For most retailers, it is that time of year to consider marketing and hiring plans to prepare for the upcoming holiday season.  When making these plans, consider maybe not hiring so many gift wrappers but hire a holiday bloggers to help push your online store to the front of the line and engage customers all season long.

Holiday Marketing Challenges in 2012

With a presidential election garnering the attention of most of the mainstream media and advertising time  – and with more and more shoppers moving towards online retailing for holiday gifts as consumers continue to seek online deals, the need for strategic online holiday marketing services will increase with the demand.

Hiring a holiday blogger will provide online retailers with engaging social media content and lasting search engine benefits.

If hiring a holiday blogger is more wish than a reality, then here’s a list of holiday blogging tips to prepare for a successful season:

1. Prepare a Holiday Blogging Calendar  

Don’t let your blog fall behind, prepare a holiday blogging strategy and mark all of the significant holiday shopping dates such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekends prior to December 25. Preparing content for these busy times will help ensure your blog will be updated as the shopping season progresses.

2. Start seeding your website with holiday content all year long

Don’t wait until early November to start posting holiday-themed blog posts.  Better late than never but it is best to start in late August or early September.

3. Write with the spirit of the season 

Posting holiday content while still wearing shorts in August can sometimes not really put you in ‘Tis the Season.  Rely on all of those wonderful holiday memories from years past and start writing as if you’re wrapping presents and sharing hot cocoa.

4. Don’t just focus on Christmas

Thanksgiving, New Years Eve and Halloween can also be great times for a boost in online sales, think of ways your business can profit from these other winter holidays.

5.  Five Golden Rings! 

The holiday season brings holiday music that many love and cherish.  Post your in-store holiday playlist or let readers select a playlist you can play to your employees.  You can never have enough of Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer! 

6. Prepare gift giving guides

Guides and holiday shopping tips are always well received by readers and can provide engaging content for readers to share via social networks and email.

7. Utilize engaging photos and product videos

Don’t just use the stock photos of your products, think about taking your own photos and creating your own review videos to share on your blog. A serious, big-ticket buyer will often research many website and unique photos and videos can help garner their attention and maybe even help draw an online sale.

8. Engage your readers and customers

Customers can be a wealth of great stories of holiday traditions gone past.  Think of all of the amazing stories of families going downtown to see all of the Christmas lights and greetings with Santa.  See if your business can harness stories like these or think about how you can start providing opportunities for customers to make new memories.

9. Help a holiday blogger

You’re not the only holiday blogger, find other bloggers and see how you can maybe help them increase their readership.  One link from your website can go a long way for a independent blogger!

10.  Prepare in-store signage and promote your holiday blog

For businesses with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, think about how you can integrate your blogging instore.  Refer your customers to your blog at point-of-sale or print a link to your holiday blog in your weekly circular.

11. Have your live blogger attend instore events and shopping promotions

The chaos of mornings like Black Friday or the day after Christmas can lend to some interesting content to share on your blog.  Hire a blogger that will be willing live blog certain in store events and make sure to capture these moments.

12. Listen to your customers and answer holiday questions through your blog

Many of holiday shopping search results are potential customers looking for answers related to products they want to buy.  “Where do I find…?” “What do I get…?” “What’s the best price?”   Anticipate and prepare answers to questions like these to draw strategic search traffic to your website.  Make sure the Q&A post is linked to the product it references to buyers can easily purchase this item.

13. Share company and/or employee traditions through your blog

Your employees are a wealth of holiday cheer and probably have many memories they can share about working the holiday season. Also, don’t forget to post photos of your Company’s holiday party online. (The PG-rated ones)

14. Build momentum with Countdowns

Countdown clocks are great for two things:  1. Entice readers to buy  2. Help ring-in the new year.  Use these visuals to help persuade your readers to buy now.

15. Don’t focus only one holiday tradition, reach out and see how others celebrate the holidays and share

The holidays are celebrated in many different ways in many different communities. Share how your local communities through your markets celebrate the holidays. Use your blog as a way to share these heartwarming stories by exposing the cultures and traditions of the holidays.