How Seasonal Content Can Save Your Editorial Strategy Live
By Cathy Flanagan, Demand Media
Seasonality sells. Anyone who has ever received a heart-shaped card in February, eaten BBQ on the 4th of July or gone holiday shopping on Black Friday can attest to that.
Why should you take that seasonality into account when thinking about content? First, e-commerce sales are growing every year.
Seasonally-appropriate content is a great way to boost your on-trend branding and capture buyer attention. It’s also perfect for catching the attention of other brands and publishers.
Below are some of my own tips for adding seasonal content to your editorial calendar:
1. Truly understand your business and marketing strategy.
Creating seasonal content doesn’t start when the metaphorical pen hits the paper, but way, way before that. Forbes recommends that you come up with clear business objectives before creating content, or risk being dazzled by the ever-changing market offerings.
For example, my blogging partner and I strive to only post recipes with natural ingredients free of preservatives. This means that showcasing the greatest Oreo Hacks -- regardless of how innovative and mouth-watering they may be -- would not be in line with our content goals.
2. Do your research.
I usually brainstorm recipe posts a month in advance. This includes browsing websites for popular fruits or vegetables in season, then finding out if they’re locally available.
For those not in the food sphere, start with your high-level calendar and flesh it out from there. Google Trends is a great way to measure metrics around various keywords, ideas or phrases surrounding your business.
3. Timing is everything.
You can make or break the effectiveness of your content based on when you publicize it. Market it too early and you might not catch the attention of your core readership. Market it too late and you risk being lost in the masses.
Marketingland suggests a “clearing the throat” approach, where you tease your audience with “soft” pieces and gauge their response. After all, you don’t want to publicize your content if no one will listen.
Creating Your Own Recipe
There isn’t a magic content recipe that guarantees you success every time. For instance, I would have never posted a peach recipe if I had foreseen the nationwide listeria contamination recall a few weeks later.
The key is to learn from your mistakes. If your content doesn’t perform as spectacularly as you expected, troubleshoot why, make the necessary changes and move forward.
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