19 Dec 2012
By Kelli Korducki
As the holidays close in, so does the annual online content conundrum: how to keep corporate blog material flowing during the year-end lull? It’s a tricky balance; content should be fresh, but maybe not too fresh as traffic invariably slows. At least, that’s the logic. But not everyone agrees.
Neil Patel, a noted digital marketing specialist and founder of software companies Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, says there’s a temptation around the holidays to repost old content from earlier in the year, which he thinks is a step in the wrong direction.
“The best way to keep things up to date for the holiday season is to write brand-new content,” says Patel. “The reason being, it’s fresh. More people see it. They link to it. Search engines use time-based algorithms. So, just keep up to date and write new content.”
If the holidays season itself is a subject that could potentially work within your company’s specific blog, Patel suggests looking into Google Analytics to take advantage of what’s already trending.
“If they’re saying something’s Christmas-related, or Christmas lights are the biggest keywords, whatever it may be, you can see if those words or phrases fit into your content.”
Miranda Miller, Content Marketing Manager at TopRank Online Marketing and SearchEngineWatch.com author, points out that a lot of big companies put out research findings this time of year.
“They have the teams in-house to put all of that together, that a small business usually can’t,” she says. “But what you can do is take those findings and explain how they affect your customers. If there’s any interesting points you can pull out, your customers will appreciate your expertise.”
She adds “A lot of times those reports are really technical and sort of need an interpreter; you can be that person.”
Another tip Miller has is to revisit topics discussed earlier in the year and augment them with new findings, or address reader questions that relate to them. It’s not quite recycling so much as bolstering.
It’s also useful to talk about the business itself. “Set out to answer a few questions. What were your most popular products or services over the year? What were the best compliments you received through social media? What was your biggest order of the year, and can you share the amount or the volume without violating privacy? If you have new customers from interesting countries that you haven’t had before, you can write about that.
“These are all insights that are interesting for people to read, but also, every data point is an opportunity for you to build your brand and link back to your own products or services.” As Miller puts it, you’re promoting your brand without directly promoting your brand.
As for the issue of diminished holiday traffic, Patel follows the rule of timing.
“The way I look at publishing content, you never want to waste your ideas around any holiday. Just make sure you’re publishing a few days before Christmas, or a few days after January 1st.”