Holiday content marketing is not the exclusive territory of retailers, nor is it just about Christmas. From Super Bowl Sunday to Festivus, every month and almost every day is a potential celebration. While some of these holidays are just silly and fun, like National Donut Day, they are an opportunity for your business to gain exposure, attract new followers and website visitors, and take advantage of a trending topic. Moreover, with so many “holidays” to choose from, every type of business can make use of holiday content marketing, from law firms to dog walkers.
Each of these holidays, covering almost every conceivable topic and subject, presents an opportunity for a creative and unique marketing campaign. Even if your company has no relationship with Saint Patrick’s Day or Halloween, an imaginative blog or video can boost your exposure, allowing you to break through the online noise and helping you to stand out in the crowd. The starting point is identifying the list of holidays that you would like to participate and then incorporate them into your content calendar.
Types of Holidays
There is a plethora of holidays and observances that include those recognized by the government, those that are culturally significant, one that brings awareness to a cause, many that are just silly, and some that were actually manufactured by marketers. Nevertheless, when used correctly, holiday content marketing can help encourage engagement and introduce your business to a whole new audience.
1. Legal Holidays – Currently the United States Federal Government officially recognizes 10 holidays: New Years, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Moreover, some individual states have there own list of holidays. For example, Minnesota recognizes the Friday after Thanksgiving as a legal holiday for the executive branch.
2. Cultural Holidays – While there is some crossover with legal holidays, there are a significant number of holidays with either cultural or religious significance. The most obvious example is Christmas, but these cultural or religious holidays also include celebrations such as Fat Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter. Nevertheless, even purely secular celebrations, such as Super Bowl Sunday or Groundhog Day, fall into this category.
3. Awareness Holidays – Over the course of a year, there are months, weeks, and days set aside to bring awareness and recognition to specific groups and causes. Some of these are officially recognized through a government proclamation. Others have grown out of the efforts of specific groups and movements. The one that most often comes to mind is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but there are others like White Cane Day, Black History Month, and Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
4. Fun, Silly, and Ridiculous – Some holidays are simply wacky, unique, and made up. But, a holiday has to start somewhere, right? The best such example is Festivus (for the rest of us) which is a holiday inspired by the 1990s sitcom Seinfeld. Regardless, there are more which have been spawned from movies, television, and the internet. They include such celebrations as Summerween (Gravity Falls), Freedom Day (Futurama), and Federation Day (Star Trek)
5. “Hallmark Holiday” – While the name specifically refers to a brand, a “Hallmark holiday” is any holiday perceived, either rightly or wrongly, to have been created for an exclusively commercial purpose, such as selling greeting cards. Examples include Grandparent’s Day and Secretary’s Day. Yet, there are more blatant “Hallmark holidays” such as Black Friday, Christmas in July, and Amazon Prime Day.
Before Adding a Holiday to Your Content Calendar
Of course, not every holiday is a good fit for every business. Before you participate, it is important that you ask yourself several questions.
- Does the holiday conflict with your core values? – An essential component of branding is providing a consistent customer experience. If a specific holiday conflicts with your declared mission, principles, or values, then it is a good idea to take a pass. You don’t want to create content that will cause people to unfollow you or abandon your brand.
- Does the holiday overlap with another holiday or event? – With so many holidays and other events, there are bound to be some crossover. For example, World Cancer Day is on February 4th, which corresponds to the 2018 Super Bowl. While cancer awareness is a worthy cause, you don’t want to get drowned out with a major holiday or celebration.
- Who are you specifically targeting? – It is important that you know and understands your customers wants, goals, interests, and values. Celebrating a holiday may bring additional traffic to your website, but are they your likely buyers? As with all marketing campaigns, you need to know how to speak directly to your audience.
- Is your holiday content marketing timely? – When it comes to holiday content marketing, timing is everything. Just after July 4th, it is the Back-to-School season. September is all about Halloween. Almost before October begins, the focus turns to Christmas. It is important to publish content ahead of the holiday. Every holiday content marketing campaign will capitalize on seasonal searches and trends.
- What do you want to achieve with your holiday content marketing? – Content marketing can have many goals. Do you want to increase social fans and followers? Are you seeking to increase traffic to and engagement with your website? Or, are you specifically linking the holiday to a special offer to increase sales?
Ultimately, holidays and special events are ideal times to build relationships and create an emotional connection with your audience and customers. Moreover, holiday marketing has the power to inspire your customers to share and engage with your content and is one of the best ways to set your brand apart from the competition.
Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about holiday content marketing or a related topic, please leave a comment below.