How to Create Seasonal Content- Without Being Cheesy

Death, taxes, and… pumpkin spice lattes? Yes, some things really are certain in life, and seasonal trends are some of them.

As the weather gets colder and holiday decorations start to spring up around town, many companies take seasonal trends into consideration when planning their digital marketing strategy. After all, paying attention to seasonal trends can help you capture buyers’ attention in fun, creative ways that may be a little outside of what you normally do.

However, when you’re thinking about incorporating a seasonal trend into your content marketing plan, you’ve got to be careful. Sure, the holidays are about family, friends, and warm fuzzy feelings- but that doesn’t always translate to engaging content. It’s all too easy for holiday-themed content to slip into a red-and-greened vortex of reindeer puns or “Elfing” your executive team- and things can get cheesy, quick. So how do you reconcile seasonal cheer with seasonal content?

First, make sure to avoid overused holiday clichés. By now, everyone and their mother has “elfed” themselves online and sent it to their friends and family. Sure, it’s funny, but is it relevant to your business and brand? Probably not. Also, think long and hard before relying on some of the following overused holiday clichés for your digital marketing:

  • “Christmas came early”

  • “It’s beginning to look a lot like…”

  • “’Tis the season”

  • “Naughty or nice”

  • Any parody of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

These sayings are great for holiday cards, but relying on them too heavily in your content marketing campaign makes you look unoriginal and uninspired to your audience. You can do better!

Instead of relying on hackneyed holiday sayings, bring the focus back on your product and service, and stay true to your brand. For example, a local coffee shop might make a gift guide for the caffeine-addict in your life, or a bakery could create an infographic giving a tongue-in-cheek overview of the most popular cookies to leave for Santa over the years.

Whatever you do, make sure it’s relevant to your business; for example, gift guides are great for e-commerce businesses, but it wouldn’t make sense for a doctor’s office to come out with a holiday gift guide, because there’s no clear tie-in to their service. Your association between your content piece and your business should be immediately clear to your audience.

One way to add a unique twist to seasonal content is by tying in pop culture and current events that are appropriate for your brand. Oreo famously did this with their Super Bowl tweet in 2013. For this content marketing strategy, consider what your customers are talking about (which you should know from your persona research). Are they listening to Taylor Swift’s new album? Worried about this year’s polar vortex? Debating which teams will make the college football playoff? Whatever it is, insert yourself in the conversation in a way that’s funny and original while also giving a unique perspective. The holidays are a social time of year, so connecting holidays to pop culture or other events that people widely care about gives you some certainty that your audience will engage with your content.

Seasonal content is a wonderful way to change up your typical content marketing strategy; however, build your seasonal content strategy with your brand and your audience at the forefront of your mind. By doing this, your content will stand out from the rest of the tinsel-laden crowd and provide an actual value to your customers.

Header image courtesy of Flickr user SurFeRGiRL30