Brands often struggle to hit that elusive mix of creative, timely content relevant to their audience that still directly aligns with their brand. If you have something of a sense of humor, entertaining your audience isn’t that hard. Yet for your social content to be effective in marketing, at least a good portion must be relevant to your brand, as well. You know the deal, though; if you’re only talking about your brand or products, fans get bored with your self-promotion.
Special occasions and holidays offer marketers a great chance to get creative with their social content, to capture the attention of an increasingly attention-deficit audience. Yet simply being an Irish company doesn’t make your product or service relevant on an Irish holiday. Being a Canadian, or American, company doesn’t guarantee relevance on holidays specific to North America, either.
In January, TopRank attended NMX Las Vegas and I had the opportunity to hear Jay Baer speak on “Youtility” - that is, offering your audience something of use to them. Become a source of useful information and connect on that level. Holidays are a great chance to offer something useful from your brand while capitalizing on the popularity of the day.
This St. Patrick’s Day, Irish brands Baileys, Tourism Ireland and Brennans Bread celebrated in the spirit of the occasion with social fans through their content. Each had a different strategy and each fulfilled a need for their specific audience, successfully aligning their product with the holiday. See what you can learn from their lead.
Baileys Inspires with Drink Recipe
Just in case you had forgotten to pick up a bottle of Baileys for St. Patrick’s Day, the iconic Irish beverage maker shared a delicious and simple reminder for fans.
Their St. Patrick’s Day best wishes image was captioned with the following: “In a cocktail shaker filled with ice shake 1oz Baileys® Irish Cream with a hint of Biscotti Flavour, 1/2oz Bushmills Irish Whiskey and1/2oz honey. Make sure the honey is completely blended and the drink is chilled. Serve in a martini glass or over ice. Enjoy!”
The high quality image stands out in the Newsfeeds of users and offers something relevant to the occasion they can actually use – and share with friends. And they did! The recipe was one of two St. Patrick’s Day posts by the brand, the other another image wishing everyone well. Between those two simple pieces of content, Baileys earned over 3,700 Likes and 1,000 Shares.
Holiday Marketing Takeaway: Offer fans a useful tip, trick or other short bit of information relevant to your product or service they can actually use, to increase engagement and sharing. Be creative and plan to tap into upcoming special occasions.
Tourism Ireland Offers Access with Dublin Parade Livestream
Tourism Ireland chose to livestream the Dublin Parade on their website, promoting their coverage through their social accounts on St. Patrick’s Day. As you can see from the volume of activity around their post – 7,500 Likes and almost 2,000 shares – their social fans appreciated this access to an event many could not attend in person.
You don’t need to have a large business or a huge online marketing budget to offer your fans an insider look or direct access to an event. Creative video content is easier than ever to produce, with free tools like YouTube and Google+ Hangouts.
Holiday Marketing Takeaway: Give fans access to or a sneak peek at an event by livestreaming or recording happenings around a holiday. Hosting your video content on your website, like Tourism Ireland, can help drive traffic to your website, as well.
Brennans Bread Makes Their Product the Solution for the Holiday
How can you make a product like bread relevant on a holiday? Brennans Bread suggests: “St Patrick’s Day Parades will be taking place around the country this weekend, perfect time to break out the picnic basket and pack it full of sandwiches!”
They’re answering a question and solving a problem for their audience: what to do on St. Patrick’s Day? The picture is interesting and more likely to be shared because rather than using a stock image, Brennans created the iconic clover associated with the holiday out of their bread. It’s simple, doesn’t take long, and makes their product directly relevant to the occasion.
Holiday Marketing Takeaway: Find that creative angle that makes your product, service or brand directly relevant to the holiday. Proactively answer a question or need fans may not even know they have by thinking, what is it people want or need to do on this day and how can we be a part of that?
With a little creativity and planning, you can tap into the heightened traffic and buzz around holidays with social content that speaks to consumers and still gets your brand message across. How do you connect the dots between your products or services and the topics your audience members are interested in? Share your tips or questions in the comments.
Image from sxc.hu/hussey