There are many best practice branding activities that slip to the bottom of the priority list during the crazier ecommerce seasons – content marketing being one of them. But in a socially engaged world, where brands are expected to be thought leaders and not just purveyors of goods, this can be a real blow to your brand. You’ve already locked down your holiday marketing campaign, but we have 3 content tips that will help inspire customers to remember you long after the gift-giving is said and done…

One way to increase traffic to your website when people aren’t necessarily seeking out shopping outlets is to create valuable and shareable content. With shoppers flocking to your website during the holiday season, now’s the perfect time to start using this content during your holiday marketing campaign to set the stage for the first few weeks of the new year, engage customers and prospects, helping to boost your sales all year round. We have 3 content tips to help you do just that!

 

Content Tip #1: Use a blog to put your best (brand) foot forward.

Blogging drives customers to your store, improves your website’s SEO, and allows you to craft stories around your products, brand and industry that will help you to convert visitors. They key to content of this style is that it should be relevant and not boastful.. This is a blog, not an in-site advertising platform. For example, if you store sells gardening equipment then why not write a post on potted plant projects to keep gardeners busy in the winter months- recommending some of your indoor items in the process.

  • Behind the scenes – Your chance to give real insight into your company, this shows a level of transparency that many shoppers find reassuring. It is also a chance to tell your story and highlighting your core values. Consider showing how your products are made, or where your materials are sourced – If you are a company that supports small business and local suppliers then this your chance to shout about it. Whole Foods do a great job of this, including blogs from their CEO’s- where they talk on issues such as fair pay (Whole Foods are transparent in the fact that they cap the amount their executives, including the CEO’s, are paid at up to 19x higher than the average Whole Foods wage).

John Mackey, Co-CEO of Whole Foods, hosts his blog directly on the Whole Foods website and uses it to discuss the issues that matter to him and his company.

 

The Cambridge Satchel Company was started by mum Julie. Her very sweet story is one that makes the company likeable and is shared in this video.

  • Tell your story. The blog is also a good place to talk about the vision that brought your company into being. Google did a really good job of this type of storytelling in their advert series that showed small businesses such as the Cambridge Satchel Company setting up shop, going from small home-based businesses to international best-sellers. But why wait for Google to shine the spotlight on your company when you can do it yourself?

 

Content tip #2: Publish commentary pieces to keep your customers in the know on topics relevant to your brand.

Every industry has hot topics, trends and industry news. Become a thought leader by reporting and commenting on these. You want to appear not only to have the inside-knowledge whenever possible but also to have opinions on the issues that matter to your customers. M&S is a good example, discussing issues such as the UK bag plastic bag tax and fair prices for milk farmers – all issues that have been in the news.

 

M&S gives their take on the issues affecting their industry and that of their suppliers in an insightful and current blog.

 

Content tip #3: Produce product lead/instructional pieces.

While you don’t want your blog to be just another shop front but there are ways to include your products in interesting and innovative ways. Maybelline do a good job of this, highlighting their products in trend-based tutorials. This is also a form particularly suited to food merchants, with recipe based pieces and the fashion vertical with “What to wear it with” style blogs.

 

Topshop interview social media star Anais Gallagher about her Christmas wish-list, which, of course, includes a number of Topshop items.

 

The holidays will be over soon: is your store ready to start the year off strong?

Need some best practices to increase sales during Q1? Check out our Q1 Survival Guide which outlines best practices retailers should follow to increase sales, customer retention and brand loyalty during one of the most trying sales quarters of the year!

 

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