Christmas content: treading the line between festive and failure

Christmas content: treading the line between festive and failure

Around this time every year, marketers get their Christmas content out of the loft, brush away the cobwebs and throw it at their followers until the fateful day of Christmas content reindeerDecember 26th when it has passed its expiry date.

However, is there a thing as too much Christmas content? Do website visitors get bored of the torrent of red, gold and green? We don’t want to sound like old Scrooge, but there’s a fine line between creating a fabulously festive piece of content and a frightful failure.

Why is Christmas content a good idea?

Christmas is an opportunity for content marketers to have fun. Normally straight-laced B2B blogs can be spruced up with some Christmas cheer, which can entice new audiences to your site, and you can ride the coat-tails of festive searches on Google and conversations on social media.

So, how do you add a festive touch to your blogs and other written content? The trick is to keep your content relevant and helpful, but to find a Christmas-themed angle. For instance:

  • An accountancy firm who usually posts about business budgets might blog about ‘Cashflow at Christmas’
  • A delivery/courier service could write an informative piece such as ‘How to make sure your presents arrive in time for Christmas’
  • A catering firm could write a ‘Christmas party survival guide’
  • A copywriting agency might write about ‘Christmas cracker jokes’ (hint hint, nudge nudge!)

These are all great as they have a touch of the festive season, but offer genuine advice that taps into what their readers are thinking about at this time of year.

Christmas content humanises companies, and makes them seem more approachable. Use this content as a chance to connect with your audience and involve them in the festivities.

When to know enough is enough

Christmas is not known as a great time for self-restraint – just ask Dad after his third helping of Christmas dinner – but sometimes, you need to know when to stop.

Flooding your content with festive phrases, or crowbarring a festive angle that doesn’t really fit might push readers away rather than entice them in. It’s all about moderation and timing, but don’t worry – we’re here to help.

7 things to consider when writing Christmas content

1.      What are your keywords?

Think about the keywords you’re using throughout the month. You should be ramping up the use of “Christmas”, “Xmas” and “holiday” as we get closer and closer to the big day.

Christmas content keywords

Graph courtesy of News Whip

As you can see from the graph above, the amount of people engaging with Christmas content climbs steadily throughout early-mid December and then plummets after 25th December. Make sure you’ve got your New Year content lined up for when people have moved on from Christmas.

2.      Don’t overdo it

You don’t want your website to look like an explosion in a tinsel factory, and you still want to get your point across. So keep re-reading your piece to make sure all your Christmas analogies still make sense, and don’t detract from your main message.

Though the odd Christmas cliché is inevitable, try to keep these to a minimum and avoid repeating phrases and puns throughout the holiday season – those old jokes get tired, fast.

3.      Think of your audience

Christmas content is great for blogs and top of funnel content  as it reaches a wide audience and isn’t taken too seriously. If you’re directing your content at a specific group – say high-level decision makers, close to the point of purchase, – we’d suggest leaving the Santa suit at home and addressing them how you would at any other point during the year.

For the rest of your audience, write energetic, entertaining content that has a bit of Christmas sparkle.

4.      Be consistent

Don’t put all your presents under one tree. If you’re going to post festive content on Facebook, adapt it for Twitter and your other social media channels too.

A common mistake is to take on a completely new voice, house style and manner when creating Christmas content – this is a mistake. All of your content should reflect your content from the rest of the year as it is that content that has built you up as a thought leader and authority, though it can have a fun festive twist to engage your audience.

5.      But add some variety

As with your usual content, no one wants to read a bunch of text – they want spice and excitement, so give it to them. Christmas is a very visual time – add a festive image, share a video or mix up the format of your written content – listicles are very popular at this time of year.

Try to stand out from the rest of the Christmas-loving crowd by creating something different and engaging. Maybe a snazzy Xmas infographic, a competition or even an awesome advent calendar.

6.      Timing is everything

You don’t want to start your Christmas content too early as readers bore very quickly. Ideally you will have a bank of content ready to go on 1st December, but if not, see what you can put together before the tipping point of 22nd December detailed in the graph in point 1.

Although Christmas-themed pieces are unlikely to be added to your bank of evergreen content, there’s nothing stopping you re-releasing them the following year, and the year after that. You’ll eventually have a bank of effective repurposed content that will dazzle your readers each year – assuming you update it properly and remove any references specific to previous years.

7.      Stick to your normal content marketing rules

You can’t ignore your normal content marketing rules just because Santa’s on his way. Stick to standard copywriting best practice while writing your Christmas content, and it will shine. Remember:

  • Keep phrasing short and snappy
  • Content must be valuable and relevant to the reader
  • Promote your content across all channels
  • Use analytics to determine success
  • Optimise everything you write for the search engines

Though some are bound to say ‘Bah Humbug!’, Christmas content is still effective if you get it right. Use these tips to help spread the holiday cheer through your content, and have a wonderful content marketing fuelled Christmas!