Take a content marketing break – or not to? Consider these 12 strategies that allow you to have your Christmas chocolate and eat it, too.
What is your strategy with content marketing during the end-of-the-year break?
Many ambitious service businesses and professionals balance between staying consistent and allowing themselves and their teams to disconnect, relax and recharge.
During the celebrations, many client projects face a natural break, and activity on social media and other communications channels slow down. Still, you might find yourself reluctant to pause all your marketing efforts entirely: be it of fear of lost business or a wish to keep serving your community throughout the break – or both.
Fortunately, you don’t need to go 100 % off nor stay 100 % on. These 12 strategies have something for everyone!
As a bonus, following them makes the office comeback fuss-free, too.
First Half of December
1 – Go easy with your content
To save time and resources, consider lightening up your content planner a few weeks before a break. This vacates time for holiday prep and also allows your followers to gently get used to a slower publication rhythm.
If you’ve been consistent with your content, a temporary drop of one or two weekly posts shouldn’t hurt your marketing. Focus on the value and authentic connection.
2 – Plan for the comeback
When working on your content plan, put in some thought into January, too. Prepare for at least one or two weeks after your back-to-office.
This strategy aims at lightening your workload after the holiday. You’ll have a lot of catching up to do, and picking up the content marketing slack is easier if you don’t have to start writing your blog post first thing in the morning. Think about setting aside time for new content creation in the first days or weeks, too.
3 – If you can, outsource – If you can’t, schedule
Could you have some additional help with your holiday-season content, for example from a freelancer or an intern? Outsource whatever you can and schedule the rest to avoid constant check-ins during your time off.
If you’re working with a wider team, could one of your colleagues take charge of all things content-related for a while? As a Chrismtas bonus, you’ll have fresh ideas and perspectives, when someone else is doing things a little bit differently.
From Mid-December to Early January
4 – Engagement comes first
If you’re not in favour of the extremes, think about this “golden middle” strategy: not publishing new content during the break but staying active, commenting and engaging with other users.
Comment on interesting posts and launch discussions; educate yourself about new topics and get new ideas for the next year.
Engagement is also a signal to the algorithm that you haven’t forgotten about the platform (and there’s no reason to punish you by lowering your reach in January.)
5 – Post when you feel like it
If you planned for a lighter publication frequency, you can fill in the gaps with spontaneous posts, when you feel like sharing something.
I can’t seem to turn my communicator’s brain off even on ski slopes and I enjoy those unexpected surges of inspiration. Spontaneous posts are fun to write, there is less pressure involved and they often get great engagement.
6 – Surprise your followers
Engagement and spontaneity can lead you to different, surprising content ideas. Go with them! Test new content topics and post formats and dare to publish posts you normally wouldn’t.
Personal updates and less-business-like musings can work wonders for your brand during a season when many of your followers take it easy, too.
Who knows, maybe these experiments will become recurring features of your content plan in 2023!
The First Half of January
7 – Come back with authenticity
What to do in January, if you end up taking a marketing break or feel overwhelmed about picking up your content again?
Start with an authentic post about how your year has started and share that it might take some time to get back to your usual routine.
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 – Use what works the best
In the first weeks back, have a look at your publications’ analytics and focus on posts and formats that have worked well for you in the past.
Whether it’s videos, inspirational quotes or content curation, sticking to the classics allows you – and your followers – to ease back into the new year and day-to-day routines.
9 – What could be reused?
As the first weeks of January are often quite busy, a good strategy to save time is to repurpose and recycle old content as much as possible. You can also outsource or prepare this kind of content in advance as only small tweaks are needed.
If You Want to Try Something Different in Your Holiday Content…
10 – Ask a colleague to cover for you
What about doing something completely different and creative with your content? You could hand over your accounts to a colleague or a fellow entrepreneur while you’re away.
You can even return a favour when they are going away the next time!
In bigger teams, bringing in a sales professional or a customer service genius can be a breath of fresh air followers will adore.
11 – Allow your followers to shine
An option for a complete account takeover is giving the spotlight to your followers.
If you’re running a social media group or an interactive account, encourage your followers to share and shine during your absence. If you don’t have a group, prepare question posts and comment threads where your followers can share their wisdom, accomplishments and content.
A small caveat though: this strategy only works, if someone oversees the group or the page.
12 – Announce your break in advance
And finally… You still have the option of taking a good old-fashioned marketing break.
If you go with that, announce your time off in advance. Your followers will very likely be looking forward to your comeback in January… Or whenever you feel like marketing again!
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 last summer. A regular participant of our group shared that for her, the holiday prep wasn’t the hardest part – it was even more difficult to come back and climb back on the content marketing pony again.
This encounter led to the birth of Content Challenge, which launched in September. The month-long challenge included daily content prompts as well as weekly strategy tips and co-working sessions.
And the Challenge will be back on January 9th for another four weeks of inspiration, accountability and content marketing that supports your business goals!The Challenge is open for enrolments. Save your spot now – and you know your content marketing will be fun, easy and effective in 2023.