seasonal content

Compelling Copy Home for the Holidays: 10 Tips for High-Performing Seasonal Content

Christmas is almost upon us, and you can bet that your audience is feeling festive and frisky.

But is your content set up to match?

The holidays are the best time to alter your content in the name of engagement and celebration, and many site owners find that adding a bit of holiday flair and seasonal content to their web pages is an efficient way to draw attention and promote more conversions and sales during the holiday season.

What’s more: there are dozens of places to do this! From product descriptions to blogs, bios, and social media updates, creating festive copy is a fantastic way to make your company more approachable and keep your readers happier than a group of hard-working elves on their day off.

compelling holiday content

Bring Compelling Copy Home for the Holidays: How to Create Your Best Seasonal Content

As Christmas draws near, people dive headfirst into purchasing mode, and they’re looking for things to buy, companies to engage with, and new brands to discover.

What a perfect time to be a marketer! By rewriting your blogs, descriptions, and social updates to provide a bit more of the holiday spirit, you can create content with a seasonal appeal that will leave your readers wanting more.

Holiday Content on the “Nice” List: 3 Examples of Companies that win at Seasonal Content

For three examples of businesses that are great models to follow in seasonal content that wins every holiday, check out these three businesses:

1. ModCloth

ModCloth is one company I always reference when we start talking about great product descriptions, and rightfully so. The clothing company is the queen of wildly creative copy, and the names of their clothing alone is enough to make you want to buy.

For an example of a holiday-themed product description that went particularly right, check out the “Oh Christmas Treat Sweater:”

Oh Christmas Treat Sweater modcloth

While the sweater itself is cute enough, it’s the product description that drives the point home and makes holiday-focused buyers want to click “add to cart.”

For another great example, check out the “Barkin’ Around the Christmas Tree Knit Top:”

Barkin Screenshot

Sweet, reliable, and decidedly festive, these product descriptions add a festive feel to shopping for clothing, which may otherwise be a mundane process.

2. PooPourri

PooPourri is famous for its decidedly raunchy but very (um…) honest product descriptions. For an example of some of their more recent holiday-focused content, check out last year’s “Even Santa Poops” commercial, which has earned more than 15 million views on YouTube.

While you may not want to get this gross with your holiday content, this commercial just goes to show that ‘tis the time of year for creative copy to take hold.

3. Backcountry.com

Backcountry.com is a “Gearhead’s paradise” that offers outdoor clothing and accessories for people who ski, run, hike, climb, and camp. Every year, the site puts together one massive product description. It calls this its “Holiday Gift Guide,” and it features curated gear for both men and women.
Backcountry Screenshot

As a user, you click the guide and wind up on a page featuring dozens of drool-worthy gifts for men or women. While the products are exciting enough, Backcountry got it right by compiling some of its most festive offerings into one convenient platform for its users. While the holiday marketing isn’t over-the-top, there’s no denying that this is a downright festive experience:

Backcountry Screenshot Women

How to Write High-Performing Holiday & Seasonal Copy: 10 Timely Tips

When it comes to writing high-performing holiday copy, here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Keep your choice of holidays broad

Because there are several holidays throughout December, it’s smart to avoid putting all of your focus on one of them. Unless, of course, your company sells Christmas trees, Thanksgiving turkeys, or something else that is decidedly singular.

For everyone else, keep your holiday options open, or opt to choose a few holidays and work around them. In addition to allowing you to appeal to the broadest segment of the audience, this also gives you a framework for keeping your content fresh and ensuring that you’re not getting too wrapped up in a single holiday and neglecting the others.

This can make it difficult to create useful topics, and people who keep things open-ended commonly have an easier time staying creative.

2. Offer surprises, discounts, or contests

To make the most of the festivity of the season, provide your readers with the occasional holiday surprise, giveaway, or offer. Because the holidays are a season when people shop till they drop, now is a fantastic time to give things away and draw new customers through unique offers and surprises.

If you’re not sure what to give away, don’t worry. Free downloads are a fantastic option, as are eBooks and other types of digital content. If you’d prefer to give away a product, run a holiday contest on a social media platform of your choice. In addition to spreading the word about your goods and services, this is also a fantastic way to keep your customers happy, festive, and engaged.

3. Add holiday graphics to your site

If you look more closely at the Backcountry screenshot above, you’ll see that the company has developed a unique little Christmas logo to jazz up their holiday content.

While you don’t need to go over the top with neon elves and light-up monstrosities, adding some festive holiday visuals to your site is an excellent way to get people into the Christmas spirit and ensure that your content is the one gift that truly keeps on giving.

