Practical Ecommerce

5 Content Marketing Ideas for April 2016

Four sports are holding Olympic Trials in April, creating an opportunity for content marketers to draw inspiration from events that will soon be dominating web searches. Returning gold medalist Jordan Burroughs is just one of the athletes an ecommerce marketer could write about.

Four sports are holding Olympic Trials in April, creating an opportunity for content marketers to draw inspiration from events that will soon be dominating web searches. Returning gold medalist Jordan Burroughs is just one of the athletes an ecommerce marketer could write about.

Trials for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games, April Fools’ Day, any number of festivals, math, and even simple spring how-to articles will give content marketers plenty of material to draw from in April 2016.

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content with the goal of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. The idea is that if consumers turn to your business for useful or entertaining content, they will also turn to your business when they want to make a purchase.

1. Olympic Trials

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil begin on August 5 and end on August 21. The opening ceremony is a mere 126 days from April 1.

The Olympic games are an international event that will dominate online searches over the next few months. April is a good time to start including the Olympics in your content marketing.

The Olympics and the Road to Rio make great storylines for content marketers regardless of the industry segment served.

The Olympics and the Road to Rio make good storylines for content marketers regardless of the industry segment served.

Consider covering some of these U.S. Olympic Trials taking place in April.

  • April 1 to 7: Small-bore Shooting Trials. Held in Fort Benning, Ga. “The top finisher will be named to the Olympic team in men’s rapid fire pistol, men’s prone, men’s free, women’s sport, [and] women’s 3-position rifle,” according to the Team USA site.
  • April 8 to 10: Canoe and Kayak Trails. Held in Charlotte, N.C. “Athletes will tally their scores from three events, this being the second, and will be nominated to the Olympic team in rank order.”
  • April 9 and 10: Wrestling Trials. Held in Iowa City, Iowa. “The winner in each qualified weight class will be named to the Olympic team; the winner in each non-qualified weight class will compete in the Olympic qualifying tournaments for the opportunity to qualify by name.”
  • April 18 to 24: Rowing Trials. Held in Sarasota and Bradenton, Fla. “For small boats that have qualified a quota spot at the 2015 World Rowing Championships (W1x, W2x, LW2x, LM2x), the winning crew will be named to the Olympic team. For boats that have not yet qualified a quota spot (M1x, M2x, M4x), the winning crew will qualify to represent the United States at the FISA Olympic Qualification Regatta for the opportunity to qualify by name.”

Content marketing opportunities abound. Merchants can:

  • Post about the specific trails and sports;
  • Discuss the history of products used in the sport;
  • Interview or profile competitors in the trials;
  • Explain how to attend the events;
  • Discuss how to get started in the sport.

In fact, there are so many content marketing possibilities around the Olympics and April’s Olympic Trials that seemingly all ecommerce industry segments could find something to publish related to these trials. Here are three examples from industry segments you might not expect.

  • Retailer of Christian books and gifts. Write an article called “When Olympic Gold is Not Enough – How Jordan Burroughs Found Christ.” Profile Olympic gold medalist and returning Olympic hopeful Jordan Burroughs, discussing how he came to a strong Christian faith after winning gold.
  • Retailer of architectural design supplies. Publish an article about the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, where the Wrestling Trials will be held. The building was designed by Caudill Rowlett Scott, one of the most renowned architectural design firms in American history.
  • Retailer of sewing supplies and machines. Develop a how-to article series explaining how to sew or make Olympic sports uniforms.

2. April Fools’ Day: April 1

April 1 represents, in some sense, the pinnacle of content marketing creativity.

It is an opportunity to publish fake stories, introduce pseudo products, and otherwise entertain your customers.

ThinkGeek released a fake, steam-powered game console for April Fool's Day 2015.

ThinkGeek released a fake, steam-powered game console for April Fools’ Day 2015.

April Fools’ Day content need not end on April 1. There is a growing genre of April Fools’ Day recaps and round ups. So even at mid-April, you could publish a list of “The Best April Fools’ Fakes of 2016.”

Here are some examples of April Fools’ Day round ups to use as inspiration.

3. Feature a Festival

Festivals are a special category of events, typically centered on a community. While festivals occur throughout the year, there are many local, national, and even international festivals taking place in April.

Use these festivals as anchor points for your content marketing. In an ideal situation, attend the festival and share information about it on your store’s blog or video channel.

Here is a scenario. Imagine an online retailer that sells science-related toys and games intended to make learning about science or engineering fun. This retailer might make a trip to the Philadelphia Science Festival on April 22 to 30.

The store’s coverage of the event could be as simple as making short videos about some of the exhibits or lectures. The content makes sense because the same sort of consumer who is interested in the Philadelphia Science Festival could also be interested in the products this retailer sells.

Look for festivals that make sense in the context of the products you sell.

4. Celebrate Math

April is Mathematics Awareness Month. In 2016, it is an opportunity for content marketers to look ahead and, perhaps, make interesting predictions about the future of their industries.

While MAM always seeks to celebrate some aspect of mathematics, in 2016 the month’s theme is the Future of Prediction.

Mathematics Awareness Month is focused on how math and statistics can help to predict the future. Content marketers could celebrate MAM with industry-specific predictions of their own.

Mathematics Awareness Month is focused on how math and statistics can help to predict the future. Content marketers could celebrate MAM with industry-specific predictions of their own.

“Yogi Berra, paraphrasing Niels Bohr, said ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.’” This quote comes from the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics, which is the organization behind MAM.

“Throughout Mathematics Awareness Month 2016, we will explore how mathematics and statistics are the future of prediction, providing insights and driving innovation. During the month, we will be asking the question, ‘What’s next?,’ and exploring how mathematicians and statisticians contribute to the future,” according to the MAM website.

For your content marketing, try to use math or statistics to speak about what might happen next in the segment you serve.

5. Spring How-to Articles and Videos

How-to articles are a foundation of content marketing. When you can help a potential customer accomplish some task or complete some job, you have gone a long way toward building a lasting customer relationship.

When seasons change — winter to spring — there is an opportunity to help folks with step-by-step how-to content.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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