Join a gym. Take more vitamins. Improve your sleep schedule. Stop procrastinating. Chances are, these resolutions may have (frequently?) occupied your list. It’s true, a new year is a perfect time to renew your motivation and work towards new goals, but establishing good habits is what leads to achieving said goals.
With that in mind, here are our suggestions of six (sleep- and vitamin-optional) marketing habits worth adopting in 2018:
Re-evaluate your goals (and continue to do so)
Take some time with your team to review and audit every external communications mechanism you have and their respective benchmarks. Where have you been falling short? Look under the hood and seek to understand why your performance is not up to par, and develop the appropriate action plans to get you where you want to be.
Inversely, if you’ve been hitting your benchmarks consistently, it’s time to reevaluate. Level up what you’ve considered as successful performance. Look to competitors and note what they do well. Look to your audience and double down on what keeps your audience engaged with your brand and company.
Need help defining KPIs? The Content Marketing Institute is a great resource to determine and understand KPIs across any marketing tactic — SEO, email, website analytics, social media, and more.
Don’t neglect your loyalists — treat them
It’s easy to push out content (original or curated) that focuses on acquiring more likes and followers, but don’t forget your brand loyalists. It’s important to engage this group, so treat them to exclusive content or allow them to share their feedback in a unique way.
One “watch out” for 2018: “Engagement bait” is the new click bait, and Facebook is cracking down on such techniques. Keep your content and social posts out of this territory to avoid being penalized on Facebook.
Bonus points: You may have a potential influencer among your loyalists, which can present an opportunity for meaningful exposure to a larger audience that resonates with your brand and content. Take a plunge with influencer marketing—don’t worry, the water’s warm. Our tip sheet on social media influencers can help you get started.
Contact those who want to hear from you
Email distribution list decay is natural — in fact, the average rate is 22.5 percent per year. Your contacts may move on to other roles at other companies, change their email address, or decide to opt-out of receiving your content and emails. Refresh your list by kicking out the “inactives” and the hard bounces regularly, and pay attention to the segment of your list that continually reads and interacts with your content.
Email new contacts within 24 hours of them signing up for your newsletter, and keep your workflows fresh and efficient, so that you are serving up the best content for your contacts. There are many other simple best practices you can emulate to keep your emails clickable.
While not everything can be automated, allow for what can be automated. Scheduling social media posts ahead of time can improve results. Leveraging templates and creating workflows take the manual labor out of engagement. For Google Analytics and other KPI-tracking tools, opt-in to weekly metric recaps to receive frequent snapshots of how your communications mechanisms are performing. By the same token, opt-in for alerts so that if there is an issue, you are aware of it immediately and can quickly fix it.
Conduct weekly website audits
When was the last time you looked at your website with a discerning eye? If it was when you last relaunched, you have a problem. Your website is never finished — it always needs work. This checklist from Social Media Today can help you keep your website performance in tip-top shape. Better yet, pair up with someone who isn’t always working on the website. This teammate could offer a critical perspective with some distance that will ultimately help your website perform better.
Commit to trying something new
A major upside of working in marketing and communications is being able to try that new shiny toy (hello, AI) and seeing what works and doesn’t work for you. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back, the experience can only make you wiser. Whether it’s influencer marketing, integrating augmented reality or artificial intelligence into your marketing mix, launching and producing a podcast for the first time, or going behind the camera yourself, try, try, try!
You likely have the motivation, now you have the tools to make these habits a reality for your marketing team in 2018. Cheers to a successful marketing year!