holiday content

The holidays are right around the corner, and for marketers that means it’s prime time to engage with your customers and target audience. But in a world full of generic “happy holidays” messages, how can you create holiday content campaigns that people will actually read?

Here are a few of our favorite tips for creating standout holiday content, along with some brands that have impressed and delighted us over the years.

Be Authentic

Each business has its own tone of voice and brand standards, and these elements should be incorporated into seasonal communications. When your marketing campaign sounds and looks like your business, it’s more likely to attract your core audience and make a lasting impression. Depending on your industry, your communication style may be casual or more on the formal side. Regardless, when writing your holiday content, keep your recognizable voice and aesthetic so that it aligns with the rest of your marketing efforts and builds trust from your followers.

Authenticity also applies to sharing your values and underscoring your mission. Your values are unique; use them to differentiate your business from the barrage of other holiday marketing efforts. An actionable way to do so is to “connect your company’s value proposition with a holiday theme,” says Genevieve Holmes, senior content and social media manager for Upside.

An excellent example of connecting your value proposition with a holiday is Patagonia’s 2016 Black Friday campaign. Last November the company launched the 100% for the Planet campaign, which donated 100 percent of sales on Black Friday “to grassroots organizations working to create positive change for the planet in their own backyards.” This campaign spoke to the company’s values regarding Black Friday and how the day was not just about spending money and getting great deals, but about bettering the world one dollar at a time.


Image courtesy of Patagonia


On the dedicated landing page, it also speaks to how since 1985, Patagonia has pledged “1% of all sales to nonprofit environmental groups as a member of 1% for the planet.” This campaign is extraordinary on two levels; one because it is visually engaging and piques the reader’s interest, and two because it is a genuine reflection of the company’s long-term commitment to environmental protection, which is a pillar of its mission. This is memorable and impactful.

If you are a Patagonia customer, this holiday message almost certainly resonated with you and strengthened your opinion of the company.

Share Your Culture

Captivate your audience by giving them a “glimpse behind the curtain” where you show customers your lighter or unseen side by including your employees in your holiday marketing efforts. Whether it’s an employee photo or employee quotes about what they’re thankful for, this type of message will strike a chord with your followers.

Canon UK had a brilliant holiday campaign last year that included its employees and their acts of kindness. The “#selfieless” campaign debuted in December and was intended “to trigger mass participation in acts of selflessness (people doing good things for others). Everyone could join in, just by doing an act of selfless giving (big or small), taking a photo of it, tagging it, and then nominating 3 friends to do the same.”


Image courtesy of Canon


What made this campaign go beyond just a charitable donation, since Canon donated €1 million to the Red Cross at the outset, was that Canon UK gave their employees a day off to do something selfless for another person. The wrap-up video was a compilation of their employees’ good deeds. This campaign set Canon apart and left an amazing impression on its worldwide audience.

Consumers love to see real people and feel connected to their favorite brands. By playing into the fact that Canon is a photography company and flipping the script on the selfie obsession, it made the campaign timely, inspiring and heartwarming.

Be Charitable

Donating time, money and resources becomes top of mind for many people and organizations around the holiday season. It’s a great way to give back and show that you care. To incorporate your charitable side into your holiday marketing, try giving something to your email subscriber list or target audience.

As Kathryn Nyhus, head of product marketing at CoSchedule, says, “Give customers gifts. You can give them a holiday card, but that’s just talking about yourself. People want to know what’s in it for them. We keep ourselves on the radar by giving them a free gift, and it also happens to complement the tool that we sell.”

In 2016, CoSchedule provided a free webinar with templates and a 30-day free trial of its product. The campaign spoke to what its audience is looking for — effective marketing strategies — and introduced and familiarized new prospects with its product with an extended free trial.


Image courtesy of CoSchedule


Hone in on what your target audience is interested in and share a free trial, a downloadable template or an e-book to demonstrate your business understands their needs.