Content marketing is not a simple, one-and-done tactic. It takes a comprehensive strategy to effectively use content to draw consumers into your sales funnel or incorporate them into your flywheel. When the holidays roll around each year, a strong content marketing campaign can work wonders to build the momentum your business needs to end the year in the black.
As the members of Forbes Communications Council know, content marketing takes more than a great omnichannel plan—it also takes talented team members to execute that plan. Here, 15 members share tips for content marketing during the holiday season to ensure that your efforts are not only effective but also productive during what can be either a hectic or a slow time of the year, depending on your industry.
Social media, especially short-form video, will play an increasingly significant role this holiday season. A survey from Statista showed that 7 in 10 consumers in the U.S. will use social media as their source of inspiration for holiday shopping. Leverage short-form video as a core piece of your content marketing strategy to captivate your audience in an entertaining and creative way. -Kate Kenner Archibald,Dash Hudson
For folks who have used up all their vacation time and are working during the holidays but unable to collaborate with peers on PTO, December is a great time to conduct research. So focus your content on educational pieces to move consumers through the buyer’s journey. Answer questions and show expertise with white papers, comparison articles and case studies to help with consideration and decision stages. -Jocelyn Sexton,Growth Acceleration Partners
When thinking about how to engage and relate to your consumers, think “emotional affinity.” For example, everyone “needs” their cup of Starbucks every day—or at least Starbucks has created the affinity that makes their consumers believe that. I recommend brands think about how to engage consumers and share content that engages them in a way that makes them want to be part of the brand for a lifetime. -Jonathan Shroyer,Arise Gaming
Everyone else is going to be creating and syndicating content for how to make the most of the holiday season. Savvy marketers will look to January and beyond and deliver sage advice on how to make the new year better, more successful or more meaningful. -Eric Brown,JumpCloud
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If you are planning to distribute your content through your PR team, create relevant holiday content that is valuable throughout the holiday season and pitch early. Help journalists get articles written early and scheduled out into the future, rather than trying to get them to move on writing stories when they might be taking time off. -Jonathan Sasse,Metova
Testimonials are huge right now, and there’s nothing sweeter over the holidays than reading about the joy your product or service sparked in another. Capture the spirit of the season through positivity and positive feedback! -Melissa Kandel,little word studio
Leverage user-generated content and influencer marketing to share practical tips for the holiday season. Lists on Pinterest are great for sharing gifting insights or recipes for festive dinners. Instagram is great for sharing visual inspiration about gifts, as well as the right fashion items for the holidays. Make your content helpful for consumers instead of making it just about your product or service. -Rafael Schwarz,TERRITORY Influence (a Bertelsmann group company)
If you can relate your product or service to helping someone through the holiday season, whether it be by relieving stress or simplifying their work processes, make sure to create content around that. Even if it’s a stretch to relate the offering back to the holiday, creating content around a trending topic (such as the holidays) could be a boost for digital traffic. -Sarah Lero,A.L. Huber
The holiday season is always a difficult time to capture the attention of clients, so if you can prepare in advance and make sure your content is visible and live on multiple platforms, you have the best chance to get in front of your audience. Craft light, engaging and personal content for the best chance of getting noticed, and have fun repurposing it across platforms. -Victoria Zelefsky,The Menkiti Group
Have an organized timetable for releasing content to ensure that recipients receive the content at the intended time. While it may be okay for consumers to receive content early, they certainly shouldn’t get it late. They may not want to hear about Halloween as they head into Thanksgiving. The holidays come and go fast, so pay attention to timing to make sure your content works for you. -Asad Kausar,Dabaran
Celebrate. Whatever it is, whatever the holiday, make your content joyous. Think about the holidays as an opportunity to provide valuable content that enhances your various audiences’ lives, rather than the obligatory (and vanilla) “Happy holidays!” -Mollie Barnett,The SMART Co.
Coming up with a fresh idea on how to use content rather than stealing corny, overdone holiday marketing ideas is a great way to get your message across and have it stand apart. So many times, we watch the same types of ads during the holidays that use the same themes. Bringing something different yet relatable to the table would be the best move here. Don’t be afraid to come out of left field. -Christian Anderson,Lost Boy Entertainment Company
Consumers are on guard against marketing that looks to take advantage of the time of year. Instead, use the holiday season as a time to show gratitude for your customers, employees and wider community so that your message resonates and your actions are seen as genuine, rather than as simply trying to gain a quick buck from your consumers. -Patrick Ward,Rootstrap
Focus on content that is going to make the reader’s job easier, such as a toolkit or a best-practices guide. The winter months are jam-packed, so time is extra precious. Anything you can do to help expedite or validate work will be well-received. So skip the side dishes and give people the main course of content! -Erica Morgenstern,Virgin Pulse
We assume that the holiday season is a happy season for all. That’s not the case. Some may be grieving, as they have an empty spot at their table. Some have just gotten divorced and won’t be celebrating as a family. Our content should be practical, keeping in mind that people may be alone during the holidays, and we should craft the message accordingly. Most importantly, don’t sell—show empathy. -Parna Sarkar-Basu,Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC.