The current state of the world has most of us housebound and cleaning everything in sight—especially our hands. As important as spring cleaning the house may be, now is the time to also consider spring cleaning your marketing program.
If you’re planning to do some spring cleaning for your brand, here are a few things to address.
Spring Cleaning Contact Lists
If you haven’t cleaned up your marketing contact lists in a while, you may have noticed a drop in open rates and engagement. This occurs for several reasons. You could have mailing list members who have changed email addresses, stopped opening your emails for a while, or have unsubscribed but, for some reason, are still on the list.
This can result in a low sender score as your bounce rate goes up, and recipients begin reporting your account as spam. Your first step should be looking to re-engage those inactive list members, and then reviewing and cleaning up the active emails as well. Ways to re-engage those inactive members include:
Asking a Question
By sending an email that asks a question, whether to vote in a poll or give feedback on a product or service, you give absent recipients a chance to re-engage with your emails.
Offering a Discount
Sending a discount or other offer can often spur casual or unengaged recipients into action, giving you the chance to reel them back in and see better engagement from them in the future.
Sending an Opt-In or Unsubscribe Request
As a last resort, you might send another opt-in request, which gives unengaged users a chance to recommit to your emails or say a quiet goodbye with an unsubscribe.
After these attempts and you still see zero results from particular recipients, go ahead and remove them on your own.
Spring Cleaning Your Content
A robust library of content on your website can help your marketing efforts in many ways. First, you get the benefit of SEO, especially if your blogs and website pages contain several keywords that are relevant to your brand.
Your blogs also serve to provide further education beyond the information shared on your static website pages. These are often the catalysts to increase purchases as potential buyers find the answers for which they’ve been searching.
If you don’t take the time to clean up your content regularly, it can become a hindrance. Old information and statistics can lead prospects to distrust your brand when they discover that the information you’re providing is outdated.
So comb through your content—and not just your blog posts. Make sure your static pages have the most thorough and updated information possible. Refresh any how-to blogs or videos, your services pages, and add any new information to old posts to keep them fresh and relevant.
The same is true for any content that lives outside of your website. You may not have control over the content published to other sites through thought leadership articles or online publications, though it never hurts to ask for a chance to provide updates. You can, however, sift through your old social media posts to ensure nothing from the past can come back to haunt you. Update any of your YouTube videos, provide updated information through edits on Facebook posts, and perhaps even delete old Instagram posts.
Spring Cleaning Influencer Programs
In addition to reviewing for influencer fraud, take a look at the audience your influencers reach. When you first began working with your influencers, you likely delved deeply into the target audiences they reach, where they lived online, and who they followed. But these things can change over time.
Whether your influencer changes their focus, ages out of the generation you’re trying to reach, or the audience itself changes over time, they may not be as relevant to the goals you have for your clients or even your own brand any longer.
Also, consider the audience size for your influencers. Have they gained a much larger following since you first began working together? If so, you may experience lower engagement, as micro influencers still connect with their audiences better than mega influencers. It may be time to consider new influencers who have smaller, as-yet-untapped audiences to freshen up the results for your clients or yourself.
You may also need to re-examine the platforms you use to reach your target audience. New trends emerge almost daily, so the channels used when you first started your campaigns may not be where your target lives now. This is especially true if your audience from two or three years ago has now aged out of your target generation.
For instance, only 51% of 13-17-year-olds use Facebook, but that number increases dramatically to 76% for those who are 18-24 years of age. Similarly, 67% of 18-29-year-olds use Instagram regularly, but once they hit the ages of 30-49, the numbers drop to 47%. If you’re not sure where your audience lives online anymore, now is a great time to do some research to find out.
Spring Cleaning Your Overall Strategy
Time changes many things—and that includes your overall marketing strategies. What worked a few years ago may need some tweaks—or even a complete overhaul—to continue providing results for your personal brand, or for your clients.
If you take a look at the marketing trends from 2017—just three short years ago—and compare them to the trends of 2020, you’ll see significant changes in what worked then and what we expect to work today.
For instance, in 2017, short-lived content was all the rage. The rise of Snapchat pawned the introduction of Stories for Facebook and Instagram. Sure, it’s still fun to use, but marketers have since discovered that well-researched, evergreen content is often the way to go when working to convince and convert buyers.
A couple of years ago, social media buy buttons were starting to find their footing, but today buyers expect to see the opportunity to make a purchase just about anywhere they visit online. Chatbots were also finding a home on websites and social media sites to provide answers to buyers in real-time that cut down on the friction between the “want” and the “buy.” Today, they’re a staple in any marketing strategy—or, at least, they should be.
Then, there’s interactive content. In 2017, that meant quizzes and polls—anything to get your buyers engaged and responding. In 2020, this has graduated to fully interactive videos, where buyers can now direct the journey and determine the outcome. For a stunning example, check out this interactive recipe video, where you can essentially create a recipe that works for your specific tastes without compromising the deliciousness of the dish.
Now is the time to return your focus to the customer. Determine what they need, how your brand can solve their pain points, and provide the information they’re looking for. The latest fads may offer a unique and fun way to share this information, but it’s the education, convincing, and converting that is important.
If you’ve been so focused on trends that you’ve neglected the message, then spring cleaning is the perfect chance to refocus, refresh, and reboot your marketing strategies.