Until a few years ago I was really adamantly against celebrating most major holidays. I hated having to drop all my shit because of some traditional holiday or Christmas and Easter especially. Now that I’m a bit older and only really spend time with family or friends during the holidays I love them. They bring people together and I’m all about that.
Of course as a brand we need to keep on top of the holidays because they are usually the best times to post content and push products. We at Rough Rat don’t really push the whole holiday thing but we have dabbled in it to some success. Because we work purely as a print on demand store we have to work around the fact that we don’t produce or ship our own merchandise. We prefer to just make free content like printable cards or artwork. It’s a good middle ground.
We really enjoy creating content for holiday periods for loads of reasons. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought it would be a great time to share our insights on working as a brand during the holidays for anyone curious.
It’s a great way to reach a lot of new people on social media
Last year we made a collection of printable Valentine’s Day cards for anyone free of charge. ALl you had to do was save the image, print it in A4 and fold it in half. Boom. We made a total of 5 cards about 3 days out from Valentine’s and it was one of our most widely viewed posts on out Instagram and Facebook.
The holidays allow you to reach a wider range of people that may not normally see your content. It’s a great way to really cast your net and bring a new audience to your online presence and your store.
One drawback to this however is that you’ll be posting among a slew of other content creators doing exactly the same thing. There’s a good chance you’ll be just another drop in the bucket. We find that using a mix of original and common hashtags as well as posting behind the scenes content prior to the actual holiday will help make your work stand out a little better.
You can really showcase your brand identity
One of the best things about creating content focused around holidays is that you can put your own spin on it. It’s an excellent chance to show the world what your brand is about and where you stand. We think Valentine’s day is ultimately stupid in nature so we made our cards stupid and goofy for the most part. Using the day as a chance to show people what to expect from our brand and align ourselves with people who think the holiday is garbage. We didn’t do this massive thing to cash in but rather we just shared some jokey free works. Simple.
This doesn’t always work out in your favour however. If you force the content or your attitude seems ingenuous then people seeing your content will know. It’s not hard to spot someone who’s just making an obligatory post for views or money. If the holiday can resonate with your brand and your brand message then work with it. If you aren’t feeling it or you can’t make it work then leave it alone.
Using the event as a creative prompt helps
Our approach to the holiday focused content is simply “What can we make with this holiday?’ Rather than, “What can we earn with this holiday?”
Rather than have some grand marketing strategy we just use the day to create something and treat it like a prompt rather than a sales pitch. This actually works wonders because we generate ideas which we can explore further down the line.
Make a mind map, right the holiday slap bang in the middle and generate some key ideas and themes. Here’s a few examples we explored last year.
Take the day as a chance to explore potential ideas you wouldn’t other wise have come up with. Don’t focus on the holiday itself but rather what in represents and how you (and your niche) feel about it.
Don’t take the piss
I have seen UK brands make President’s day posts. I have seen American brands make Burn’s Night posts. I have seen all manner of shit on my feeds where brands will just use a holiday to manipulate metrics or search algorithms and it’s trash.
Don’t take the piss when it comes to using holidays to share content. If you have no business celebrating it then don’t. I’m Scottish, I have no reason to celebrate Independence Day or Thanksgiving. I have a hard on for Burn’s Night and St Andrew’s day however and feel comfortable celebrating those days.
Focus on the days that resonate (either positively or negatively) with you and your brand. It’ll make it more valuable to you as a content creator. You’ll personally be more invested. The whole process will be a lot more fun and enjoyable in the long run.
The holidays are a great period to get your content out there and showcase your brand to new people. It’s a great chance to generate new ideas and content for your brand and let people know what your brand stands for and who your brand is for. Make use of the holidays and show off what you got.