Updated: Sep 14, 2022
I'm not a fan of 'National Days' and Awareness Days for marketing hooks.
When I started coming up with content calendars, back when I worked in house within marketing, often my first port of call around December at planning time would be to Google 'national holidays in January' (replacing the month as needed)- and then to spend a good hour jotting down the key ones for the sector.
I'd then come up with some ideal links to our brand for these holidays or days. and list all the hashtags, date them, plan for them, and present it alongside the rest of the marketing concepts. Job done!
(I must apologise to the manager who had to look with a straight face as I suggested some content based on 'International Happiness Day' after the company had aggressively downsized and she had her company car revoked.)
It seems like a good step in social planning. The thinking is:
National Day = Interest = A chance to piggyback on that interest
But having done it - many times, I must admit, I don't think that's the case.
1. The data is probably iffy
It wasn't a failsafe strategy - often the day would be a USA holiday, would be some made up day 'National Day for Dogs Who Love Donuts - created by Donut4Dogs.com -or would be something you could kind of tenuously weave in a narrative to fit.
'Love pastries? Our team do! That's why we're all celebrating with baked good on National Puff Pastry Day. It's great to work here, so join our team - we're hiring!'
2. The content is going to be pretty thin
There's not much of a value add in national holidays on the whole. While there are some great ways to have a debate about how suicide rates could be reduced by offering proper employee support, or how happiness at work could be influenced by stability and relatively 'dull' benefits as opposed to Free Fruit Friday - there's not many brands who want to have that chat. Even if they do, tying a serious analysis of the complex issues surrounding our working lives into a jolly little hashtag for just one day feels a little crass.
3. It's not adding value
The best case scenario is that you get a good smile, a bit of brand clout and maybe a lead from someone enjoying your post or blog. But there's not much of a value add there.
I was doing this about 9 years ago, but I still see plenty of social media calendars and national holiday for marketer calendars on the internet - some of them are paid for!
Here's what I think is a better strategy.
Write down national days you have actually heard of.
Shout around the office, ask your slack channel. What national days are people aware of? This will give a good indication of things that are 'sticky' in your sector or of huge societal value, and therefore, of some interest.
Then ask if you have something unique, interesting or relevant to say.
2. Add in your own events to your calendar way before any other event or national day.
When are your trade shows, your webinars, your hosted partner events? So many teams know exactly when 'bike to work day' is and have a blog prepped, but have nothing planned for the exhibition they are attending with a cost of £3000+. That's crazy talk!
3. Plan for the brand activity, not for the timing of a season or a day.
Campaigns such as 'it's Summer!' and 'It's Christmas' are repeated by everyone, everywhere. When marking out your calendar it's better to think about
- Additional Extras you are adding
...And to build campaigns around these.
Need help? I've made a post all about that here!
If you need any help with your B2B content and B2B copywriting, you know the drill. Contact me here.