Looking to create holiday-themed content? Here's everything you need to know about making it relevant to your industry and audience.
The holidays aren't only a time to have fun out of the workplace, they're also a time to have fun with your content marketing. Generally, marketers are focused on creating two types of content: evergreen content and timely content-- the kind that comments on newsworthy events -- both are important. But a good way to spike readers' attention around the holidays is by creating timely, holiday-themed content.
In fact, here at Scripted some of our best pieces have been centered around a holiday. For example, our infographic on the dark side of content marketing that we published for Halloween performed well on social and got featured on a few third-party publications. When marketers think "holiday," they typically think of the big ones -- Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years. But even smaller occasions are opportunities to make a splash. The key is tying together seemingly unrelated things and making a clever and creative connection to a holiday. Below we've put together a few best practices to follow when putting together this type of content.
In an age where consumers are bombarded with complex information, instant understanding is a huge asset. For example most companies have little relation to St. Patrick's Day, but a St. Patty's Day sale on all "green" or eco-friendly products makes perfect sense. Once marketers find their creative connection, content ideas will begin to flow naturally. A blog post detailing one of these green products, social media reminders building up to the day of the sale, or festive photos of employees using the product are just a few examples of how to successfully create content around a silly holiday.
The important thing is not to look like you're trying too hard to make a connection while keeping it relevant. As people scroll through their news feeds, glance over ads or read article headlines, they ignore what they don't instantly understand. In most cases, marketers should avoid jargon and difficult concepts when it comes to holiday-themed content. The goal of this content is to build brand awareness and show that your brand has a light-hearted side.
In addition to making the connection between your brand and the holiday easy to understand, it must be relatable to your audience. Apple's marketing team understood this rule when they released "Misunderstood," a holiday ad about a distracted teen who spent Christmas on his phone. By the end of the commercial, his distraught family realized he was actually busy recording and piecing together a family video.
Audiences immediately tune in to messages they feel are relatable. With a Christmas ad about family, Apple drew the attention of a huge demographic -- those trying to connect with their families on Christmas. Parents, especially, could relate to the message, which let Apple present itself as fun and trustworthy to anyone with children.
You can check out the ad for yourself here:
3. Mimic The Spirit
Each holiday has a unique spirit, so it's important that your content meshes with that vibe. Christmas is a time for giving and generosity while Fourth of July is a time for celebration and pride. Consumers find content easier to get excited about if it goes along with the spirit of the holiday.
ShopKeep, a point-of-sales system servicing small business owners, jumped at the opportunity to create a social media campaign to get followers hyped for Small Business Saturday. It didn't just mention the event or tell its target audience to prepare. It offered simple, one- or two-sentence tips, along with bright images of retail stores and shoppers making purchases. Not only did it capture the local, friendly spirit intended for Small Business Saturday, it helped its target audience think of ways to up their sales and offer promotions before the event.
4. Make it Memorable
This tip might seem to blend in with those above, but there is actually a science to creating memorability. For one, novelty sparks more interest than repeat content. Marketers should constantly tweak and update, even if the changes seem trivial.
Second, readers have a stronger cerebral reaction to content that evokes an emotion. Marketers don't need to be manipulative. Instead, they can seek out the natural emotional component in their content and amplify it.
Lastly, making memorable content requires meaningful material. In Apple's award-winning "Misunderstood" campaign, the meaning spoke for itself, creating salience in the minds of viewers.
Since holiday content is timely, it helps to get it spreading right away as its window of effectiveness is limited. With this being said, it's still important to have a call to action that is obvious to the reader and that can help you measure its impact. Whether it's a call to share the content, comment, sign up for a mailing list or make a purchase, the "how" should be clear and measurable. If readers click an article encouraging them to subscribe for a holiday discount, the subscription button should be immediately nearby.
Holiday-themed content is a great way to show off you brand's personality and be silly. When done the right way, it can be a great way to gain attention and build brand awareness. As we mentioned before, the key is true creativity. Start planning your holiday-themed content in advance by hosting brainstorm meetings and seeing what other brands have done in your industry.
How do you go about creating holiday-themed content? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.