In theory, taking a break from work should be all about relaxation, de-stressing, and getting away from the office grind. In reality, the weeks before you leave for vacation tend to be even more stressful than most for marketers. That’s because you need to ensure things run smoothly while you’re gone, and relinquishing control to teammates isn’t always easy for those who oversee a particular niche.
If you want to be able to pause and play on your vacay instead of being glued to your email and Slack, we’ve got your back. The trick is preparing a marketing plan you can stick to before you leave for vacation at any time of year, whether it’s the winter holidays, a spring/summer escape, or a fall family trip.
Just follow the simple marketing checklist below to minimize the chances you get hit up on your holiday weekend or honeymoon, and your team knows exactly what to do in your absence prior to your last day of work before vacation.
1. Schedule your blog and social media posts in advance
If you oversee blog content and/or social media, the first part of your marketing checklist when leaving on break should be planning posts in advance. Get into 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 for preparing a marketing plan before you leave for vacation to fill any content gaps. Tools like Hubspot and Coschedule 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 a realistic scenario. You may be out of the office when something unforeseen happens in the world that your marketing team can create spontaneous content around.
With that in mind, we recommend creating video templates that enable everyone on your team to take control when the need arises. 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.
Educating your teammates on how to use video templates before you leave for vacation is a small investment in time that will allow your team 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. You don’t want anyone having the expectations that you’ll be there for a meeting when you’re planning to be on a boat in Bora Bora next week.
On top of informing direct teammates and frequent cross-team collaborators, it’s best to notify all team leads and higher-ups of your impending break with waiting until your last day of work before vacation. Keep stakeholders in the loop about any 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. Of course, don’t forget to let that person know that you dropped their name as your point of contact should anything arise.
4. Set your OOO email autoresponder
You’re almost there – just a couple more easy action items on your marketing checklist and it’s time to cut loose.
Since you’re bound to get bombarded with dozens of emails during your break, it’s best to create a short email auto-response message letting those who contact you know you’re OOO and when to expect you back.
If you want to build your reputation as someone awesome to work with, consider taking the time to make it funny or show your personality in a SFW way, like by including a gif.
5. Trust your teammates and prepare to unwind
At this point, you’ve taken care of preparing a marketing plan for what will be posted in your absence and informing everyone important about when you’ll be back.
You’ve ensured your blog and social media posts will continue to be published as if you never left. And you set up your OOO email autoresponder to inform anyone who missed your initial memo about your vacation time frame.
Depending on your style of work, the last part of your pre-vacation marketing checklist could either be the easiest or the most difficult box to mark done: relinquishing control and trusting your teammates to get things done while you’re out.
Ultimately, your fellow marketers will have to hold down the fort, and you should do your best to disconnect 100% to truly achieve the work/life balance you deserve.
Still, if you (or your teammates) aren’t totally comfortable with you being unplugging from the company completely, leave your teammates explicit instructions on how to reach you in case of emergency.
For now, know that you did everything possible to prepare for your break and that your teammates are empowered to step up and take control while you’re busy enjoying your life outside the office.
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