There are those times when change is in the air and Spring is one of them. As we move into longer days, warmer nights and let’s hope, just a little but more stability, it’s time to dust off some cobwebs gathered over the world’s longest lockdown.

Here is your annual reminder about some of those dark, dusty corners of marketing, so you can head into the Summer feeling as efficient and streamlined and on message as possible.

Cleaning is nobody’s favourite job, unless you are Monica from Friends, but investing time in a clear out will help you be more efficient and focussed in the long term.

Time for a marketing audit?

A marketing audit is a complete audit of your promotional environment, everything from your newsletters to your social media campaigns. It’s sorting through your resources to work out what is working, and what is wasting your precious resources. All too often we get caught up in historic activity without getting an opportunity to challenge – is it still getting the results we need?

This can be a huge task delivered by a third party to give you that objectivity you might need. But what’s to stop you doing a mini audit internally to discuss what has been working well and what needs improvement (using facts and data of course to make those decisions).

Have you neglected your plan of late?

Yes that’s right, it’s me again talking about your marketing plan. Have you looked at it recently? Does it still make sense? Did everything change over the past year and you have been chasing your tail since then trying to get on an even keel?

You are certainly not the only one.

So now’s the time to revisit strategy and plans, check they are still fit for purpose, make tweaks, get up to date and ready for the rest of the year as we start to emerge from the world’s longest Winter.

Social media declutter

Oh social media, how you grow and grow and over time become so unwieldy! Take some time in April to review your social media accounts. Check company profiles to ensure the imagery / company descriptions are on brand and up to date, whether pinned tweets / updates are relevant, create lists on Twitter to be able to engage more easily with the accounts you follow, unfollow any that are no longer relevant (mammoth but important task.) Look at your own profiles. Do they need a new photo to reflect the ten years you might have aged during 2020/2021, banner, a new story which reflects your personal brand? Do you need to consider your LinkedIn connections? Is it time to unfollow some Instagram accounts you followed when you were first setting up on there? 

Social media accounts have a habit of accumulating and becoming extremely noisy. Cutting them down is not ruthless, it ensures you are focussing on the community you need to be focussing on.

Nobody’s favourite job

Sorry, you need to clean that mailing list. Go through and remove duplicate addresses, fix typos, update invalid addresses, delete email addresses from hard and soft bounces. This one of course should not be left for a once a year – you should be reviewing all of your lists regularly, every time you do any direct marketing, especially if you see an increase in cancellations and unsubscribes. It’s also a good time to ask your contacts to update their marketing preferences.

Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose

You have spent so much time developing amazing content over the past year. Social posts. Blogs. Email marketing. Proposals. Emails packed with suggestions of how you can work with your clients. Presentations you have delivered. Hours and hours of investment. Now it’s time to make sure you get the most out of all of that. Go through all your content and work out what can be repurposed for these coming months. Can it be tweaked, updated easily, remessaged, repurposed? I bet if you look at what you’ve got, you might not need to create any new content at all in fact….it’s amazing what can be unearthed at the back of those cupboards.

Back it up!

Sometimes we are so “in it” we forget to collect the evidence of the great work we are doing as we go along. But nothing promotes your business, your product, your service, better than stories of how you have worked with other customers and provided them with solutions. Ideally we should do this at the end of every piece of relevant work, in collaboration with the customer and secure a testimonial, but sometimes, the moment is lost. So this is a great moment to revisit the customers you have worked with over this past year and ask them if you can case study the work you have done together for marketing.

Is your messaging still on point?

In an ideal world your strategy is sound, your plan is watertight, your messaging flows beautifully from the brand you have developed.

But, let’s face it, in a smaller business that is sometimes not the way.

And the world has changed a lot over the past year.

Make sure your messages still resonate with your target customers, that everyone in your business knows what your core messages are and can promote at all relevant touch points.

And also check your imagery – as those triggers are everywhere…

And that’s it. Just some of the bits and bobs to Spring clean in April. Let me know how you get on? And if you would like any help, it goes without saying contact me on helen@saltmarsh.marketing to see how I can help!