Seasons Greetings: How to Use Seasonal Content to Shake Things Up
Incorporating seasonal content into your marketing strategy is important for a number of reasons: For starters, it enables you to capture your audience’s attention using themes that are already prominent in their minds, plus it helps increase the perception that your company is on point and on-trend.
But you do have to be mindful not to cross over into “try-hard” territory by attempting to work seasonal themes into your content in a way that sounds forced, or just plain tacky. If you really want to shake things up and stand out during this ultra-competitive holiday season, keep the following tips in mind for the right way to use seasonal content for effective brand promotion.
1. Stay true to your brand, and keep your audience at the forefront of your mind.
One of the most common content marketing fails that you often see this time of year is when companies shoot for a catchy title containing a snappy seasonal buzzword, but the content has little or nothing to do with their actual products or services. Just because it’s seasonal, doesn’t mean your audience will find it worth reading. Do your best to infuse seasonal themes into your content in a way that stays true to your brand, and is actually helpful and relevant to your particular audience.
2. Ask the right questions.
The prospect of creating wildly popular seasonal content can definitely be exciting, but it’s important for you to sift through the noise and ask the right questions so your brand can stay on target. Some good questions to ask include:
- What type of information does your audience seek regarding this particular holiday or time of year?
- What type of information regarding the holiday or event can you provide that will actually be helpful to your audience?
- How can you approach a popular seasonal topic from a different angle in order to stand out, while also highlighting your particular value proposition?
- What types of channels will be the most appropriate for promoting your content (e.g., blog, social media, offline media, etc.)?
Asking questions like these will enable you to gain clarity regarding what type of seasonal content will be a good match for your audience’s needs, as well as your marketing objectives.
3. Seasonal content should include more than just calendar holidays.
Football is seasonal. Back-to-school is seasonal. Black Friday is seasonal. Heck, pumpkin spiced lattes are seasonal. There are several hugely important, regularly occurring events and themes that aren’t found on holiday calendars, but represent amazing opportunities for businesses of all kinds. Brainstorm ways to incorporate these various themes and occurrences into your content in a way that’s relevant to your brand.
4. During seasonal events, take advantage of unique opportunities when they present themselves.
You never know when a prime content marketing opportunity might present itself, so you should be poised and ready to strike at all times. One of the best examples of this happened in 2013 during Super Bowl XLVII, when the power went out at the Superdome during a showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Oreo instantly seized on the opportunity, publishing a quick-witted tweet that read “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet immediately went viral, racking up over 10,000 retweets in one hour, and garnering over 20,000 Facebook likes.
This stroke of marketing genius demonstrates the importance of being agile, flexible and ready to capitalize on unique happenings that might occur during seasonal events.
5. Highlight the occasional offbeat holiday just to keep things interesting.
There are all kinds of somewhat offbeat holidays and seasonal events (whether officially declared or just generally agreed upon) that people love to celebrate. For example, May the 4th represents the immensely popular Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you”). The third Sunday in July represents the all-important National Ice Cream Day. September 5th is generally recognized as Be Late for Something Day (ironically enough, Fight Procrastination Day occurs one day later).
A quick Google search can give you access to a wide variety of interesting and sometimes bizarre observances that will get your gears turning in terms of holiday-themed content creation. Just remember to use sparingly
6. Pay close attention to time frames.
Most marketing experts agree that publishing your content at least two weeks beforehand is an optimal time frame, but exercise good judgment based on the importance and popularity of the holiday in question. For example, Christmas will require a much more generous lead-in than Labor Day. Just be sure to have your publishing dates listed on your calendar, so that you can fire off your content at the appropriate times without a hitch.
Seasonal content can provide immense value to your overall marketing strategy, but it must be approached with a level head. Keeping the above tips in mind will help you maximize the potential of your seasonal content, so that you can generate real results for your business.