One of the quickest ways to come up with content ideas for your editorial calendar is to use themes based on seasons, holidays and events. You may already incorporate major holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day into your content marketing strategy, but if that’s where your seasonal content creation ends, you could be missing out on a treasure-trove.
What’s It All About?
Your first option is to create content based on an actual season (spring, summer, fall or winter). This type of content can have a broader theme and is often evergreen.
The second type of seasonal content focuses on an observance, such as the aforementioned Turkey Day or Fourth of July.
Highlighting a time of year or event can be an outstanding way to attract and engage your audience. Finding themes, topics and thoughts that pique their interest and then sharing your blog post, infographic or other content at just the right time are the keys to optimum engagement.
Everybody’s Doing It
Including major holidays may seem like a no-brainer, but that doesn’t mean you should take the practice lightly. Your competitors will certainly be posting content during these events as well, so making your content stand out is essential.
As with any type of content, knowing your audience is the foundation of your creation. What makes your followers feel happy, nostalgic, anxious or even sad about the time of year or observance? What can you offer that augments the positive feelings or diminishes those undesirable emotions?
Originality is vital, as well. Overused holiday images, monotonous articles and repetitive videos inundate people scrolling through their feeds. Why should they linger long enough to look at yours? They will when it is unlike everything else they are seeing and they connect with it on a personal level.
Beyond The Biggies
We have no way of knowing when you are reading this, but you can bet that today is a holiday. Check out sites such as Checkiday.com, DaysoftheYear.com and NationalDayCalendar.com to discover a goldmine of ideas. There is literally something to celebrate on any given day, week or month of the year.
You don’t have to (and really shouldn’t) create content based on every single celebration. Instead, look for those that are most likely to connect with your audience or that relate directly to your business. For instance, if you market to foodies you could write about National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12). Perhaps your audience would be more interested in Great Outdoors Month (June), Fire Prevention Week (the second week in October), or National Pawnbrokers Day (December 6).
How And When To Use It
Just as you create particular types of content for specific sharing platforms, some observances may be ideal for one channel but not another. You might be able to pen a lengthy blog post centered on Make Your Dream Come True Day (January 13), while Date Your Mate Month (May, by the way) might be superb fodder for a series of tweets or Facebook posts.
If you need some ideas on angles, turn to your favorite keyword research resources. As always, you want to create content that is not only unique but also valuable and relevant to your followers. Tools such as Google Trends can provide great insight. For instance, if you search “grilled cheese sandwich” on Google Trends you will discover that people are searching for grilled cheese recipes.
Timing is another important consideration. The content type will help determine your posting schedule. Sharing a blog post providing tips on being a true pal for Friendship Day (first Sunday in August) a week or two in advance allows ample time for readers to view and share it, but you would probably opt to post a quote on the observance on Facebook the same day.
Refresh, Repurpose And Re-Promote
Seasons come and go and come again. As you plan your editorial calendar, dig up your existing seasonal content. Clean it up, bring it up to date and offer it to your audience anew.
Another option is to change last year’s blog post and transform it into something new: a SlideShare presentation, infographic or series of status updates, for example. Convert a collection of tips into photo quotes or a written tutorial into a video. Provide additional value while getting the most out of your existing content.
Have fun with seasonal content while giving your followers something they can use.
Writer, editor and client advocate specializing in reputation management, content marketing, technology and non-profit topics.