You may not be able to go far for the holidays this year, but that doesn’t mean you should’t be taking your PTO days. It’s more important than ever to still take time off and avoid burnout. Escaping from your work-from-home office and enjoying a change of scenery and new experiences is a must.
In theory, taking a break from your work-from-home lifestyle should be all about relaxation, de-stressing, and getting away from the office grind. In reality, the weeks before you leave for vacation are often more stressful than most for marketers. It’s easy to stress over things running smoothly while you’re gone, or experience trouble handing over control to your co-workers.
If you want to hit pause and play on your vacay instead of staying glued to email and Slack, we’re here to support you. The trick to preparing for vacation is designing a marketing plan that you can pass off to your team. Make sure it’s relevant for any time of year, or create a comprehensive holiday social media strategy for Thanksgiving, winter holidays, and beyond.
We’ve put together a simple marketing vacation checklist below to minimize the chances of getting disturbed during your holiday weekend. Here are the top things to do before vacation to prepare your team to keep things running without interruption.
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1. Schedule your blog and social media posts in advance
If you oversee blog content or social media, the first part of your vacation checklist should be planning out your posts in advance. Check your CMS and make sure your editorial and social calendars are set up to run seamlessly in your absence the week prior to your last day of work before vacation.
If your calendars appear to be sparse while you’ll be out, set aside enough time to prepare a marketing plan before you leave for vacation to fill in any content gaps. Tools like Hubspot and Co-schedule can help you streamline the process of scheduling posts across multiple platforms in one place.
2. Create video templates to empower on-the-fly content creation
As much as you’d like to schedule all your content before you leave for vacation, it’s not always realistic. You may be out of the office when the unexpected happens or breaking news occurs. Empower your marketing team to create spontaneous content s needed.
We recommend creating multiple video templates that enables everyone on your team to step in and take control as needed. Video creation software like Wibbitz makes templating quick and easy, and it can empower your fellow marketers to make new content while you’re away without the use of any video equipment whatsoever. They can even use it to publish duplicate content in different languages.
Invest the time to educate your teammates on how to use video templates before you leave for vacation. Make sure they have everything they need to produce quality content on a much greater scale—and it will pay dividends far beyond your break.
3. Inform all your colleagues and vital connections of your vacation
Before you leave for vacation, it’s vital that everyone you work with on a day-to-day basis knows when you’ll be leaving and returning. Managing expectations is always wise so no one thinks you’ll be there for a remote meeting when you’re planning to go off the grid in a cabin.
In addition to informing teammates and your frequent cross-team collaborators, it’s best to notify all team leads and higher-ups of your impending break. Don’t wait until your last day of work before vacation. Keep stakeholders in the loop about all projects you may be in the middle of, and give them a point of contact to refer to in case something comes up while you’re OOO. It should also go without saying that your point person should be ready for any questions during your absence.
4. Set your OOO email autoresponder
Here’s an easy action items on your marketing checklist that many people tend to forget. There’s no way around getting dozens or hundreds of emails during your vacation with people waiting for a timely response. Create a short email auto-response message explaining that you’re OOO, when to expect a response, and who to contact for an urgent matter.
If you work in a casual industry, you can also keep your OOO humorous or light to show off your personality. GIFs are okay, but make sure it’s always SFW.
5. Trust your teammates and prepare to unwind
Let’s take a moment to review. You’ve prepared a winning marketing plan for what to do and what type of content to release in your absence. And everyone on a need to know basis has your plan and who to contact in an urgent matter.
Your social media posts will deploy on time, and you’ve set up your OOO email autoresponder to inform anyone who missed your initial memo about your vacation dates.
The last item on your pre-vacation marketing checklist is sometimes easier said than done: Relinquishing control and trusting your teammates to keep things running while you’re out.
Ultimately, you should be able to trust your fellow marketers to hold down the fort and follow your holiday season marketing plan. Do your best to disconnect 100% and embrace the work/life balance you deserve.
There is a back-up plan. If you or your teammates aren’t totally comfortable with you being unplugging from the company completely, leave explicit instructions on how to reach you in case of emergency.
Proceed with your plans confidently, knowing that you did everything possible to prepare for your break. Your teammates are empowered to step-up and take over while you’re enjoying your life outside the office.