Creating seasonal digital marketing campaigns can have an immensely positive impact on your ROI (return on investment). People enjoy being mindful of the changing of seasons. They also love holiday content and looking forward to their favorite times of the year.
You can engage prospects and customers with seasonal content via email marketing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing. Here’s how it works:
- Email marketing: Send seasonal content directly to prospects’ inboxes. You can add a seasonal emoji to the subject line to increase engagement.
- Social media marketing: Seasons and holidays catch peoples’ attention online. From memes about the weather to holiday-related hashtags, you can stand out by sending a heartwarming or humorous social media message.
- Inbound marketing content: Helpful blog posts always draw attention, especially if they’re friendly and informative. You can tie seasons and holidays into just about any type of business or marketing, even if you haven’t thought about it first. For example, a real estate agent or mortgage company might blog about curb appeal or preparing a home for sale in various seasons of the year.
Most people indicate that holidays and seasonal changes are some of their most challenging but favorite times of the year. As someone who wants to solve their pain points, think about what you can do to make your audience members’ lives easier with everything you post. This service-focused mentality goes hand-in-hand with seasonal content.
What Type of Businesses Should Create Seasonal Content?
Seasonal content works for most businesses, though it can be a challenge when marketing internationally. In the Northeastern United States, folks get a dose of each season of the year—but when they’re going to the beach during summer, it’s still freezing cold in parts of Russia.
That said, people still search for seasonal content, and the following types of businesses can do well with it:
1. E-commerce Stores
E-commerce stores tend to sell seasonal products. Any blogs about holiday gifts, seasonal products, and more might boost an e-commerce site’s visibility on Google. Searchers are savvy—they’ll Google things like “2019 best gifts for women.” How will you make sure they find your store? Content.
2. Seasonal Businesses and Businesses with Seasonally Rotating Stock
Farm and tractor stores or mega-Walmarts with home and garden sections are very big on rotating stock seasonally. The same goes for any business specializing in home décor, or even grocery stores rotating their seasonal food offerings.
3. Local Businesses
Many small, local businesses depend largely on their communities. If this describes your business, you’re probably aware of the local Chamber of Commerce and SBA (Small Business Association) activities—and you know a lot of them are seasonal. Take this opportunity to engage online and off.
4. The Importance of Seasonal Updates
Think about your favorite sports team. You know exactly what they’re doing during their season, but what about their off-seasons? Where do they train? When do they get to spend time with family and friends, focusing on hobbies? There’s no way to know about this fascinating stuff unless sports teams post seasonal updates.
The seasonal update strategy also helps build hype for the sports season. This strategy also works for any business experiencing a holiday sale boom (or drought—you can offer sales), as well as tie in useful, seasonal-related themes to your marketing processes.
5. Seasonal Selling is Emotional Selling
When it comes to different seasons and holidays, most people have very strong feelings about them. Think about what happens when fall hits: pumpkin spice lovers abound, and they post all about their love for pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin-scented things. Those who enjoy Halloween are spellbound by the prospect of their favorite holiday coming up.
Most of us have very strong emotional connections to the change of seasons. What were holidays like for you as a child? How does the first snowfall of the year make you feel? These emotional touchpoints are ideal for marketing because they elicit an emotional response and allow you to tie seasonal and holiday-related feelings to your prospects’ favorite things.
6. Employ Graphic Design and More
Even if you think about the Christmas holiday alone, there are so many elements of it in the public domain. Old Christmas carols, royalty-free images of lit-up, decorated trees, and hot cocoa with Santa Claus. You can further evoke emotion from your audience by tying together strong visual elements, such as the aforementioned images as well as colors.
We tend to think of seasons in relationship to colors:
- Winter: Blue and white colors, like a snowy landscape. Also, Hanukkah colors. Concerning Christmas, we tend to think of red, green, and metallics.
- Spring: All about growth, we think about the verdant green colors when it comes to spring. Floral, pastel colors also remind people of spring and the Easter Holiday. Don’t forget the many shades of green for St. Patrick’s Day.
- Summer: Summer is all about those beachy, breezy colors, like how a beach house might be decorated. Yellows and faded pastels abound, and the blue of the ocean is a summer staple. For Independence Day, don’t forget your red, white, and blue.
- Fall: We associate fall with the harvest, and rich browns and oranges, like the dead leaves from the trees. We also think of Halloween, which usually has orange and black colors, as well as ghostly whites and magical purples.
In addition to visual elements, seasonal and holiday-themed royalty-free musical elements aren’t too difficult to come by. Additionally, creating text and visual elements related to holidays and seasons is also like a bit of reward—enjoying your hot chocolate just before the first snowfall. It can be a real morale booster for your design and writing teams.
7. Holiday Content Warning
Unfortunately, holiday content may also be controversial for some members of your audience. Think about the Starbucks holiday cups, and how some Starbucks customers are offended because the cups are not specifically Christmas-themed. There’s a similar debate about saying “Happy Holidays,” which is more inclusive of all winter holidays, versus “Merry Christmas.”
