How to write holiday content that’s authentic to your brand
It’s December, which means just about every brand is pushing holiday-related content. Why not? It’s fun, it’s festive, and it’s relevant… right?
Here’s the thing: If it’s truly relevant – not just because it’s timely, but because it matters to your audience and fits with your brand – then tying your content to the holiday season is a great opportunity to come up with some fun ideas. But if you’re trying to fit that Christmas tree-shaped peg into a square hole, you just might elicit more eye-rolls than warm fuzzies.
When it comes to crafting holiday content that’s authentic to your brand, it’s important to consider your strategy, your audience, and your brand purpose.
TAKE IT BACK TO YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY
Before jumping into a 12 Days of [insert brand here] post/video/infographic/what-have-you, take a beat to think about why you’re producing this content. Even holiday marketing should tie back to your content strategy to be impactful.
What are the key business objectives you’re trying to achieve? Holiday campaigns can be fun to create, but that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to business outcomes.
Are you trying to grow your audience? Check out holiday hashtags, local events, and recent news items that seem to have some traction with the people you want to reach, and look for opportunities to leverage connections with your brand.
Are you trying to increase engagement with your existing audience? Rather than simply posting a survey asking about their favorite Christmas carol or holiday movie, think about content that can give you more insight into how you can further connect. If your brand specializes in home décor or real estate, consider a gingerbread house contest that asks participants to create their dream home, and then use those images to inform your work. What features are common throughout the entries? What does that tell you about your audience’s preferences? Or create a this-or-that poll with images of gingerbread houses highlighting competing features you want to understand the demand for. If your organization hosts fundraising events, maybe a holiday movies poll can inspire ideas based on fan favorites. Does everyone seem to love How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Maybe your event can include a “roast beast” dinner and Whoville-inspired decorations. Are they gravitating more toward Elf? You could use elaborate paper snowflakes to deck the halls and hold a children’s book drive (again, if that makes sense for your brand).
Are you trying to gain new leads? Maybe putting your information in a holiday story-styled ebook will pique readers’ interest. The holidays can be a great chance to shake up your content delivery to your target audience – just make sure your copy is informative and entertaining rather than overtly salesy (using rhyme to make your sales pitch doesn’t make it any less obnoxious, sorry to say).
Content should serve a purpose. If you’re going to create holiday content, make sure it provides insights or information you can use to get the best return on the time you invest in it.
That’s not to say your purpose has to be self-serving. As long as it makes sense for your audience and brand, you can craft holiday content that entertains.
THINK ABOUT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Your audience should be top-of-mind for any content you create. After all, you’re creating said content for their benefit. Don’t lose sight of this as you plan out holiday content, especially if it’s quite different from your norm.
What information would benefit them? Does your organization have educational content that can be more easily digested in a whimsical format? Maybe a video of your employees singing that information to the tune of a well-known holiday song is the way to go. Perhaps an infographic explaining the latest statistics using festive icons and imagery can reinforce the timeliness of the data. Nothing says December data like gingerbread men and snowflakes. (Just make sure the graphics add meaning and are not simply decorative.) Using a holiday angle on relevant, time-based information can open the door to creative outputs.
Do they expect – or want – to be entertained by you? It’s true that entertainment can be a legitimate purpose behind content, but if your audience doesn’t already come to you for entertainment, an attempt to share a Home Alone meme or a post asking readers to comment with their favorite Christmas or Hannukah memory may come across as disingenuous. If your brand is typically more buttoned-up and only shares academic-sounding blog posts about highly technical information, your audience might be more confused than amused by a brand new Tik Tok account featuring your CEO dancing along to “Jingle Bells.” (Also, if this sentence describes your organization’s current content output, we should talk!) That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative, but it might help you determine how far to go down the rabbit-erm-reindeer? hole.
Make sure whatever content you’re creating has your audience at heart. (And not just during the holidays!)
STAY TRUE TO YOUR BRAND VOICE & PURPOSE
Finally, come back to your brand. What’s the brand voice? What’s the brand personality? Why does the brand exist?
And how does holiday-themed content align with that?
If December is the only time your content calendar includes memes, gifs, colorful infographics, lighthearted videos, and blog posts about anything other than your products or services, then your holiday content runs the risk of coming across as gimmicky. Or worse, consumers might find your antics suspicious, and you could lose their trust.
You can still share holiday sentiments, but how much or what kind should align with who you are as a brand and what purpose you serve for your customers.
Think beyond the obvious product or service your provide and go to the root emotions you’re trying to elicit. Is it relief? Confidence? A sense of accomplishment?
Now think about the core themes of the current season. Togetherness. Comfort. Hope.
Where can you create content that brings your brand purpose and the spirit of the holiday season together? If you can do that, your content will be much more authentic to your brand rather than opportunistic and cheesy.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The holiday season offers a great opportunity to shake up your content and reach your audience in a unique and timely way. But you need to make sure that content is intentional, relevant to your audience, and authentic to your brand.
If you’re ready to bring a little more humanity into your content so you can go all out next year, Windy Rose Content & PR can help! Let’s chat.