Whether it’s building content for traditional holidays like Christmas or for less common dates like National Puppy Day, marketers often don’t leave themselves enough time to prep the creative, copy, and promotions to effectively deploy seasonal content on time. This procrastination often results in wasted time and effort as well as a wasted opportunity to engage with customers.
But with a little bit of foresight and planning, marketers can successfully create seasonal content that resonates with their target audiences. Here’s why planning is crucial and how marketers can ensure that promotions make it out the door on time.
The Benefits of Pre-Planning for Seasonal Content
Because many of the major holidays happen on the same day every year, it’s easy to mark these in a content calendar ahead of time. For all other relevant events, whether it’s an annual industry conference or an event that’s important to customers (like Black Friday-Cyber Monday for e-commerce merchants), marketers should still plan ahead.
Why, exactly? The only downside is that pre-planning requires marketers to get organized well ahead of any important dates—and while they may need to front-load their workload to get their ducks in a row, the planning is worth all the benefits.
Save Time and Effort
As we mentioned, a little planning can go a long way when it comes to getting high-quality seasonal content out the door.
When seasonal content is planned in advance, that means marketers don’t need to scramble to put something together ad hoc. That means marketers have the time to research and create a unique piece of content that can resonate with their customers rather than simply fade away as soon as it’s posted.
One excellent example of this is Shopify’s Black Friday-Cyber Monday toolbox. Prepping this seasonal content hub months ahead of time helped marketers build and curate resources that helped customers make the most of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Make Other Content Pop with Seasonally Relevant Content
As we mentioned, evergreen content—that content you create that isn’t time-sensitive and is useful year-round—is typically the primary pillar in a marketer’s content strategy. This type of content serves as a handy resource for customers and often boosts a website’s SEO.
Seasonal content, on the other hand, can help marketers gain more visibility and reach with general audiences. So, seasonally relevant content can help get a new and wider range of eyeballs on content while evergreen content keeps customers coming back for more.
This example from Poo Pourri is an extension of the brand’s ongoing series of humorous-but-effective ads for its bathroom products. In the lead up to Christmas, the brand created an “Even Santa Poops” commercial to push its products as ideal gifts. And the results speak for themselves. This commercial garnered almost 20 million views on YouTube.
Give Older Content a Boost
When marketers create seasonal content, they don’t always need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. If they’ve already created great resources to help their customers bolster sales on Black Friday, for example, then there’s no need to recreate the same content. Marketers can simply update and repurpose that existing Black Friday resource and promote it to customers.
Not only does repurposing seasonal content save marketers time, but updating it can boost its effectiveness. According to Orbit Media Studios, updating old blog content can boost results up to 74%.
How Far Ahead Should You Plan Seasonal Content?
Getting started early obviously has its benefits. But exactly how early should marketers plan their seasonal content?
During the slow season (or general downtime), build a content roadmap for the rest of the year. Set up a content calendar and fill in important holidays, events relevant to your industry, and any other important dates that require content.
Once all those important dates for the year are in place, follow these two simple timelines. Using these rules of thumb, create a schedule to ensure there’s plenty of lead time to write the accompanying copy and create any relevant visuals:
- Plan content 90 days out. Marketers should give themselves a full three months to research, write, and also finalize the copy for seasonal content.
- Plan creative 70 days out. Don’t forget the visuals. Set aside time to plan those out about a month and half ahead of the corresponding holiday or event. Because the copy generally informs the graphics for seasonal content, it’s wise to at least get a solid draft first.
2019 Holidays Marketers Should Add to Their Content Calendar
To make it easier for marketers to fill out those newly created content calendars, we’ve rounded up commonly commemorated events in three different categories.
U.S. Federal Holidays for 2019
First off, this is a definitive list of all the statutory holidays for the rest of 2019. It’s wise to add these to your content calendar, if you haven’t already, so you can start planning.
- Memorial Day: Monday, May 27
- Independence Day: Thursday, July 4
- Labor Day: Monday, September 2
- Columbus Day: Monday, October 14
- Veterans Day: Monday, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 28
- Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25
Other Noteworthy U.S. Holidays for 2019
While these aren’t statutory holidays (meaning that everyone gets the day off), these are important dates to note that mark major religious or cultural events that many in the U.S. celebrate:
- Tax Day: Monday, April 15
- Good Friday: Friday, April 19
- Easter: Sunday, April 21
- Cinco de Mayo: Sunday, May 5
- Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 12
- Father’s Day: Sunday, June 16
- Halloween: Thursday, October 31
- Black Friday: Friday, November 29
- Small Business Saturday: Saturday, November 30
- Cyber Monday: Monday, December 2
Obscure and Informal Holidays for 2019
When it comes to wacky reasons to celebrate, there are plenty of obscure and odd events that marketers can incorporate into their content calendar. From National Margarita Day to Pi Day to National Hot Dog Day, there’s a wealth of events that can drive interest and reach at strategic points in the year.
While there’s no shortage of these kinds of events (realistically, there’s at least one of these per week in 2019), here are some highlighted holidays that may work well in a marketer’s content calendar:
- Waffle Day: Monday, March 25
- National Beer Day: Sunday, April 7
- National Pet Day: Thursday, April 11
- Bike to Work Day: Friday, May 17
- National Donut Day: Friday, June 7
- Video Games Day: Monday, July 8
- National French Fry Day: Saturday, July 13
- National Coffee Day: Sunday, Sept. 29
- Astronomy Day: Saturday, Oct. 5
- World Kindness Day: Wednesday, Nov. 13
- America Recycles Day: Friday, Nov. 15
- National Cupcake Day: Sunday, Dec. 15
For the full roundup of fun holidays to include in your content calendar, check out Holiday Calendar’s full list.
Moving Forward with Seasonal Content Planning
With this list of the advantages of planning ahead for seasonal content and a roundup of key dates for the year ahead, marketers can confidently move forward.
A little foresight and pre-planning are the key factors that can determine the success of seasonal content. With a solid plan in place, marketers can create seasonal content that engages both current and prospective customers and helps achieve their business goals.