10 Easy Ways to Get Your Content Calendar Ready for the Holiday Season

Alecs is our Client Accounts Coordinator at Express Writers.

Did you know…

Thanksgiving is just 1.2 weeks away; there’s a little less than a month until Chanukah; and six weeks till Christmas.

We’re not trying to stress you out about getting the turkey in the freezer and gift-wrapping started, though. (Unless you haven’t! Get on it! Kidding.)

This is something much more nerve-wracking (but it doesn’t have to be, and I’ll explain how)!

While it’s the busiest time of year for retailers and shoppers, it’s also a busy time for getting your content calendar out and your content ready. The best thing to do? Prepare in advance.

10 Killer Ways to Get Your Content Calendar Ready For the Holidays

content calendar

1. Get That Christmas Jersey On, It’s Picture Time

With a little basic editing, you can quickly and easily get your logo on Santa’s nice list. Start by thinking of those iconic holiday themes for your business profile picture. You know, Santa hats, tinsel and fairy lights.

Then incorporate them into your business’s logo. You may even play around with changing your usual brand colors for seasonal shades of blue, green and red. Just remember to stick to your CI rules.

2. Deck The Halls With Cover Photos

We know you’re consistent so you’ll want to update your cover photos too. It’s pretty common to do this on Facebook but don’t forget about your Twitter header photo that could do with a little tinsel here and there.

It’s the cover photos that can really draw attention to your campaign, content or hashtag thread that you’re running at this time of year.

Checkout how UK chain store John Lewis, who usually produces one of the biggest seasonal campaigns has carried the campaign across their Facebook and Twitter sites. (You can see the incredible ad here).

3. Oh, Look, It’s So Pretty!

We all know that visual content rules social media engagement. In fact, as much as 93 percent of senior marketers report that photography is a critical component of social media.

Whether your images wish the audience happy holidays, invite them to your next launch or share an interesting infographic, find different ways to make your social media posts share the festive spirit.

4. Hang Your Stocking, Santa’s Bringing GIFs

Peanut-butter-jelly-time

Since Twitter and Facebook support GIFs now, why not go all out and create a couple of holiday GIFs for your audience’s feeds?

This isn’t as terrifying as it sounds. In fact, Instagram has an app that will let you create one-second looped videos you can share across multiple platforms. Just make sure you video follows Instagram’s best practices and remains relevant to your brand.

5. Strike a Pose, It’s Video Time

Video on social media has come along in leaps and bounds this year and there is no doubt in my mind this will be one of the most popular marketing tactics these holidays. Don’t let your business be left out.

Why not grab the camcorder and record a festive day in the office? No, not the office party – that stuff can stay off-camera. But go ahead and capture the essence of your business to share with your audience. Interview key staff members or shoot behind-the-scenes tidbits and get sharing.

Use your video footage to get across a message or make a call to action. You could encourage viewers to head over to your website – remember to include the link in a caption. Always remember to encourage viewers to share your videos.

6. The Turkey’s All Gone, It’s Time for Some Friendly Competitions

We all know now that arguably one of the best tools in a social kit is user-generated content. Let’s say you decide to hold a holiday Facebook competition asking fans to contribute videos, photos or posters in order to win a prize. Later on, you could use those entries to populate your social media pages. Don’t forget to mention in your competition rules that you reserve the right to use the posts at a later date.

7. #HappyHolidays

Using trending holiday hashtags can go a long way towards improving your impressions and getting your brand in front of loads of new followers. Getting your own branded hashtag, though, could take things to an entirely new level. It’s a hugely effective brand awareness exercise and it also improves your ability to track that hashtag campaign and see how well it performed. See how MapleHillGolf did both in the tweet above: they used #HappyHolidays and #DiscountGolfEquipment.

8. All I Want For Christmas Is… A Well-Read Blog

You’ve designed the GIFs, chosen the hashtag, filmed a few videos and snapped some great photos. Now support all of that with powerful, original content. Sending your fans and followers flocking to your blog like the Three Wise Men on a mission can help increase traffic, encourage sales, downloads and sign-ups and impress friends and family when they gather round to sing your praises.

To help you sit down and start writing ahead of time and be ready to share your creative posts, start picking a theme for the series right now. Put in the time now and you’ll have more time to spend around the piano singing along with friends and family in the holidays.

9. Help Your Fans Do Their Holiday Shopping

I’m not suggesting you moonlight as a personal shopper, but everyone needs a little inspiration finding the perfect gift for their special friends and family. You can help by providing themed albums and Pinterest boards with ideas that probably include your products, right?

Take some time to think about your audience and what they’re most likely to be searching for at this time of year. Then go and create wish lists for them that will inspire them to start shopping.

10. U.R.L Better Watch Out…

Social media is merely one touch point your customers have with you. If they see how creative you are on social media, it’s essential you keep the look and feel or those designs running through your website.

Take a good look at your homepage, blog pages and product pages and make sure your branding is cohesive no matter how or where your audience is interacting with you.

Finally: 5 Ways To Start Your Seasonal Content Calendar Preparation Early

Are you one of those last-minute shoppers during the holidays? Or do you prefer to have shopped, wrapped and prepared well in advance?

Well, when it comes to holiday content you need to be ready early. Sure, scheduling posts weeks in advance isn’t something many content creators want to get stuck into but if you have a full time job or just want to free up time during the holidays, getting ahead with content is a way of maintaining consistency, traffic and momentum while you sit back and relax.

Getting ahead can be tricky at first but in the long run planning and scheduling your content ahead of time makes things so much easier. Here’s how to go about it.

1. Come Up with a Plan

Just like Santa’s making a list and checking it twice, you need to come up with a plan. Determine a realistic blogging schedule and come up with an editorial calendar. Then decide how often you’ll want to post and which topics you’ll cover. Make sure your schedule is both realistic and achievable. You can use Google Analytics to figure out which days readers are usually most active on your blog and create your calendar by planning out content topics.

2. Stick the Presents Under the Tree

Pile those ideas up next. Whether you prefer to use Evernote or another digital tool, find a system that works for you and stockpile your topics. Having a pile of content means there’ll always be something to write about and you won’t have to go digging out inspiration at the last minute.

Whether you put together a list of ideas, post titles or even clipped articles you love, piling up ideas for later on is a great way to keep yourself inspired and get ahead with the content.

3. Make a List

This point is about getting organized. Take the time to prepare your blog posts, make lists of what you need to do to create the post and even come up with a checklist that can make the process smoother. List things like the graphics you’ll need to create, the photos you want to take and the links you’d like to include in the post.

4. Fill That Stocking

You can make effective use of your time by photographing images in bulk and then setting aside time to write up the content for a couple of posts in one go. Sure, it’s not always possible, but when the time arises, it can be a really useful way of producing loads more content quickly.

5. Start That Content Calendar

It’s almost like the excitement of opening up an advent content calendar in the build up to Christmas morning.

You can save heaps of time by scheduling before, during and after. If you block our calendar time to write and photograph and create, you’ll easily get ahead with your content.

Remember to try and automate everything as much as you can. Use tools like Buffer to schedule your promotions on social platforms and you’ll be able to move along to the next thing on your list.

Have you got ahead with your content creation for the holidays or are you still working on the trimmings? Share your secrets in the comments below!

Need help getting quality content ready in time? Talk to us at Express Writers. We can work on your overall content planning, write your blogs, and much more.

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