content marketing holiday sales

Don’t shoot the messenger, but … Labour Day weekend is upon us.

Up here in the Great White North that means a gorgeous change of season. The leaves will turn to brilliant oranges, reds and yellows, and the smell of chimney smoke will fill the air.

But there’s a bit of sadness in the air, too, as the change of season also means a) long, hot summer nights are over, b) sweater weather is just around the corner, and … dare I say it … the snow will soon fly.

For businesses, however, autumn marks the beginning of holiday season. And that means big bucks. If you’ve planned your fall marketing strategy properly, that is.

Here are some content marketing ideas to help you boost holiday sales this year.

Holiday Gift Guides

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, a holiday gift guide is a great way to increase sales during the holidays.

From automotive accessories to zinc supplements, simplifying the path to purchase with a holiday gift guide is relatively easy and effective. Here’s how …

Choose a collection of products you want to promote throughout the holiday season. Break them out into categories, like “gifts for her” or “gifts under $20.”

You can create gift guides for your best-selling products, or you can showcase your lesser-known items.

Gift guides are fairly simple to pull together, since you already all that product copy at your fingertips. It’s really just about curating lists of products and presenting them in a new way.

Hire a graphics person on Fiverr to create a cover image and maybe some holiday graphics, and voila! Cheap and easy holiday gift guides.

Here are some gift guide ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • For her/him
  • For mom/dad/brother/sister
  • Under $100/$50/$25
  • Christmas/Chanukah theme
  • For new baby
  • For fur-babies
  • For co-workers
  • For foodies
  • Retro 60s/70s/80s/90s
  • For music lovers
  • For sports enthusiasts
  • For single parents
  • For solo travellers
  • For writer/doctor/teacher

 

Holiday gift guide ideas

The choices are endless. Share some of your gift guide theme ideas in the comments below!

Once you’ve created your gift guides, give them out in-store, via direct mail and by email.

Targeted, Customized Email Marketing

Your email list is a goldmine during the holiday season. Small or large, you should be working hard to build your list and nurture it. Start now. It’s never too early.

Approximately 82% of B2B and B2C companies are using email marketing automation. If you’re not one of them, you could get left behind.

According to a HubSpot survey, 91% of your intended audience uses email.  The numbers don’t lie. Your audience is out there waiting to hear from you.

The great thing about email marketing, and what makes it such a powerhouse, is that it allows you to target warm leads. People on your email list have already expressed interest in your products and services.

Email marketing also lets you segment your audience so you can deliver the right message at the right time to the right group of people.

For example: you might setup a lead capture scroll box using a tool like SumoMe. In addition to the email address, the box might ask for more personalized details like location, birthday or household income.

Hint: Use your gift guide as a free giveaway in exchange for all the personalized data you want to collect!

Now that you have that information, you can segment your list to deliver different messages to people who live in different areas.

Or you could send out special offers to people on or near their birthday.

And you could even sell your more expensive products to those with higher household incomes — and vice versa.

And segmentation options don’t stop there. You can collect all kinds of data!

Ask for their shoe size or favourite colour.

Find out if they’re dog or cat people. What kind of dog do they have?

Ask about their favourite vacation destination or favourite food.

Think about it for a minute … what if you received an email offering some random deal on eye glasses, but you have 20/20 vision. D-E-L-E-T-E.

Now imagine if you got an email offering a free sterling silver pug-shaped charm with the purchase of any necklace or bracelet. (OK, that one was catered to me!)

Whatever it is you’re selling, the more data you can collect will allow you to customize your offers to individual consumers. And that’s how you’ll boost sales this holiday season!

So now you know how to create gift guides, and you know how to collect data and send targeted emails. Let’s round it all out with some social media marketing efforts.

Social Media Marketing & Advertising

Instagram + Shopify

Did you know that there are more than one billion active users on Instagram every month? If you have a Shopify store, you need to be sharing your products on Instagram. Period.

Instagram introduced a new feature making it possible for users in 44 countries to generate shoppable posts. All you need to do is switch your Instagram profile to a business account and install the Facebook channel in your Shopify store with an approved Facebook shop.

Next, tag your products in your Instagram posts. This makes them “shoppable” in your feed and stories. Shoppable means users can click a shopping bag icon that links straight from Instagram to your store.

You can post one product at a time or bundle them up to create a package sale that features multiple items in one post.

Facebook Ads

It’s a fact. Facebook ads are still grossly under priced. They provide seriously unbeatable audience targeting options, and the rates are far lower than other platforms (Google or LinkedIn for example).

There are more than 2.7 billion monthly active users on Facebook. But the social media giant isn’t without its quirks.

Like the 20% text rule. Image ads can’t have text covering more than 20% of the image. OK, we get it, Facebook is a highly visual platform.

Another quirk … you can’t advertise certain products in certain genres. For example, here in Canada, cannabis is now legal. But you still can’t advertise CBD oil using Facebook ads.

Supplements are another tough one, as many of them are “unregulated.” Facebook won’t let you advertise those. And you can’t advertise adult products either. Facebook is a family show 😉

But if you are lucky enough to sell items that Facebook allows, you should really look into taking advantage of their ad platform — especially while it’s still reasonably priced.

Content Marketing Wrapped in a Bow

Again, don’t shoot the messenger, but now is the time to start planning your holiday content marketing campaigns. It’s going to creep up on us quickly.

Between holiday guides, email marketing and social media advertising, there’s a lot to be done in preparation of the holiday season. That’s why we wrapped up these ideas and tied them neatly with a big red bow.

The key is not to become paralyzed by overwhelm. Start small, do something. Map out a holiday marketing plan, then start to create each piece of content one at a time. You’ll get there.

Of course, if you need any help to create that content, feel free to give us a buzz.

No matter what niche you’re in, we likely have a writer who can help you craft killer copy for your holiday campaigns. And if we don’t have a writer on hand, we’ll find you one. It’s what we do.

Now … let’s get back to what’s left of our summer! Enjoy the long weekend, everyone! Catch you on the flip side 😉