20 Holiday Content Ideas for Web Marketers
If you haven’t heard any holiday music yet, expect a Christmas song to come wafting your way any moment now. The holiday season is officially upon us.
While the holiday season means presents, meals, and festive decorations for most, for marketers it also means getting into gear for the biggest buying season of the year.
A lot of that work will fall to more direct advertising channels like PPC and traditional advertising, but content marketers can put their holiday spirit to use by creating content around topics people are interested in and thinking about this time of year.
Here are twenty ways to bring the holidays into your content marketing efforts this year (and hopefully drive some new sales for your business).
1. Holiday Gift Guide
One of the best places to start is with a content type that perfectly combines the content marketing goal of providing value to your audience while also highlighting your products at the same time. One of the biggest concerns many people have at this time of year is trying to figure out what gifts to buy for their loved ones. A gift guide supplies them with ideas.
Consider creating several gift guides for different audiences. You could make one for grandma, another for dad, one of office friends, etc. You could even get cute with it like Modcloth does with categories like the Animal Lover and the Snuggle Bug.
2. A Roundup of Good Causes
In addition to spending money on gifts, people are often in a more giving spirit this time of year when it comes to good causes. You can help them by highlighting some good nonprofits to consider for their charitable donations this year.
If possible, find a way to tie this back to your company or brand. If you run a local business, you could make a list of local causes and charities to include. If you run a pet store, you could focus on animal welfare charities. If there’s not a clear charitable cause related to your business, then think about the values you have as a business and start there.
To make the post even more meaningful, consider offering to match donations your readers give to the charities highlighted or provide a portion of the profits for purchases they make to the charity of their choice.
3. Content About Your Own Company’s Giving
People are in the spirit of giving this season, but in addition to their own contributions to worthy causes, they’re also more likely to appreciate knowing that a business they support is working to do good as well.
This is a good opportunity to share the ways your company gives back to the community and those in need – which you already do, right? If not, this is a good time of year to get in the giving spirit yourself and look for ways to start doing so.
4. Festive Photos
Holidays often provide an excuse to decorate or dress up. You can add some character to your blog and show the humans behind your brand by sharing images of your staff and their pets in holiday garb and your office decked out for the holidays.
You can share your festive photos on social media and even call for submissions from your customers to share their own cute or fun holiday-themed photos.
5. Holiday Healthy Eating Tips
One of the best things about the holidays is all that delicious food. One of the worst things about the holidays is all that (unhealthy) delicious food.
In addition to gift buying and charitable giving, something many people will have on their minds this time of year is how to navigate being around loads of delicious foods while staying healthy. Content that addresses this tricky issue can be helpful for your readers. This is an especially good topic to explore if your business is in an industry related to health.
6. Holiday Party Tips
Your readers will probably be going to (and hosting) more parties in November and December than any other time of year. This is another topic you can address that you know they’ll be thinking about.
Your content can cover how to dress for holiday parties, office party etiquette, what’s appropriate to bring, or how to be a good host – pretty much anything that might help those holiday parties be more of a success.
7. Holiday Safety Tips
The holidays can feel like all fun and games, but you also have to worry about staying safe during the busiest travel times of the year, dealing with huge (sometimes stampeding) crowds at stores, and extreme cold temperatures in some places. There are some real safety risks for people to be aware of and prepared for this time of year.
Another topic that’s therefore likely to useful to your readers is ways to stay safe during the holiday season. Think about some of the challenges and safety risks the people in your audience will be dealing with and work up content with tips on how to stay safe.
8. Holiday Travel Tips
Safety is just one issue of many to be concerned with when traveling in November and December. There’s a whole host of travel-related issues people could use help with from how to pack (especially if you’re transporting lots of gifts across the country), how to find the best flight deals, or how to avoid routes with the worst traffic.
Brainstorm issues that your audience is likely to face when traveling for the holidays and work up some content to help them proactively solve likely problems.
9. Holiday Saving Tips
For all the fun of the presents, parties, and food that come with the holidays – they’re not easy on the pocketbook. Between gifts for everyone you know, big meals, and expensive travel, a lot of people in your audience are probably struggling to figure out how to have a fun, fulfilling holiday season without ending up broke at the end of it all.
