How to Master Seasonal Content

Timing when you publish it is critical to success. Our guide to making seasonal content work.

On Content Marketing

by Dave Robson

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Seasonal content isn’t, strictly speaking, evergreen. After all, people aren’t always going to be looking for good back-to-school deals, recipes for Christmas cookies, or tax advice but they will be looking for that stuff – reliably – once a year. That said, at lot of the same rules of evergreen content apply to seasonal content.

But there are a few differences to making a seasonal content marketing strategy work properly.

Chart Interest

Some seasonal content gets churned out slowly. The Christmas season, for example, sees a slow-rising slope beginning in late November and building right up until the day itself. Other seasonal content hits quickly and is gone. New Year’s, thanks to its Christmas proximity, has very little lead-in time and the content is irrelevant a few days into January.

The easiest way to figure out what kind of window you’re looking at is to open up Google Trends, type in your keyword, and figuring out when people are looking for the seasonal content in question.

Pick Your Moment

The challenge for all seasonal content is when exactly to publish it. Too soon, and nobody’s interested yet. Too late, and you look foolish. Enter Google Trends again. In the case of an abrupt spike, you want to publish prior to the spike. In the case of a gradual slope upward, you want to be a third into the beginning of the slope. Get in front of a spike, stay a bit inside of a slope.

Anticipate the Rush

Every tax season, a raft of articles shows up with tax tips, and typically they quote all sorts of experts and accountants. When were those articles written? Back in October, if not earlier. If your seasonal content relies on an expert or other industry insider related to the season, keep in mind that they’re going to be busy as hell around the time you’re looking to publish, so it’s better to beat the rush and nail down their quotes (or other participation) far ahead of schedule).

Make Your Social Media Seasonal

Scheduling social media isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t the best idea for promoting seasonal social content. New hashtags pop up regularly, for one thing. It’s also more authentic to react to what’s happening out there in real time. But the biggest reason to avoid scheduling and handle social media manually when promoting seasonal content is that the spike in seasonal content is matched by a spike in engagement related to the seasonal content, and you can tap into that engagement.

Update

So, your seasonal content was a big hit. How do you make it happen the next year? Search your seasonal content for time bombs: pop culture references, current jokes, celebrities of the moment, and so on. Ideally you write new content each year (Google will love you for that),  but in a pinch you scrub your content of any time bombs and re-promote it next year.