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Talking about the holiday season in September might seem excessive, but now is the perfect time to start planning your holiday campaigns.

With many industries entering the busy season in October, the more time you spend prepping your seasonal marketing now, the better the pay off later.

Planning your campaigns and creating your assets early frees up your time later to create more reactive content, and spend more time focusing on your business.

Follow these four easy tips now, and be thankful for your past self later!

1 – Rethink your social media strategy

As the holidays approach it can be the perfect time to rethink your social strategy. With more people at home through the holidays your social media content potential has more eyes on it. It can be a great time to test a new social media strategy such as engaging with your audience directly through replying to tweets, or starting a holiday give away.

If you don’t have the time or resources to deliver a completely new strategy, you can get ahead of yourself and begin writing and scheduling posts now.

2 – Produce your content and visuals in advance

Speaking of saving time later, you should be using October to produce your visuals for your holiday campaigns. Taking new product photography, highlighting new lines with newsletters, or even designing a cute holiday version of your logo early can be incredibly beneficial later.

If you’re still finalizing sale dates or promotion information, create a template and leave the text spots blank, or full of placeholder text, to update later.

3 – Analyze last years wins and fails

Any campaign should be followed up with an evaluation, especially seasonal campaigns. Early fall is the perfect time to pull out last years evaluations and re-familiarize yourself with the big wins and the bits that didn’t go so well. A year is a long time and it can be easy to forget that your audience reacted well to a specific type of messaging or tone. But you’ll absolutely want to include proven strategies in your new campaign.

If this is your first year running a holiday campaign, or your first time marketing throughout the holidays it can be useful to analyze your competitors campaigns from the previous year. You can also conduct a SWOT analysis to help identify your company strengths and opportunities.

4 – Create an asset library ahead of time

Once you’ve created your visuals, written and scheduled your tweets, and remembered the best days and times for posting, it’s time to collate all this information into one big asset library.

Having a folder on a shared drive with all of the information needed is the number one way to avoid holiday marketing stress, guaranteed.

Making sure that all of the information is easily accessible to everybody on the team can help prevent the biggest roadblock in team communication during busy periods, and help make everyone’s jobs and lives a bit easier. This is particularly important in industries such as retail or gifting, who see particular rises in workload during the holiday times.