Should we use seasonal content in print and email if we want people to engage, remember and even share? The answer is YES if the seasonal content is fresh, original, memorable and has a unique point of view. Here’s how to add a seasonal element to your content…
Timing is everything.
Unlike an evergreen blog post, your print and email missives are delivered and usually read within a week of delivery. Even if the newsletter is later posted to the website, the majority of readers will interact with the content in a seasonal context. That gives a strong rationale for using seasonal content in print and email, where other channels might not be suitable. You can schedule content to arrive on a holiday, and it will stand out in the reader’s mailbox or inbox.
Readers like it.
Among my own clients, they see high engagement around seasonal content.
- Readers see it as personal, engaging and relevant.
- It is a nice break from business content.
- It doesn’t require the reader to “do anything” with the content other than simply enjoy it.
Done right, it should be so enjoyable and so memorable that the reader brings it up at the dinner table or forwards it to others.
Make it memorable.
It can’t be just any old seasonal content. It has to be different and memorable, and maybe a bit startling.
I tell clients: discard whatever comes to mind first when writing about seasonal topics. Those initial ideas are likely to be cliches and probably are topics your audience has read somewhere else.
- Do research. Look for unusual stats.
- Find a unique point of view. Come at it from a new direction. Build in a local angle.
- Interview an interesting person, organization or business.
- Interview a customer, or one of their customers.
- Find startling graphics to get your creative juices flowing.
- Ask your grandmother or kids for their take on a subject to get out of your generational rut.
- Keep a clip file of ideas for every season. Look at the calendars of organizations to see special dates, such as Breast Cancer Awareness month and Fire Safety month.
- There are more seasons than fall, winter, spring and summer. There are sub-seasons and special weeks. Plan ahead for these special times.
Think about everything we do during a season and how we can tie in a story or tip.
For example, autumn is a perfect time time for:
- Football games, Crock-Pot recipes, down comforters
- Honoring our military veterans
- Daylight saving time, chimney cleaning, changing the oil in your car and adjusting the inflation on your tires
- Getting your dental benefit by scheduling your exam, making your charitable donations before the end of the year
Whatever we do, when we write about the seasons, we have to provide value to the reader.
Always add value.
It doesn’t pay to shoehorn your sales message into the Cinderella Shoe of the season. If you have a business tie in, make it natural and serve the reader. The goal is to put a new spin on the seasons, not relentlessly turn the spotlight on yourself.
If there is a logical tie in, offer a special or coupon with an expiration date that clearly delineates the season.
Including seasonal content is a way to expand your topics and show readers another side of your business and yourself. Go beyond the obvious and bring value to your readers. Aim high in your content in a way that is enjoyable and memorable. Be fresh, surprising and even startling.
Professional Publishing Tips:
- Title and correctly tag your seasonal content so readers will not be disappointed if they click on it in your archive.
- Organize and name your photo and image assets according to season to inspire you.
- Include the seasons in your master publication schedule.
- Do keyword research around holidays and seasons and see which phrases your target audience is searching.
Using fresh content to suit the season will help you make a deeper connection with print and email readers. Try it!
What are YOUR good ideas for seasonal content in print and email? Leave a comment below and be creative!
Sandy Hubbard has been author and contributor at Print Media Centr since 2011. As a Marketing Strategist and Business Consultant who serves the print, publishing and media industries, Sandy helps clients build their businesses using proven techniques and a systematic approach. Sandy hails from a long line of printers, publishers, authors, and newspaper owners. For over two decades, she published a magazine for the printing trade. To this day, her readers — printers and manufacturers of all sizes and types — value Sandy as a trusted resource, friend and confidant.
Connect with Sandy on LinkedIn and find her at @sandyhubbard every Wednesday on Twitter at 4 pm ET, leading or co-hosting #PrintChat with Deborah Corn of @PrintMediaCentr — Join in the fun at social media’s most popular chat for the global printing industry!