How to nail your brand's Christmas onsite content strategy

Polly Bolitho

Senior Content & Outreach Executive

The Christmas push has begun, and marketers will require a streamlined approach to content marketing in order to keep up with the whirlwind around the season and deliver what customers are looking for. 

The festive period presents an opportunity for your brand to stand out from the crowd because people are engaged and hungry for information that will either help them shop or make the most of Christmas. With an effective onsite content strategy, you can drive people to your website with topical content, and inspire them to explore what you have to offer.  

 

What’s trending?

The beauty of the festive season is that there’s a wealth of data available on audience behaviour from previous years. For example, one study shows that mobile shopping and app usage goes up during the holidays. In fact, during the last Christmas season, mobile was estimated a conduit for 68% of all ecommerce traffic compared to 19% in 2017. Another study confirms that customers are on the lookout for deals during this time more than ever, with 87% saying they expect to find deals in store last year

Interesting! Now you can use these trends to fuel your content strategy. From these studies, ask yourself; do you need to optimise your content for mobile, can you be offering better deals, and are your users likely to be looking for Christmas gift guides? If you’re creating this type of content, you’ll need to establish KPIs that will drive focus, as well as which it can be measured against. Is your objective to increase sales, traffic, or awareness? Each objective will help you define messaging and call-to-actions. 

 

Review your existing content 

Before you plan new content for your website, it’s worth taking a look at your previous festive content to see if what you already have can be updated for the new season, or if you need to create something new.

Update the previous...

If you’re updating previous onsite content, such as a gift guide, you’ll need to make sure it’s still relevant to the current season, and there is fresh potential for traffic. The benefit of repurposing an existing guide is that it keeps the valuable established page equity that has built up.

The key here is that the content is up-to-date with current trends and information, as well as your offering. It may be that the content used to get or even still receives good traffic and a high rank. If this is the case, a little refresh including something as small as making sure information is still accurate, comparing it against your SERP competitors and of course, keeping the same URL will do wonders. If the content currently gets no traffic and doesn’t rank on page one, it’ll likely require much more of a rewrite, or you can 301 redirect old to a new post on a new optimised URL. Doing the latter is beneficial as it transfers the inbound links from the redirected page to the new one, which will help the website maintain search rankings and prevent a fall in search traffic. 

…or create the new?

If you don’t already have pages on your site dedicated and optimised for Christmas content which can be refreshed, then creating new pages will be necessary. Users are often looking for gifts, tips and current trends, and searching for timely Christmas gift guides for any given niche, so there’s huge scope for you to build out content resources. When publishing new content, there are also new opportunities for your website to target keywords, which is great for attracting visitors searching for relevant terms. 

 

Get planning  

Now to dive into the fun of planning the content. This is the time to get the creative Christmassy ideas flowing, be it for gift guides or blog posts, and a great place to start is with keyword research. Looking at Christmas-related terms will not only give you inspiration for angles, but enables you to identify terms with notable search volume, which will help you to optimise the content for precisely what your audience is looking for.   

When it comes to narrowing down your list of ideas, a great way to start is by pinpointing which content ideas resonate most with your business goals, as well as those you know you can execute successfully. The topics you choose should be strategic, planned out, on-brand and purposeful, rather than being created for the sake of having Christmas content. 

Creating a content calendar is a must if you’re planning multiple onsite content over the Christmas period. We recommend a handy Google Spreadsheet to breakdown the brief, including titles, keywords, an overview, and writers. This also works wonders as a progress checker, as it can be used collaboratively to keep an eye on the status of content.

 

Improve engagement with your content 

You’ve established which keywords to target, and you have an in-depth brief for the writing; but there are other things that will add value to your content to improve engagement. Consider the use of graphics, imagery and interactive features to bring it to life and engage your audience. 

For example, will an interactive quiz help people decide which type of gift to purchase? Or perhaps a glamorous photo shoot of your products is in order to best showcase your range in a gift guide. 

If budget allows, it’s beneficial to capture your own photos or work with a graphic designer to create something unique. Alternatively, there are some great websites that provide high-quality stock imagery that you can take full advantage of, such as Pexels and Unsplash. We also love Canva for creating visual assets. 

 

Promote your content 

When it comes to sharing your content, you can’t just stop at the publish button. It’s time to shout about it and ensure you have an amplification plan in place; particularly as your audience will be so engaged at this time of year! You should plan to maximise the multiple valuable platforms available, from social media channels, and working with influencers, to paid advertising. 

You can use social channels to promote your content to your audience, and direct traffic to your website both organically and through paid advertising. You can even use tools such as Hootsuite to schedule social posts promoting your content over the festive period when you might not be in the office to do it then and there. Another great way to amplify your Christmas campaign is through the use of influencers. Outreach to bloggers and social media influencers to share your content as a way to get new traffic, working both in favour of PR and SEO. 

 

Analyse results

Now your content is polished, live on your website and has been promoted across all of the wires; all that’s left to do is monitor its progress, keeping an eye on traffic and engagement metrics. You can use Google Analytics to measure the activity of the content’s progress on-site, and also use built-in social media insights, such as Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights to keep track of social posts promoting it. And, of course, what you’ll be measuring in terms of engagement metrics ties back into the KPIs outlined at the very beginning of the process. 

Remember also, readers may have questions about your products or offering that you’ve included in the content, so be prepared to handle queries in a timely manner. A live chat box is a great way to meet the needs of your audience, though you’ll need to ensure this is manned. 

By frequently analysing the results of your content, you may learn that it’s not performing as well as you’d hoped, which provides you with the opportunity to tweak and change it until it does. Having an overall idea of how your content is doing behind the scenes will give you the power to understand what works and what doesn’t. This will also inform future onsite content creation, and how to tackle Christmas content next year. 

In conclusion, always be sure to align your Christmas onsite content with your brand’s goals, and what your audience will benefit from. 

Stay tuned for more on Christmas content; including how to carry out seasonal keyphrase research and how to optimise your content successfully.

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