Around this time of year, there’s a lot of discussion around marketing and PR plans, and whether it’s worth spending money on content marketing in December. When making this decision, you really need to assess what’s right for your business, and where to spend money during the festive period.
A lot of brands embrace the opportunity to create timely content that will resonate with their core audience. Whether this is driven by humour or data and facts, something around the old Christmas cheer often generates attention.
But content marketing isn’t just for Christmas.
If you start a content marketing plan, then you should think of it as a long-term investment. As the saying goes, it should be ‘always on’, and publishing on a regular basis gives the ‘Google bots’ something to think about – meaning consistency over Christmas will help with your overall SEO strategy, and it needs to continue beyond this.
Your social media strategy is likely to suffer if there isn’t any content to fuel it. When customers are at the peak and looking to purchase (which is usually around December), a little bit of content marketing could just gently remind them and nudge them to do so.
Australians are more engaged on Facebook during the Christmas break, sharing 18% more mobile content compared to the rest of the year on average. People share 73% more mobile content on Christmas Day and 64% more on New Year’s Day.
With this increase in social media activity, we can infer that audiences are more likely to consume the valuable content you target them with. But how do we prepare the content and make sure it’s worth the investment?
I spoke to some of the experts in the content marketing arena – Jordan Teicher, Managing Editor of Contently, Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor at the Content Marketing Institute and Dan Hochuli, Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn APAC – to get their thoughts.
Should our approach to content marketing change over Christmas?
“While you may want to adjust your creative approach throughout the year to fit certain trends and themes, you should never turn content off. Only focusing on content during the holidays is a short-sighted approach that limits your ability to reach an audience.”
“Building a relationship with a consumer takes time (Depending on the industry, it could take more than a year). So even if your holiday content is phenomenal, you won’t be able to follow through on whatever impact you make if you just turn content off,” says Jordan.
But what if it’s not feasible?
If you don’t have the resources or time to make quality and consistent material, then it might be better to slow your activity down.
Robert Rose says, “Ultimately, your audience and their needs will help you decide. But know there is no ‘wrong’ decision. If you decide that it’s in your best interest to go dark during the holiday time, because you simply can’t create great content that will have the intended impact on your audience – then go dark. Don’t scrimp on quality just to meet an artificial deadline.”
“There is no one, right way here. At Content Marketing World, we have always continued to maintain consistency in our cadence over holiday periods. Our blog posts continue, our podcast episodes continue and all email newsletters go out as usual. We decided that during the one week of Christmas to New Year, while we honour the cadence, we switch up the content to be ‘classics’ from the year – a kind of a ‘best of’ series,”
Make use of what you already have
If you don’t have the funds, rehashing your best content could result in a quick win during the festive period.
“If investment in content is difficult during this time, it’s a good period to repurpose your greatest hits. Carry out some analysis and republish or repost the content pieces that were your best performing in 2017. Turn it into a feature.”
“Also do a 2018 predictions post – such timely content often does well because audiences are thinking about hitting the reset button in areas that underperformed in 2017. They will be looking for direction on how to be a better person, business or brand – so use content to seize that opportunity to help them make the change,” says Dan.
Test and learn
If you aren’t used to producing content on a regular basis, then the Christmas period could be a great opportunity to see what resonates with your audience.
“Audiences do engage with content, but often in a more inquisitive’ way in their downtime,” says Dan.
“With some B2B audiences, their purchase intent may have slowed down because they are not at work but their demand for content around news, trends and information increases. Savvy CXOs and hard working SMBs never really switch off their professional minds over the break so shift the purpose of your content from demand generation to higher funnel, informational content that assists in brand awareness. Consider publishing content that helps your audience kick start the New Year and helps them maintain knowledge of their current market over the break.”
So if you’re planning to press ‘pause’ or ramp up your efforts over December, make sure you know your audience well and do what it takes to keep them happy. (Within budget.)
Here are some examples of great seasonal content starting with the fun stuff.
2017 Audi Christmas Commercial:
Editorial piece: NRMA