Did you know that June 9th is a nationally-observed holiday? That’s right, it’s Donald Duck Day, a national holiday honoring the first appearance (or “birthday”) of everyone’s favorite Disney duck.
Every day of the year is a holiday of some kind, ranging from the birthdays of fictional characters to croissant appreciation. In fact, there are so many weird little holidays out there that they have to double up (today, November 18th is both Occult Day and Adoption Day, but don’t think too hard about that). These “unofficial” holidays aren’t going to garner you a day off of work, and most are downright silly, but they can be useful marketing tools.
Weird holidays have less competition
Anyone who knows a lick about SEO will tell you that ranking for unusual keywords or phrases is much easier than fighting everyone else for the general ones. If you feel your content is struggling to rank well in the chaos of Christmas, Valentine’s Day and other major holidays, consider throwing in a marketing campaign centered around a bizarre holiday.
With less competition, it’s easier to shine!
Picking the right holiday
Like most things, you want to make your decision carefully. If you just choose a holiday at random, you may not see the best results. Try to find a holiday that fits in with your business or content in a way that feels natural. Own a bookstore? Run a sale on Isaac Asimov’s birthday (also known as Science Fiction Day) on January 2nd.
For other businesses, the connections may be less obvious, but with a little creativity, you can put together something really special. Some of the more well-known oddball holidays like Grandparents Day are particularly malleable and can fit in with just about any business.
And don’t forget, you have a whole slew of month-long observances to pick from, as well!
Incorporating holidays into your marketing
Once you’ve picked your holiday, it’s time to get creating! Like any holiday promotion, you’ll want to spread it across all your platforms in a consistent manner. Make sure you’re using the appropriate Twitter hashtags and try to find visual content that matches your theme (bonus points if you can create the content yourself).
The easiest approach is to run a sale that uses the holiday in question as a springboard, but some other helpful marketing strategies are:
- Competitions and giveaways
Holidays that mark pets are particularly easy to turn into social media contests. Ask your audience to submit photos of their dogs in adorable outfits and pick a winner.
- Informative content
Creating “quote” or statistics graphics are also a good way to boost your business a little without launching a full campaign. Lincoln’s birthday is a great chance to throw one of the former president’s more inspirational quotes onto a royalty-free image.
- Fun content
You can use holidays as an excuse to educate your audience on certain fun topics, as well. Maybe you use National Croissant Day as an opportunity to tell people the true history of this Austrian (not French) pasty. Or maybe you release a free (or discounted) e-Book full of tasty recipes for National Pie Day.
What not to do
Too much of a good thing can wreck it all. Make sure you don’t make any of these holiday-marketing mistakes.
- Using weird holidays too often
Remember that you’re likely running Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and other holiday promotions, as well. Don’t clutter up your content marketing strategy with nothing but holiday tie-ins or it might put off your audience.
- Picking offensive or inappropriate holidays
Be selective with the holidays you choose and especially be careful with how you implement them. Using Donald Duck Day? That’s great, but you probably want to avoid some of the older stuff in your marketing unless you’re really thorough about presenting everything in context. Oscar winner or not, that time Donald Duck was a Nazi may not be the best thing to bring up.
- Take things too seriously
Wacky, unusual holidays are a great opportunity to get creative and think outside of the box. As long as you stay on brand, you should feel free to take this opportunity to do something a little different. Don’t restrict yourself to traditional, constrictive content because it might clash with the whimsical nature of a lot of these holidays.
Let’s return to that Science Fiction Day example. It would be easy to just run a blog piece on the history of Isaac Asimov and his contributions to pulp literature. It would also be boring. Instead try something unusual, like a fake interview with Asimov where he gives reviews and opinions on modern sci-fi books. Anything to shake it up a bit.
- Pick something too obscure
All right, most of these holidays are pretty obscure, but some are definitely more so than others. Unless you’ve found a holiday that perfectly matches your company, it’s usually smarter to go with one that is guaranteed at least a little traction online. It’s a balancing act between making sure your chosen holiday is obscure enough to make for an easy SEO opportunity, but also not so obscure that no one else has ever talked about it. (Sorry, National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day).
If you’ve never delved into the world of wacky holidays and their attached content, there’s only one piece of advice for getting started: dive in. You can browse around other blogs and social media pages to see how others have incorporated these absurd observances into their own content strategies, but make sure you’re not just copying someone else. After all, the whole point is to stand out.
If you’ve created a social media calendar or content marketing calendar, look for gaps where you can easily fit in an attention-grabbing campaign like this. This will have the added benefit of narrowing down your holiday search from the whole year to just several parts of it.
Above all else, use this opportunity to let your content creators have some productive fun!