In the midst of client meetings and pressing deadlines, developing holiday content for designers can feel like a low-level priority. But here’s the deal: content planning is an incredibly important marketing tool, and the holiday season is strategic for several reasons. Holiday content created with your brand in mind means you can expect increased traffic and content engagement, not to mention an uptick in revenue from affiliate link programs or e-commerce sales directly on your site. Plus, there's also the opportunity to have your holiday content published by press outlets, heightening your brand awareness.
Wondering how to develop a branded content plan that’s ready to deliver? We’ve put together your holiday content for designers playbook, with tips and tricks to make the absolute most of this upcoming season.
Plan Ahead + Publish Early
The best advice we can give for holiday content comes down to this: plan ahead and publish early. As a designer, your online audience is looking to you for everything from decorating inspiration to product curation, so NOW is the time to begin putting together those resources. Whether that looks like beginning your gift guides, staging a photo shoot, or filming holiday styling videos, this content should be planned well in advance. You can style and shoot your home or reach out to past clients who might be interested in offering their space. If you’re feeling stuck for ideas, try polling your followers on Instagram to see what type of holiday content they’d like this to see this year. Remember, content planning takes time and effort upfront, but the early bird always gets the worm.
Set Goals for Your Content
Goal-setting is an essential step in the planning process. Sure, holiday content is fun to produce, but the ROI can go much further than pretty photos for Instagram. Along with social media marketing, we recommend strategically pitching your holiday content to press outlets or monetizing with brand partnerships. Let's dig into these concepts more:
Securing Press Features
We've covered how to get your interior design work published, but editors are looking to fill their seasonal calendars, too. Reach out to your local or national press contacts and ask if they'd be interested in a tablescape, holiday home tour, or styling tutorial. This gives you a double bang for your buck with branded holiday images to use on your platform in addition to a press feature. Just remember the earlier you send the pitche email, the better.
Another way to drum up publicity to by tagging featured brands in your holiday content on social media. Have a CB2 wreath front and center in a photo? Tag them, and there's a good chance they'll want to feature a professionally photographed and styled image. Just make sure they credit your account when reposting.
Monetizing Your Content
Holiday content is a great opportunity to inspire your followers, establish your brand, and drive new inquiries. But it’s also about increasing that end-of-year revenue for your business. Affiliate programs like RewardsStyle and are the key to success by helping you monetize everything from blog posts to newsletter links to Instagram swipe-ups, and more. To use affiliate programs well, make sure every piece of content contains shoppable products to help get the most return on your holiday content investment.
Similarly, if your website involves an online shop, this season is the perfect time of year to drive sales. Start by adding a dedicated ‘holiday shop’ to your site, and help your clients take all the guesswork of gift-giving. Take it one step further by creating custom shop tabs based on demographics, hobbies, and interests. For example, Gifts for the Home Cook, Gifts for the Art Enthusiast, Gifts for Children, etc. Put your curation skills to work, and the sales will follow.
P.S. If you’re looking to add online shop capabilities to your website this holiday season, we have several IDCO website templates (including The Avery and The Mandu) that make e-commerce easier than ever.
When to Publish Your Holiday Content
So, when is the best time to publish your holiday content once you get those photo and video deliverables in hand? About four weeks in advance is a good rule of thumb. Once late October hits, it’s time to kick off that holiday content on your blog and social media. Start by adding a “Holiday” tab to your Instagram highlights, so your audience can keep track of everything you’re sharing throughout the season. From there, you’ll want to publish your holiday content loosely following this schedule:
Thanksgiving Tablescape Design (late Oct/first week Nov)
Showcase your tablescape expertise with a guide to setting the scene for Thanksgiving. Curate a corresponding food and cocktail menu as an added bonus! Check out our Thanksgiving tablescapes here and here.
Curated Gift Guides (first or second week of November)
Don’t wait until Black Friday has come and gone to put your gift guides in action. Take advantage of early holiday shopping, and have your products ready for publication just before Thanksgiving. Gift guides can be published as blog posts, swipe up products in an IG highlights tab, saved to a Pinterest board or both.
Holiday Decorating Tips (mid to late November)
Whether it’s mantle styling, Christmas tree inspiration, or present wrapping tips, give your audience a branded guide to decorating for the holidays. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and do something a little different from everyone else.
Holiday Home Tours (early December)
Followers love to see a glimpse into how the pros decorate for the holidays, whether it’s your own home or a client’s. Be sure to work with a professional photographer for high-quality images, and a videographer for professional Instagram reels.
“Best of the Year” Content (mid to late December)
Use a “best of” series to highlight your favorite projects of the past twelve months. This is the perfect opportunity to show off the scope of your work and drive inquiries for the upcoming year.