9 Things You Need to Know Before Writing Seasonal Content
A successful content strategy leverages a mix of content types to achieve the documented goals. The best strategies implement everything from top-level evergreen content to timely seasonal content to attract, retain and engage readers and customers alike.
If executed well, seasonal content can capture the attention of new audiences and draw them into your sales cycle. However, it can detract potential fans and customers from consuming more of your brand if the content is executed poorly.
Before you dive into creating this type of content for your business, there are a few things you need to know:
- What seasonal content is, and why it’s beneficial to your content strategy
- The difference between evergreen content and seasonal content
- 9 tips to keep in mind as you develop a seasonal content calendar
Let’s get started.
What is Seasonal Content?
Seasonal content is content centered around a specific event, holiday, or timely bit of information. This type of content maintains relevance for a short period, meaning it’s critical to capitalize on it when possible.
This content type isn’t limited to general holidays or seasonal activities. You can also position seasonal content around happenings in your industry, like product launches or time-specific services.
Seasonal or topical content is typically sectioned into time and event-based content. Examples of time-based content can include:
- Breaking news
- Press releases
- Social media threads
Event-based content can center around:
- Brand or industry events
- Current events
Why is Seasonal Content Important?
Think about the concept of healthy eating. You can fill your daily meals with exciting and healthy fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and dairy, creating new recipes every day of the week. Or, you can stick with the same meals over and over again.
Both approaches work and fulfill their intended purpose, but ultimately are unsustainable.
Every day, a diet filled with exciting new recipes requires endless planning, prepping, and execution. But who wants to eat the same boring meal every day? No one.
The same concept applies to a content strategy. Your audience needs informative, high-level content but doesn’t want to consume it daily. That’s where seasonal pieces come into play.
Seasonal content provides timeliness, relevancy, and entertainment to a content strategy.
Your strategy will appear irrelevant or uninteresting to your audience without this element.
Evergreen Content vs. Seasonal Content: What’s the Difference?
Evergreen content is content that always remains relevant or interesting to your target audience. These are the content topics your potential customers will always be searching for, regardless of season, time, or circumstance.
For example, evergreen content for a fitness center can include topics such as:
- What Are The Best Types Of Cardio?
- Understanding the Gym 101: A Guide to Gym Equipment
- How to Perform a Bench Press
- 10 Ways to Add More Protein to Your Diet
These topics will always be of interest to new clientele and potential leads. Types of evergreen content include:
- FAQ pages
- How-to guides and tutorials
- Case studies
Seasonal content, on the other hand, has fleeting relevancy. For that same fitness center, seasonal content topics can include:
- The Top 10 Outdoor Summer Workout Plans
- How to Do Cardio During the Cold Winter Months
- Do These 5 Workouts to Prep for the Crossfit Games
- How to Train for the Boston Marathon
Each type of content has its respective advantages and disadvantages, so it’s imperative to have a healthy mix of both content types in your strategy.
9 Tips for Creating Seasonal Content
Before you dive into creating topical content, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Use these nine tips to best develop and utilize seasonal content throughout your content strategy.
1. Keep Up With the Trends
Since seasonal content is based around topics only relevant within a specific time frame, it’s crucial to be on top of the latest industry trends and current events.
Rather than frantically checking the news and industry websites every hour, use tools to help you curate trending topics and content ideas. These resources can include:
- Google Trends
- Ahrefs Content Explorer
- Twitter lists
- Google predictive search
- Social media hashtags
The more you’re on top of the trends, the easier it becomes to create topical content regularly.
2. Take Advantage of Relevant Holidays
Holidays are fantastic opportunities for seasonal content. Holiday content also tends to perform well for specific industries such as food and beverage, ecommerce, hospitality, and professional services.
However, if your industry isn’t listed, don’t think that you can’t create holiday content!
Find creative ways to spin the holidays for your industry. If you specialize in air conditioning repair, the 4th of July and other summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to use timely content to your advantage. Or, if you’re a dentist, there’s no better holiday to take advantage of than a candy-filled Halloween fall season.
