Christmas is coming: is your content marketing ready? Posted in Practice by Ross Hall on Monday October 14, 2019 The Christmas period is set to be a difficult one for retailers. Consumer confidence is showing signs of falling. Online sales are still growing steadily, with large established players taking the lions share. Your content will have to work harder to convince customers to part with their cash. It isn’t only Christmas that will be difficult. New Year comes a week later and the sales are likely to be brutal with deep discounting. 2020 looks set to be about cash flow and survival, with a focus on keeping the money coming in even if profits are lower. Your Christmas content should be ready to go. If you wait until the last minute, your quality will probably slip. You also risk finding the day-to-day operations overwhelm your ability to promote yourself effectively. We recommend preparing a few timely, relevant blog posts and email messages now before the end-of-year rush sets in. Prepare a small bank of content Much of the content you need for the end of the year can be prepared now. We suggest you prepare it in a reasonably neutral tone that lets you drop links and promotions for relevant products at publication. For example, an article on “how to choose a dress for the Christmas Party” could be written now without referencing specific outfits. At publication, you add links to sale items, with clear “buy now” buttons. Although prepared in October, the article appears fresh and relevant thanks to the product placements. Bring freelancers onboard The end of the year rush increases demand for producers and can leave you with no one to prepare content for your business. During October and early November you stand a better chance of getting a slot in a producer’s schedule. Wait until later and you may find you have to pay a high premium, or accept lower quality. Find relevant stories By mid-December, with the pressure of sales growing, it’s easy to get caught in a “we must publish something” mindset. As a result, there’s an explosion in half-joking “how to survive your in-laws” articles, lists of “essentials” and poorly thought through “what will next year bring” opinion pieces. These rarely support or build the brand, and you risk alienating once loyal customers with a poorly thought through “joke”. Starting earlier gives you more time to create thought-through, engaging, brand building content. Content will have to work hard It looks certain the 2019/20 festive season will be hard work. If you’re not already working on your content, you need to move quickly. Waiting until the year end risks you losing out thanks to poorly aligned content that doesn’t appeal to customers. A small bank of quality, pre-prepared content will give you space to focus on running the business and bringing in the sales. Subscribe for updates Receive our regular updates on digital marketing and business direct to your inbox. We won't share your data. Latest Being a “green business” is no longer a differentiator “Sustainable” is no longer a source of differentiation. Promoting your “green credentials” in content is important, but so too is avoiding “greenwashing” Related A spat, a flag and a meme (or how to avoid causing cultural offence in advertising) How a marketing agency caused offence by including St George’s day on a Union flag – then doubled down on their mistake.