A new beast hits the marketplace this holiday season: the well-informed, multiplatform customer. Savvy retailers shouldn’t fear, though. Content marketing is the key to wooing the new-fangled shopper.
A study by Think With Google shows that no matter where shoppers do their buying – online or offline – 80 percent of them will research products online beforehand. That makes it essential to publish helpful, engaging content that gets you found and builds trust.
Even with the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season less than three weeks away, there’s still plenty of time to create content for your holiday marketing. Here are six types of content your business should be blogging , tweeting and publishing in news releases this year.
1. Confidence-building content
The best content doesn’t just tell a good story. It instills confidence in the reader. Readers become buyers only when they “feel emotionally stronger and intellectually stronger”, the Econsultancy post says.
What builds confidence varies by industry. For example, white papers tend to only work in B2B environments. Providing solutions to target audience problems earns trust for both B2B and B2C companies.
2. Visual content
Pinterest’s emergence shows marketers the value of images. Social media users are more likely to engage brands when they posts pictures. In other words, don’t just tell a story; show it.
Most brands don’t need a fancy camera. Take pictures of products and of behind-the-scenes activities. Feeling more creative? Take video of how products are made or produce an infographic that illustrates a brand’s effectiveness.
3. User-generated content
Who’s more trustworthy? A brand touting a product or a satisfied customer doing it for them?
Having content that shoppers’ trust is great, but there’s another advantage. One in five marketers believes the toughest content marketing challenge is producing enough content. User-generated content can fill the gaps.
Gather several user photos and turn it into a blog post or urge customers to post on social media. Remember some of the most effective pieces of user-generated content appear on third-party review sites like Yelp. Encourage customers to review products there.
4. Current events-based content
Everyone wants to be part of the next big thing, including shoppers. Take advantage of industry trends by creating content about cutting-edge news. The new content will meet search demand and send your content to the top of search results.
Another effective method of producing compelling content is newsjacking. Make a connection between a popular story and your brand and write about it. Use this as newsjacking inspiration.
5. Re-purposed Content
Re-gifting may not make the best holiday presents, but re-purposing content saves time and keeps the content marketing engine running.
Take items that you have already published and package it differently. Turn the data in infographics into blog posts. Produced a long-form paper? Break it down into several smaller blog posts.
6. Conversion Content
If customers consume your content, reel them in. Don’t push sales, though. Make emotional appeals by writing about what inspires your business. Combine the emotional appeal with a human voice (i.e. no corporate speak) and sales will come.
A case study is the perfect example. It appeals to customers emotionally while showing the value of a product.
What types of content marketing are you banking on this year?
Image: UggBoy (Creative Commons)