Developing content around annual and seasonal events can increase traffic, shares, and awareness for your brand and the content you create. The key to success is managing your time efficiently. If you publish content too far in advance or too long after an event passes, it may defeat the purpose of your efforts.
This is especially important for B2B marketers. When marketing to other companies, you’re not just marketing to the business — you’re marketing to the people who work for that business, too. They’re content consumers just like anyone else, so capitalizing on holidays and seasonal events is important in order to connect with them — no matter what.
My team at Alexa developed a 2016 content calendar to help B2B marketers manage their time efficiently and alleviate the stress of knowing when to start creating, publishing, and promoting seasonal content.
With data gathered from Alexa tools and BuzzSumo, we pinpointed what worked in the past and compiled this guide to help you grow your future reach. Our calendar includes an in-depth look at each month’s events. Below, you can take a look at what to focus on in March.
Seeing the full picture isn’t the same as detailing a plan of action for your efforts. To get started boosting engagement through seasonal content, here’s what you need to begin working on now:
Some events — like season premieres of our favorite TV shows — aren’t guaranteed to come around each year. That just makes your ability to create and promote content around them even more important for engagement.
The latest highly anticipated season of “Game of Thrones” returns to HBO on April 24, which means March is the time to begin planning your content.
In the past, the best-performing content related to “Game of Thrones” included videos, interactive content, and lists. Understandably, the most-shared piece of content related to “Game of Thrones” is the HBO teaser trailer for the new season, which garnered more than 457,000 shares in less than a month after its release on YouTube.
So what’s the takeaway for B2B marketers? If your company is hosting a conference, teaser trailer-style video content can help generate curiosity and interest in your event. Just remember to tease the conference with related information that doesn’t spoil the entire keynote or outline the speaker’s agenda. By taking a cue from “Game of Thrones” and releasing brief but intriguing details prior to your event, you’ll draw more website visitors who will ultimately engage with your brand.
Interactive content, especially quizzes, have also worked well for “Game of Thrones.” The second and third most-shared pieces of content for the series include quizzes such as “What’s Your ‘Game of Thrones’ House?” and “How Long Would You Survive in ‘Game of Thrones?’”
Content like this has provided fodder for the show’s fans and educational value for the average viewer. Plus, it’s fun and invokes curiosity. Who wouldn’t want to know which house they’d belong to or whether they’d even survive in Westeros?
The main point is that simple teaser content engages your audience and is highly shareable on social media, particularly on Facebook (both quizzes combined garnered more than 500,000 shares on Facebook).
You’ll see on the complete calendar that some Mother’s Day content production began in February. By the middle of March, however, you should begin developing your related infographics, and by the end of March, Father’s Day video and interactive production should begin.
It’s best to start preparing these types of content months in advance because videos, interactive content, and infographics take the longest to create. Videos are especially important, as this category is the most-shared content format for over 40 percent of events. However, for these holidays, lists are just as important — think gift ideas, activity lists, and DIY projects.
For example, last year’s most-shared content for Mother’s Day included:
If you’re aiming for more than 500 shares per piece of content, visual content for both of these days is important because Facebook and Pinterest garner the most social shares. Tailor your content for sharing on these platforms, and you can grow your reach.
Taking the time to build your brand’s content around holidays could help increase your audience engagement because at the end of the day, we’re all human. The best way to engage with consumers and a general audience is to connect with them on a relatable level.
March Madness inspires competition in many of us. Every year, co-workers, families, and friends develop their own brackets and carefully follow their favorite teams. B2B marketers can hit a sweet spot with leads and potential customers by getting them to engage in some friendly competition.
This sports event plays best with fun, light-hearted content. For example, one of the most-shared pieces of content for last year’s March Madness was a Vine of someone setting a bracket on fire. Also, Facebook and Twitter scored the highest number of social shares for March Madness content. This month-long event offers a longer PR outreach window, so there are many opportunities to gain exposure.
For B2B marketers, holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s accounted for more than 57 percent of all holiday-related content in 2015. Start your ideation process early, and you just might ring in 2017 with some killer content and new clients.