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holiday content

6 Brands That Win at Fantastic Holiday Content

With the holiday season upon us, brands in every industry are putting together their holiday editorial calendar. It’s important to adjust your blog content, your email marketing, and even your social media presence to target the holidays your audience is celebrating.

We recently shared five tips to help you create “irresistibly tasty” content for your readers this holiday, but today we have some new inspiration for you. We are sharing six brands that consistently do a great job with their holiday content year after year.

brands that win at holiday content

6 Brands That Win at Fantastic Holiday Content

These brands may create festive content for their blogs and social media or they might give their product a fun twist around the holidays to get you feeling jolly.

Whether you’re in need of some inspiration for your own brand’s holiday editorial calendar or you just want to get in the holiday spirit, look to these brands for some help!

starbucks-red-cup-2016

Starbucks: The Yearly Tradition

It wouldn’t be possible to have a round-up of brands that do the holidays right without mentioning Starbucks, would it? Although Starbucks isn’t exactly known for festive blog posts around the holidays, they are known for those classic red cups. And you know what? It works for them!

Each and every year, the coffee chain releases a brand new red cup design (or even multiple red cup designs, like they did this year). Their customers get excited to see what they have come up with, looking forward not just to the seasonal lattes, but the seasonal red cups as well.

Not only do people get to enjoy their delicious drink in a decorative cup, but Starbucks also encourages customers to share photos of the popular red cups on social media. For the past few years, Starbucks has run an Instagram contest where they ask people to share photos of their red cups. Customers are encouraged to snap a photo of their red cup with the hashtag #RedCupContest for a chance to win prizes.

This motivates customers to head to Starbucks and share photos, which likely prompts others to do the same when they see the images in their Instagram feed. It’s effective marketing for Starbucks and gets people in the holiday spirit!

The Takeaway: Create something your audience can look forward to every single year. Then, get people involved! Create a challenge of your own and encourage your audience to participate. You can even take it up a notch by giving back through giveaways people are sure to love. If you choose to do a photo challenge like Starbucks, it provides amazing user-generated content you can share on your own profile, too.

target-holiday-2015

Target: Masters of Storytelling

The Christmas season is a pretty big deal for Target. Because many parents are shopping for presents to put underneath the tree and children are adding to their Christmas lists, Target is a popular destination for gift shopping. So, it should come as no surprise that the nationwide retailer puts a lot of effort into their Christmas ads each and every year.

In 2015, Target used their television commercials to tell a story of children and the store mascot, Bullseye the dog, as they set out to light up a giant Christmas tree. Throughout the commercials, you would see famous characters children are familiar with, such as the Minions. People would pay attention to the commercials so they could see what would happen in the end.

While it may seem the commercials were designed with only children in mind, Target slipped in details parents would want to know, too! They would add pitches about some of their holiday offers, such as free shipping for online purchases until Christmas.

Their goal is always to take the viewer on a journey, so it’s no surprise they plan to do the same thing for 2016. This year’s advertisements are said to be a Broadway-style marketing campaign that will feature some celebrity guests.

Target doesn’t just put a lot of effort into their advertisements every year. They also have the Kids’ Wish List App, which children a way to save all of the items on their Christmas wish list. And it gives parents a list of exactly what to buy! You’ll likely see pitches for this app in the commercials as well.

The Takeaway: Create a holiday marketing campaign that tells a story. Draw your audience in with a captivating story that leaves them wanting to know more.

jcrew-holiday-2015

J.Crew: Embracing Social Advertisements

Fashion retailer, J.Crew, is pretty savvy when it comes to their social media marketing, especially around the holidays. Last year, the company ran a few ads on both Instagram and Facebook. Now, it’s no secret that social media ads can be a great way to increase sales for your product and build brand awareness. So, what’s the big deal?

J.Crew knew what they were doing with the ads they created. They took advantage of the “Shop Now” button that can be placed on ads, which would encourage people to click over to the website and immediately start shopping straight from the ad.

