Published on 10/05/2018 by Charlotte Nathan
Seasonal content is a time sensitive marketing method that allows retailers to distribute campaigns, blog posts and landing pages that form a connection between their product or service and a seasonal event or trending topic. This article details how important seasonal content is to any ecommerce retailer and the advantage of having an effective trading calendar.
There are two kinds of seasonal content: time-based (Summer, Winter, Monthly) and event-based (Christmas, Mother’s Day, Bank Holiday). But in order to gain interest and engagement, a thought out strategy needs to be in place that shows planned tasks for upcoming key periods.
This content is often seen across an entire website, starting at the homepage:
And backed up with content pieces like blog articles:
If you have a retail business, a selection of key periods to prepare your website and content for are:
- Black Friday
- Christmas, Boxing Day & New Years
- Festival Season
- Fashion Events like London Fashion Week
- Bank Holidays
- Mothers & Fathers Day
Timing is vital for distributing content and is dependant on how high interest in a topic is at the time. The duration of seasonal topic interest can vary, meaning retailers will be able to publish and monitor content for gradual interest spikes but prepare to take action closer to those that are more abrupt.
However interest needs to be generated through a build up through the quality of content. Retailers might spark an interest by introducing a topic or event with a “New Range” banner, then follow it up with a gift guide and finish off with a promotion or discount. It’s good to know customers are listening and engaging before hitting them with the best.
Retailers should consider the following when planning and creating website content:
- Is the content relevant and helpful?
- Does our product/service naturally fit into the season?
- Does the content connect with the customer in a genuine and authentic way?
There a variety of ways to approach seasonal content planning, some involve careful consideration towards the topic whereas others can use historical data and past experiences.
Content calendars help retailers plan ahead and prepare for upcoming events and occasions. By having an easy day-to-day layout to follow, retailers can plan numerous tasks to action across a few days prior to the event. This means customers can connect with the retailer through a build up in interest.
A promotional calendar is a similar planning method however instead of content, retailers can plan the promotions they want to distribute across key periods. It can be tricky to beat competitors to the punch with relevant offers and discounts however being too early can result in a loss of interest from customers.
Previous quarter or year performance data is the most accurate way to identify potential and previous approaches that worked well for a retailer. This will also save a lot of time that could be spent creating content that may not be successful.
There are many tools available to help with keyword and search term research. Google Keyword planner is a free option that helps retailers understand search volume of trending topics and how competitive Pay Per Click bid amounts are. The date range in keyword planner can be adjusted to view changes in search volume of trending topics.
So how can retailers find topics and trends that are not current?
Let’s take a look at how a clothing retailer might approach trend forecasting…
Popular fashion events and catwalks are a hotspot for unique, statement styles that are often seen on the high streets shortly after. These types of events are ideal for spotting designs and inspiration that can help retailers carry out future trend reports and begin the manufacturing process before their competitors.
Another great way to forecast upcoming trends is by using available tools like WGSN which showcases the latest up and coming fashion statements. The tool uses retail intelligence to provide retailers with fashion industry resources that assist with new product and range ideas as well as their profitability.
And why is all of this planning and preparation so important?
Having high quality seasonal content can have a lot of benefits for a retailer’s site and overall brand reputation. Customers will see relevance and value in the content published, associating the brand with the topic trending at the time. It can be tricky to keep up with the fast paced shift in trends and topics which is why importance continues to be pinned on having a good strategy that meets demand and needs of the audience.