Special thanks to Melanie for contributing this informative holiday content marketing post, filled with awesome ideas for any business! Let us know your favorite below, and take advantage of our free holiday content guide: The Gift of ROI.
With so many gift-giving holidays in the Fall and Winter, it’s no surprise that we see a huge uptick in marketing from brands of every advertising category in the latter half of the year. And while holiday gift guides are an annual tradition for brands and publishers alike, standing out in a sea of “perfect gifts” and “must-buys” can be difficult.
Here are some creative gift-free ideas to help inspire and differentiate your holiday content strategy.
Help With Pre-Holiday Prep
Holidays and gatherings don’t just happen. Your customers and readers are likely taking lots of special steps to prepare for whatever events are important for their traditions and families. Explore ways your brand can help customers in the lead-up to their celebrations.
- Traveling: From packing guides to advice on keeping kids occupied on long drives or flights, there are plenty of ways for brands to offer a helping hand as customers traverse highways and airways to make their way to their festivities. Travel companies are the clear fit here, but so many brands can be a part of the travel experience: Think about the specific challenges your ideal customer might face if travel is a part of their plan—boarding a pet, protecting an empty home, working remotely, managing travel expenses, and more—and look for ways to offer advice and solutions to help them enjoy their adventure.
- House Guest Help: For many, the holidays mean hosting out-of-town guests, which can come with its own challenges, questions and required preparation. This is a great opportunity for hospitality and home goods companies to share their expertise with soon-to-be hosts, about cleaning supplies, toiletries, linens, home decor, and other brands also have a role to play here. Whether you offer helpful checklists for preparing a guest room, templates for local activity guides for out-of-town guests, or offer advice on how to have tough conversations with troublesome guests, you’ll be bringing value to customers (and their guests!).
Focus on The Feasts
Most holiday celebrations involve some sort of shared eating experience around the table, and your brand can help play a part in making that meal as delicious, enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
- Recipes: What better way to bring your brand to the table than with a tasty tutorial? Food and spirits brands will be no strangers to creating recipe content, but don’t overlook this content type if you’re outside those categories. Many non-food products can be used in the kitchen or for creative presentation of finished treats, giving you a chance to organically integrate your brand in the opening or closing of a helpful video for hungry viewers. And don’t forget to differentiate by offering alternative recipes for various dietary needs, allergies, group sizes, and more.
- Meal Prep: Preparing for the meal takes more time than enjoying it on the big day, so look for opportunities to create content that shows how your brand can play a role in the various pre-meal processes too. Consider food prep guides, shopping lists, hacks for food storage, advice on how long holiday items will keep, time saving tricks, sneaky swaps, money saving tips, and more.
- Tablescapes: Much like wedding receptions, many holiday meals are customized with festive table settings, centerpieces, menus, name cards, and more. This is great for craft, decor, art supply,and tool companies, but almost anything can be repurposed or transformed for decorative purposes. Creative and crafty hosts are always looking for ideas, so look for opportunities to use your products or expertise to create DIY videos and written guides on how to dress up and customize the main event’s decor and display.
Foster Family Connection
For many, the holidays are a time for reuniting with family from around the country (or around the world). This means reunions, catching up, bonding, and sometimes some awkward conversations or situations. Think of ways that your products or services can play a role in helping to make that family time more enjoyable and seamless.
- Holiday Activities: It’s not just about the food; holidays gatherings are a perfect time for family activities, games, and fun bonding time. Entertainment, games, toys, books, and related brands are clear winners when it comes to creating content that helps families come together, but other brands can offer advice on things to bring families together. Guides, rules, and suggestions for drinking games, group crafts, themed movie nights and more can let your brand be the presenter of a fun activity for the group. Be sure to differentiate with options for different age groups and budget levels, as well as indoor/outdoor adaptations.
Emotional Preparedness: Let’s face it; sometimes the holidays are hard. Hectic travel, expensive gift buying, facing estranged family members, and pressure to partake in countless heavy meals can create tremendous stress and emotional strain. Whatever your brand, take the time to think about how you can help reduce that stress for your customers, whether you offer healthy meal swaps, guides for hard conversations, advice for introducing new people to the family, money-saving tips, travel hacks or something else to help put the “happy” back in “happy holidays.”