I know, I know. We’ve just finished October. We shouldn’t even be thinking about the C-word right now. But in the world of marketing, Christmas is already taking over our diaries. We’re planning festive countdowns, designing seasonal newsletters and adding those pro-subscriptions of Buffer to our wish lists. With less than two months to go until the big day, we’re about to enter the busiest season of the year, so it’s important to get your to-do list in order.
I’ve put together a little list of essential Pre-Christmas Marketing jobs, to help us all achieve our festive marketing goals this December!
1. Organise your calendar
Right, grab your coffee, stick on a relaxing playlist and let’s open up our calendars. It’s time to start filling out those empty boxes with the biggest Christmas marketing days of the season. From Black Friday sales to the Winter Solstice, there are some huge trends to hit from your social accounts. Make sure you sync up any physical diaries and desk calendars, setting those daily alerts to remind that yes, today is in fact Christmas Pudding Day and you do need to post that gif of a cat stuck in a pudding on Twitter. If you’re stuck for inspiration, here are some of the biggest marketing days to hit in the festive season: here.
When should this be done: Early November. To avoid getting left behind the crowd, and to give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead, work out your schedule at least one month in advance.
2. Plan for Holidays
Usually, as the festive period approaches, the holiday requests start coming in thick and fast, and it can be hard trying to get a response from your team. With everyone’s to-do lists piled high, getting the work you need from other people can be a bit of a struggle. So make sure you plan ahead – checking your colleague’s/clients’ schedules and letting them know what you need from them before the holidays overwhelm them. Whether this is a seasonal video campaign from your editing team, a Christmas card shoot from your contract photographer or a festive asset from your graphic design department – make sure you put your orders in soon to get everything ready on time.
When should this be done: Late October – Mid-November. Once you have a rough idea of your Christmas social plans, you can start to book those pre-deadline meetings and lock in your commitments early. It doesn’t matter if the work is finished on the 1st of October or the 30th of November – so long as it’s before December, you’re in the clear.
3. Christmas Trend Prediction
Around this time of year, those fabled trend prediction documents begin crawling out from under their mossy rocks, containing all the secrets of the Christmas period to come. It’s not unusual to find the first of these documents appearing mid-October, so see if you can your hands on as many as possible before December starts.
These predictions can help you to plan for your social schedule and your marketing campaigns, hitting the trends and messages of the upcoming 2019 season. From sustainability to political dramas, there’s bound to be inspiration hidden between these downloads – so get them whilst you can.
When should this be done: Mid-October! Not only do you need the time to read through and process all of the content in these downloads, but it’s also important to give yourself room for inspiration. Plus, we have to remember that these trends might change and new ones may emerge in the run-up to Christmas, which could also factor into your schedule.
4. Change up headers, banners and logos
One of the easiest ways to help your customers engage in the festive spirit is to change up your headers and banners for the season! From simple changes such as adding a scattering of snow to your icon, to large changes such as seasonal colours and full-on festive makeovers, these are a subtle way to bring in the Christmas season. However, it’s important to get these done ahead of time, to make sure you hit that 1st of December deadline.
When should this be done: Luckily, this is quite a small and cheerful task so hopefully won’t take up too much design time! It’s best to start this as you near the middle of November, but if you want to start brainstorming your perfect festive header a few days earlier, I’m sure no one will mind!
5. Source festive imagery
This might seem like a very simple job, and one that perhaps doesn’t need to be too high up on your pre-Christmas, but trust me, you’ll want to spend a bit of time on this one. Head for those sourcing sites as soon as possible to make sure that the images you have are all on-brand and try to avoid the generic, overused pictures that seem to pop up every single year. To really stand out this Christmas, dig a little deeper and try out a few variations of keywords to find those perfect festive images for your social schedule.
When should this be done: The best time to start sourcing and saving your images is right around…now! Set up that folder and try to dedicate even just an hour a week to finding the perfect shots for your Christmas campaigns. For many of us, we’re also about to start designing those seasonal Instagram feeds too, so what better to get in the festive spirit than by batching your image search ahead of schedule!
6. Plan your festive countdowns
In the Christmas period, marketing really does come alive. From office singalongs and seasonal competitions to emotional TV ads and heartfelt online advents, there’s no better time to get your creativity on. Start brainstorming your best ideas to make your social feed stand out this December, whether you design the perfect festive food bingo, create a video series of the silliest jumpers or start a countdown of the best Christmas films in history – why not go to town this year?
When should this be done: It’s best to plan your social countdowns around the start of November, to give your team, your clients and yourself enough to time for the festive prep. Designing assets, sourcing hashtags and getting even the grumpiest of office members to wear a Santa hat is no small feat, so make sure your diary is planned to the second.
Christmas 2019 is on its way and to avoid losing our minds, we should all start planning ahead this year. I mean…do you really think Santa starts his festive prep in November? Come on. Get your act together.