There are two kinds of holiday shoppers. Those whose pulse quickens as they enter the mall, thriving on the crowds and endless loops of holiday music. Then there are those who take a more relaxed approach to holiday shopping, slowly browsing online stores huddled under blankets with a cup of coffee. Each year, these online shoppers are playing a bigger role in retail success during the holidays.
As an online retailer, you know that site traffic and sales jump dramatically in November and December. According to a National Retail Federation survey, this year will be no different:
- 55% plan to purchase holiday items online
- 71% of those surveyed expect to use their smartphone or tablet to research or purchase an item during the holidays
- 94% plan to take advantage of free shipping while 50% plan to buy online and pick up in store
In order to prepare for the forecasted increase in shoppers, it is vital that you create an optimal holiday e-commerce presence. This will encourage users to browse your site longer and eventually make purchases. While high-quality product photography is key to your e-commerce marketing strategy, strong content marketing including product descriptions, videos, and customer reviews can be the tipping point for more sales. Here are five holiday content marketing tips that will help your e-commerce site stand out from the crowd.
Content Marketing Tip #1: Don’t Be Afraid of Lengthy Copy
In terms of optimization, search engines love long-form copy. The more content on a page, the more opportunity there is to incorporate vital keywords throughout the text. Lengthy copy also keeps customers on the page longer, building interest as they read, linking them to other pages on your site, and moving them through the buying funnel.
But in your efforts to create a story, don’t make the mistake of burying crucial product information. Make sure the key details that customers are looking for, including price, sizes or dimensions, color options, materials, and other key selling points, are presented towards the top of the page.
Content Marketing Tip #2: Be Visual
Increasingly, retailers are realizing the importance of including engaging visuals on their site. Users’ eyes are immediately attracted to color and movement. That is why it is valuable to include videos, pictures, and infographics to support any written content.
When beefing up your content marketing for the holiday push, consider adding more product photography, including images of your products at all angles and your products in use. You can also create short promotional videos that highlight the key benefits of each product or how-to videos that give customers a better idea of how to use your products.
Content Marketing Tip #3: Behold the Power of Blogs
Does your website include a blog? If it doesn’t, you should really consider adding one. Including blogs on your e-commerce website is a great way to market your brand. Blogs give you the ability to utilize keywords to increase search engine ranking and drive organic traffic to your site from an avenue beyond product or category pages.
Blogs are also a great way to expand on your product pages, providing additional relevant information that the customer wants to know before buying a product. This can be especially helpful to users who have questions during a busy holiday e-commerce season. Create buying guides that help customers choose between different products or models, blogs that detail how to set-up or maintain your products, or content that gives customers ideas for new and different ways to use your products.
Content Marketing Tips #4: Reviews Are the Clincher
Customer reviews are critical for any e-commerce website. Eighty-two percent of consumers rate user reviews to be valuable or extremely valuable. Many users will read multiple product reviews, as many as four to seven before they feel comfortable with a purchase.
And it’s not just on your website, more and more customers are leaving reviews and offering feedback on social media platforms as well. This may seem scary since there are so many places for people to leave their opinions of your store and your products. In reality, it’s good thing. The more platforms on which customers can interact with your brand, the better. This builds a strong customer base and increases traffic to your website. Be sure to continually respond to feedback and reviews — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Doing so shows a genuine interest in your audience and that you care for the customer.
Reviews are also a great way to collect user-generated content, including photos of customers wearing, using, or interacting with your products.
Content Marketing Tips #5: Take Advantage of Email Marketing
It doesn’t matter if a customer visits your store in person or shops online, savings and deals rule the holiday shopping season. To keep your brand fresh in customers’ minds you need a quick and easy way to let then know what you’re offering. The best way to do this is to introduce email marketing to your holiday content marketing strategy.
Whether you’re offering discounted prices, free shipping specials, or extended store hours, email is a perfect way to reach customers whether they’re local or hundred of miles away.
Post-sale, you can use email marketing to build a loyal customer base and increase the likelihood of repeat sales. You can use emails to:
- Thank first-time customers with a discount or free shipping code towards their next purchase.
- Ask customers to provide feedback and review the products they purchased.
- Continue to alert shoppers of new products and sales throughout the year.