Here’s to planning ahead! Twelve months of content marketing.

The benefits of creating (and sticking to) an editorial calendar are numerous: it can help to keep your team organized and accountable, but it also allows you to plan ahead. By keeping track of major events, holidays, and special occasions, you can capitalize on opportunities to increase traffic to your site with timely content initiatives throughout the year.

While there are tons of annual events that can guide your content strategy, here’s one for each month to get you started:

January: The Super Bowl

Sure, the Super Bowl technically takes place in early February — but marketers’ preparation for this momentous occasion begins long before the big day. While a game day commercial slot may not be in your brand’s marketing budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t cash in on the action with some sports-themed content.

February: Valentine’s Day

Last year, Waffle House encouraged customers to post pictures on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag “waffles4lovers.” This just goes to show: you don’t have to be a 5-star restaurant or hotel to incorporate a little romance into your marketing plan this February.

vday

March: The Oscars

The Oscars are all about designer ball gowns and celebrities — and amid all the glitz and glamour and awards-season buzz, the event is a perfect marketing opportunity. The key is finding a way to make the red carpet occasion relevant to your brand.

April: April Fool’s Day

Netflix never misses an opportunity to poke fun at itself on April Fool’s Day, deploying a variety of hilarious tactics over the years. In 2013, for example, the service took its highly detailed viewing categories one step further, adding “Movies That Are in English, But Still Require Subtitles,” and “TV Shows Where Defiantly Crossed Arms Mean Business!” to its genre offerings.

netflix

May: Mother’s Day

Don’t be afraid to get sentimental during Mother’s Day. This heart-warming Teleflora ad highlights the strength of mothers, while at the same time spreading brand awareness by encouraging viewers to show their appreciation with flowers.

June: Father’s Day

Father’s Day offers a lot of potential for content marketing, whether you choose to go the humorous or emotional route. This Gillette campaign manages to capture both sentiments in its poignant depiction of fatherhood.

July: Independence Day

While a lot of holiday-themed content veers toward the sentimental, some occasions lend themselves to practicality instead. UrbanDaddy, for example, created an interactive guide to watching fireworks in New York back in 2014.

fireworks

August: Back-to-School Season

For each major event throughout the year, think about the proper channel for distributing your content. Zulily creates Pinterest boards for crafty moms and dads, helping them to transition from summer into the school year. And of course — they include a few pins that lead back to Zulily product pages.

back to school

September: NFL Football

As football fans get pumped for a new season, share in their excitement by creating some NFL-themed content of your own. Remember — your marketing efforts don’t always have to be literal. Find subtle parallels between top teams and your products, services or values. Take a cue from TrackMaven’s tips for capitalizing on football season.

nfl

October: Halloween

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween. Last October, Tesco played a spooky prank on shoppers by setting up phantom grocery carts and hiding gruesome zombies throughout the store.

November: Thanksgiving

The holiday season is a great time to recycle and refresh some of your favorite campaigns from earlier in the year. In 2015, Coca-Cola put a holiday spin on their popular “Share a Coke” campaign, remarketing their classic glass bottles as name cards for holiday meals.

December: New Year’s Eve

While the holiday season is a popular time for brands to create heartwarming messages and campaigns that give back, it also presents an opportunity to harness the excitement of the coming new year. Google’s annual “Year in Search” campaign does just this, providing a recap of the major events of the past year and encouraging curiosity in the year ahead.

While I’ve mentioned a few of the biggest marketing moments for each month, you should always consider which events best align with your brand. Is there an industry-specific conference coming up? Be sure to add it to your content calendar.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.

Author Jamie Ayers

A graduate of Skidmore College, Jamie works at L&T as a content strategist, account manager, and editorial lead across a wide range of industries and fields, specializing in the digital economy, experiential marketing, and campaign-led initiatives. His other interests include electronics, Agatha Christie novels, and being outside.

More posts by Jamie Ayers