While tapping into your audience’s emotions, you also run the risk of hitting some nerves or alienating some audience members. For anyone struggling, the winter holidays, in particular, can be a very challenging time. For those who don’t celebrate the more popular holidays, it’s marginalizing to see everything light up Christmas, including favorite brands.
You can tackle this in two ways:
- Happy Holidays! Go with a generic happy holidays message and stick to those wintry colors. If your product isn’t religious, does your messaging have to be? Of course, it’s a different story if you sell Bibles.
- Targeted messaging: Do you want to send different advertising messages to people who celebrate different holidays? With Facebook, that’s easy. You can send Christmas, Ramadan, and Hanukkah messages to those who celebrate those holidays and have their religions listed on their profiles.
8. Create Some Evergreen Campaigns
Some of your best content should be evergreen. Evergreen content requires little maintenance and doesn’t expire. If you want to get the most for your money when hiring a content writer for your seasonal content, go this route. You’ll invest once in the content creation, and you’ll have a blog that makes sense indefinitely, Google-able again and again, year after year, season after season.
Tips and friendly, educational content often falls into this category.
10. Create One-Year-Only Campaigns
Especially when it comes to winter holidays, people want to know what’s new. What’s the hottest toy, latest item, or even the latest marketing trend? You need to tell people what’s hot in the present year before you can get them to click and buy it.
11. Seasonal Marketing Campaign Masterlist
Now that you know the how and why of seasonal campaign marketing, let’s take a look at what you actually want to create. To begin with, it must be genuine and of use to your audience. If you’re a niche-based business, you should also consider how to put a niche-focused spin on any of these topics. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Tips and Tricks Posts (Evergreen)
- How to Winterize Your Home.
- How to Winterize Your Boat.
- Safe and Efficient Holiday Decoration Storage Tips.
- Best Spring Garden Tips for New Homeowners.
- How to Start a Garden: 10 Steps.
- How to Protect Your Home When You’re Away on Summer Vacation.
- Three Luxuries to Improve Your Winter.
- Frozen Pipes: Should You Call a Plumber?
- 8 Rituals to Welcome the New Year.
Year-Focused Posts (Timely)
- The Hottest Toys of 2020.
- Top Gifts for Women, Christmas 2020.
- Top Gifts for Men, Christmas 2020.
- Best Gifts for ____ Enthusiasts.
- Predictions in _____ For 2020.
- Best Christmas Lights in [Town] 2020.
- Where to See Mrs. Claus and Her Husband in [Town], 2020.
Given these examples, you probably get the idea.
12. Make Seasonal Campaign Social
After emotional attachment, engagement is the other piece of the marketing pie when it comes to seasonal and holiday-related content. It’s one thing for a user to scroll past a springy image with a cute bunny; it’s another for them to remember your brand name, interact with the post, and even send more suggestions.
For various life reasons, holidays are sensitive times for many people. Some don’t feel accepted at home; others are busy and stressed. While that seems chaotic, it’s an optimal time to meet your prospects where they are—and most of them are on social media. Let’s take a look at what you can do on social media sites.
- Facebook: People generally enjoy posting seasonal and holiday content on Facebook. From gifs of falling snow to complaints about the weather, it’s always on their minds on this platform. Many also post personal pictures of their families doing seasonal activities, like apple-picking, going to the beach, or sitting near some presents. Maybe you could challenge them to engage and share their seasonal joys.
- Twitter: Twitter thrives on hashtags, and those are your best bet for expanding your audience (and engaging them) as seasons change. Hashtags like #autumn and #Christmas do well.
- Instagram: Instagram is a paragon of efficient visual representations. On this platform, your audience expects an aesthetic. You’d do well posting some images of changing leaves when fall comes around.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is full of how-to content centering on holiday crafts. If you can sponsor something like this, it might draw more people to your site. Bold, big, beautiful images are the way to go.
- Tik Tok: Tik Tok is the latest video platform. Users often dress up as characters or wear goofy hats to produce small snippets of video content. Why not join in the fun? Elves and leprechauns are welcome.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a more professional platform, but heartfelt messages during holidays and seasonal changes are generally well-regarded as professional.
Lastly, don’t forget about taking inspiration from your audience. When it comes to holidays and seasons, people love interacting, telling you about their favorite stories, and more. You can ask them what they’re most looking forward to about their favorite seasons and holidays, what types of events they have planned, and even what book they might be interested in reading at the beach or by the fire.
Once your audience generates those responses, you could toss their quotes into a lovely image or blog post depicting all the things that make your audience happy during otherwise stressful times of the year. This is a heartfelt strategy, and it’s also very uplifting.
While there are potential pitfalls to seasonal and holiday-related marketing, it’s usually a safe bet for most brands. Remember cultural sensitivity, but also know you’ll grow your fan and customer base by including holidays in your content.