It’s the holiday season! And for marketers, that means one thing: a big opportunity to create evergreen content. However, creating engaging seasonal content is not as simple as tweeting about pumpkin spice lattes.

We used the TrackMaven platform to search for the most viral autumnal content from 2014 across social media and blogs. We filtered the content from tends of thousands of brands searching for seasonal keywords like halloween, pumpkin, costume, haunted house, and even pumpkin spice latte.

Amazingly, the same brand kept coming up on top with the most popular Halloween content: The Ellen Show.

TrackMaven Halloween Content

For nearly every Halloween-related keyword, content from the various marketing channels for The Ellen Show ranked as top performers.

So, what is the marketing team behind The Ellen Show doing right? Here are 3 strategies they used to dominate the holiday season with evergreen content.

1. Harnesses The Anticipatory Excitement Of The Holidays

Degeneres has built the reveal of her own Halloween costume into an annual affair. The YouTube video of her Nicki Minaj costume reveal from Halloween 2013, for example, has been viewed 3M times and counting:

The YouTube video of Ellen making her Halloween 2014 debut as Amal Alamuddin — the accomplished human rights lawyer, activist, and recent Mrs. George Clooney — raked in over a million views in a matter of days.

Degeneres has effectively taken the annual query, What are you going to be for Halloween this year?” and hijacked it onto a larger, branded stage. The question now is, “What is Ellen going to be for Halloween this year?”

That’s a mega branding strategy that ensures that the reveal of her costume will generate a rainfall of evergreen content for years to come. To emulate Ellen’s strategy, think about how your brand can uniquely contribute to the fanfare of the holiday season.

2. Curate Holiday Content With A Branded Seasonal Hashtag

The Ellen Show’s Instagram account has proven to be a particularly successful platform for seasonal content thanks in large part to the branded hashtag #HallowEllen.

Below are a few of the most popular #HallowEllen posts from the past few years alone:

I showed you my costume, now show me yours. #HallowEllen

A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

Good luck telling us apart. #HallowEllen A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

Thanks for submitting your photos to #HallowEllen! See if you can find yours here: bit.ly/RuMqkV

A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

My spook-tacular Halloween set. #HallowEllen A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

Getting ready! #hallowellen A photo posted by Ellen (@theellenshow) on

We discovered in our Instagram research that the most successful brands on Instagram use Instagram as a social discovery platform. With the branded hashtag #HallowEllen, Degeneres’ marketing team successfully leverages this aspect of the platform and helps the brand’s content be found by new audiences.

3. Distribute Channel-Specific Seasonal Content

While behind-the-scenes Halloween content from The Ellen Show performs well on Instagram, the show’s marketing team doesn’t just spray the same content across every channel. Rather, the Ellen marketing team takes their strategy a step further by tailoring specific content themes to the most relevant channels.

On Pinterest, for example, the show sees above-average engagement by curating content for her “Kids Halloween Costumes” series. Here are a few of her most viral Pins from this series:

TrackMaven_Pinterest_Degeneres

TrackMaven_Degeneres_Pinterest

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 9.14.57 AM

While photos of cute, costumed babies proved engaging to Degeneres’ Pinterest audience, she found success on YouTube by reposting video segments from her talk show. For example, Degeneres has created a stream of evergreen Halloween content by posting videos from her series of celebrities in haunted houses:


Ellen is, of course, funny — and having an über-popular daytime talk show as a platform certainly doesn’t hurt. But these are just a few of the strategies content marketers can learn from the marketing team behind The Ellen Show to create engaging, evergreen content this holiday season.