holiday content

5 Tips for Creating Hot Holiday Content for Your Mobile App

The holiday season is well and truly upon us and it’s time for holiday content. With Halloween having been and gone, Thanksgiving coming this week and Christmas a little over a month away, you have one last opportunity to work your design team into a frenzy to make the most of increased consumer interest.

Here then are our 5 tips for creating top holiday content that your customers will love.

1. Understand Why Holiday Content Is Effective

Before you set out to create holiday content, it’s worth taking a step back and remembering why it is worth spending time investing in its creation.

First, and most obviously, the holiday season is a time for increased consumer spending. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the run up to Christmas is a prime time for spending, with the average American planning on spending $830 on gifts this season (up sharply from a year ago).

Second, there is a mobile-specific boost during the holidays. Christmas Day is a huge day for app installs, with App Annie suggesting numbers increase 150% on the 25th December over other days of the month, making it essential to offer relevant content to entice users in.

And finally, holiday content can promote organic discovery significantly. As newspapers, blogs and individuals round up their favorite apps and games over the period, a holiday-themed update might capture the attention and get yourself unexpected media coverage.

2. Target the Holidays That Matter to Your Customer Base

Thanksgiving is an enormous deal in the U.S. One of the few days of the year where people will hope, and in some cases expect, time off, it could look like a great opportunity worth making specialist content for.

However, if you don’t have a strong foothold in the U.S. then there is a legitimate question about whether you should bother with creating content for it. Outside of America, the holiday has next to no traction (aside from some limited Black Friday sales interest in Western Europe) or relevance.

Therefore, you need to consider which holidays really apply to your audience base and design accordingly. Christmas is worth investing time into, as it tends to be celebrated everywhere, but content for the likes of Chinese New Year, Halloween, Easter and Valentine’s Day should only be created if you have the right users for it.

3. Design for the Feel of the Holiday, Not the Traditions

Although Christmas is celebrated globally, the traditions that surround it differ vastly from country to country.

In Norway, Christmas Eve used to be considered a day when spirits could invade – encouraging locals to spend the day protecting themselves from evil spirits. The Nordic countries, as well as Germany and the UK, the countdown to Christmas by opening doors on an Advent calendar during December. And compare what is eaten on Christmas dinner from country to country and you’ll find a cavalcade of options.

When it comes to creating holiday content for your app then, it is less about designing for each territory and more about designing for global tropes. Although it doesn’t snow in many countries on Christmas Day, the effect of American movies and songs on the global cultural psyche means that festive films filled with snow and songs like “White Christmas” abound everywhere.

So keep your holiday content relevant by going for general tropes before you specialize for each territory. For example, if you’re running a messaging app, that may mean creating emoji based on snow, Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees and elves but also adding individual emoji to appeal to each nation (such as a Snegurochka for Russia, for example).

4. Use the Holiday Theme in Your Marketing Materials

It’s all well and good adding the holiday content to your app, but if you fail to tell anyone about it then you won’t get any benefit from it.

Therefore, you’ll need to make sure that your marketing materials match up with your content. First, that’ll mean making sure you update your app store assets (including logo, screenshots, description, and video) to make it clear you’ve added a festive update.

Second, you’ll need to update your advertising creative to reflect the changes. By prepping your design team ahead of the content release, you should be ready to have relevant native advertising assets promoting holiday content as soon as it is available.

Finally, you’ll need to tell your user base about it. Customized push notifications are an excellent start, but it’d make a lot of sense to reach out to your social media community and inform them directly of the changes. Not only will it drive traffic, but content that is well done should also hopefully drive sharing of the app as well.

5. Remove the Holiday Content as Soon as It Is Relevant to Remove It

The only thing worse than having no holiday content is to leave holiday content lingering long after the holiday has passed.

While the submission process from Apple and Google makes this a necessary evil at times, leaving Thanksgiving content in your app into December or Christmas content in the U.S. in January reeks of unprofessionalism.

Therefore, you need to know when to whip content from the store and do it as quickly as possible. But make sure you do your research to know which dates content becomes stagnant on. The main Christmas festivities in the Netherlands will have taken place by the middle of December, while Russian Christmas isn’t celebrated until the 7th of January. So you’ll have to adapt your strategy accordingly.


While it is perhaps too late to plan much content for the forthcoming holidays, by planning ahead of major holidays by a few months, this advice should give you an excellent foundation for creating relevant content for future celebrations around the world.

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