As we enter into May, it becomes time to dust off our shelves and take stock — both in our home lives and our digital lives. Everything can benefit from a little spring cleaning, even our digital marketing strategies. An springtime analysis can be the perfect way to refocus and refresh.
Though they may seem like instantaneous magic to outsiders, digital marketing campaigns take some time to grow. By most accounts, it takes at least six months to reasonably develop a campaign and to start seeing results from changes in campaign strategies. Start seeding your future projects now, so that they’ll be ready when you need them. As with a garden, if you let the seeding window go by, you may not be able to catch up in time for the harvest. (Of course, you also need a very clear plan and schedule, or your garden most definitely won’t flourish.)
Sometimes a little focus is necessary to really drive home your success. If something isn’t essential to your process, now might be a good time to streamline it. Consider ways that you could make your own life easier from an outside perspective. Is your laptop no longer holding a charge as well as it should? Is your Internet connection iffy at best? Are you transferring documents from one program to another, when you could really just be using a single solution? We can become numb and complacent to daily inconveniences, all of which cost us our valuable time.
Don’t be afraid to give your projects time to grow — but if they fail to perform consistently, it’s probably already time to drop them and start over. Most digital marketers have their under-performing side projects, and every individual marketing campaign has tactics that are just not quite clicking. Your time is your money. Consider culling your worst performing projects and strategies on a regular basis to make room for new ideas. Don’t consider it a failure, just consider it a learning process. The worst thing you can do is succumb to the sunk cost fallacy.
Everyone recognizes the bright spring palette: yellows, blues, pinks and all manner of pastels. As the seasons shift, it becomes necessary to shift your content strategy. Remember: vague, generic evergreen content is fading out of vogue. Today’s content needs to be specific, informative and, above all, timely. Comb the news for events and developments or simply dive into industry-related media; you’re certain to find something that you haven’t heard about or thought about yet.
Just because a project failed doesn’t mean everything involved in that project is worthless. Go over your old content and digital media to find things that can be repurposed or “upcycled.” Are there infographics that you could be using in a current campaign? Do you have prior domains that you now have a better fit for? Or could you use some of your old websites to boost new content or could you take old content in an entirely new direction? That old industry blog that went nowhere could become free downloadable content for a new campaign. Everything has some value, it’s just waiting for an new opportunity.
There’s a saying: an successful marketer is a marketer who understands their own goals and metrics. Hey, so it isn’t a catchy saying. Or, even, really a saying at all. It’s still true. While we may all understand goals and metrics in relation to our campaigns, too often we forget to organize our own work and our own lives. Have we finished all our client billing? Are we still billing each client the appropriate hourly amount? Have we been connecting with our leads? Have we pinged any of our prior clients lately? Take some time for yourself to get your finances and client relationships in order.
Remember all of those optimistic New Years resolutions you made just four months ago? You were going to get motivated, stay focused and remain organized? Well, for most of us, May is when all of that has started crashing down. That also makes it a great time to revisit your plans and make sure that you’re still on target. You can get practically anywhere you want both in life and in business, you just need a detailed map in front of you.