How To Avoid Sounding Tone Deaf This Festive Season

woman wrapping present box near christmas tree

The 2022 festive season is officially here, bringing with it all the usual holiday planning for marketers and content creators. But this time, things will look very different.

In the last few years, we’ve seen a global pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, record-breaking inflation rates, and a rapidly changing political landscape. As 2022 draws to a close, consumers are feeling the effects of these recent events when making purchase decisions, and many are already cutting back on holiday spending. 

These global crises have redefined marketing; the seasonal content strategy that worked for your brand in 2021 simply won’t cut it this year. In fact, with unpredictable and disruptive events occurring every other day, creators must tread carefully to avoid sounding tone-deaf this winter…

Be in the know – and stay in it 

Striking while the iron’s hot with a reactive marketing strategy may have previously got you some good engagement. However, jumping on the bandwagon this festive season could cause more harm than good.

Sure, staying up to date with goings-on in the world is key to avoiding tone-deaf content. But you can’t rely on one information source. Brands must extensively research rising trends or breaking news as well as what their target audience is saying about it to ensure it’s relevant to their niche. 

For instance, the cost of living crisis means tightening budgets. No doubt many consumers will cut back on non-essential purchases this winter and into the new year. It’s your responsibility to understand how inflation and rising costs impact your particular audience. Only then should you consider incorporating it into your marketing strategy. 

And how do you find out what your target market thinks about a topic? Take a moment to connect with them on social media. Polls and direct discussions are excellent ways to gain a deeper understanding of current challenges and priorities to ensure appropriate messaging. But remember, this isn’t a one-off task. Forming trusting relationships with your audience and maintaining relevance requires you to constantly monitor every customer touchpoint. 

Consider what to say – and how to say it 

The new content landscape provides unique opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences. But it’s not just about what you say – it’s also about how you say it. 

People want to feel heard and reassured. It’s your job to address challenges head-on and provide a solution. For example, we recently helped a client launch an eBook about the impact of inflation on their audience and how they can help consumers overcome disruption. Not only did it generate leads for our client, but it also ensured their content was in tune with their audience’s pain points.

Or perhaps you want to take a leaf out of other brands’ books and demonstrate more charitable values. In light of the current climate, many B2C businesses have moved away from the traditional, family-around-the-tree Christmas ads – Amazon promoted mental health awareness, Lidl encouraged shoppers to donate to its toy bank initiative, and M&S featured community groups they support. 

Whatever content you create this festive season, you need to convey appropriate messaging for your audience. Adapting to an empathetic and authentic tone of voice, as well as creating consumer-focused content that addresses real-time needs, is key. You should also ask your team what they think before hitting ‘publish’ on a Tweet or blog post. A second opinion doesn’t hurt, and it may even save you from misreading the room

Need a second set of eyes? 

If this all sounds like too much work, Making You Content is here to help! Our team of copywriters will handle everything for you – from in-depth research into current trends to content planning and development, we’ll strike the right marketing tone every single time. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Words by Kelly

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