bring in many first-time customers. Once the sale is complete, time is ticking for you to build a relationship with these new customers.
First impressions matter, but the second interaction is just as important. To turn holiday shoppers into year-round customers, you need to follow up with them when the holidays are winding down and show that your business can provide long-term value.
To do this, you could send them personalized product recommendations based on past purchase history or offer time-sensitive discounts. You can also use their behavioral data to send them content that you know they’ll love or give them exclusive sneak peaks at upcoming products.
I don’t know about you, but now that October is here, the end of the year will seem like it’s flying by. So, preparing your content marketing for the holidays early is key to delighting your customers and winning more sales.
Your customers will have high expectations this year, but with a few key strategies, you can blow them away with your content this holiday season.