How to Plan Seasonal Content Calendars through the Year
The end-of-the-year holiday season is a prime time for a social and marketing campaigns.
But there's plenty of potential the rest of the year, too.
When you build a marketing calendar around holidays and cultural moments, you increase your ability to engage with your clients and customers, boost sales, and build brand awareness.
Why you need a seasonal calendar
The point of a seasonal calendar is to map out when your audience is more likely to pay attention and even make a purchase. These times are ideal for promoting a sale, discount, or special offer.
Another reason is that seasonal events and cultural moments influence online search behavior.
- Leverage the higher concentration of search queries around certain activities and celebrations by creating relevant content
- Review how your content fared in the last few years at different times
- Take a look at Google Trends to discover fluctuations in popular terms
Seasonal events also give business owners the opportunity to start or join in a conversation, which increases brand awareness and creates a stronger connection with your audience and customers. For this type of marketing, consider crafting timely and original content:
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Curated playlists
Hit the big holidays, such as
- Valentine's Day
- Fourth of July
But don't forget those with a slightly lower commercial profile, such as
- MLK Day
- Cinco de Mayo
- Veterans Day
You can also include unofficial holidays, like Earth Day and Black Friday.
Days of awareness
It's not hard to find “awareness days" that relate to your business. These might be serious in nature, such as International Women's Day on March 8, or on the lighter side, like National Ravioli Day on March 20.
- Check out the Awareness Days calendar
Cultural moments and events are occasions when high numbers of people are focusing on the same thing. For example:
- National election
- Hurricane season
The art of seasonal posts and promotions
Your social and marketing calendar should align with your audience and your own business model.
You might think your business needs to be related to the particular holiday or event in order to successfully capitalize on it. But that's not necessarily the case. It pays to get creative here.
For example, an accounting firm that serves individual taxpayers might plan a social media post that ties in to the Super Bowl. They might quip that watching the game isn't tax-deductible, but they know what is, and to give them a call. Referencing this shared day of fun and escapism makes the firm relatable and keeps them top of mind.
The Super Bowl happens at the right time of year for a firm selling tax-related services, for example. An Independence Day social post might fall on deaf ears because many people have put taxes out of their mind by early July.
The Oscar season works great of course for movie theaters, but there are many ties for other small businesses. For example, if a nominated movie features animals and you're a vet or sell pet food, the link is easy enough to make.
If your small business relies mostly on consumers, seasonal promotions will come natural because consumers' buying habits are often tied to the holidays.
But even if your businesses mostly sells to other businesses, you shouldn't discount this strategy. A tech company selling medical software, for example, might tailor its marketing messages for flu season, knowing that its clients and leads have this topic on the brain.
How to set up your seasonal calendar
Although there are plenty of downloadable calendars with bells and whistles, you don't have to get fancy here – an Excel spreadsheet will suffice.
- Choose one or two holidays and events each month that you think will matter most to your audience.
- Find a balance between sales and less promotional content.
- Note where you'll distribute the posts (e.g., your blog, on social media, in local ads).
- Give yourself four to eight weeks to create, review, and roll out your campaign.
- Include an assessment step after the event is over. This information will be your guide for next year – when your social and marketing seasonal calendar begins anew.
The bottom line for seasonal marketing calendars
Seasonal calendars for marketing and social campaigns are a powerful tool for small business owners — and can help bring in customers and increase loyalty throughout the year