When you’re planning out your content marketing strategy for the year, it’s a great time to consider which National Holidays can really help your business stand out. Of course, there are the big holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but some of the smaller national holidays or #hashtagholidays can also be great to include in your content marketing strategy.
There are many sites online that share yearly calendars for both national and hashtag holidays. Using these online resources, you can quickly determine which holidays you’d like to include in your digital content marketing strategy. Some of these lesser-known holidays can give you an opportunity to promote your business in a unique and creative way.
In 2012, I attended a creative conference in Baja, Mexico. I had attended primarily to hear Jen Hansard from Simple Green Smoothies speak. There were so many amazing presenters, and to this day it is still my favourite conference that I have attended over the years.
Anyway, Jen shared how she built her hugely successful online smoothie business from the ground up. Her story is incredible. One of the stories that she shared in her presentation still stands out in my mind to this day…and I’ll likely mess up some of the details because this conference was 8 years ago. Anyhow, she had shared the story of how she included a simple hashtag holiday on an Instagram post to coincide with Starbucks yearly launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, she shared the hashtag with an image and recipe for her version of a healthy pumpkin spice smoothie. Her post went viral and her audience and business exploded. (Jen, I hope that I’m sharing this correctly…) If you haven’t discovered Simple Green Smoothies yet, I highly recommend you start following her. She has an incredible resource of smoothie recipes and challenges to help you embrace a plant-based diet.
Today is Pancake Tuesday, so I thought what better day to share my top 3 tips on how to use national and hashtag holidays in your content marketing strategy. See what I did there? #pancaketuesday
1. Create blog content about the national holiday
When you’re planning out your editorial content marketing calendar, you can add in holidays to help fill out your monthly marketing content. Ideally, you’ll want to publish your blog content a few days before the holiday (not like me posting this today on Pancake Tuesday…however, done is better than not done in my opinion, so I’m cutting myself some slack today). When you create the content in advance, you can share it on your blog and then pin it to Pinterest so that the content will live longer and continually drive traffic to your website and blog.
Have fun with the holiday. If it’s a holiday that really resonates with your brand, hire a photographer & stylist to help you craft beautiful photos for your blog post in advance. Remember, while your message and copy are highly important for SEO purposes and for sharing your brand story, photographs and visual content get shared more across all the social channels, and of course on Pinterest, which is a visual search engine. Who doesn’t love looking at pretty photographs? For example, if you’re a coffee shop, you’ll want to plan content around #internationalcoffeeday and use this content to connect with your audience, spark discussion and build brand loyalty.
2. How to use national holidays in your social media marketing.
If you don’t have time to create a blog post about the holiday, or perhaps it’s not totally important to include it in your content marketing calendar, simply share a post about the holiday in your social feeds. Have fun with it! Relate it to your brand, or share some behind the scenes content on how you’re enjoying the holiday.
Always include relevant hashtags in your Instagram posts so that your post will be found by those searching the holiday hashtag. Engage with other accounts who are also sharing content about the holiday.
Share an article from a website or blog that you love about the holiday on your Facebook or LinkedIn pages or Twitter account. You can include a shout out to the business or blog that created the content and share some of your thoughts about the article and the holiday. Remember that sharing is caring. It also provides your target audience with interesting content as well. Be sure to share content from other sources that is aligned with your brand.
Want to be super organized about it all? Plan your social marketing calendar in advance using a planning tool. Planoly is my favourite Instagram scheduling app. I love how simple it is to use as well as how it’s laid out visually. I also love Tailwind for Pinterest, which helps make my Pinterest scheduling workflow much easier and is an amazing tool to grow your Pinterest account. I don’t use a scheduler for Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, however, there are many incredible tools available for these platforms as well.
Being strategic about using national or hashtag holidays can give your business a boost in followers, create great engagement within your community, and help you to grow your business. You’ll never know the impact it can have on your business unless you actually implement it into your marketing strategy.
3. Take it offline and host an event surrounding the holiday
Okay, so this third tip is not directly related to content marketing in the literal sense, but it can totally add value, increase customer loyalty, and strengthen your brand awareness. Why not host an event that is tied into a national or hashtag holiday or even a seasonal event? You can have so much fun with this, and if you’re strategic about planning this event in advance, you can bring it online by using branded holiday hashtags so that your customers can share photos and posts about your event using the branded holiday hashtag. This will bring your in-person event into the online space.
During the event, go live on your Facebook or Instagram accounts or create a Twitter party using your branded holiday hashtag to bring your event online and inspire people to get talking and sharing. There are many ways that you can leverage an in-person event online both during and after the event. Hire a photographer to document the event for you so that you can also share blog content afterwards as well.
There are literally so many creative ways that you can use an offline event in your digital content marketing strategy.
These pancake photos were originally created for Braestone, an upscale country estate community in Horseshoe Valley. This content was created to market the lifestyle of the community which also includes a working farm and incredible artisan farm caretakers that produce maple syrup, honey, jams and more. My amazing team provided the creative direction and strategy, as well as the photography and styling to bring this lifestyle brand shoot to life. Not only were the photographs used for printed marketing pieces, but also on the website, and social channels and to market their first harvest event. I love how Braestone hosts seasonal events for their community of homeowners, and their annual sap collection gathering and harvest event is a great example of how to use a holiday or season to create an offline event that will build brand loyalty and provide an amazing brand experience.
With it being Pancake Tuesday today, I have to share my all-time favourite pancake recipe with you from The Joy of Cooking. This recipe is the best.
The Joy of Cooking Ultimate Pancake Recipe (2006 ed.)
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract *optional
Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together. Add the wet mixture quickly into the dry mixture and combine. Grease a griddle or pan with butter or oil and do so as needed between batches. Cook on a griddle or frying pan. When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, turn the pancake over and cook until second side is done.
Creative Direction, lifestyle brand photography, prop styling for visionary brands
Do you need creative direction, photography, and styling for your lifestyle brand? I love working with visionary brands and entrepreneurs. Elevate your brand through thoughtful and strategic creative direction, lifestyle brand photography, and prop styling. When styling and photography are done well, it can transform a brand.
Creative Direction: Jennifer Klementti & Jane Klementti
Food & prop styling: Jane Klementti and Sarah Keith
Photography: of course also by me
Happy Pancake Tuesday! Comment below if you’re ready to start incorporating national or hashtag holidays into your content marketing. And as always, let me know in the comments if you have any questions, or want to connect.
HEY THERE, I’M JEN
I’m a photographer, creative director, and brand consultant. I help entrepreneurs and businesses shine by creating images for their brand that will beautifully tell their brand story. I create art for your business, your life, and your home.
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