When pitching products to consumers there are a myriad of tactics that seasoned marketing veterans enlist. From traditional marketing campaigns, television advertisements, and the recent nuances of Infuencer Marketing, there are now more ways to reach the end consumer than ever before. In our previous posts and within our Content Marketing Guides we’ve discussed the different Focus Areas that your brand should utilize as well as the different Content Types that best compliment these focus areas. While we’re sure you’re still busy wrapping your head around what to do first, we want to present one of the simplest and most effective Content Marketing Projects: Gift Guides.
Gift Guides were once limited to the pages of glossy magazines and special sections in Newspapers. Today , however, content creators have the ability to easily share and create gift guides across a wide spectrum of platforms. But first, let’s explore what we mean when using the term ‘Gift Guide’. A Gift Guide is a Themed List of Product Suggestions Curated by a Brand, Retailer, or Content Creator and Formatted into an Original Post. Examples of Common Gift Guides Types include: Beauty Gift Guides, Holiday Gift Guides, Seasonal Gift Guides, Trend Gift Guides, and Other Angles Based on the Intended Reach and Angle of the Creator. There are 5 Measurable Ways that Gift Guides Can Increase Your Brand Reach and Engagement. We’ll explore these further below.
1) Allows Brands to Educate Consumers on Product
Gift Guides are typically centered around a specific angle. This angle can be an event, a trend, or other special topic. This framework allows the brand to create a pseudo-gift box of items that work together to create a desired purchasing behavior or incentive to the consumer. For example, if you have a beauty brand you could create a gift guide centered around Spring Beauty Trends. Within your Guide you could include Your products with instructions on how to use each as a component of achieving a complete look or trend idea.
2) Offers a Great Way to Test Conversions and Generate Sales
One of the toughest components of Content Marketing is figuring out how to create content that drives conversion. Often times, purchase links get buried within content or the reader may not even realize that there’s a way to directly purchase an item from a post. Gift Guides solve this problem by presenting content in an easy to navigate and direct manner. Purchasing links are clear and the consumer immediately recognizes the content as a way to to explore and shop products. Even better, you can easily track all of your conversions by eliminating many of the other variables that go into conversions. You can be fairly sure that readers saw your purchase link and can then experiment with ways to format future guides to drive higher conversion rates.
3) Builds Brand Sentiment by Pairing Products with Complimentary and Aspirational Brands
Whether your brand is newly launching or established in the market, there are still people who may not know that a specific product exists. One of the most effective ways to introduce your brand to consumers is by pairing it with a product/brand that the consumer already recognizes and trusts. Find products that are leaders in your industry and brainstorm creative ways that tie these products into yours. Maybe you share the same brand ethics or perhaps you’re product is a compliment to another brand. Whatever the connection, creating this association for the consumer can help to elevate your brand quickly.
4) Boosts Your SEO with Shoppable Content
When a consumer is searching for a new product one of the first places he will turn to is a search engine like google. These consumers are searching for specific queries such as ‘Cool Holiday Gifts for Dads’ and ‘Inexpensive Mother’s Day Gifts’. If you’ve already created content that includes a Gift Guide , your post may very well show up at the very top of most search engines. While this is a great first step, what the consumer sees when they visit the link is key. If you’ve created a well thought out gift guide that’s relevant to the query with easy links to shop, chances are that you’ll see significant conversion throughout the lifespan of your selling cycle.
5) Become the Owner of a Niche Keyword or Topic Area
If you’ve already done the hard work of Boosting your SEO with Shoppable Content, you can then focus more intently on becoming the owner of a niche keyword or topic area. Consumers purchase products from brands that they trust and one way to earn this trust is to become a leader in a specific topic. For example if you have a Skincare company you could build a strategy around the Keyword ‘Green Skincare’. In your Gift Guide Content you can use a mix of branded content containing only your products as well as guides pairing your products with other leaders in the ‘Green Skincare’ topic area.
There are many ways to increase brand reach and engagement utilizing resources that you already have. Gift Guides are a great way to enlist your customers and influencer network to help you in your efforts of social selling. Along the way you’ll even pick up some great Content, Improve your SEO and build a more positive brand sentiment. See below for a few great gift guide ideas from top publications and blogs that we’ve discovered.