Content marketing is demanding. You need discipline, organisation and imagination. Most of all, you need a strong, regular flow of ideas mapped to a reliable calendar.
If you work in retail, Christmas will probably be quite a major event on your calendar – it’s the peak of the sales period, and so quite rightly becomes the hook on which to hang stacks of festive content marketing.
But what if you’re in the business of manufacturing parts for use in blast furnaces? Many businesses, particularly b2b companies, have a buying cycle that stretches over months or even years, so the ebb and flow of the seasons isn’t particularly relevant.
Yet still, we often see the biggest season of them all sticking its sparkly beak in where it’s not wanted. The most improbable companies start sending emails with tenuous subject lines, like ‘Tis the season to reconsider your telecoms supplier’ or proudly launching a campaign called ‘The 12 days of office supplies’ (10 pens-a-leaking, anyone?).
So, before you start shoehorning your content marketing into festive stockings that really don’t fit, remember that if it’s not appropriate for your audience, you’re justified in leaving the glad tidings to someone else.
1. Does it click?
What’s your niche, and does the festive theme fit with it? Successful content marketing needs to be valuable and relevant to your intended audience. Don’t stretch beyond your field of expertise to talk about something, just because everyone else is.
2. Does it count?
Is this piece of content part of your overall plan? Has it been considered in the context of the rest of your content, and do you know how you’re going to assess whether it’s been successful?
3. Does it convert?
Whatever you’re marketing for – selling stuff, getting more members, increasing subscriptions – this piece of content needs to support those goals, Christmas or no Christmas. As a content marketer, it’s your job to make your customer’s journey from this piece of content to their end-conversion clear. If you can manage that without jingling any bells at all, remember, you don’t need to feel obliged to.