To maintain your brand identity in the process, work to make sure that your holiday additions stay in-line with your company colors, voice, and approach. Additionally, work to find areas in your existing brand strategy where you can add some Christmas flair like Moz did last year with a dog named Lettie Pickles, the company’s resident brand ambassador:

Moz Screenshot

4. Revisit your older holiday content

If you’ve ever created holiday-focused content before, now is an excellent time to bring it out to play once more. Consider recycling holiday content from previous years by breaking an old blog post into Tweets, turning a blog into a visual presentation, or featuring a timeline of your holiday content through the years.

While there are dozens of ways to address this recycling of old material, there’s no question that the decision to do it is an excellent way to get the most traction out of your older content, without breaking your back in the process. Holiday copy doesn’t limit itself to just blog posts or product descriptions, and getting creative with your holiday copy is an excellent way to win the game.

5. Make the most of the less-known holidays

While Christmas and Thanksgiving may be captivating your attention, don’t forget about the following, lesser-known holidays:

  • Cyber Monday
  • Green Monday
  • Free shipping day

In addition to these events, remember all of the various post-holiday sales dates. These can be major cash cows for your company and are far too valuable to overlook.

6. Make your holiday content as visual as possible

If Pinterest were any indication, the holiday season is an incredibly visual time. People love content they can drool over: think mouth-watering sugar cookie pictures, festive red and green housewares, a welcoming holiday table dressed with turkey and gravy boats. To make your holiday content as viral and shareable as possible, be sure to make it visual.

For an example, check out some of the pins on Martha Stewart Living’s Pinterest board “DIY Holiday Decorations.” While the board is curated by the Martha Stewart staff, you’ll notice it features pins from MintedTarget, and other such companies that have done a great job of making their holiday content visual enough to earn a place on such a curated and involved board.

Martha Stewart Screenshot

7. Extend the holiday cheer all the way to your email lists

If you think the season of well-wishing stops with your website and product descriptions, you’re crazy. For best results, take it all the way through to your email list, where you’ll have the freedom to offer a heartfelt sentiment of love and good cheer as the holiday season draws closer.

For an example of someone who does this well, consider Tim Ferriss’s holiday edition of the weekly “Five Bullet Friday” email from last year.

Tim Ferriss screenshot

While it’s true that this email is a bit bare on festive design, it features a nice opening line about the holidays, and a heartfelt thank-you at the end, which he addresses to his followers in the spirit of the holiday season.

Although many marketers believe that emails aren’t the place to share content they hope to go viral, such as a product description or offer, it’s important to remember that, as long as you make it easy for readers to share the email with their friends, they’re very likely to do exactly that.

With this in mind, don’t hesitate to provide tidbits of holiday-specific information, special offers, or insider deals in your emails. Your followers will thank you, and you may even enjoy a larger audience, as a result.

8. Use an editorial calendar

Content creation is enough of a bear at the easiest times of the year, and it can become downright stressful as the holidays roll around. With this in mind, use an editorial calendar to schedule your holiday posts in advance.

In addition to allowing you to forget about the burden of being sure you’re posting all of your content on time, this simple approach will also enable you to ensure you’re hitting all of the important targets of the holiday season and that there aren’t any “gaps” in your content strategy.

A good editorial calendar will help you plan content around important dates and will allow you to schedule your content more effectively for the business of the holiday season.

9. Write a retrospective in honor of the holiday season

Most readers love retrospectives – pieces of content within which the writer looks back at the year that’s just passed and defines the best or worst changes in a given industry. In addition to being relevant to your readers (since most of them will have lived through it right alongside you), a retrospective like this is also a great way to provide a summation about the year behind you, and look forward, collectively, to the year ahead.

Ideal for companies in the tech, marketing, or services industries, blogs with headlines like “The X Best Changes to X Industry this Year” or “Our 10 Top Predictions for X in 2017” will perform very well.

Keep in mind that emails that fit this structure are also a fantastic tool for any company looking to pitch a new product or showcase a new offering, which could easily fit into one of the “predictions” for the coming year.

10. Have fun with your copy!

While there are several smart things you can do to prepare yourself and your copy for the holiday season, keep it at the forefront of your mind that the holidays are a celebratory time, and having fun with the content you create for them is one of the best ways to make sure it goes off without a hitch.

With this in mind, don’t be afraid to get silly, poke fun at things like ugly sweaters and too-full family members after holiday dinners. As long as you’re keeping it kind and respectful, it’s all in good fun and your readers will appreciate you for it!

It’s a Jolly Good… Seasonal Content Campaign

As the holidays draw near, people everywhere are brainstorming how to make their holiday copy as viral and shared as possible. Fortunately, these ten smart tips can help.

When you bring some playfulness into your holiday copy, schedule it accordingly, and take some notes from the best content creators in the biz, it gets incredibly easy to develop quality seasonal content material that your readers will love.

holiday content ew

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