Spring has sprung in Nashville. It’s glorious, and I have the allergies to prove it.
At StoryBrand, we’re working more out on the porch and taking breaks with the frisbee.
We’re also doing a bit of spring cleaning around the office — emptying out closets, dusting off our desks, and purging stuff we don’t need anymore.
The same goes for your marketing. Every once in awhile, you’ve got to clean up the parts of your program that don’t regularly get your attention. In the everyday hustle, this stuff can easily get neglected.
Don’t let the urgency of your daily to-do list crowd out the importance of maintaining your marketing.
Don’t let the urgency of your daily to-do list crowd out the importance of maintaining your marketing. It will come back to bite you. You’ll miss out on sales. You’ll diminish the perception of your brand. You’ll waste staff time.
So here is a blueprint of 10 ways you can “spring clean” your marketing. I know it’ll help you breathe new life and energy into your marketing efforts.
1. Make sure your homepage passes the “grunt test.”
If you don’t do anything else on the list, do this. Take a moment to review the homepage of your website. Within the first five seconds, a first-time visitor should be able to answer these three questions:
1. What do you offer?
2. How will it make my life better?
3. What do I need to do to buy it?
Basically, could a caveman look at your website and immediately grunt what you offer? “You make cupcakes! Cupcakes yummy and fresh! Me call to order cupcakes!
2. Review your website with fresh eyes
Your website is one of the most visible and important parts of your business. But many of us rarely even look at it once we get it launched.
Carve out the time your calendar to review each page. As you scroll and click, ask yourself:
• Is the imagery fresh and relevant?
• Is my messaging still dialed in?
• Are product/service descriptions accurate?
• Are staff member listings up to date?
• Is contact information accurate and easy to find?
• Are there any dates or events that need to be removed/updated?
Try to keep a fresh perspective as you review and see your website as your customers would. It may help to get out of your typical work space and head to a coffee shop. Sometimes a disruption in our surroundings can help us disrupt our thinking, too.
3. Run a content audit.
When you spring clean your house, you eventually will have to clean out the dreaded Junk Drawer.
For a lot of us, the “junk drawer” in our marketing is our website. We shoehorn content and drop in one-off pages as we need them. Over time, you end up with a cluttered site. Every once in awhile, run a content audit so your website is easy to navigate and ranks higher with search engines.
This excellent recap from Tim Frick at MightyBytes is a great place to start if you’re a small business or if you want to get a quick win without investing a ton of time.
1. Open Google Analytics.
2. Run a report on the 100 most visited pages over the past year.
Now, ask yourself these four simple questions:
1. Are the pages listed at the top those you want people to visit most?
2. Are people taking actions on those pages? In other words, are they serving your business needs? If you don’t know, you may need to set up some goals and funnels.
3. Can you improve those pages to better serve their intended purpose and drive conversions?
4. Do you see any surprises? Are there pages that should be in the top ten that are not? Are there pages at the bottom of the list that are key to your organization’s success?
4. Evaluate automated email sequences
At StoryBrand, we are big fans of email automation. With it, you can trigger specific messages to be sent whenever customers take a particular action. (If you want to learn more, here’s my primer for getting started.)
But even with these messages on auto-pilot, you still need to check in and see how things are going. It’s all too easy to forget about your automated email messages. As a result, they become outdated or ineffective as your business evolves.
It’s all too easy to forget about your automated email messages. As a result, they become outdated or ineffective as your business evolves.
Start by reviewing the open rate, click rate and (if you have it) conversion rate for every automated email or sequence of emails you’re actively running. Look for aberrations in the data to help you spot emails that are working well or those that need an overhaul.
For example, let’s say you send a five-part sequence of welcome emails to new customers. Emails 1-4 get a strong 8-10% click-through rate, but email 5 just gets 2%. That’s your clue to review email #5 and spot the disconnect.
Once you’ve analyzed the metrics, review the content and creative of each email to update and rewrite it as needed.
5. Clean up your email list
Your email subscribers won’t always use the email address they originally entered when they joined your list. As a result, you’ll end up with stale addresses in your database. This can trigger warning flags with internet service providers, which may keep your emails from being delivered, even to valid addresses.
It can help to delete these inactive addresses. Most email service providers will help you easily identify a list of addresses who haven’t opened or clicked in 18 months.
From there, you can try to reach out to them with a special re-engagement email — a coupon, a special offer, or just a request to confirm they’re still interested. Or you can just remove them from your list altogether and focus your email budget on your engaged subscribers.
6. Evaluate your social media presence
Honestly, when was the last time you looked at your company’s GooglePlus profile?
We have a tendency to claim a presence on each new shiny social media outlet as it gains popularity. But most of us are only active on a few. Review each place you have a presence and update outdated information or posts. Make sure you’ve created a path for any customer service or support requests that may come through that channel.
Then, pinpoint the channels where you can best serve your customers. Consider your own time and energy as a part of the equation. For the rest, you might try a lighter engagement strategy or eliminate your presence altogether.
7. Revisit (or establish!) key marketing metrics
In the craziness of day-to-day tasks, many of us keep meaning to check the metrics that show the health of our marketing — but we never seem to get around to it.
The danger in this, of course, is that we hamstring our decisions and limit the growth of our business. After all, it’s hard to make good business decisions when you aren’t operating with accurate information.
It’s hard to make good business decisions when you aren’t operating with accurate information.
To assess the health of your data and reporting, ask:
• Are there new metrics you need to be monitoring?
• Are there outdated metrics that are no longer relevant?
• Do your metrics truly show you what you need to know to grow your business?
• Are you measuring and reviewing your metrics frequently enough?
• How could you make collecting and aggregating the data easier or more automated?
• How could you make the numbers more visible for your staff?
8. Clean up or develop your asset library
Now is a good time to make sure you’ve got a well-organized place for all your brand assets. This helps you and your team work quickly and with all the latest information. You’ll also find it’s easier to collaborate with contractors and freelancers.
Make sure you’ve collected all the approved versions of your logo and have up-to-date usage guidelines for them. Pull together all your approved product images and company photos. As you assemble what you have, make a list of new assets you need and create a quick plan to create them.
9. Critique your own production process
Don’t just clean up your marketing materials. Clean up the process you’re using to create them. Assess how you come up with, create, and review marketing materials. Where are the bottlenecks, liabilities, and pain points? What’s working well? Is the project software you’re using working for everyone?
Even with just a few tweaks to your process, you can save yourself and your team a significant amount of time AND have better work to show for it.
10. For StoryBrand alumni: Read over and edit your BrandScript
If you’ve attended a StoryBrand Live Workshop or taken our online course, you’ve probably created a BrandScript. In this document, you’ve shaped your messaging around the 7-part StoryBrand framework. You’ve filtered your message down to a single page, and it’s your guide for every piece of marketing material you create.
Now is a great time to read over it and review it. Do you need to make tweaks based on what you’ve learned recently? You may have multiple BrandScripts for each division or product; make sure they’re all organized and easy to find.
You probably don’t need to tackle everything on this list. Some of these may not apply to you, or you may already have processes in place to review them. But all of us can pick at least one item on this list to improve, even in the midst of everything else we have going on.
Say you review your automated emails, find a link that’s not working, and fix it. Now customers are clicking that link and you sell two more consulting sessions this month. Just like that, a little bit of maintenance has turned into a nice chunk of revenue.
Do you have a process for “spring cleaning” in your marketing? I’d love to hear about it — leave us a quick comment.
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