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5 Content Marketing Lessons from Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us this week, and everyone’s heads are swimming with thoughts of turkey, stuffing, and cranberries. But beyond being a time for a holiday feast or shopping blitz, Thanksgiving provides marketers with valuable lessons. So, while you are home with family—look to our tips for what to get out of the holiday.

Let’s take some of the lessons you need to pull off a successful Thanksgiving and apply them to an effective content marketing campaign. Make sure your Turkey Day is fruitful in more ways than eating cranberries—learn how to be a better marketer.

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Start Your Planning Early

For Thanksgiving, it can take weeks of planning to pull off a successful meal and please everyone at the holiday table. You need to start finding recipes, buying groceries, and organizing where family members are going to stay far in advance. Without the proper precautions and planning, a well-organized Thanksgiving can turn into a screaming WWE match between grandma and your Uncle Carl–with mashed potatoes ending up on the ceiling.

On the other hand, when you successfully have your recipes planned, cook dishes in advance, and figure out how to separate contentious family members, your Thanksgiving will be peaceful and harmonious (minus an occasional political argument). This goal is achievable, but it takes hard work to get there.

Content marketing works the same way. Plan your company’s content on a monthly or quarterly basis, but leave time for the unexpected (like Aunt Myrtle bringing her five cats), and you’ll reach your goals. With a combination of detailed planning and the ability to adapt to changes on the fly, your content marketing will be more successful.

Create a Mix of (Content) Dishes

Just like the variety needed for your Thanksgiving menu, you need a mix of content to engage your audience. You can’t only serve a turkey and potatoes for Thanksgiving; you need multiple sides and a delicious dessert. So, too, with marketing: create e-books, videos, podcasts, blogs, and other content pieces that are right for your company and audience.

Remember that serving the same thing to your guests (or your audience) isn’t going to keep them coming back. Variety is the spice of life. Different content types and exciting new side dishes are what keep your buyers and family coming back to the table.

You Can’t Do It Alone

Thanksgiving is a lot of work. Between all the cooking, cleaning, and keeping the family at peace, it can be exhausting. But part of the fun of Thanksgiving is getting the whole family together, having interesting conversations, and learning about everyone’s lives. Take advantage of family and friends coming to your Turkey Day Dinner to delegate. Have other people bring sides, do the dishes, or even help you with the turkey.

Content marketing is similar in certain respects. It’s stressful to try to do everything by yourself. Source articles on specific content from colleagues in those fields and use your resources wisely. By delegating correctly, you’ll put less stress on yourself and put out better products in the long run. Working together, much like with the Pilgrims and Native Americans, results in a better outcome. Just treat your co-workers (and Thanksgiving guests) better than the colonists treated their new friends.

Be Grateful and Keep Giving

At the Thanksgiving table, it can be difficult to remember the spirit of the holiday when there’s a food fight or political argument taking place. Do your best to make everyone feel comfortable, even if it means satisfying someone you don’t agree with, or fixing up food for vegetarians or vegans. Thanksgiving is about giving to everyone, even those you wouldn’t usually tolerate.

In content marketing, it’s important to remember that you’re targeting your content to your specific audience, or your buyer personas. It’s easy to think, “me, me, me” and talk about your company solely–when you need to focus on the target audience’s concerns. They don’t want to know how amazing Cousin Gracie’s mashed potatoes are; they want to see the recipe for mashed potatoes—and eventually eat them.

Create content that your audience can use to further their goals, and you will guide them along a path to purchase your product—give them what they want, and maybe they’ll give back by buying what you sell. Just like your unappreciative relatives.

Ignore the Negative and Push Forward

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Thanksgiving can be a difficult time to be around family. They can be callous, insensitive, and just plain rude. Perhaps you don’t have the job they wanted you to have. Maybe you’re single, or your relationship is taboo. Don’t sweat it. Many families love to criticize, and for some, it’s just a way of expressing love.

Their opinions matter, but you shouldn’t let their disapproval goad you into doing something you don’t want to or changing your path. No matter what actions you take, someone will dislike it.

With content marketing, you will also face negativity. You might get emails saying your articles are garbage and your product is far inferior to your competitor. There’s no way to make everyone like your brand or product. Even the biggest companies in the world have a niche—even if it’s close to 2 billion people (e.g., Facebook). Write content the same way you live your life—with authenticity. By bringing your voice and personality to your brand and content, you’ll attract a broader audience that cares deeply about what you sell.

Get Ready for Thanksgiving Marketing

Now that you have some tips on how to improve your Thanksgiving marketing strategy, it’s time to get started. Make sure you’re prepared for your family and the upcoming holiday season with more ideas from Leverage Marketing.


Leverage Marketing’s content marketing team knows how to talk turkey. We’ll work with you to develop a content strategy that you’ll be thankful for!

Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter

Digital Content Specialist at Leverage Marketing
Reuven is a content specialist at Leverage Marketing in Austin, TX. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with his B.A. in English and Women and Gender Studies, Reuven spent some time in I.T. before moving to Austin and starting his career in content marketing. When he’s not working, Reuven cooks, takes his dog all over Austin, reads voraciously, and is an avid watcher of odd TV
Reuven Shechter

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