Out of office for the holidays

Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.” –Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE.

It’s that time of year again, where everyone’s BIG focus is on the holidays. So, how can you continue to innovate every day, or continue marketing when you need to take some well-earned time off from your business? Thankfully for you, we have the answers. Automations and processes. Below, we will explore presents and presence: solving how YOU can take a break without your marketing suffering.

Why it’s important to take a break from your business

We know how hard it is to step away from your business during the holidays. You may have all sorts of questions and worries, such as ‘What happens if there is an emergency with a client or customer?’ ‘What if I miss something important from my emails’ ‘Will it all crumble whilst I’m away?’

The thought of time off from your business in the holidays can be quite daunting and stressful. However, it’s really important to take a well-deserved break from time to time, especially during the holiday season. You work so hard on your business, so after endless months of investing all your energy and time into it, it’s now time for you to reap the rewards.

Whilst you take a break you can rest, relax and allow your creative juices to refill. When it comes to decision making, you will go back brighter, with a clear head and plenty of great ideas ready to take your business to the next level.

You can also have a chance to reflect on what you have accomplished in your business so far, and where you can take it next. Feel persuaded now? Ready for the holidays? Read on to find out what to do next in order to take a break without your marketing suffering.

3 Weeks till Holidays: The Planning Stage

3 weeks before the holidays, make yourself a plan. How much time do you want to have off? Be realistic with this. Then figure out who you need to contact and what you need to put in place beforehand.

  1. Contact your clients using an email campaign to fill them in on your holiday hours. Let them know if you will be checking the emails, if you are running reduced hours and if you are having complete days off. By contacting your customers or clients in advance, they will feel more prepared and understanding of your time off. After all, they are human too! Usually in the holiday season, their thoughts are elsewhere too.
  2. You may need to think ahead about what your clients and customers will need of you during your time away, and plan how you can continue to support them as needed. You will be able to manage your customers expectations this way, whilst showing them that you do care for their needs.
  3. When it comes to social media, and email campaigns you can plan ahead what you will want to send out during your time off. If you usually create a social media and content plan for the month ahead (which we highly recommend doing) then you will need to add extra weeks to it this time in order to cover the holiday.
  4. You could look into an automated chat facility on your website to handle common FAQ problems. So, your audience has some form of getting the information they need without disturbing you. Then you could have a function that lets them send an email if their enquiry still hasn’t been answered.
  5. Other automations, such as abandoned carts, or follow up emails can also be scheduled in advance using either a CRM or an email marketing platform. This way you will be able to nurture leads whilst you are away too.

2 Weeks until Holidays: Content Creation

With only two weeks to go until you take a break for the holidays, content creation needs to be at the forefront of your mind.

  1. Write and create your social posts in advance, leaving them somewhere handy like a word document, or on a Trello board. Then get all your images ready too. When it comes to social media, you may not want to post too much over the holidays, as you won’t want to keep having to check back for comments or messages. But having some posts go out is better than none!
  2. You should also make sure the blog of the month has gone out and that you have written email marketing campaigns to cover you over the holiday period.
  3. Create an ‘out of hours’ email reply too, ready to switch on when you break up. Make a definitive decision so you know how often you will check your emails and stick to it. This helps clients and employees know exactly what to expect in terms of communication over your time off.
  4. This is also a great time to post a reminder on social media and through your email marketing platform, a reminder of your hours and days off over the holiday period.

1 Week until Holidays: Time to Schedule

We are so lucky to have a vast array of tools online that enable us to schedule content. Take advantage of them.

  1. Schedule your social media so that it covers your holiday period, as well as some time after that to give you some breathing room on your return.
  2. You can also schedule your email campaigns to automatically go out during your time off too. Not forgetting the ability to schedule payments, too! This way you are able to run an effective marketing campaign on social media and via email marketing without being anywhere near your laptop or computer.
  3. However, you will need to keep an eye out on messages and comments (and dare we say – issues). If you are happy to do so, then great. If not, why not delegate this to a trusted team member? Or delegate to a trusted outsourced VA who specialises in holiday cover.

By automating key marketing tasks, such as social media posts, and email marketing campaigns, you will gain the confidence to take a well earnt break and rest from your business over the holidays.

Don’t feel overwhelmed.

 It’s really important to take time away from your business so that you can refuel, ready to take your business to the next level. Recharge your batteries, knowing that quality of life is vital for maintaining general health and wellbeing. This should be of the best bits about running a business after all, being able to take a break when you need to.

Instead of your marketing falling behind, use well prepared processes supported by those invaluable automations to ensure you are still present in your online marketing. This way you are taking that break you deserve, without your marketing suffering.

 If you would like to know more on how you can prepare your marketing for the holidays, then get in touch with us at Octima today.