Content is the bait luring customers into your online store. It’s the ammunition for social media posts, email marketing campaigns, and Google and Facebook ads. It’s the piece of your marketing-strategy puzzle that cannot go missing. Unfortunately, content is often misinterpreted as “just a blog post.”
But here’s the thing: content is much, much more than that.
Everything from the content in your About page, to the content in your Instagram bio, to the content of your email signature plays into an overall content strategy.
Content generates roughly three times as many leads as traditional marketing for 62% less money. Not to mention it humanizes your brand, builds trust with customers, and engages people like no loyalty program or fulfillment strategy can.
As the great Margaret Atwood said, “A word after a word after a word is power.”
We think she was onto something, so we’re tapping into that power to help you slay the competition with content this holiday season. We’ll cover everything from email marketing to blog posts to landing pages. By the end of it, you’ll have an arsenal of relevant, creative, engaging content that people will actually want to read.
Write a blog post (or five)
Every online store should have a blog. We’re not talking about a place to re-post the product updates and promotions you send out by email. We’re talking about a place where customers can find information that’s helpful, interesting, and fun.
Not a great writer, you say? Can’t come up with anything to write about? Fret not. Your posts can be short. If you sell kitchen supplies, write about your favourite recipes. If you sell travel accessories, share your packing tips. Writing original, engaging, on-brand blog content doesn’t have to be an ordeal.
Approach bloggers and influencers
Targeted product placement, sponsored product reviews, and curated gift guides are all great ways of driving shoppers to your store during the holidays. They also provide valuable backlinks over the rest of the year as well.
You probably already know who the tastemakers are in your niche—why not reach out to them about dropping a link or two into their holiday posts? Maybe they’ll even offer to write some star-powered content for your store’s blog!
Create Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) landing pages
“Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” rank as the highest searched keywords over the BFCM weekend. Pairing your niche, category, or product with these keywords will help drive organic traffic to your store over the busiest shopping weekend of the year. One of the best ways of doing that is with a dedicated BFCM landing page.
Rather than hiring a developer or designer to do the job, enlist the help of ShopPad’s fantastic Page Studio app and create your own eye-catching, conversion-focused landing page. Consider adding a countdown timer to your page to build anticipation, or using a popup to capture visitors who you can reach out to once the big weekend arrives.
Go for the gusto with email marketing
Email may not be the most exciting or novel content distribution channel, but for online merchants it continues to be one of the most profitable. Case in point: in 2017, it drove an impressive 23% of Black Friday sales.
You should already have your holiday marketing plan sorted, so now’s the time to hunker down and write those emails. Give subscribers a sneak peek at your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Share your gift guides. Link to your blog posts. Stoke that FOMO so that come Black Friday morning, your store is the first one they want to visit.
Create a gift guide featuring your products
“Must-have” gift guides are a great way of co-promoting products with like-minded businesses in your industry. It’s important to get a jump on this before your contacts inevitably get inundated with requests from fellow entrepreneurs.
The numbers don’t lie–nearly two-thirds of holiday shoppers like the idea of using a gift guide to help them make the right choice. It’s also a good idea to categorize your gift guide with a name (“Top 10 gifts for the sports-crazed kid in your life”).
Collaborate with other merchants in your network and each select a product (that doesn’t compete with others in the gift guide) to feature. Brainstorm a distribution plan for the gift guide that entails your strongest marketing avenues (social media, newsletter, landing pages, blog, etc.).
The holidays are the time to reach a bunch of new potential customers and strengthen your network!
Show off positive press
A great way to build trust with prospective customers is by linking to other reputable sources who’ve written about your products. If you’ve been lucky enough to be featured in a newspaper or magazine, use that. If you’ve worked with well-known bloggers, use that.
(And if you don’t know if/when people are saying nice things about you, by gosh, set up a Google Alert!)
Freshen up your website
Think the only pages customers care about are your product pages? Think again. Your About page and other informational pages are extremely important, and if you use them right, they will help you increase sales.
The key thing to keep in mind here is trust. Customers want to know who they’re buying from. They want to know that if they buy from you, their information is going to be safe. And perhaps most importantly at this time of year, they need to feel confident that their order is going to arrive on time. (Late delivery is never good, but it can be positively cataclysmic around the holidays.)
Write a satisfaction guarantee
There are many risks involved in purchasing online, from being disappointed in a product’s quality to having financial information compromised. A satisfaction guarantee takes some of the edge off for nervous buyers — and gives businesses a second chance to satisfy buyers if something goes awry.
Looking for more BFCM tips and tricks? Check out our 101-point holiday checklist for Shopify entrepreneurs.