When to start?
I recommend planning your holiday content strategy 12 months before the holidays. Say What??!! I know that sounds really far fetched but think about it, there is really no better time to rationalise the kind of content that will have the most impact than directly after the season’s end. The period between Boxing Day and New Year is often best. Not only can you scan the feeds you love for inspiration (they will be filled with all kinds of relevant seasonal content) but the quiet days after Christmas allow for reflection, the essence of what content planning is all about. Now the process does not have to be intense. You can scribble notes, story ideas and relevant sites in your Social Media Planner, in June. That way you’re sure to remember and begin your execution strategy by August. Yes, that early!
"There’s nothing wrong with getting the holiday conversation going early. Start hinting at it through your captions graphic cards, even video shorts."
If you’re into retail, the holidays are about sales. That should be your focus but guess what? It’s also Jane’s, Joe’s and Mary’s, which means that your tribe will suffer from information overload. There is no other time on a 12-month calendar where everyone will be faced with so much so much promotions, sponsored, and product-driven posts in all their feeds.
As important as the pitches you promote will be, don’t forget social media allows you to share experiences as well. For instance, don’t make every story on your Instagram feed sales oriented, go ahead and continue to curate or create content around your brand that is not pitchy or sales driven. That way your content does not seem too far apart from what you’ve already been creating for the past 10-11 months. One cool tip I picked up is to consider building your creatives around a particular theme, colour palate or medium That way, there will be a coherent element that ties together all your promotional and organic content which looks really on trend, particularly on Instagram.
It’s Not Always About the Cha Ching Cha Ching
Holiday gift guides are a great and easy way to monetize content if you blog or you’re a business owner producing a great deal of content during the year. At our studio, we produced a holiday gift guide, not only will it be viewed on our blog but some of the products will also make it to onto our web-based show #ForwardForty TV. Our content portals are a great way we distinguish our guide from others by making it video based but there are other ways you can give back too. One way is to deliver product editorial centered around a cause or charity, we did this last year and it allowed us to humanize our approach to holiday content.
Here is an idea. If you are a blogger you can create a list and include artisans and crafters. The buy local movement is a great way to support sustainability and micro businesses, so including wares from these businesses on your guide will showcase an element of “giving back”.
Plan But Make Room To Be Flexible