Finding the right content marketing approach is a challenge throughout the year for any business, but the holidays bring stiff competition for visibility and dollars! These holiday content marketing tips and strategies dovetail with the research showing where B2C’s can focus their attention most successfully.
A recent post by Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute 2013 B2C Content Marketing Research: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends explores a number of ways in which B2C marketers and companies approach content marketing. Pulizzi touches on a number of relevant factors for B2C marketers:
- Best tactics for B2C marketers
- What social media channels B2C marketers use
- Budget allocation
- What are the biggest challenges for B2C marketers?
Here are some of our take-aways for you to consider, along with content and internet marketing ideas to help you this season:
Budget is a determining factor for B2C’s, particularly small businesses. The average marketing budget spend allocated to content marketing is 28%, but for very small businesses with less than 10 employees, that number increases to 37%, with only 27% of small companies outsourcing content creation. For all B2C’s, finding ways to leverage content creation to reach consumers using less time and money is the key.
Social Media Platforms
The key to an effective B2C content marketing strategy is pretty clearly engagement. B2C companies focus on intent-based strategies and media opportunities, beginning with in-person events and including eNewsletters, videos, blogs, webinars, and social media involvement.
- Facebook is the most popular social channel, followed by Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn
- B2C’s are using more mobile content and apps, as well as print magazines and newsletters.
- The most important marketing tactic for B2C companies remains face-to-face events. Meeting and greeting, pressing the flesh, eye contact and social engagement the old fashioned way.
- More and more B2C marketers are investing in content marketing
Holiday Content Marketing Strategies
Budget isn’t the only challenge for B2C’s. Being able to develop enough content on a regular schedule is what many businesses grapple with. During the holiday season, inbound marketing experts are moving into high gear to capture as much traffic as possible through a number of approaches. How can you ramp up your share of market reach?
Visual – The wild success of Pinterest had proven beyond a doubt the value of images. Presenting your readers with an online “Show and Tell”, if you will, allows you to tell a story with images that is clear and memorable. Now offering business pages and the ability to include prices on the posts make this a viable alternative for your online marketing.
Confidence building – Story telling…solving problems for the consumer is what creates confidence and a following for your brand. Your approach, online persona and your diligence in sharing your follow-up customer service reputation can bring you customers who are weighing out where to buy the products they want. You may offer the same product as a hundred others, but if you engender confidence in the buyer that you can fulfill their expectations, you’re in.
User generated content: solves a number of problems for B2C’s. Not only does it provide you with more volume of content, but user generated content is typically considered more trustworthy and less biased than what you might generate yourself.
News – Newsjacking is a sketchy name for a very mainstream approach to content marketing! Using popular news to increase your own traffic is a great tool! Use Twitter or Google Alerts to stay abreast of what’s happening in your industry. For example…let’s say you sell propeller beanies. You know, those little beanies with the whirligig thing on the top. Let’s imagine that a popular media figure is captured doing something fun wearing a similar beanie. Before it hits full media mode, you write and market a blog post and bring up something cool about the beanie you sell…maybe suggest that beanies are the latest trend in fun fashion and you have the best ones.
Re-purposed Content – Create new info products from your current content. Company brochures, presentation slides, product manuals all present you with content that can be re-worked for marketing purposes. A free eBook about your product – even if only a few pages – infographics and blog posts all can be created easily from text already on your website!
Holiday Marketing Tips:
Holiday shoppers are emotion driven. Target your approach to create some urgency that will appeal to both early bird shoppers (value-added) and last-minute buyers. Do you offer same-day or free shipping? Is your service business available 24/7 during the holidays? Is your facility available for holiday parties – even last minute? Make the most of online Black Friday advertising.
Provide answers: Some of the most successful holiday posts are the “Top 10 Holiday Gifts for_______” and how-to’s for products and services. Whatever your customer base, there is someone looking to learn what the latest and greatest gift idea is.
eMail newsletters: Delivery time is important! Review your past newsletter delivery results to see what worked the best.
The CTR on mobile devices increases exponentially during the holidays, including the period from Christmas to New Year’s. Consumers are surrendering to the temptation to shop on those new devices. Plan a content marketing strategy for the post-holiday rush.
B2C Content Marketing: The Facts
- 86% of B2C (business to consumers) use content marketing
- B2C companies use an average of 12 different marketing tactics, and four social media sites for content distribution
- On average, 28% of B2C marketing budges are allocated to content marketing
- 55% of B2C marketers indicate they will increase their spending on content marketing
The trend for inbound marketing as a retail development partner will only grow as 2013 approaches! Be prepared with a content marketing strategy that includes all of the components that work best for your business, but don’t wait! There is still plenty of time to market your content affordably and creatively in time for the upcoming holiday season!