A carefully planned content marketing strategy contains several key ingredients including an understanding of who you’re creating content for (e.g., your persona or personas), how your content will help them, and some key performance indicators to measure success.
However, even the most thoughtful and well-planned content strategy can run into roadblocks without a detailed editorial plan. The editorial plan should include what categories and topics you plan to write about, how you intend to amplify your content (e.g., social media, email, etc.) and—the most important bit of all—a list of relevant, highly engaging ideas that incorporates a balance of evergreen and time-sensitive content.
Event-specific content can be challenging to create with any consistency, but with some planning and foresight, it is possible to plan out your editorial calendar in advance. One way to do this is to align some of your topics with seasonal holidays, observance days, and themes.
A holiday for every week, month and season
At CommonMind, we’ve compiled a holiday planner specifically aimed at social media content planning. It contains more than 300 holidays bucketed in three categories as follows:
- 2019/2020 U.S. National Holidays: This calendar contains all the top favorites like Christmas, New Year’s Day and Tax Day (that last one is somebody’s favorite, I’m sure).
- Educational Calendar/Events: This includes key dates such as Global Family Day and National Science Fiction Day which are observed globally.
- A Food-themed Calendar: Technically, these aren’t holidays, but they’re fun to observe and perfect for helping fill your editorial calendar, particularly if you are in the food and beverage industry (though this isn’t a requirement).
Since a long list of every conceivable holiday can seem a bit daunting to wrap your brain around, we’ve also created an embedded Google calendar that can be viewed in weekly or monthly increments or printed.
November 2019 Holiday Calendar – Source: CommonMind
Holiday planning isn’t just for retailers
When people think of the holiday season, it tends to mean the period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (although it’s been creeping up in the calendar to incorporate Halloween as well). But holiday content planning isn’t just for retailers or companies whose business ebbs and flows depending on the season. Here are a few examples of how some lesser-known holidays and observed days can inspire great content.
World Vegan Day (November 2, 2019): This is relevant to a variety of businesses in the health and wellness industry. Here are a few examples:
- A nutritionist could write a piece about how to create a nutrient-rich vegan diet.
- A healthcare provider could create a list of physical signs for vegans to be aware of that indicate they’re not getting enough of a specific vitamin or mineral.
- A fitness expert (or gym) could write about how to ensure vegans have enough energy for various types of workouts.
World Kindness Day (November 13, 2019)
- A marketing agency could write about an ad campaign or case study which features kindness as the main theme.
- A veterinary clinic could write about how kindness helps both pets and their owners live happy, more fulfilling lives.
- Any number of businesses can write about kindness as their approach to doing business such as through employee wellness and medical programs, community service and involvement, or promoting an internal culture of kindness.
National Hot Cocoa Day (December 13, 2019)
- This is a cocoa-manufacturer’s dream holiday and the perfect day to promote their cocoa products with a blog post as well as via social media.
- Food-related organizations (coffee shops, restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, etc.) could create an event around this day (e.g., drop in for a free cup of cocoa!) and promote it via their blog and social media accounts.
- Retailers can cash in on the height of shopping season by offering free cocoa in stores, coupons that fall on this day, and stories that humanize the company which can be featured on the blog (e.g., feature an employee cocoa-related story).
As you can see, becoming familiar with nonstandard holidays as well as observance days can help spur creative ideas for content that’s relevant to a variety of businesses and industries (you don’t have to sell cocoa to take advantage of National Hot Cocoa Day).
Our Google Holiday Calendar is a great way to familiarize yourself with upcoming holidays and can be imported into your own calendar for easy reference. Since this may be overwhelming, you can also peruse the long list of holidays to begin brainstorming and filling out your editorial calendar for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.
Happy content planning!
Jacqueline Dooley is Director of Digital Strategy for CommonMind.
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