Christmas, New Year’s, new trends, astounding facts, and interviews are all good ideas for content marketing in December 2014.
Content marketing is the art and science, if you will, of creating, publishing, and distributing content — blog posts, photographs, images, videos, or similar — to attract, engage, or retain customers.
In December 2014, content marketers have several opportunities to give customers something they like, something that helps them, something that entertains them, or even something that makes them feel good about the holiday season.
1. Genuine Seasonal Sentiment
Business owners and marketers should genuinely care about customers, not just because they buy things, but because they are people. Really, that is at the core of content marketing and modern marketing more generally. And if a business honestly cares about its customers, it can, in a very genuine way, offer Christmas or holiday content that is personal, authentic and sentimental, without being contrived.
This content should convey real emotions about the holiday season, offer insights, tell a story, be somehow useful, or entertain its readers.
Here are some ideas for seasonal, sentimental content.
- Lists of holiday or Christmas traditions.
- Articles describing how to start a Christmas tradition.
- Curated holiday poems.
- User generated holiday stories.
- Holiday book or movie recommendations.
- Holiday project how-to articles.
- Entertaining holiday videos.
- Collections of inspiring holiday photos.
- Merry Christmas greetings.
With all of these suggestions, marketers will want to ensure that the content is still logically related to the products they sell without actually mentioning those products or trying to sell them. One of the most common mistakes in content marketing is that marketers try too hard to sell and end up seeming like the proverbial used car salesman. This is never more dangerous than when you are trying to be sentimental.
2. New Year’s Resolutions
The new year represents a new start. It is a time to imagine a better you, and, hopefully, do something to actually make a better you.
So for December 2014, consider publishing one or more New Year’s resolution lists or videos. Here are some example articles from outside of the retail industry, which might inspire your New Year-related content.
Philip Ross’ “New Years Resolutions 2014: 14 Ideas and Goals to Adopt for The New Year” from International Business Times.
Dan Ariely and Bristen Berman’s Time magazine post, “5 New Year’s Resolutions That Might Actually Work.”
“Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Kids” from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“9 Ways to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions,” by Dana Dratch at Bankrate.com.
“5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home,” from Melinda Fulmer on the HGTV website.
Brian Voo’s “New Year Resolutions: 40 Apps to Help You Achieve Them” on Hongkiat.com.
Finally, here are a couple of entertaining New Year resolution-related videos, again to help inspire your content marketing.
Jimmy Fallon describes the pros and cons and making a New Year’s Resolution.
First published in 2007, Rhett & Link’s “New Year’s Resolution Song” has had more than 2.8 million views on YouTube.
3. 2015 Trend Predictions
Regardless of the industry an online business serves, there are opportunities to write about likely and important trends in the coming year.
As an example, imagine an online retailer that specializes in fishing equipment. This hypothetical fishing gear retailer could publish articles with titles like these.
- “6 New Reels that Will Change the Way You Fish in 2015”
- “7 Ways Mobile Apps Will Impact Your Favorite Fishing Spots in 2015”
- “How the Cancelled Gulf of Maine Shrimp Season Might Affect Your Fishing Vacation”
- “5 Examples of How Military Technology Will Make Fishing Better in 2015”
- “New European Fishing Limits Latest in a Growing Trend”
4. The Astounding Fact
Priceonomics, which provides businesses with structured data feeds collected via custom web crawlers, is superb at publishing what I call “astounding fact” articles. These posts have a single focus, are very well written, are extremely engaging, and are inherently shareable.
Here are some recent examples from the Priceonomics blog.
- “The True Story of ‘The Crying Indian‘”
- “How the U.S. Government Tested Biological Warfare on America“
- “The Original Smart Aleck“
- “Why UPS Trucks Don’t Turn Left“
- “How Domino’s Pizza Lost Its Mascot“
- “The Pig Apple: A History of NYC’s Illegal Pet“
- “Why Can’t I Take an Orange Through Customs?“
Try coming up with your own astounding fact posts in December 2014. Choose topics that may appeal to your customers. Also focus on the quality of the post. Priceonomics articles are akin to well-written essays.
5. Interviews and Biographies
A final content marketing suggestion for December 2014 is to publish interviews or short biographies. The subjects of these posts might be someone famous or influential in your industry, or the subject could be a customer.
As an example, The Journal on the Mr. Porter site recently published a short, semi-biographical piece about actor Jude Law and his upcoming film, Black Sea.
Similarly, REI’s blog post from November 10 featured an interview with camp Chef Robin Donovan.
These sorts of articles are relatively easy to write. Often you only need to have a handful of questions. Also, interviewing well known folks can also be easier than one might expect, simply ask for the opportunity. Finally, if you interview someone, consider recording the conversation so that you are certain to quote them correctly.