It’s Spring! If you live or work anywhere near us in Minneapolis, that may be hard to believe since everything is still covered by a thick layer of snow. But March 20th has come and gone. It’s only a matter of time before the snow melts, baseball season starts, and the sidewalks outside our St. Anthony Main studio start filling up with lunch-time joggers and Segway tours.
The start of Spring always brings a sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm. It’s a giant reset button; a chance for us to collectively emerge from hibernation and re-engage with the outside world. It’s also a chance to clean up and get organized.
We can’t help you if your garage or basement need cleaning (unless you ask really nicely), but we can help with your marketing. In Part One of Your Marketing Communications Spring-Cleaning Checklist, we offer ways to clean up, organize, and revitalize your brand and content strategy.
Clean up: Refresh Your Logo Is your logo looking a little … dated? Refreshing a logo design doesn’t necessarily require a full brand redesign. You may feel like all of the other elements of your brand are in good condition, but the logo itself doesn’t live up to your expectations. Or, maybe your logo is close, just not quite “perfect.” Giving your logo a little extra attention could make a big difference in how your customers perceive your brand.
Organize: Brand Guidelines When some people think of brand guidelines, they picture massive documents filled with page after page of rules and restrictions for billion-dollar brands. Those types of documents are sometimes necessary, but companies of all sizes can benefit from brand guidelines, even in an abbreviated form. Define the essentials of your brand: Key messaging, logo usage, color palette, typography, photography, and other key components. Documenting these aspects of your brand will help align your team and anyone else that works on your marketing communications.
Revitalize: Redefine Your Messaging If your brand needs more than an updated logo or guidelines, it may be time to take a fresh look at your messaging. Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it? Who do you do it for? Asking these types of questions and formulating a messaging strategy from your answers is vital to building a consistent and powerful brand.
Clean up: Purge Outdated Content Inevitably, some content on every website becomes outdated. Maybe it doesn’t match up with your new brand messaging strategy; maybe it references discontinued products or services; or, maybe it’s just flat-out wrong. Content aging is natural, but if this outdated content remains on your site, it will harm the overall user experience and your brand. Purge outdated content with regular content audits. An audit may not sound like the most entertaining way to celebrate Spring, but your customers will thank you for it.
Organize: Create an Editorial Calendar Aligning SEO, social media, and content marketing objectives is challenging under the best circumstances. But attempting to optimize these initiatives without the aid of an editorial calendar can actually be counter-productive to your overall marketing goals. Your customers and audience will form their view of your company based on the content you publish. If that content is poorly planned, you may end up creating a perception of your brand that doesn’t align with your company’s goals. Even a simple editorial calendar that just outlines suggested topics, channels, and frequency, will help get your content marketing headed in the right direction.
Revitalize: Talk To Your Customers Nothing is more valuable than getting out from behind the computer and speaking with your customers. If you want to learn what types of information and content your customers really want, what questions and problems they have, and how they prefer to receive content, ask them. We all get a bit myopic from time to time, but lacking a true understanding of your customers and their interests will undermine even the best-designed marketing communications. Social media, surveys, and even feedback forms all provide simple ways to gather useful customer insights.
That should be enough to keep you busy for now. Next week, we’ll take a look at some ways to get your website and email marketing in order. Happy Spring!