Content marketing seeks to create and publish useful or entertaining content like articles, photographs, videos, or similar that will attract, engage, and retain customers. But good content marketing doesn’t just happen accidentally; marketers need to plan ahead to be successful.
With April already underway, it is time to start thinking about content marketing for May. What follows are five content ideas that you may help to promote your online store in May 2014.
Remember, the aim here is to give customers something of real value that helps them accomplish some task, learn about something impactful, or experience something entertaining.
When you seek to apply any of the ideas listed hereafter, remember to think first about how your content will actually help or entertain your readers or viewers. Also, try to choose content that is relevant to the products that your store sells.
1. How-to, All Month Long
How-to articles are, perhaps, the very best form of content marketing. Try to make it a priority to have some sort of how-to content published in May.
You might demonstrate how to complete specific tasks that are related to the products your store sells. The Eastwood Company, which sells welders, welding supplies, painting equipment, and power tools, is an excellent example of a company that creates excellent how-to content that is related to its products. You can see examples on Eastwood’s YouTube channel.
Outdoor equipment and apparel retailer REI is another good example of providing how-to articles that are relevant and helpful. As an example, check out the REI article “Backpacking for Beginners,” which offers 12 helpful tips for novice backpackers.
Every online retailer should be able to find some topic for a how-to blog post, video, social share, or similar. Here are some examples of how-to article titles for several example retail categories. Perhaps they will spark your creativity.
- Men’s apparel.
- How to Tie the Perfect Windsor Knot.
- Seven Wardrobe Tricks that Will Make You Look Thinner.
- Five Secrets for Matching Socks, Belts, and Shirts.
- Women’s apparel.
- How to Freshen Up Any Outfit with Accessories.
- How to Pick Your Perfect Pants.
- How to Tell Which Colors Look Best on You.
- How to Choose a Toy for Your Video Gaming Grandson.
- 10 Questions to Ask Your Kid Before You Buy Her a Toy.
- How to Find Toy Recall Information.
- Poultry supplies.
- How to Choose a New Chicken Coop;
- 5 Tips for Better Laying Hens;
- How to Keep a Chicken Waterer Clean and Healthy.
2. Star Wars Day: May 4
Holidays, serious or otherwise, can also be an opportunity for content marketers. May 4 is a fun, made-up holiday for fans of the Star Wars movies, television shows, and books. The date was chosen because when said out loud — “May the fourth” — it sounds similar to “May the force.” Fans celebrating the holiday often greet each other, saying, “May the fourth be with you.”
For ecommerce content marketers the holiday creates an opportunity to connect to a cult of deeply devoted fans that come from across the social strata.
Star Wars Day content should seek to entertain. As an example, consider the Star Wars-inspired Myers-Briggs personality chart from the Geek in Heels blog. The chart has been shared many times online and carries with it the blog’s URL.
Here are some related ideas. A purveyor of fishing supplies could create a chart of fishing lures that are somehow related to Star Wars characters. The Rapala X-rap lure as an example, might be some fishing retailer’s Luke Skywalker.
Shoe retailers could, for the day, show sizes in U.S., U.K., and Star Wars dimensions. Perhaps, a size 14 is “Vader Sized” while a size 5 is “Yoda Sized.” The new size chart could be published on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.
3. Cinco de Mayo: May 5
Although Cinco de Mayo has it roots in a Mexican military victory, the holiday is primarily celebrated in the U.S. as a way to honor Mexican-American culture. There are many misconceptions about the holiday — for example that it is Mexico’s Independence Day, which it is not — and this misinformation creates an opportunity to educate customers with good content.
Consider a blog post or video that tells the history of Cinco de Mayo and the Battle of Puebla.
Cinco de Mayo may also be an opportunity to profile particular customers. If you sell power tools, you might profile a customer who is a carpenter and whose ancestors came from Mexico. The connection to Cinco de Mayo, in this example, might be subtle or it may be overt, depending on context.
4. Mother’s Day: May 11
Mother’s Day is another opportunity to offer interesting content that both honors the holiday and attracts customers. Online retailers might publish lists of Mother’s Day gift ideas in blog posts, on Pinterest, or on Polyvore.
There is an opportunity to profile important women and mothers from the retailer’s industry segment.
Content marketing can also be user generated, so it could make sense to allow users to submit photos of their mother on Instagram for an opportunity to win a prize package.
5. Memorial Day: May 26
As May comes to a close, retail content marketers have another opportunity to provide good content: Memorial Day. Consider something as simple as posting pictures of flags, soldiers, and graves in Facebook, Google+, and similar.
Multichannel retailers with both physical locations and an online store might offer schedules of local Memorial Day events for physical locations. There could be blog posts describing the holiday, or even short profiles of American soldiers who are relevant to your industry.
Content marketing should help, inform, or entertain customers. The idea is that shoppers tend to choose retailers that they like and trust, and sharing content helps to build those affinities. In May, there are at least five good opportunities to connect with customers using content.