The festive season is a great time to diversify and get creative with your content. With more of your audience now at home, during the second UK lockdown and with the Christmas holidays quickly approaching, the festive season is a great way to capture people’s attention, increase your engagement, and create truly memorable content. We’ve put together four ideas to inspire you to level up your content game this year, including examples from some of the top-performing brands at Christmas time. Let’s get planning!
Interactive and User-Generated Content
With the evenings getting darker and people spending more time on social media, you can seize the opportunity to create content that your audience can actively engage with. This will not only encourage user-generated content, supplementing your own content schedule for weeks to come, but also keep you relevant and memorable in a particular content-saturated period on social media.
One brilliant example is Starbucks’ 2017 Christmas social media campaign which saw them create a #WhiteCupChallenge, encouraging users across the US and Canada to create their own designs on their coffee cups and post them on social media. Starbucks, who often run marketing campaigns like this very successfully, then posted this user-generated content on their own social media. So, if you’re struggling for unique content ideas this festive season, posting some interactive content could be a great way of generating a stream of innovative and one-of-a-kind content for your brand.
If you don’t have the option of sending out products for your customers to personalise, or your business just doesn’t really lend itself to this kind of user-generated content, why not try creating content that your customers can simply relate to? For example, Primark made the most of the cosy season drawing in this year with a “which Primark pyjamas are you based on your star sign?” social media post. This kind of personalised content that users themselves can relate to, or that they can involve their friends and family in, encourages high levels of engagement and shows your brand’s relevance and creativity.
Content that provides value or teaches your audience how to do something is a great way of engaging them and getting them into the festive mood! No matter what your brand offers, the demands of your audience, or the kind of content that typically does well on your social media pages, “how-to” content is easy to implement and can be incredibly effective.
Pret A Manger, for example, recently posted a recipe and cooking tutorial across their social media channels on how to “make your own Melting Melvin”, reminding their audience to “tag us in your own creations”. The post saw high levels of engagement on socials and, interestingly, showcased the cafe chain’s thoughtful brand values, as the recipe didn’t actually promote any of their own products (although they do sell their own Melting Melvins in their stores).
But it doesn’t have to be a recipe or food-related content at all (although it is a good way to grab the attention of your audience). You can choose “how-to” content that really resonates with your audience and your brand values. So, for example, you could create a make-up tutorial, a set of instructions to make something arts-and-crafty, or even a step-by-step guide to managing your finances around Christmas. Just be true to your brand and have fun with it!
Special Date Countdown
We all love a Christmas countdown - you might even have your own countdown in your social media content planner! So why not integrate this idea into your social media content? Of course, you don’t necessarily need to post a countdown update every single day (especially if you’re planning to countdown for a long period of time), but keeping your audience updated and showing that you share their excitement for special dates is a great way to engage them. And it doesn’t have to be exclusively Christmas we’re talking about here. For example, if you know that a large proportion of your audience celebrate Diwali in November, or perhaps New Year’s Eve is a particularly significant date in your community, then a countdown to these dates may be more effective and impactful for your particular social media audience.
Informative and Supportive Content
With 2020 being such a turbulent and unpredictable year, the festive season is going to be a little different this time around - that’s just inevitable. But, as a brand, there are things you can do to adapt to this change in the mood and priorities of your audience. Earlier this year, Twitter Marketing conducted research into how people are feeling about the festive period in 2020 and what they’re looking for in the brands and social media marketing they choose to consume. They found that the top three tone of voice recommendations from people this Christmas was for brands to be: positive, informative, and supportive.
They also found that users are placing a lot of value on useful information from brands around the measures they’re taking to minimise the risk of COVID-19. H&M did this, for example, at the start of lockdown in March, when they announced that they would be letting global aid organisations utilise their large and influential social media platforms to share messages about health and safety around the virus. While you may not be able to implement something of this scale, there are plenty of ways that you can use your platform to spread positivity and information, such as supporting mental health charities, creating content that communicates motivational quotes or stories, or organising spaces online for your community to interact and support one another during lockdown.
Basically, wherever and however you can make your content positive, thoughtful, and kind this festive season, try and do so!