Three Reasons You Should Jumpstart Your Holiday Content Marketing Campaign in July

julyI know, I know…the last thing you want to hear during the peak of summer is the word “Christmas.” For those of us who experience a traditional summer season (between the months of June to September), we have been spending our days in a hot haze of sand, sun and tanning. However, for content marketers, this could be prime time for getting customers to begin thinking about the most wonderful – and expensive – time of the year.

While your target audience is currently bikini clad and relaxing poolside, there are several ways your brand can begin boosting its holiday spirit with content marketing. Let’s take a look at three reasons why you should get into the content marketing holiday spirit right now.

Reason #1: Your Customers Are Forward-Thinking

Recent data shows that 10 percent of individuals will wait until the very last day before hurrying out to cross everything off their holiday shopping lists. However, for every last-minute holiday shopper, there are three more who are already budgeting for when the winter season rolls around. In fact, recent research shows that consumers begin holiday shopping as early as May, and one-third start shopping before September (ahem, we are currently two days away from the beginning of August).

Today, one month feels like three. Think about how fast this past year felt and you’ll start to see why the idea of early holiday shopping doesn’t sound so crazy. Right now as you read this, customers are Googling gift giving ideas and scouring high and low for early deals and steals – you should be providing content that reflects this state of mind.

So, if you’ve ever wondered, “Could my customers be that forward-thinking?” the answer is definitely.

Reason #2: Your Customers Have Probably Already Begun Saving

In 2012, the average person spent $854 on holiday shopping, according to data from the American Research Group. Not only does this represent a 32 percent increase from 2011, but this number marks the highest holiday budget seen in five years, or since 2007. While they may not admit it, many of your customers are shifting their mentalities now so that they can start saving for when the snow begins to fall. They’re looking for helpful saving tips and how to creatively cut costly corners. These are all areas of opportunity for your company’s content marketing campaign.

Reason #3: Mobile, Digital Holiday Shopping is HUGE Right Now

Recent research conducted by Google shows that mobile and digital elements are integral to the holiday shopping experience. In fact, 70 percent of smartphone owners are online even when they’re in store, and 89 percent of consumers start their holiday shopping online.

This all leads to one thing: Your customers are about to begin holiday shopping any day now, and a large portion of them will be online while doing so. This leaves ample room of opportunity for sharing content and collaborating with your community of customers via social media. For example, as a retailer looking to promote your new fall line, invite your customers to play a game on your website (like an online card match game of your best-selling items and accessories). Or, give your Instagram followers an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peek of how your new denim line is being made by capturing the entire process with a collection of fun photos.

Need some real-life inspiration? Hallmark is currently promoting its new 2013 line of Keepsake Ornaments in its “Highly Collectible Collections.” To engage its online audience, the company is inviting customers to visit the site each week to view videos containing clues about the remainder of its ornaments, which will be revealed on September 16.

Hopefully, this begins turning the wheels for your holiday content marketing inspiration!

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