Well, I know my UK readers are wondering, ‘What summer?’ But nevertheless, this time of year while people are away, is an ideal time to give your marketing a bit of TLC. So here’s a checklist of things to look at!
Go back over all the marketing activities you’ve carried out since the beginning of the year, and take a look at what has worked and what hasn’t. If you are in the professional services sector, make a list of all the customers you’ve signed up this year, and work out how you got them. Was it from a networking event? A referral? From Linkedin? From a conference you attended?
By working out where you got your best results, you can now streamline your marketing machine and focus on what’s getting results and ditch the things that wasted time and money.
2. The Christmas Market
I can hear the moaning from here… If you are in the consumer sector or have new products and services to launch for the Christmas market, you need to start thinking about this now (if you haven’t started already). Every October/November I get a series of calls from people looking for marketing help in time for Christmas. And every year I have to tell people, it’s just too late. Make sure you don't miss out because of bad planning.
3. Social media profiles
Go back over all your social media profiles and give them a bit of a facelift. Perhaps some new header banners for your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin Profiles. Check that your profile description is an accurate reflection of what you are actually doing now (things change over time), and update things as required. Maybe a new picture?
4. Look at your web content
When was the last time you gave your website content a bit love and attention? Are your product/service descriptions up to date? Are your prices up to date? Are there any pictures that are no longer relevant? Could move things around a bit - think about what supermarkets do. Just when you’re used to where the toilet rolls are, they move things around a bit to wake you up and take notice. Maybe a refresh is in order.
5. Data cleaning
There’s nothing more wasteful than a ‘dirty' mailing list. Your mailing list is marketing gold dust and 100 times more valuable than people who’ve simply clicked a ‘like’ button on Facebook or Instagram, so they need to be cleaned regularly. So go through all your databases and get rid of people who aren’t engaging, reading or buying as a result of anything you send out.
An active audience of 10 people is more valuable than an inactive database of thousands. And if you’re using systems like MailChimp or similar, and have a database of over 2000 names, it’s costing you money to have inactive, disinterested names stored in a list.
6. Brainstorm some new content ideas
If you’ve spent the time measuring your results, that data should give you some clues on where to go next. So spend a bit of time musing and dreaming up ideas. For a start, think about the kind of content you like reading. What makes you open certain emails or click some social media posts over others? For my business, I find it helpful to create a content plan every 3-6 months, so when it comes to Thursday nights, and I’m wondering what to write, it’s already worked out, and I just need to start typing. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, I just write mine on a whiteboard on my office wall.
7. Bundling deals or promos
September/October is a great time to launch new products or promotions such as package deals or bundling options. Think about the way WH Smith always starts its ‘Back to School’ promotions as soon as the summer holidays start.
Is there something new you could introduce? ‘4 Nights for the Price of 3’, 10% discount when you buy XXXXX’, you know the kind of thing.
I think I’ll stop at seven things. Drop me a line and let me know how you get on.
All the best