For many businesses, content is marketing, an integral part of nearly all of the company’s promotional activities. While this can be good for a business, helping to create long-term customer relationships, it requires a steady flow of interesting content ideas.
Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content — such as articles, videos, and podcasts — with the specific aim of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers.
In August 2017, your business might write articles or produce videos around back-to-school topics, suggesting travel or leisure activities, in honor of beer, or even to help shoppers achieve their dreams.
1. Back-to-school Articles and Videos
August is prime time for back-to-school shoppers. In fact, in June 2017, Fox Business reported that 2017 back-to-school retail sales might reach $857 billion.
As much as 8 percent of those retail back-to-school dollars will be spent online. In 2016, the National Retail Federation estimated that parents will make back-to-school purchases from an average of three different online stores.
Content can influence back-to-school retail sales. Perhaps as many as 50 percent of teenaged students will look on social media and blog sites for back-to-school fashion advice, and parents are likely to visit sites and read product reviews.
In early August, publish helpful and informative back-to-school articles or videos meant to help shoppers make good product choices. Here are a few examples of back-to-school article or video titles to inspire your back-to-school content.
- “10 Back-to-school Supplies Your Teacher Will Forget”
- “Do the Clothes Make the Student? 5 Ways Fashion Influence Grades”
- “Are Old School Backpacks Hurting Kids?”
- “The College Student’s Guide to Life in a Dorm”
2. Travel and Leisure Suggestions
August is one of the most popular travel months. Folks are apt to take a short break or vacation before kids head back-to-school and routines are established. So it is a good time to publish travel and leisure activity suggestions.
Retailer Mr. Porter, which has long been a standout example of a company using content marketing, published eight travel and leisure articles in August 2016. Use Mr. Porter’s examples to come up with your own travel content.
- “Exploring Brazil, Beyond Rio.” Ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Mr. Porter was offering Brazilian travel advice.
- “A Taste of the Tropics.” This article made vacation fashion recommendations.
- “The People to Avoid at the Beach.” This is Mr. Porter’s guide to “the beachgoers you won’t want to park your parasol next to.”
- “How to Pack for Every Holiday.” This video and article showed how to pack for vacations.
- “Seven Instagram-ready Rentals.” This post describes amazing vacation rentals.
- “Europe’s Best Seaside Restaurants.” Restaurant suggestions for those who want to dine well whilst on a European vacation.
- “In-flight Grooming Essentials.” Stay fresh when you travel.
- “Europe’s Secret Cities.” This post suggests several sites for a trip to Europe.
3. International Beer Day: August 4, 2017
First celebrated in August 2008, International Beer Day aims to achieve three goals. It should (a) bring friends together for fellowship and a delicious beer or two, (b) celebrate the folks who brew and serve beer, and (c) bring attention to beer from all nations.
In 2017, pubs and breweries in an estimated 200 cities worldwide will participate. This growing event can be an opportunity for your content marketing.
Your articles, posts, or videos might:
- Describe International Beer Day and how to celebrate,
- Cover the history of brewing,
- Discuss beer, for example, what’s the difference between a lager and an ale?
4. Aspirational Articles
If you look the word “aspirational” up in a dictionary, you’ll find definitions like “having a desire to achieve social prestige and material success.” One might also say that aspirations are goals, ambitions, or even dreams.
Many content marketers have reported success with content that lets folks dream. Writing in his book, “Content Inc.,” Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, recommends focusing some of your content on aspirations.
“More and more, I find that the best Content Inc. programs revolve around aspirations, not needs. I’ve been guilty of telling marketers to ‘focus on customer pain points’ since, well, forever. Focusing on pain points gets you to the front door.”
“To get to the heart of your customers’ needs, you have to focus on what they want to be and help them get where they really want to go.”
Aspirational articles should still be practical and useful. Here are a few examples.
- “5 Clever and Affordable Storage Ideas.” The Home Depot helps folks dreaming of a more organized home.
- “How to Connect with Your Colleagues.” Mr. Porter discuss how to be successful in a changing workplace.
- “5K and 10K Trail Run Training Plans.” REI describes in detail how to prepare for a competitive trail run.
5. Videos for Top Products
Product content can be part of your content marketing plan, too. In August, pick your top 10 products and produce an informative video that showcases the item.
If you need an example, check out West Elm’s Crosby Mid-century Sofa. The product detail page includes a YouTube video that describes the sofa, explaining options and helping shoppers connect with the product.