Holiday Content Ideas: How Creators Can Win Big in Q4

Black gift boxes with purple, blue and green bows.

It’s that time of year. There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are falling and the days have shortened into night. The last three months of the year are packed with festive holidays and are also the most important months for pretty much any business to capitalize on, including creators. With a large number of advertisers saving their largest budgets to target this peak shopping period, monetized content during Q4 will drive more earnings for creators than at any other time of the year. We’ve got some holiday content ideas to make your channels even merrier and brighter. 

Have you marked Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the winter holidays on your content calendar yet? If not, here’s your guide to ramping up content in the last quarter of 2022.

Standout Dates for Your Content Calendar

It’s important to post more frequently during the holiday season to take advantage of peak consumer shopping. CPMs (cost per mille, or cost per thousand, is how much an advertiser pays per one thousand impressions) tend to rise sharply at the beginning of October and peak at Halloween. After dropping down to the annual average during the first week of November, CPMs rise steadily again as shoppers ramp up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All weeks in December have a higher CPM than the annual average and are generally higher than other peaks in the year.

What does this mean for you as a creator? Higher CPMs mean more money per post. To take advantage of the higher monetization rates on your videos, it’s important to not only plan for key dates in the last quarter of the year, but to maximize your earnings by posting prior to these key dates.

Here are some important dates to hit and how to take advantage of each.

Person sitting at a computer wearing a denim jacket holding a mouse with a calendar on screen
Plan to ramp up your content calendar around peak days in November and December to maximize revenue opportunities.
Black Friday, November 25

In the U.S., Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 24 this year. While Black Friday used to be restricted to the day after, the long-running day of discounts has recently ballooned from a one-day shopping sprint into a season-long event due to fears of supply chain issues and shipping delays related to COVID-19.

With inflation concerns high and product inventory levels low, retailers predict the Thanksgiving shopping season will start early and run longer again this year. With the Black Friday landscape significantly altered due to the pandemic, some are even predicting record spending as early as October. Official promotions are expected to kick off at the start of November and ramp up the Monday through Sunday of Thanksgiving week, November 22 through November 27.

While a second Amazon Prime Day remains unconfirmed, there are rumors of a second Amazon-wide sale for Prime members taking place. With these extended shopping days, high CPMs are expected throughout late October and all of November.

Cyber Monday, November 28

Cyber Monday takes place on the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving. Typically the largest single shopping day of the U.S. calendar year, Cyber Monday 2020 was the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history with a total of $10.7 billion in online spending. That’s right– $10.7 billion! Some experts predict Cyber Monday will be the most profitable day for sales during the holiday season and possibly even the whole of 2022. Adobe predicts that this year’s Cyber Monday spending will reach a whopping $11.2 billion in the U.S., surpassing the record setting numbers in 2020.

Instead of thinking of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as two separate sales dates, content creators can take advantage of how close together these key shopping dates occur. Ramping up your content by posting before November 25 and continuously through Cyber Monday on November 28 will help you take advantage of higher CPM rates throughout this record-setting shopping week.

December Gifting: Christmas, Sunday, December 25 

There is no shortage of major holidays during December. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or have another tradition, there’s a festive spirit in the air. Every day of December matters for creators, since the entire month of December has higher than average annual CPM rates that make it a great time for creators to post. Whatever you celebrate, you can create content that will reach a variety of audiences ready to celebrate this winter.

The last days for ground shipping of gifts are a huge day for advertisers. Fedex and UPS are estimated to make December 15 the final day of ground shipping for presents to arrive by Christmas, and “last chance” pushes for gifts pick up around this part of December. If you’re creating content targeted toward gift-giving this season, keep these shipping days leading up to Christmas in mind so your audience has enough time to check out what you’re promoting.

Christmas itself is another peak day for CPMs, and falls on a Sunday this year. The Federal Public Holiday will be celebrated on Monday, December 26. Advertising will likely remain strong from Christmas through the New Year as retailers promote post-Christmas deals and gift card redemption. This makes mid-December through January a great time to beef up your posting schedule.

High-Performing Holiday Content Ideas  

Now that you’ve got some key dates in your calendar, let’s talk strategy. Do you know which formats and topics you’ll be sharing for each of these holidays? Here are holiday content ideas  that are popular during the fall and winter months.

Product Roundups 

Whether you’re sharing what’s in your bag, monthly favorites, or a year’s worth of resources, showcasing your most-loved products throughout the year is a great way to partner with brands this holiday season. 

If you don’t have a holiday brand deal but still want to share a product you love, make sure you’ve updated your affiliate links and double check any holiday promotions for creators. If your content doesn’t lend itself to e-commerce or physical products, don’t force anything. What’s important is that your audience feels they can trust whatever you share during the holiday season will be a quality offer. Do you have a content upgrade or service you’d like to share? Now is also a great time to talk about what you’ve been working on the past year.

Day in the Life and Behind the Scenes

This is a great season to connect more deeply with your audience and share your holiday traditions. How are you preparing for the upcoming holidays? Take your followers behind the scenes and show them your day to day routine, friends and family (only if you feel comfortable, of course). This content can also be a breath of fresh air for audiences who have been hit with advertising and promotions while still getting ROI (return on investment) from your content through higher CPM rates. It’s also a great way to document your day-to-day life without adding a ton to your plate during a busy season.

Crafts, Recipes and DIYs

What recipes are you making to celebrate the fall and winter? Are you updating your home decor? Crafts, recipes, and other DIY content are a great way to give your audience something to participate in alongside you. Whether you’re making a family recipe handed down for generations or making your home more cozy, take your audience along for the ride.

Spark Your Creativity

Still not sure what you want to post in the next few months? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here are some examples of standout holiday content ideas from content creators and Jellysmack partners. 

Welcome Fans Into Your Home

Jellysmack creator partners Charles & Alyssa have a stunning holiday house tour that’s bound to give you ideas for behind the scenes content of your own. If you’re not feeling a house tour, maybe decor is more your style. Luckily, creator partner XO MaCenna has tons of decor shopping videos you can use as a jumping off point for your own content.

Get Crafty

Holiday decor is an easy way to feel more at home as the weather gets chilly. These budget friendly DIYs from our savvy creator partner Liz Fenwick are a huge hit this time of year. Keep your eye on her Pinterest show for brand-new holiday videos coming soon.

Are recipes more your style? Try a comedic twist like Jellysmack creator partner Patrick Starrr does in his mashed potato recipe and share your own Thanksgiving classics.

Show Off Your Goods

If you receive brand freebies and you’re unsure how to integrate them into your holiday content, you’ll want to check out MK V’s video, December Digital Journal With Me, from last year. MK’s creative integration of her freebie shows that you can create a product roundup that aligns with your passion no matter your niche.
Maybe you don’t have a product you can walk through on camera… don’t sweat it! Lifestyle YouTuber and slow-living enthusiast Darling Desi shared her Christmas gifts from 2021 with aesthetic, artsy shots likely to give you cinematic inspo.

Win Big This Season

Armed with industry rates for the season and content inspo galore, you’ve got all the tools you need to fill your holiday content calendar with videos your audience will love. 

If you need help getting more out of your videos this busy holiday season, get in touch with Jellysmack to see what we can do for you. .