3. Update Seasonal Pieces Annually
You don’t need to write new pieces each year if you’re creating content around specific industry events, holidays, or yearly occasions.
Instead of having outdated pieces still living on your site, update the content annually. The new content gives your site a fresh and relevant approach while also providing more accurate information.
4. Timing is Everything
Remember, seasonal content isn’t always relevant, so your window of opportunity is small.
If you promote seasonal content too early, no one will pay attention. If you’re too late, everyone will have moved on to the next promotional deal.
The trick to successfully executing this strategy is to time your content promotion around when your audience starts talking about the topic. For instance, promoting an article about Christmas gifts in April is far too early. Aim for mid to late fall instead.
5. Always Create Seasonal Content With Purpose
Have you ever seen a brand jump on a social media meme bandwagon? Their marketing team sees a particular meme or audio trending and thinks, “Let’s do this too!” — only for the content to fall flat or come off as disingenuous.
This is an example of what can happen when seasonal content is created sporadically or rapidly in response to a specific online trend. While sometimes this approach can work, it tends to cause more harm than good to a content strategy.
All seasonal or topical content must be created with your audience’s interests in mind and provide a distinct value. Before hopping on the latest trend or writing an article about a breaking pop culture incident, ask yourself, “Does my audience care about this? Does my content provide value readers cannot get elsewhere?”
If either answer is no, move on.
6. Leverage Seasonal Roundups When Relevant
A common type of timely content is known as a “roundup,” where businesses will create a recap of an event or “season.” This type of content gives readers an overview of everything that happened, what to expect moving forward, and what next steps they can take.
Consider using this type of content for end-of-year company recaps, industry events, and more. This additional content can be helpful for email marketing and social media strategies.
7. Be Mindful of Dates
Dates are a necessary component of seasonal content. After all, they tell readers how timely the topic is. However, if you’re not careful, including dates in your content can also be your strategy’s downfall.
Dates should always be used in headers, paragraphs, and meta descriptions. The trick is to double-check that the dates are accurate every time the content piece is updated. One wrong date can lead to confused or disgruntled readers.
Also, keep dates out of your content’s URLs. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself needing to create endless redirects each year. If you have a seasonal piece, you’ll update it annually and keep the URL as generic yet optimized.
8. Brainstorm Seasonal Topics in Advance
There’s no greater pressure than rushing to meet a deadline. Without a seasonal calendar in place, your team will be crushed by the weight of churning out endless timely content pieces.
Instead, brainstorm seasonal topics as far in advance as possible. Add these topics to your content calendar to ensure ample time for drafting, edits, publication, and distribution.
Rushing to create content around a seasonal topic won’t work in your favor, and you’ll often find yourself playing catch up. Give your content strategy the best possible chance by planning, scheduling, and creating seasonal pieces in advance.
9. Monitor Content Analytics
If evergreen content provides consistent results, think of seasonal content as dynamic. You’ll see relevant spikes in traffic and engagement around the specific event time or season each year.
Use analytics data from past years to make informed decisions about the current year’s content updates, topics, distribution schedule, and more. As you plan your content for the year, this data will guide you toward the best strategy and topic choices.
Implement Seasonal Content Into Your Strategy
Every successful content strategy leverages a perfect balance of seasonal and evergreen content. Some topics may be suited for long-form evergreen articles, while others work best for short-form topical content. Be sure to keep our nine seasonal content tips in mind as you formulate your content strategy for the year.
Anne is a copywriter and digital marketing specialist currently residing in the Greater Nashville area. Originally from New England, she leverages her three top talents (writing, marketing, and coffee consuming) for businesses and brands of all sizes across the globe.
Anne is a 2013 Marketing Communications/Advertising graduate from Western New England University in Springfield, MA. She credits her launch into writing to her legendary elementary school poem about pizza that wowed the judges and won the creative writing award in her school district.
When not writing or working on marketing campaigns, you can find Anne at a coffee shop, exploring somewhere new, or training in martial arts as a 3rd degree black belt.