Five years ago I would have told you that Christmas music was about the worst thing ever – the same songs over and over, on the radio way too early in the season. You could say I’ve done a “180” on the topic. At the urging of my wife, I began to explore some of the holiday music I had long since forgotten. I now will readily admit that there’s good Christmas music out there and I actually look forward to the time when it’s appropriate to put on the Charlie Brown Christmas album or Burl Ives’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Christmas music is a lot like the content on the Web: There’s a ton of it, and much of it isn’t very good. But just as I was willing to reconsider my thoughts on Christmas music, nobody is ever going to stop searching the Web for answers. Therefore, content marketing will always be important, and finding ways to separate your content from the rest is crucial. Here are three lessons content marketers can take away from the best Christmas music:
Don’t be afraid to be yourself
As long as you’re being authentic, personality wins. You still hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” because it doesn’t sound like a Christmas song – it sounds like Bruce Springsteen doing a Christmas song. As much as I might not like to admit it, same goes for Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Don’t be afraid to ditch the formalities, be conversational and lend some personality to your writing.
A little irreverence can go a long way
Some of the best Christmas songs take some liberties with Santa’s story. That’s what makes “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” a classic yet today. This year, I have this comical plea to Santa by local band The Federales on repeat. If you can get away with it, being a little playful with your content can help you connect with readers. As long as you don’t overdo it and venture into offensive territory, irreverence is a good thing.
Short-term gains from gimmicks don’t always play out well over time
One reason we have so many bad Christmas songs is because putting out a Christmas single or album can be an overt money grab for musicians – artistic integrity be damned. Did you know Mariah Carey remade “All I Want for Christmas is You” with help from none other than Justin Bieber last year? Just as this remake probably won’t reflect kindly on Mariah’s musical legacy, shortcuts like buying links and producing duplicate content can harm your long-term SEO prospects and your standing with savvy readers.
Just like the beauty of good content is subject to the eye of the beholder, the merits of certain holiday songs can be debated for hours. What are your favorite holiday tunes and which ones would you prefer to never hear again?