The Takeaway: If you’re looking to boost sales this holiday season, don’t be afraid to experiment with social media advertisements. They can be a great way to reach your audience. Figure out which platform your audience is most active on and start building an ad. Promote your product and send people over to your website to encourage them to make a purchase.

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Tone It Up: Cooking Up a Great Holiday

The mission of the Tone It Up girls is to help you get fit and healthy, no matter what time of the year it is. However, it’s not surprising that can be difficult this time of year. We often indulge in large meals and lots of sweets during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up show that it doesn’t have to be that way!

Because the ladies also share healthy recipes on their website, they keep holiday dinners in mind when cooking up new recipes in the kitchen. They provide readers with recipes for healthy side dishes and pumpkin treats (which are perfect this time of year). The ladies even share their tips for hosting a fabulous dinner event in your own home!

The Takeaway: Keep the holidays in mind when planning your blog’s editorial calendar. Find ways you can work the desired holiday into your content. If you’re a food blogger, share seasonal recipes. If you’re a lifestyle blogger, share decor tips. If you’re a business blogger, you can even offer advice on how to manage your business during this busy season and tips for boosting sales. It’s as simple as that!

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Kate Spade: Teaming Up With an Influencer

If you’re familiar with the Kate Spade brand, you know they are all about bright colors and having fun throughout the year. It’s basically the go-to brand for the classy party girl, which makes it perfect during the holiday season.

A quick scroll through their Instagram feed will reveal perfectly styled posts and images that will have you feeling festive and ready to dance, drink, and be merry in no time at all. Kate Spade has also enlisted the help of celebrities over the years to be the face of their brand, including for their holiday campaigns.

Back in 2014, Anna Kendrick starred in the brand’s first ever “Miss Adventure” episode. It shows the fun side of Kate Spade, as the two-minute video features Kendrick being locked out of her New York City apartment. Instead of freaking out, Kendrick makes the most of it, like any Kate Spade girl would! She chats on the phone, plays with an adorable puppy, tries on the clothes she just purchased, and even pops some champagne! All of this goes on while Anna is surrounded by the Christmas decorations on her front stoop.

This year, things are a little different for Kate Spade. While they are teaming up with an influencer, it’s not Anna Kendrick. Nor is it even a human! Miss Piggy is the star of this year’s Kate Spade campaign, which is quite an unconventional choice, but is sure to get people talking.

The Takeaway: Consider teaming up with an influencer for your holiday marketing campaigns. The key is to choose someone who resonates with your audience for maximum impact. If an influencer isn’t right for you, you could also consider a collaboration with another brand as a way to spread the holiday cheer!

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Apple: Tugging at Your Heartstrings

Apple is pretty well known for doing a great job with their marketing campaigns. The company has had major success with their Mac versus PC television commercials from years back. (Who remembers those?) And more recently, they have created the ultimate user-generated campaign with their “Shot on an iPhone” advertisements. It’s pretty clear they have some smart people working behind-the-scenes on the brand’s marketing.

This year’s holiday commercial is no exception. At a time where the United States has become rather divided after a rocky election and the world remains on edge due to terrorism and other issues, Apple is promoting unity with their new ad entitled, “Frankie’s Holiday.” After all, that’s what the holiday season is all about. It isn’t about the gifts underneath the tree. It’s about bringing family and friends together while spreading love and holiday cheer.

The bigger message of this commercial is heard loud and clear, but Apple does still use it as a way to subtly promote their product without being in-your-face. It’s an ad that is sure to resonate with many people worldwide and tug at a few heartstrings.

The Takeaway: A great holiday marketing campaign has some emotion behind it. It’s the best way to draw in your audience and inspire them to take action, no matter what your message may be.

Wrapping Up Your Holiday Content

Now that we’ve given you tips for creating your holiday content and you have some brands to turn to for inspiration, it’s time to get started with your holiday editorial calendar (if you haven’t already).

Tweaking your content to fit with the holiday season, whether it’s blog posts, emails, social media posts, or even your product descriptions, can really boost brand awareness and increase sales this time of year!

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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.

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