Holidays can be stressful, both at home and in your business. The key to relieving at least some of that stress can come from planning ahead. And one way to plan ahead, at least in your content marketing, lies in a solid, well maintained content calendar.
Haven't thought about your content calendar yet? Still trying to hang a wreath on your front door create that homemade, organic, free-range advent calendar from twigs you found outdoors, toilet paper rolls and washi paper that you saw on Pinterest?
Never fear — I’m going to set you up with some quick fixes you can add to your content calendar to spruce it up for the holidays…
And then I’m going to give you some bonus hints you can add in right now to prepare for upcoming holidays into the future. Because, yeah — they do seem to creep up on us, don’t they?
Deck Your Content Calendar — Now
If you haven’t yet done the work to make your content calendar sparkle with holiday glam, don’t fret. This next section will get you up to speed, fast.
Coordinate Holidays with Staff
First thing to do is to make sure you all know who is responsible for what during this season. This administrative task may not seem content oriented, but making sure your content is consistent and high quality are two pillars of success. Making sure there are no misunderstandings about who is responsible for which task will go a long way to a smooth, consistent and high-quality content experience.
Holiday Branding — Check!
Next, figure out what holiday image you want to promote and get all your social media ducks in a row, so to speak. Changing your cover image on Facebook, and then aligning all your social media channels with a similar image/theme is a simple but crucial thing to check off your list of to-dos.
Here are instructions for how to do this on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And don’t forget Pinterest, either. Make sure that your boards are edited and optimized for the holidays, if applicable.
Line Up Holiday Wishes
Doing this in advance, even if just a couple weeks in advance is a key element to a stress-free holiday. You know you want to send out holiday greetings, so schedule them as far in advance as you can.
In the same vein, write your holiday blog posts in advance, too, and schedule them to publish on the day of the holiday — or the day before.
Pre-Write Themed Blog Posts
Create a theme you can write on for the holidays and send out on social media that drives your audience wild — and drives them to your site, too. The theme can be anything: 12 Days of Christmas, 8 nights of Hanukkah, whatever. Anything that inspires you and keeps you on track.
Friendly Holiday Competitions
Make sure to schedule in a competition during the holiday season, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The holidays are such a busy season, but a fun “Retweet to Win” competition over on Twitter, or a Facebook competition asking fans to contribute images can really drive up engagement during this busy time.
Holiday Hashtag Research!
This is definitely one for the procrastinators. Take some time to research holiday hashtags, and make sure to alert your social media team so that you use them on all appropriate social media during the holiday season.
And for Next Year…
Now, after you’ve got this year sorted out and you can breathe a sigh of relief, take a step back and make a solemn resolution to Pin this page for later (or bookmark, or save to Evernote).
You’ll want to take the above steps for spring holidays, for the Super Bowl, for summer, for any and all special days throughout the year. Sure, the December rush is the “big one” — but holidays come and go throughout the year, and the more prepared you are, the better.
Take some time to write out exactly when the special days for your brand happen. Find the graphics now, research hashtags, plan the competitions and create themes today. You can always go in and refine your plan later, but having something solid in place will go a long way toward your future success.
About the Author:
Wendy Kelly is a content strategist living and skiing in a small mountain town in British Columbia who enjoys storytelling and strategy. Imagine that. You can follow her at @WendyKKelly.