Photo Credit: pexels
The winter holidays offer a great opportunity for brands to experiment with content marketing. It’s the time of the year when how-to articles, explainer videos and educational content can be adapted for seasonal trends and result in a flood of new customers during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.
What is content marketing?
In simple terms, content marketing is the act of creating engaging content that will be shared across social media and attract potential customers, who are eager to learn more about a specific skill, discipline or field – but not necessarily about your own specific products. The core idea is that people are going online to learn, to be educated and to be entertained – and they will be attracted to content that helps them achieve these goals.
For example, everyone wants to learn how to shoot better photos with their cameras, and that might be a way for a camera company like Nikon or Canon to launch a “how-to” blog or video series. And everyone wants to learn how to make special holiday treats or meals, and that might be a way for a food brand to create a “how-to” recipe series that includes their ingredients or products.
What’s the best type of content for content marketing?
Even if your company is not in such an obvious industry, it’s easy to think of ways that you can use the winter holidays as a starting point for content marketing. For example, let’s say you’re engaged in selling running shoes. Who runs during the snowiest, coldest winter months? Well, it turns out that lots of people now love to run races on holidays like Christmas or New Year’s Eve. That might be a great way to launch a regular series like “How to Train for a Christmas 5K in 5 Weeks.”
As seen above, the best content marketing is content that is aligned with what makes your brand special. And it helps to be relevant. Thus, a camera company could just as easily create a “how-to” meal recipe series as a “how-to” photography series, but in terms of moving product, it’s obvious why the “how-to” photography series is superior from a branding perspective.
The starting point in creating effective content marketing is finding out how and why your customers use your products. This will help you understand what they are searching for online – and by extension, what similar types of customers are searching for online.
For example, say that you’re a neighborhood hardware store selling basic tools and products for home improvement projects. What type of project would customers be searching for during the holidays? One answer might be advice on how to string up holiday lights in unique ways. It might be possible to create content marketing focused on this topic. Everybody loves a good light show.
The medium is the message
Of course, the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to content marketing. Based on initial success, you may decide to create an entire series of blog posts, videos, or explainer posts. And you could take advantage of just about any social platform, including Instagram and Pinterest. What’s important is to be creating engagement with your audience. The reason is simple – all of this content is meant to lead to a final sale at some point. So you want people engaging with the content, not just visiting and leaving.
There’s certainly encouraging news on this front for brands. According to the latest data from the Content Marketing Institute, a majority of brands already engage in some form of content marketing, and a growing number have found it a successful way to drive sales growth.
Have you tried content marketing for your business? Do you have any tips or ideas you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.