Remember when there was just Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day (and maybe a few more big ones)? These days it seems as if there’s a “national holiday,” “national day” or “national month” for virtually everything.
Most of the new “holidays” have made the rounds on social media, and chances are that others have passed right by you without your even knowing they existed. While some are fun (puppies!) and relevant (deep dish pizza!) to participate in, it’s difficult to decipher which ones you should post on your brand’s social media pages and which should be ignored. We’ve broken down the basics for you.
First: who’s in charge of the list of days and how are they chosen? Anyone can create a day as there is no official accreditation or government agency required to declare the dates, but here is the the most reliable source to peruse. The site has a dedicated staff reviewing applications. When a day is approved, they promote it in all their channels to help spread the word.
Of the tens of thousands of submissions they get per year, they typically approve only twenty to twenty-five days. According to a statement on the website: “Due to a substantial backlog we are only accepting applications from companies and organizations at this time.”
When should your brand consider jumping on the national holiday bandwagon? We recommend you ask the following questions:
- Is this national day relevant to my brand?
- Can we tie this into our brand story? (i.e. #nationalhotdogday is likely not relevant for an expensive and luxurious brand. Make sure the celebration fits in to your content mix and is in line with the price, quality, and style of the brand.)
- Is it listed on https://nationaldaycalendar.com?
If you said “yes” to the questions above, it’s time to get creative. Here are some tips on incorporating national holidays into your marketing mix:
- Stage a photo that creatively represents your brand and that realistically ties in the national holiday.
- Place something on sale or offer a special deal in honor of the national day observance.
- Create content for your blog that highlights a national holiday, national week or national month that’s relevant to your business. You can publish the content on the day of the holiday but if you’re looking for potential search engine traffic, publish the post ahead of time. People may be searching in search engines before the actual holiday arrives.
- Host a celebration with your employees in honor of the national holiday (invite customers if applicable).
Incorporating national holidays into your content calendar can help you generate publicity for your business, but it also means competing against other businesses that are doing the same thing.
So when should you create your own holiday? Here are some questions to consider:
- What is it about your brand that’s worth celebrating?
- Who is your target audience and are they likely to celebrate?
- Does it make sense to just celebrate for a day, or should you make it a week or month so you have a larger window of time?
- Why is the day/week/month relevant?
- How will this national day tie back to your marketing objectives?
- How will your brand promote this day and generate buzz?
Whether it’s an existing national holiday or one you create on your own, when positioned properly these occasions can be a great opportunity for your brand to have some fun and potentially reach a new audience.
But we recommend you use them sparingly: two-to-three times a month at the most. We also recommend taking the time and effort to plan for creating quality content. Brands that are all over the place on social are more likely to be all over the place in other aspects of the business.
Through planning and executing a strategy to create quality content, customers can trust the brand is likely doing the same across the boards. And that can only reflect well on your brand.