Christmas content: 5 great examples

The UK was the highest-spending nation in Europe last Christmas, and this year British families are predicted to splash out an average of £821.25 per household on gifts, food, drink and decorations – with over half (53%) of this sum being spent online.

The fondly-dubbed ‘most wonderful time of the year’ represents a huge revenue opportunity for online retailers – and content is an important tool for driving both organic traffic and conversions. We take a look at 5 brands creating note-worthy Christmas content in 2017.

1. Selfridges

First up for commendation is Selfridges with their ‘Beauty Insider’ guide to what the experts want for Christmas. Pulling in product recommendations from the brand’s buying team, beauty bloggers and beauty editors at various respected publications including Tatler  and British Vogue, this guide taps into the power of peer and influencer marketing – 56% of consumers consider influencers ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for brand opinions and purchase decisions. The guide also presents each contributor’s recommendation in their own individual tone of voice, adding charm, authenticity and authority to the piece.

2. Liberty

Earning points for creativity is Liberty, with their illustrated Gift List guide. Complete with whimsical festive illustrations by John Broadley, this guide puts forward a range of gifting personas – the multi-tasking ‘Juggler’, the ‘Beauty Buff’, the travel-loving ‘Wanderer’ – and then directs the reader to click through to relevant product categories. This is a particularly creative take on the traditional gift guide – offering plenty of inspiration to undecided buyers.

3. Argos

Although not strictly a content piece, Argos’ Christmas hub still gets an honourable mention for its well-thought-out user journey. A prominent ‘Christmas’ tab on Argos’ homepage leads to the hub page, which acts as a gateway to various Christmas-related categories, segmented according to user needs – Play, Give, Entertain, Host, Decorate, Cook & Bake. The ‘Host your first Christmas’ page, in particular, shows a clever understanding of customers’ needs, grouping products like extendable tables, extra chairs, roasting dishes and guest beds together and making it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.

4. Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer’s guide to cooking a Christmas turkey is a fantastic example of an engaging, shoppable how-to guide. According to data reported by Google, how-to related searches on YouTube are growing 70% year-on-year, with more than 100 million hours of how-to video content being consumed in the US alone in 2015. With demand for helpful how-to content on the rise, this presents a huge opportunity for brands to build authority on related search terms, thereby generating organic traffic.

This example from M&S is notable for the richness of its content – it provides cooking and carving instructions (with an accompanying video), another video on the brand’s turkey farmers and the quality of their meat, advice on the best cut to buy, tips on wine pairings and what to do with leftovers. As well as being very comprehensive and visual, the guide is punctuated with CTAs and links to relevant product categories – making it highly optimised for conversions.

5. The Entertainer

Last but not least is The Entertainer’s Christmas hub, which contains two great pieces of interactive content. The first is their present finder tool, a handy feature that enables shoppers to narrow down gift choices firstly according to age group, then by ‘type of gift’ (main present, stocking filler), and then by interest areas, ranging from ‘something arty’ and ‘something to build’ to ‘action’ and ‘games’.

The second is a highly entertaining, AI-powered Santa chatbot. As well as being able to answer more playful questions like ‘am I on the naughty list this year?’ (give it a try), the bot is also configured to offer product recommendations and links when prompted with a query like ‘what are the most popular toys this year?’ – making it an effective tool for both engagement and conversion-driving.

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