Raise your hand if you sang a happy song when our bud Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow this Groundhog Day. (Me!)
Between incessant rain and all this political…hullabaloo… I’m ready to boycott all things winter—sweaters, boots, and (last on the list) Netflix shows.
When January hits, the trifecta of fall holidays becomes a distant memory. The once content-filled quarter quickly disappears, and we are left with little from which to draw our creative spark. Let’s be honest, there are only so many ways to tie interesting content to a day for lovers.
But, hark! It’s almost Daylight Saving Time (DST)! And with it comes bright colors, warmer weather, and lots of exciting content ideas—even if you aren’t quite feeling it yet.
Need a little kick in the pants? Here are five tips that can give your content a spring forward.
- Be where your audience is. It’s been said thatDST was created to encourage outdoor time and lessen the strain on energy consumption. Although research has proven that this hasn’t necessarily happened, there’s no denying that folks run for the sunshine once the days turn longer and warmer. When you picture your audience during your content curation process, you create better content. If content you created for winter performed well because your audience was trapped indoors, think of how you can create something similar, but with a warmer-weather vibe. For example, if you created an infographic of the best warm-weather foods featuring spinach, create a new infographic like “3 Cool Ways to Add Spinach to Your Summer Cookout.” If your folks like spinach, give them ways to eat it during the warmer months, too.
- Update your formats. Although traditional indoor distribution platforms still exist come spring, your audience may not be near them as frequently (i.e., desktop computers and TV screens). Once the sun-bathed baseball game starts calling their name, an article listing the year’s best paint colors might perform better as an easily digestible (and quickly seen) slideshow on their mobile device. Think of how and when your target audience will be consuming content once the time changes, and adjust current (or create new) formats accordingly.
- Trash winter posting times. With longer daylight hours, your winter posting times may be missing the mark. If you’ve been posting content at 5pm on Sunday afternoons, you may want to push that back to 7pm or later. Whereas winter may force your target audience indoors earlier, DST allows them to stay outdoors later, meaning they just missed your 5pm article. Adjusting your posting time to accommodate for longer days may have a positive impact on your engagement metrics. And don’t forget about time zones, too. Some parts of the world don’t participate in DST.
- Be a farmer. Well, not exactly, but be like a farmer. It was once thought that DST would help farmers by allowing them to use longer daylight hours. Sadly, however, that hasn’t really been the case. But! You can take the farmer mindset and get moving! If you’re feeling sluggish, strap on your running shoes and hit the streets during that extra daylight hour! When your endorphins start flowing, you’re sure to spark creative power that you haven’t seen in months. (I actually came up with this article idea after a quick lunchtime walk!)
- Lastly, prepare yourself. The bad news about springing forward is that you lose an hour in your day—leaving most of us groggy and grumpy. And when creatives are groggy and grumpy, we usually hit a block. Avoid hitting the wall by preparing for the lost time. A week or two before the change, try waking up or going to bed 15-20 minutes early each day. That way, when the time change hits, your body will be well on its way to going with the adjustment instead of against it.
Regardless of what steps you take to jolt your creative juices, always reference your documented content marketing strategy. The tips above should coordinate with your strategy and should always stay on brand. If you feel your strategy starting to slip, take this time to reevaluate and bring the brand back to center. Remember, quality content always wins over quantity.
Need an easy piece of DST content? Remind clients and/or consumers to spring their clocks forward one hour. Be it by image, email, or GIF, taking this extra step to connect without selling anything is sure to make their day brighter (get it?).
Happy warmer weather!
About Ebonn Hixson
Ebonn Hixson (@ebonny_sans_y) is Communications Director for Storylift (@getStorylift). The company’s Content Distribution Platform reaches over 200 million US readers and features the industry’s most advanced audience targeting capabilities. Ebonn promotes the platform & Storylift | The Magazine, which publishes research and innovative strategies to over 110,000 content marketing professionals each month.