The holiday season is fast approaching, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how content marketers should handle it. After all, this whole year has been unlike anything we’ve experienced before, and there’s no reason to expect the holidays to be any different. The same old holiday content marketing strategies that brands have used for years just won’t work.
But I’ve seen a few clues that, while not a crystal ball, have shaped my expectations for the 2020 holidays. And, as usual, I see both opportunities and responsibilities.
- People in my neighborhood are already putting up Christmas lights. That may not seem like a big deal, but, to me, it indicates that people are desperate for “warm fuzzy” moments and starving for the safety of treasured traditions. Everyone is tired of feeling deprived by lockdowns and remote everything.
- Where I live, stores are packed. Folks are shopping like crazy, snatching up non-essentials in what I think is an attempt to make up for what’s been a rotten year so far.
- And then we have the question of holiday gatherings. While experts are discouraging large gatherings, pandemic-weary shoppers are looking for a meaningful holiday season. And, for most, that means spending it with friends and family — in person, not over Facetime. Despite the CDC’s warnings, I think a lot of people will be going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house.
Consumers are tired of COVID, & they’re tired of feeling deprived. Just like finding comfort in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s after a bad date, many are turning to shopping to make up for what they’ve lost to COVID.Tweet
On the other hand, a lot of people are still out of work. They want those warm fuzzies as much as anybody else, but they may not be able to afford them.
We also can’t ignore the reality that many people are grappling with the loss of family members to coronavirus, not just the comforts of “before.”
So that brings me to three questions I think content marketers should be asking themselves right now. One is about opportunity, and the other two are about responsibility and ethics:
Three questions to ask yourself when planning your content marketing strategy for the 2020 holiday season
- How can we create content that presents our product or service as something that will make customers feel happier, safer, more comfortable, pampered, etc.? People are starving for a taste of “before,” even if it’s temporary. We’ve all missed out on a lot of things this year — weddings, funerals, high school traditions like homecoming and prom, athletics (which many students were counting on for college scholarships), football seasons, etc. How can we present our product as something that will convey a sense of home, family, and tradition without coming across as being indifferent to the thousands of people who have died from COVID?
- Thousands of people are still out of work. Do we have an ethical responsibility to avoid encouraging them to buy things they can’t afford?
- Should we publish images of holiday gatherings? If so, should those images show people following CDC guidelines to wear masks, stay six feet apart, etc.?
I’d usually dig into these questions myself, but this time I’m throwing them back to you. What are your thoughts on those questions, and what questions have I missed?
Here’s one more thing to think about: New Year’s celebrations are usually about welcoming in the new year. Do you think this New Year will be about welcoming 2021, or do think it will be about kicking 2020 in the backside? Reading the mood of your audience will be extremely important for creating content that resonates.
Personally, I think this year will be more about saying a thankful goodbye to 2020 than welcoming 2021.