Whether spirits are bright or Scrooge-mode is setting in, emotions are a-flurry this time of year. Now’s the time to connect with your audience by tapping into those seasonal sentiments. We’re not talking “Season’s Greetings” e-cards with Jingle Bell jangles—you’re more clever than that. Here are five topics that spell engaging content for readers muddling through the holi-daze.
1. Be the Shoulder to (Buy) On
Seasonally-induced stress results in tons of digital griping. Be the “we hear ya” brand. Commiseration is a form of empathy, which will endear you to your readers. Let them know that you know just how trying the holidays can be. Then brainstorm some ways that your product/service could help make their lives easier. Burt’s Bees nails the formula in this recent Facebook post:
The leading hook, “Does holiday shopping stress you out?”, resonates with, well, everyone. The ad identifies pain points then provides a prettily-packaged solution. Copy is key! The alliteration/assonance/consonance of “Stuffed stress free, naturally” soothes the reader into submission (kudos to that copywriter!). Readers respond to brands that get them more than Holiday-cheerleaders.
2. Show Off Your Tips & Tricks
Expectations run high around the holidays. We’re all looking to conjure that nebulous thing known as “magic in the air” or recreate some seasonal nostalgia. You can capitalize on that idealistic bent with content that’s proven to hook: the tips and tricks list. Chances are, as a brand, you’re an expert in something, so this is an opportunity for you to share your wisdom. Think about how your specialized knowledge might apply to holiday-related scenarios. Topics may include: “Tips for decorating on a budget,” “Managing finances during gift-season,” “Ten ways to get creative with your dining spread,” or “Tips for creating that perfect wintery glow.” Bonus: you’ll be forever ingrained in the sweet memories made by those who follow your advice. Every popcorn garland strung and swan-shaped dinner napkin folded will remind that reader of you!
3. Break Out the Recipe Rolodex
Holiday entertaining works up an insatiable appetite for recipe-related content. Gratuitously ooey-gooey images are welcome (paired with equally succulent copy, of course). Today’s Pinterest-reared readers are all about presentation—look for anything that can be served in a mason jar or inside of a festive gourd. Be seasonal, of course, but before you go posting that roast, make sure to consider your audience. If you’re talking to a health-conscious crowd, source recipes that put a spin on traditional indulgences: lighter latkes, vegan pumpkin pie, gluten-free cookies. Kale should probable come up. However, if your readers are less goop and more Paula Dean, then let’s hear it for five-cheese fettuccine, by all means.
Recipes aren’t just for the Martha Stewarts of the world. Anyone can hop on this Polar Express train to share-land (never too much pun)—just find some way to bring it back to your brand. A purveyor of kitchen appliances, for example, might come up with 10 homemade coffee creations that rival Starbucks’ seasonal beverages. Recipes provide super-ripe content that’s naturally linkable, likable, and tied to the senses.
4. Be Resolution-ary
At the end of the year, everyone is looking forward to their new next-year selves. Some of us want to make a change, but could use help identifying action points. Even those with solid goals need someone in their corner. How can you help your readers decide on or stick to their resolutions? If you’re a fitness brand, you’ve probably got your seasonal content on lock, but others might have to get more creative. A resort might write about the dangers of being hyper-connected and suggest a regimen of digital detox (starting with a post-holiday vacay). Sustainable/eco brands might create info-graphics that demonstrate how their products can contribute to a commitment to a “greener” lifestyle. By positing ways to become part of stheir New Year’s resolutions, you’re setting the stage for long-term relationships with targeted readers.
5. Don’t Ditch the Kitsch
From the barrage of bad tunes, to the ill-cast mall Santas, to the movies we watch over and over—’tis the season to embrace all that’s wonderfully cheesey. Sometimes it really does come down to getting your jollies. A great way to engage readers is to create content that’s shamelessly fun. Elf Yourself…or your boss. Post pictures of puppies in Channukah sweaters. YouTube is a mecca of seasonal clips that are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. Justin Timberlake and Andy Sandberg’s memorable SNL skit is the gift that keeps on giving. And if you haven’t seen this John Roberts classic, you’re in for a holiday treat.
Readers will appreciate you being the mid-week pick-me-up they desperately need this season!