The good news is that we’re now approaching the middle of April. The bad news is, well … I took this picture from St. Anthony Main this morning, so you can probably guess what the bad news is.
I’m not sure what Punxsutawney Phil had to say about this year’s Spring, but I’m fairly certain he didn’t mention anything about four-to-eight inches of snow on April 10th.
Regardless of whether it looks like April or January where you are today, it’s time to continue Your Marketing Communications Spring-Cleaning Checklist. In the first two installments of the Checklist, we talked about branding, content strategy, websites, and email marketing. In this, the third and final Checklist, we’ll share ways to clean up, organize, and revitalize your print collateral and social media marketing.
Clean up: Recycle Outdated Materials Everyone has at least a few boxes of unused print collateral hidden somewhere in their supply closet. Sales sheets, case studies, direct mail, probably some brochures. Each individual piece cost something to plan, to design, and to produce, and no one wants to feel like they’re wasting time or money. That’s understandable. It’s fine to share print collateral that’s been sitting around for a little while, as long as that collateral properly represents your brand. If you’ve updated your brand identity, messaging, products, or services since the collateral was created, though, it may cause confusion or worse. Purge your outdated print collateral before it does any damage. If you’re reluctant to pay for more materials that may go unused, consider switching some documents to an all-digital format.
Organize: Get a Trapper Keeper for Your Brand If you give print collateral to customers and prospects on a regular basis, you should also provide them with a way to keep all of those materials together in an organized, branded package. Think about it: Are you more likely to keep materials from a company that sends you a bunch of individual, loose pieces of paper, or a company that shares those same materials in a nice pocket folder or binder? If you organize your own materials in something that feels permanent, or non-disposable, your clients and prospects will feel more compelled to keep your materials. When the time comes that they need your product or service, all of your neatly-organized materials will be there waiting for them.
Revitalize: Time to Go Cross-Channel In spite of all the talk about digital marketing, print still serves a vital role in marketing communications. Today’s best strategies, though, combine print and digital channels in order to engage customers on several different levels. Some direct mail recipients may be happy to call a phone number printed on the back of a mailer, but others will want to do additional research on their own. Sending these recipients to a personalized landing page gives them an opportunity to learn more, and it gives marketers an opportunity to learn more about their customers. From there, additional triggered communications – like emails, phone calls, or other direct mailers – can help lead the recipient toward conversion. Cross-channel marketing helps marketers work smarter.
Clean up: Audit Your Profiles Every single marketing communication touch point affects how people view your brand. They may seem like small details (literally, in some cases), but your brand’s social media profile images and descriptions inform how everyone on those channels will view your brand. Choose your images and words carefully. Think through how profile images, background images, names and descriptions appear in desktop browser versions of social media channels, but also test how they look in third-party and mobile applications. If you want to push things further, add branding to the images you share through your various social media channels.
Organize: Start Using Twitter Lists Once you’ve followed a few hundred people on Twitter, that stream of information can start moving pretty fast. If you want to continue expanding your network on Twitter, but you don’t think you can absorb 20 tweets per second in your main feed, start using lists. Twitter lists allow you to organize and categorize the people that you follow on Twitter. With lists, you can filter your stream down to one specific group at a time, which significantly decreases the likelihood that you’ll have a panic attack trying to keep up with everyone. You can also subscribe to other user’s lists without manually following everyone on the list. No matter how you use Twitter lists, they’re an essential tool for anyone looking to get the most out of Twitter.
Revitalize: Give in to Google+ Let’s face it, Google is in charge. Some people still look down their nose at Google+, but no one questions Google’s dominance in search. That dominance is precisely the reason why Google+ is worthwhile. We can all argue about the pros and cons of adopting another social media platform, or about the relative merits of “liking,” “following,” or “circling” someone, but the simple truth is this: Google decides what’s important, and they have a vested interest in making Google+ important. Have you noticed profile images showing up next to some search engine results? Those are Google+ users, and those images increase clicks by 150%. There’s always a chance that Google will get bored and pull the plug on Google+ like they did with Google Reader, but, as long as Google+ is around, you’re limiting your social media and search potential by ignoring it.
That’s it! We’ve discussed strategies for cleaning up your brand and content; we’ve talked about the importance of organizing your website and email marketing; and now we’ve shared a few ways to revitalize your print collateral and social media marketing. If you’ve already checked a few of these things off your own list, congratulations! Based on the way it looks outside of our studio right now, you’re clearly well ahead of Mother Nature’s schedule.