Create Seasonal Content (Without the Clichés)

02 December 2015

Create Seasonal Content (Without the Clichés)

Creating content that is relevant to the time of year can be an effective way to generate ideas for unique, original content. However, this needs to be done with care to avoid clichéd content that tags a seasonal theme onto something completely unrelated to your industry.

As an example, on November 5th, around half of the email marketing I received contained the words “remember, remember” in the email subject line, referencing the famous “Remember, remember the 5th of November” poem. Not one of these emails was related to fireworks, fire safety or celebrations; instead, titles like, “Remember, remember to buy today!” and even “Remember, remember – culinary experiences!” filled my inbox. Brands were tagging their emails with Bonfire Night themes, without thinking about how the celebration could really relate to what they were selling.

We see this with blog post titles too. “What Christmas can teach us about change management”, “What Easter can teach us about health and safety”, and so on. And while there may be great content in these posts, the forced link to seasonality feels contrived and artificial.

That is not to say that brands should steer clear of seasonal content altogether. Not at all! Because, when it is done cleverly, it can be a really useful way to generate ideas and build content that customers flock to.

For some brands, it is easy. If you are a retailer of goods that are typically given as gifts, blog posts about ideal Christmas presents for mums, or great Secret Santa gifts for colleagues, make complete sense and can encourage buyer behaviour, too.

For niches where it is a little more difficult, a useful question to ask can be “How does what we do fit into the season we are writing about?”. Not “How can we fit this season into what we do?”.

Our work at DBD Media is relevant to e-commerce stores, so we wrote a month-to-month guide to managing Q4 in retail. The stats and advice we shared are timely and relevant to the season, but we kept our focus on serving the needs of our potential audience. A massage therapist might write a blog post recommending ways to reduce stress over the Christmas period. Or a gym could write a series of blog posts throughout January about sticking to New Year resolutions and keeping fit.

Instead of asking yourself how you can shoehorn Christmas – or any other season – into your content plan, instead think beyond the obvious (“Ho, ho, ho!”) and establish what your customer really needs at this point in the year. How can you help them? What can you offer them that they would truly appreciate?