All the secrets you need to know to consistently market your business and grow your audience – all while enjoying time off.
What is your strategy to stay consistent with content marketing in the summer months?
For many service-based businesses, it is the art of finding the balance between the team’s summer holidays, changes in client demand and preparing for all the great campaigns planned for the autumn season.
Two Difficult Periods for Content Marketers
In the summer, communication teams and content creators face two challenging periods: First, the weeks before a break when everything needs to be planned and scheduled, and the second busy moment is right after the holiday, when the stress to get back to the routine rises.
Over the years I’ve seen everyone from brand new solopreneurs to seasoned communication team leaders struggle with the same challenge.
That’s why I wanted to collate in one place the best strategies I’ve developed and seen my clients use, to stay consistent with their content marketing and to keep growing their businesses during the holiday season, while taking guilt-free time off.
As a bonus, these tips make the office comeback fuss-free, too.
Before going on a break
1 – Lighten up the content planner
The first and most obvious checkpoint: How could your content planner be lighter over a period when you or many of your team members are away?
Try lightening posting rhythm by 20-40 %, which means one post each week if your regular rhythm is three posts. If you usually post five days a week, you can let go of two weekly posts, as long as content stays valuable and the focus is strategic.
2 – Plan the first week(s) back
When planning for a break or a lighter content marketing period, focus on the time away and for at least one or two weeks afterwards.
After a break there will be a lot of catching up to do, and picking up the content marketing slack is easier if you already have written posts or at least clear plans. Remember to set aside time for new content creation in the first days or weeks, too.
3 – Schedule and outsource
Now that your plan is realistic and summer-y light, prepare and schedule as much as you can, and outsource whatever possible.
Summer interns, freelancers and maybe even colleagues from other teams are happy to take over your content management for a while. As a bonus, you can get fresh ideas and feedback from them, when you come back.
When out of office
4 – Focus on engagement
Congratulations, your holiday has started! To stay active but limit the time on the socials, consider focusing on engagement and interaction instead of creation. Comment on interesting posts and launch discussions; educate yourself about new topics and get new ideas for your comeback.
Activity also signals to the algorithm that you haven’t forgotten about the platform (not the main reason to stay active, but a nice perk!)
5 – Post spontaneously
Leave gaps in the content planner and fill them in with spontaneous thoughts and shares. I personally can’t turn my communicator’s brain off even on ski slopes nor by the pool and I don’t even try anymore. Spontaneous posts are also more fun to write, as there is less pressure involved.
6 – Dare to be different
Steer away from your usual content topics and types. Dare to publish posts you normally wouldn’t, like more personal updates or meandering musings that reveal more about your personality and thinking process.
Who knows, maybe these experiments will lead to discovering new ways to write about your business and industry!
The first week back
7 – Be upfront about where you are
An easy way to come back to regular content publishing: share an upfront update that you and/or your team are now back at office and returning to the normal rhythm in the coming days and weeks.
This approach has two benefits: it explains why your content might still be different or less frequent for a few more days and it gives you a great topic for one post!
8 – Resort to the sure-fire formats
For the first few posts, stick to what works. Have a look at your best performing topics and content formats and work on those.
On LinkedIn, polls and carousels tend to work well. In the blogging world, listicles (like this one – I live as I preach!) are a quick and practical way to share a lot of value in an easily digestible format.
9 – Repurpose and recycle
As the first week in the office is often busy (or is it just me who lights up slowly?), repurpose and recycle old content as much as possible. This kind of content can also easily be prepared in advance or outsourced, as main points are already clear and only small tweaks are needed.
Creative strategies to manage a break
10 – Hand over your accounts to someone else
How about looking at the whole staying-consistent-while-taking-a-break-thing from a different angle? You can hand over your accounts to a colleague or a fellow entrepreneur while you’re away and they can do the same with you.
In bigger businesses, bringing in a sales professional or a customer service genius can be a breath of fresh air followers will adore.
11 – Activate your followers
Another variation of an account takeover is giving the spotlight to your followers.
This can easily be done in a social media group by encouraging your followers to share and shine during your absence. On more traditional accounts and business pages this can be done by posting daily questions or sharing threads where your followers can comment, share their wisdom and accomplishments.
If you’re fully disconnected, consider having someone else monitor the party, though!
12 – Take a pre-announced break
I saved the most revolutionary idea for last… Decide to take a break and announce it in advance! A real pro counts in the time away plus the first week back, which demolishes the whole problem in approximately fifteen seconds.
If getting back to the routine is the hardest part for you…
The idea for this blog post came from an exchange with one of the Content Circle participants. A couple of months ago in our creative co-working session, she shared her experience of coming back from a holiday.
Thanks to all the careful planning, content banking and scheduling, she had enjoyed her time off and relaxed. However, coming back felt very hard, as she felt she had already fallen behind and struggled to get back on the rhythm.
After the Circle, my wheels started turning.
How could I make it easier for ambitious content marketers like her to stick to their plans?
The result will see daylight in September, when I launch the Autumn Content Challenge! The challenge includes daily tips, content prompts and strategies that make re-launching your content marketing after a break as fun, relaxing and enjoyable as your break was.
The challenge will open up for enrolments soon. Join the waiting list and be the first to know when the doors open.