I realize that it isn’t even Fall yet and you are probably rolling your eyes right now. Holiday content marketing ideas? Why would I be jumping into the festive season so soon? Personally, I think it is a good idea to prepare for the holiday season as soon as possible, because it is one of the most crucial times of the year.

People are off of work and have time to read or view more media. They are searching in the months ahead for gift ideas. Spending time and money are pretty much expected. The sooner you get to work, the more benefits you are going to reap.

Here are ten content marketing ideas for those holly jolly holiday months to come.

With seasonal content,

  • You can achieve higher conversions because people are in a hurry to buy in time for the holidays
  • You can generate more shares because people are always willing to share what meets their needs at this very moment

When to publish?

There’s no single opinion as to how to time your seasonal content. It’s obvious it should be published before the holiday (when the trend happens), but how far in advance? One month before a trend? Two weeks or two months?

The thing is, you want more people interested in the topic (so the publication should be close enough for it to catch the trend) but you want your content to be shared for weeks before the trend dies out, so you don’t want to be too late too!

According to a BigCommerce projection, if an organization wants to participate in over 90 percent of the search traffic around a given holiday, content specific to a seasonal event needs to be published at least 45 days prior.

Based on Google Trends, your biggest content asset should be live when a trend starts picking up (not to lose readers’ interest by the time it’s a hot season).

Other smart marketers suggest publishing at least some content on the day of the actual holiday because other publishers are quiet, so you have lower competition (this is called “Contra-Competitive Timing“).

I say, if you have several content pieces planned, start as early as right after Thanksgiving. If you are planning one huge piece, wait until beginning of December to get more people willing to share.

Ten Holiday Content Marketing Ideas

Do an Annual Roundup Post

Annual Roundup Post

Example: Happy Holidays to All from Viral Content Bee

The holiday roundup is a popular way of pointing people back to interesting or popular posts from the past year. I love doing this around the New Year and it often completely reinvigorates the traffic, giving it a new shelf life and a nice little boost of views.

I always make sure to include a couple that didn’t get the attention I wanted them to, so they have a chance to be seen the second time around.

Give Away Some Gifts

Is there another site with whom you have a good relationship that sells a product or offers a service?? Consider asking them if they would like to do a giveaway to your users (it is some great PR).

You can try the BloggingConcentrated idea and collect other influencers’ products into one bundle to sell over the holidays. That would make a great gift bloggers can give each other!

BloggingConcentrated

Or, if you have a product such as an ebook or something you sell, try offering a couple of free ones to lucky winners as well. You can even ask for a social media share as an “entry fee”.

Do a Weekly Theme Series

In a set time before the holiday you can launch a theme series that focuses on the season to hype up the final day. For example, a lot of sites do “The 12 Days of Christmas”. You could do an entire month, however, or even just a single week. It depends on what you have to offer.

I prefer to do it a month in advance, with a single post per week dedicated to the theme. That leaves me open to business as usual posts on the days between, while giving a special treat to loyal followers.

Let People In On Your Traditions

What do you and your family do on the holidays? You would be surprised by how many people are interested in finding out. I love discovering the activities others cherish during the holidays and enjoy sharing my own.

Take photos, videos, explain traditions and introduce your readers to your world.

Tell Some Holiday Tales

Every time someone new is introduced to my extended family, such as a new partner or spouse, my aunt tells them the Christmas Tree Story.

This is the tale of her very worst Christmas experience, trying to get a tree that was way too big home on top of her small car, losing it along the way, getting it back up, losing it again, accidentally destroying a couple of expensive gifts she had also bought, spilling 4 liters of eggnog and smashing her car window. Your tales may be less harrowing but almost certainly worth writing out.

Emphasize the Importance of Family

I don’t just mean your real family. Take about families in all their incarnations, including the community you are building.

Foster that sense of belonging and acceptance, showing your readers how much you appreciate them and what they bring to your site.

Dirjournal is doing great holiday roundups every years, like this one, for example.

Get a Little Snarky

One of my all time favorite holiday marketing campaigns came from HotelTonight. They pointed out that no matter how much you love your family, you don’t always get along.

HotelTonight

Especially when you are in one house with a lot of them. So they suggest you visit, but instead of staying with family you let them find you a hotel. It was a snarky, amusing ad campaign that a lot of us can relate to.

Put Together a Special Deal

Dollar Shave Club put together a special holiday themed shaving box that can be given as gifts to someone else. They also have gift subscriptions. This is a great idea that you can use yourself if you have products to sell.

You can also put together a holiday roundup of deals like Colorlib did with their roundup of WordPress deals.

Black Friday WordPress Deals & Offers

Take a Chance to Expand Your Media

Not everything has to be a written post. You can make the holidays your starting point for expanding into other forms of media, which can really help your content marketing in the future.

For instance, you could start making YouTube videos, screen-casting interviews and talks, recording podcasts, making slideshows, creating infographics… your potential is limitless here. The holidays give you a solid theme to grab onto as you move forward.

Get Your Viewers Making The Content

User content is one of my favorite content marketing ideas. You get them directly involved, which does much of the work for you. It also gives the users a sense of pride, so they will be eager to share their own contributions.

How you do this is up to you, but make sure you promote it with a hashtag campaign, heavily relying on social media to get people involved and to share the results. If they are uploading their contributions to Twitter it will be seen by a wider audience.

A hashtag for the event will allows others to see what is being put out there. A roundup post of the best will give you even more content to go over.

Holiday Content Marketing Tools

  • News Map: I will admit it, I love visual representation of information: Infographics, charts, graphs… I go nuts for them. This is an interactive and live updating map that illustrates the hottest news topics based on region. Not only is it awesome as a trend watcher but it is oddly relaxing to see all of the stories scrolling by. But maybe that is just me.
    It’s a great way to monitor holiday trends and hashtags!
  • Use Cyfe to schedule a series of social media updates across Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Pinterest:

 

  • If you do everything right, you’ll have a big traffic boost over the holidays. Be prepared by making sure your web hosting is reliable and consistent by monitoring their profile at Sitegeek
  • Try this tool create digital magazines that repackage your holiday content and media

 

  • Always make sure that you publish original content, no matter what the season. Try tools like PlagiarismCheck to keep your content marketing unique
plagiarismcheck

In the end you can look at the holidays as a great opportunity for creating content that resonates with people on a deep level. They have grown up with the season representing certain feelings and ideas, which you can take advantage of when creating your own content.

Do you have any ideas for campaigns during the holiday season? Have some examples of it being done right? Let us know in the comments!

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Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, founder of MyBlogU.com and manager at ViralContentBee.

You can learn more
about Ann here.

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