December 9, 2014
Making your list and checking it twice? When it comes to preparing for the holidays, creating seasonal-driven content should be at the top of your list, but not everyone has time for that in the middle of the festivities.
The holidays offer prime opportunity to boost engagement with your audience, and help inspire unique content creation ideas that keep your readers entertained all season long. Content is the gift that keeps on giving, so get ready to join the holiday rush and add seasonal content that engages and excites.
Useful Techniques to Get Your Seasonal Content in Time For Old Saint Nick
If you have yet to align your content marketing strategies with the current holiday, it is not too late to get your customers feeling the holiday spirit through your products, services and content. Seasonal content has its advantages because it gives you a little bit of direction on your editorial calendar. We’ve helped you with 12 directional points below.
- The Gift of Solid Content. Even though we are now into the holidays, continue creating quality and relevant content for your audience. Your content might be interlaced with images of Santa Claus and jingle bells, but it is important to continue focusing on creating the best content possible. Have fun with your holiday content, but keep it useful and relevant for your audience. Everyone loves compelling content and adding a dash of Christmas spirit turns it all into an extra special holiday treat.
- Don’t Put All of Your Emphasis on One Specific Holiday. With several holidays falling in the month of December, there is no need to put all of your eggs in one basket for a specific holiday. Catering your content that is too holiday specific can box you in from expanding into other holiday content development options. Aim for balance and choose a couple holidays to build your holiday content marketing around. Better yet, sticking to seasonal content can keep your content options open all winter long.
- Don’t Always Focus on Products and Services. When it comes to the holidays, people can easily become overwhelmed with too many buying options and not enough time to sort through all of the noise. Take a moment away from your products and services, and create content that solves problems, educates, or inspires. Your audience will appreciate the break from product overload as you help them focus on what matters most this time of year.
- Use The Holidays as a Source for Content Curation. If you are already curating your content on a regular basis, spend a few more minutes finding holiday-themed content to pass on to your audience. Search for holiday content that provides sentimental value and sparks positive emotion. Feeding your audience with additional happy holiday content can easily fill gaps in your own content marketing plan.
- Everyone Loves a Holiday Surprise. If you are in the spirit of giving this holiday season, create exclusive content to share with your audience as a surprise. Free and useful downloads are a perfect option for this occasion, especially if your free download helps them solve problems. Create a guide for the best or most popular holiday gifts in your niche, or offer free tutorials to use your products and service in a holiday-oriented fashion. Pass out a few freebies this holiday season, and your customers will be happy as an elf with a candy cane.
- Jazz Up Product Descriptions With Holiday Graphics And Content. Add a touch of Christmas flair to your product pages with subtle hints of the holiday on every page. Change your product descriptions to emphasize how that particular item is a perfect gift for the holidays, and specifically mention which family members or friends will benefit from that gift. Use the holidays to your advantage and give your product descriptions some Christmas-time cheer.
- Recycle Content From Previous Holiday Seasons. Did you have a holiday content campaign that was particularly successful? If you have been diving into holiday content generation for a while, use your old holiday content to breathe new life into your current content campaign. If applicable, you might be able to transition content from other holidays and repurpose it for Christmas and the New Year. You can get away with using old content if you put on a new holiday spin. Your audience will never know the difference.
- Remember the key dates for the upcoming holiday season. Aside from the obvious Black Friday shopping spree, there are several key dates within the month of December that you can focus on as an effort to ramp up your own products and services, as well as your own content The list of key dates in December include the following, although a few have already passed:
- 1: Cyber Monday. If you are an online retail sales outlet, this is a prime opportunity to offer your products at deep discounts. People are purposely looking for online deals during Cyber Monday, so try to offer some kind of discount if at all possible.
- 8: Green Monday is similar to Cyber Monday, and it falls on the second Monday of December. Dubbed as Cyber Monday 2, customers can find discounts and competitive pricing from online retailers.
- 18: Free Shipping Day was established in 2008, gaining popularity amongst major retailers ever since.
- 27: Post holiday sales occur the day after Christmas. It is also the biggest product return day of the year.
So, what do these days have to do with your content? You can use these days as leverage for your own content. Create a content countdown campaign for one or more of the upcoming dates, or you can send out e-mail blasts with holiday-themed updates.
- Produce Pin-worthy Holiday Content. Pinterest is a super effective marketing platform for holiday-themed content. If you have not explored the world of Pinterest yet, the holidays are the perfect time to try something new. As Pinterest is one of the go-to platforms for holiday inspiration, use this to your advantage to create content that motivates your audience to pin your creations and visit your website. For example, a bakery could use Pinterest to showcase a tutorial on baking the perfect snowflake cookie. The secret recipe will be stashed away on your blog, encouraging your audience to click through for more mouth-watering homemade holiday baked goods. Let your creativity run loose with Pinterest; the pins that are shared the most are creative and inspirational.
- Give Your Logo a Temporary Holiday Overhaul. Your logo is the heart of your brand identity, but that does not mean you can’t play with the design for the holidays. Google is well known for changing up its logo for holidays, and it can be a fun and temporary change for your own business. You can use your new holiday-themed logo on various forms of your seasonal content, including free downloads, slideshow presentations, or you can use it as a new profile picture for Facebook or Twitter. Putting your own spin on your logo for the holidays will put a smile on your customers’ face, and bring a fun new twist to your content marketing collateral.
- Balance Out Your Editorial Calendar. As you crack open your editorial content calendar, try to stay focused on maintaining balance with your seasonal content. Although many people expect companies to show holiday spirit, it is important to not overwhelm your audience or continuously feed them the same kind of content. For example, if you compose a holiday blog, plan on doing a slideshow or infographic as your next holiday content piece. This will help keep your holiday content fresh without becoming overbearing. As quickly as the days of December count down, you will have plenty of options to repurpose holiday content and develop new ideas.
- Send a Note of Cheer Through to Your E-Mail Lists. During the holidays, inboxes are bursting at the seams with sales and pressure to buy, buy, buy. Take a minute and wish your audience a happy holiday season with a sincere e-mail message. You can always include a free download or other content related item as a gift. It will be a welcomed change from solicitations and sales pitch emails.
Content Marketing That Always Feels Like Christmas
Content marketing should always aim to pleasantly surprise and excite your audience. You can make every day like Christmas by creating useful and evergreen content that lasts well beyond Christmas morning. Go above and beyond what your audience is expecting, and the content you create will become a gift that continues to give every day of the year.
Julia McCoy is a top 30 content marketer and has been named an industry thought leader by several publications. She enjoys making the gray areas of content marketing clear with practical training, teaching, and systems. Her career in content marketing was completely self-taught. In 2011, she dropped out of college to follow her passion in writing, and since then grew her content agency, Express Writers, to thousands of worldwide clients from scratch. Julia is the author of two bestselling books on content marketing and copywriting, and is the host of The Write Podcast. Julia writes as a columnist on leading publications and certifies content strategists in her training course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter, husband, and one fur baby.