That makes holiday spending and saving best practices another useful area for your content to cover.
10. Recipe Posts
Whether they’re hosting parties, attending potlucks, or simply cooking with the family, chances are your customers will be making some food and drinks over the next couple of months. Help them try out something new by providing creative, festive recipes. If you sell something consumable that people can use in a recipe, all the better.
11. Review Posts
People will be considering a lot of purchases over the next couple of months and will struggle with knowing which items are good buys worth the money.
You can help by writing review posts of products that people in your industry are likely to be interested in. An honest review that provides information someone interested in the product would need to know can help them make a more informed decision before buying and earn you trust (and traffic).
12. Holiday Promotion Emails
A lot of the ideas up until now have been focused on providing value to the reader, which is obviously a big part of content marketing. But of course, at some point you should be a little more direct in pushing for a sale.
Emails to your list are a good place to do that. Let them know about the promotions and deals you’re offering to try to drive them back to the site to buy.
13. Customer Thanks Emails
Your customers are the people who keep your business running year by year. This is a good time of year to show your gratitude (especially if you do it right around Thanksgiving).
Email your customers to let them know how much they mean to you, and consider throwing a special promotion into the email just for them.
14. Holiday Advent Calendar
Advent calendars are a fun holiday tradition because they dangle the promise of a new surprise every day.
You can adapt the fun of advent calendars to marketing by creating a digital advent calendar that provides your users with a new promotion or message each day leading up to Christmas. There are even templates and WordPress plug-ins to help you with the technical side of creating an advent calendar.
15. End-of-Year Trends Posts
Yes, they’re a familiar content staple. But they’re popular for a reason.
As the end of the year approaches, consider the main trends in your space from the past year and what you expect to be a big deal in the coming year, and work up a post letting your readers know what to expect.
16. End-of-Year Bests Posts
If you’ve been doing content marketing at least since the beginning of last year, then you’ve built up a lot of good content this year. Go back and identify your best pieces and put them into roundup posts that help your visitors revisit the best you have to offer.
If you’ve been following other great content in your industry closely this year, then go ahead and work up posts highlighting the best of that content, too. Spreading a little love to other relevant blogs and companies may earn you some shares and links from them, and provide your audience with useful information at the same time.
17. Get Creative with Rewards
The holidays are about giving, so think about ways you can give back to your customers that are creative and enticing. That could mean offering a special physical holiday gift for referrals instead of your usual $20 off, or adding on a mystery item to orders over a certain amount. Cards Against Humanity rewards their holiday customers with 12 days of surprise gifts that have included such bizarre rewards as a lump of coal or part of a private island.
You don’t have to go that far into the unexpected, but getting creative can inspire similar interest and delight in your customers and keep them talking about your brand.
18. Create a Holiday Quiz
Quizzes are great because they’re interactive and fun, and they help both you and the person taking them learn something new.
Think about something relevant to the holiday you can focus your quiz on, like “What Type of Gift Giver Are You?” or a roundup of interesting holiday trivia. If you can find a way to tie it back into your brand, then do, but it can also be worth doing just as something fun to offer your audience that gets them interacting with your brand.
19. Create a Game
Games are another fun way to get your audience to engage with your brand. Creating a holiday game will involve some real work, but if it attracts new customers to your website or gets people talking about your brand, it can pay off.
The shoe company Bobbies created a branded game for Christmas that was played over 400,000 times by users that happily shared their information with the company. If you make brand interaction fun, people will have no reason not to partake.
20. New Year’s Resolutions Posts
The last of the big holidays of the season is the one that heralds in the beginning of the New Year, and we all know what that means: resolutions. People tend toward a few main themes when making New Year’s resolutions – getting healthier and getting finances in order are big ones.
Think about ways your products can make your customers happier, healthier or more responsible and use those ideas to help inspire you in writing up a post about making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions.
As with any other time of year, the key to creating great content during the holiday season is to think about your customer first. If you can tap into what they’re concerned about, excited about, or just generally thinking about, then you can create content that speaks to what they care about.
Where possible, tie it back into your brand and products and include relevant CTAs, but don’t try to force it. Sometimes an opportunity to interact and build on your relationship with them is enough.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.