Start the first month of 2016 by attracting new customers and engaging current ones with a podcast based on existing blog posts; produce content that focuses on culture; tell stories on Instagram; celebrate service; and publish gear guides.
January can be a busy month for content marketers, whose goal is to produce, publish, and distribute content with the aim of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers.
What follows are five content marketing ideas for January 2016.
1. Start a Podcast with Your Blog Posts
As the year starts anew, so can content marketing. For January 2016, consider creating a podcast from your blog posts.
Each episode of the podcast might be as simple as reading a post verbatim, perhaps, with an opening introduction and closing thank you.
According to a report on statistics website Statista, about 17 percent of American adults listen to podcasts. But it is estimated that only about three percent of marketers use podcasts to reach potential customers. This may mean that podcasting could represent an opportunity for some small businesses to engage potential customers in a less competitive environment.
A blog-driven podcast might have a secondary benefit, too. In 2016, website accessibility may garner some attention, as regulatory bodies, courts, and businesses define what it means to make a website accessible to folks with disabilities.
Consider publishing your podcast on the same page as the blog post each episode is based on. In this way, visitors to your blog will have the choice to read the post or have it read to them. This may make your blog easier for some customers to access.
2. Write Entertaining, Informative Blog Posts Like Scotts
Content marketing works best when it does something for the reader. Often this utility, in the content marketing context, takes the form of how-to articles, but this need not be the only sort of content that retailers publish.
Scotts, a men’s sportswear retailer, produces a superb blog that focuses on providing entertaining and informative articles that do not necessarily mention Scotts or the products it sells.
Instead, the topics covered are things that would be of interest to the sort of men who might also shop on Scotts’ site. The content demonstrates that Scotts is like its customers and therefore is not just a store, but part of the community, worthy of trust and purchases.
Recent articles from the Scotts blog include the following.
- “The 7 Best Indie(ish) Albums of 2015”
- “A Tribute to Streets of Rage II”
- “Euro 2016 Draw Preview: High Hopes For the Home Nations”
- “10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Carlito’s Way”
- “Q&A With Illustrator Peter O’Toole”
- “Paul Weller: In Conversation With A Great British Songwriter, Part 2”
- “The Best New Indie(ish) Tracks Of The Month: November”
- “Kevin Spacey On Se7en”
- “Memories Of The Local Youth Club”
- “The 10 Greatest Free Kick Takers Of All Time”
Notice that the topics are a mixture of music, movies, sports, and culture, aimed not necessarily at selling products, but rather to engage.
In January, try posting Scotts-like blog posts on your site. Seek to engage shoppers by sharing an interest with them.
3. Tell a Story on Instagram
Nonprofit apparel maker and retailer Krochet Kids International has a compelling brand story. In fact, it is difficult to listen to how the company was created or what it does without wanting to make a purchase.
Krochet Kids International tells its brand story on its site and in social media with a significant amount of content. One example is what the company does on Instagram.
Images of both the products it sells and the people that make those products are woven together into a visual tale that can resonate with Krochet Kids’ customers.
While your own brand story may be somewhat less philanthropic, it does not need to be less compelling. In January 2016, try to tell a story on Instagram. Perhaps this will be your brand story or, perhaps, it will be a story about the people who buy your products.
4. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
In 2016, Monday, January 18 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The day is a national, American holiday intended first and foremost to honor a great leader, and, secondly, as a challenge to Americans to serve others.
As a holiday, President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day into law on November 2, 1983. After 11 years, Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Robert Lewis co-authored the King Holiday Service Act, challenging Americans to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with service to others.
For content marketers, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day creates an opportunity to write about the man, about history, or about service. In fact, one of the best things retail content marketers can do is actually provide a service to the community and write about it.
5. New Year’s Gear Guide
Many of the suggestions on this list are not directly related to products. These earlier suggestions recognize that content marketing is about giving real and valuable content to your potential customers. Many times this means that you will write about or create videos about topics not immediately related to the products you sell.
This is, however, not always the case, and as a final January 2016 content marketing idea, consider publishing a New Year’s gear guide, showing off some of the best new products your store sells.