It may seem crazy to be talking about holiday content planning when it’s still 100 degrees and sunny out. You're likely spending a lot more time in the swimming pool than thinking about your holiday content right now, but the thing is, it’s time to get started. If you want your holiday season to be successful, you need to lay the groundwork now. It takes time to create a content strategy, and even more, time to execute on that and create the content that’s going to support your strategy and ultimately, meet your goals. If you wait until further into Q3 or even the start of Q4, you'll be behind. More importantly, you'll be far behind your competitors who are starting now. And it will be hard to catch up.
So, what are your first steps for holiday content planning success? It can be broken down into three stages. The key is to start planning early, so you allow yourself enough time to make sure everything is ready to go on time.
First Step: Create your holiday content strategy
- Who is your audience?
- Does it change during the holiday season?
- What information will your customers need from you before they can convert?
- Is your product seasonal or evergreen?
- What worked well last year?
- Were there content pieces that didn't work that should be avoided this year?
- What are your goals for this holiday season?
Second Step: Determine the content tactics you'll use
- What content pieces will you create?
- Blog posts?
- Website content?
- Email blasts?
- Social Media only content?
- Something else completely?
Will content be created in-house or outsourced or maybe a mix of the two?
- If you’re going to outsource them, do you have a vendor in place or do you need to research and select one for this project?
- How early should you start posting your holiday content?
- How often will you post your content?
- Will you trickle it out or post all at once (we suggest trickling content out over the course of the holiday season)
Third Step: Create your holiday content distribution plan
- Where will you distribute each piece of content?
- Will you use paid social support? If so, will you manage it in-house or partner with a vendor? Do you have a vendor you trust?
- How will you determine which posts are boosted? And when will the decision be made?
- Will you create social only content for the holiday season? If so, who will create this content? When will it be created?
- Figure out the logistics of each step and make sure the team is on the same page.
- Who will develop the content strategy? Will it be done in batches or all at once? How long will it take?
- Who’s responsible for the content topics? How long will this step take?
- Who’s doing the keyword research? How long will this step take?
- Who will write the blog content or website copy? When will this be ready?
- Who’s sourcing images? Can this be done at the same time as the copy development or is it before or after? How long does it take?
- Who’s in charge of the graphics? Do they need to provide approval of what’s been selected? If so, how long will they need?
- Will new pages need to be created for the website? Can they be done at any point in time or do they need to work into pre-scheduled site build timelines? How far in advance do they need to be ready to go?
- Who will determine which pages are created? When will the decision be made?
- Who’s providing SEO elements for those new pages? How long do they need?
- Who’s in charge of reviewing everything before it goes live? What’s the review timeline?
- Who will review the data to see what’s working? When will the first review be completed?
- When will on-going reports be provided?
- What will be tracked?
- Will you compare metrics year over year to see how you are tracking against last year?
- Who’s tracking performance against goals?
Final thoughts on holiday content planning
As you can see, there’s a lot to think through to prepare for the holiday season. You may not have all the answers today, but you can start with the information you know and fill in the blanks as you go. If you aren't sure where to start, we offer content strategy and content planning services both. Our team would be happy to help you ensure your holiday content is ready to go on time. Contact us today for more information and a personalized quote.