Seasonal content is a crucial aspect for businesses around the globe as many industries rely on the changing seasons, changing weather, holidays and other variations throughout the year to sell their products and services. The benefits of creating seasonal content include connecting with your user base and the various needs they have throughout the year, in-addition to sending valuable refresh signals to search engines indicating you’re actively adding new content to your website.
Creating both evergreen and seasonal content are highly important to connecting with your audience as they make their way through the consumer decision journey. Most businesses experience variations based on the time of year. As a marketer, being able to determine how and when to create seasonal content based around your business is critical to capturing these time-sensitive needs from both new and existing customers.
In this post, we’ll outline the best approach to creating your content to give it a higher chance of connecting with your target audience when the time comes.
Timing is Everything
One of the first keys to successful seasonal content creation is ensuring it’s live and indexed before the given target dates. Many marketers fail to plan ahead and find themselves scrambling at the last minute to create and post their content. By then, the opportunity has already passed.
It is important to remember that search engine indexation of content can take time. If, for example, you have created a Mother’s Day gift guide for your ecommerce website and post it one week before the actual date, you have most likely missed the window of opportunity for it to find your audience. Because It takes time for content to be indexed, your competitors have likely already created and posted their gift guides well in advance, gaining the attention and authority of users and search engines. At this point, your late-arrival is unlikely to attain visibility in search and attract more users.
Be sure to plan ahead and give yourself adequate time to fully research and create a unique piece of content that will stand out from the rest. A general rule of thumb is to start planning your seasonal initiatives 4-6 months in advance and think strategically about when to post, which brings us to our next point.
Use Tools to Find Seasonal Trends
Tools can be of great use for both creating content, in addition to discovering when seasonal interest rises and falls. This information provides the knowledge of what users are searching for and when they are searching for it.
To find the specific queries your target audience is searching for, Google AdWords is a useful tool. You can find search volume for keywords and segment the data by month and even location if your business is concerned with local SEO efforts.
As one of the quickest and easiest ways to find the time of year interest in a particular subject peaks, Google Trends is a helpful tool for finding seasonal patterns.
Using our Mother’s Day example from above, you can discover that search for the holiday first begins to rise in mid-February before falling and rising back again in early April and peaking in early May.
You can use this simple information to plan ahead and understand when Mother’s Day content should be posted. Publishing content just before the seasonal spike ensures it is not posted too early or too late. This means if your content is going to be discovered ahead of time, going live with a Mother’s Day gift guide sometime in mid-March may be the best approach.
Get Creative with Holidays
It is important to understand what seasons or holidays may or may not be appropriate to create content strategies around. At first thought, a particular holiday may not seem appropriate for your business, but there may be hidden opportunities that come to light after a little brainstorming and creative thinking. For example, a car tire and maintenance shop may focus their content around the winter and summer seasons when drivers are in need of winter tires, or new tires for summer road tripping.
Valentine’s Day may not be a day where people think of repairing their vehicles. But imagine a Valentine’s Day sale with content centered around reminding people to avoid breakdowns and have their cars serviced before heading out with their significant other.
Pay Close Attention to Headings
After successfully identifying the opportunities and planning ahead with seasonal content, the task of writing/creation is next in line. As with any piece of content, whether evergreen or seasonal, the traditional methods and techniques to writing content for both the user and search engines apply. Write for the intended user first, answering their possible queries, and search engines second. Pay close attention to headings. Not everyone wants to read an entire article and many first look at the headings to find the sections most relevant to them. For example, if you’re creating an article about construction during all seasons of the year, be sure to include keyword-rich headings for every season: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.
Consider the Competition
There can be a lot of value in paying attention to what similar competitors are doing. What type of content are they creating? When are they publishing seasonal content? Are there any seasonal elements not being created that can be leveraged? This is important knowledge to have when creating seasonal initiatives. You can also learn what to avoid if competitors have saturated and seem to own a particular seasonal category or subcategory.
By considering some of these elements, your company can better leverage the many variations throughout the year whether they be holidays, changing seasons or otherwise. With a little creativity, careful planning and strategic timing, your seasonal efforts are more likely to connect. Engaging with your target audience by capitalizing on changes we all face throughout the year can be a powerful instrument in extending your brand.