Content that helps, entertains, and delights your customers can build lasting relationships that may make the folks who read or watch your content more likely to purchase.
In fact, this is the underlying premise with content marketing — create and publish useful or entertaining content like articles, photographs, videos, or similar and your business should attract, engage, and retain customers.
What follows are five suggestions you can use for your content marketing efforts in May 2015.
1. Mother’s Day: May 10, 2015
Americans have been celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May since President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it a national holiday in 1914, 101 years ago. The holiday seeks to celebrate mothers, motherhood and all things maternal.
Frequently, Mother’s Day includes family get togethers and presents for mom.
From the content marketer’s perspective, there are, at least, a couple interesting ways to integrate Mother’s Day into your content strategy and give your audience (your customers) useful or entertaining content.
You can tell “mother” stories. Number three below is going to suggest that you consider storytelling as part of your May content marketing or part of your content marketing moving forward. If you work quickly, you might be able to get started with stories about moms.
Next, you can offer helpful suggestions about gifts for mother or about ways to celebrate. Here are a few sample titles that might work for your business.
- “The 2015 Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide”
- “17 Mother’s Day Gifts You’ll Love to Give”
- “23 Mother’s Day Ideas that Won’t Bust Your Budget”
- “100 Mother’s Day Gifts That Are Better than Flowers”
- “7 Gifts Your DIY Mom Really Wants”
Finally, consider using Pinterest for Mother’s Day. Build a board featuring your best Mother’s Day gift items. You may also consider inviting some of your followers to post to the board too. Don’t worry about whether or not everything pinned comes from your store, just try to create a board that your customers would like.
2. Pick Another Holiday in May
Holidays are good for content marketing because the are fixed in time, return annually, and include predictable customer behavior. Mother’s Day was an example of a holiday that will work for almost any retail business. There are even Mother’s Day tool kits, packaged in pink or floral patterns.
May is also a source of several other holidays, which can make for useful and entertaining content. Here are a few to consider.
- May 1, May Day. Celebrates spring and can be a good time to focus on spring activities.
- May 4, Star Wars Day. Based on a pun, say “May the fourth” fast enough and it sounds like “May the force,” a line from Star Wars.
- May 5, Cinco de Mayo. Celebrates victory at the battle of Puebla, emphasizes Mexican heritage.
- May 6, National Teacher’s Day. Focuses on teacher appreciation.
- May 8, Victory in Europe Day. Marks Germany’s surrender in World War II.
- May 16 Armed Forces Day. First celebrated in 1950, this holiday honors the United States military.
- May 25 Memorial Day. Remembers Americans who have died in the service of the U.S. armed forces.
With each example there is an opportunity to write about the holiday itself; offer suggestions, ideas and tips related to celebrating the holiday; or to simply offer an appropriate holiday greeting.
3. Start Telling Stories
A Harvard Business Review article from last year sings praises for Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial, which ran during the 2014 Super Bowl because the ad used storytelling to make a deep connection to viewers.
This ad is successful because it tells a complete story, using classic dramatic structure, including exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and a final outcome.
More recently, another Harvard Business Review article, “Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling,” looked at some scientific data that further supported the idea that storytelling can impact your customers and potentially build deep relationships that should lead to a preference for buying from your business.
In May, look for opportunities to tell stories about your business, your products, and how your company views the world.
If you need further inspiration, take a look at how Microsoft puts a human face on its business with stories about “people, places, and ideas that move” the company.
4. Create How-to Articles and Videos
How-to articles and videos are the epitome of useful content marketing. In fact, these are only listed fourth on this list because this particular suggestion has been so frequently referenced in this series of monthly content marketing idea article. It was at the top of the list, as an example, last May.
How-to content can be simple, direct, and closely related to the products you sell. Consider woodworking tool and hardware supplier Rockler. The company has more than 1,500 how-to articles posted on its site, including many that originally appeared in Woodworker’s Journal magazine. These articles frequently describe how to select a particular type of tool or explain woodworking techniques. Here are some of the titles from Rocker’s recent how-to posts.
Here are some example how-to articles that might work for your business.
- Hobby and Crafts
- “The Learn-to-bead Article of Your Dreams”
- “An Unconventional Guide to Knitting Basics”
- “19 Secrets and Tips for Better Scrapbooking”
- Auto Parts
- “8 Quick Fixes for when Your Car Battery Won’t Hold a Charge”
- “Learn How to Bleed Your Brakes in 5 Easy Steps”
- “How to Tint Your Own Car Windows”
- Video Games
- “Master Assassin’s Creed: Victory with These 3 Simple Strategies”
- “Build Your Own TARDIS in Minecraft”
- “Drive the Batmobile Like a Boss in Batman: Arkham Knight”
5. Start a Hashtag Campaign
On social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, hashtags are used to organize content around topics or to get feedback.
Hashtags may also be used to gather user-generated content that you can use on your ecommerce site. For example, you might ask visitors to your site to hashtag pictures of your products in use. The hashtags will allow you to identify these pictures, and you can reward the best examples with a gift card, a discount, or just recognition on your site or social media pages.
The aim here is to get your customers to provide you with content to use in your on-site marketing that has also been promoted and shared on social media.