Most companies use the year-end or half-year mark as their signal to check-in on how their email, digital and content marketing tactics and assets are faring, but a check-in in the middle of the second quarter can be helpful to you and your team.
Whether you manage your company’s marketing program or B2B marketing agency, a second-quarter “spring cleaning” gives you a chance to check in on the initiatives or goals that you set in January to evaluate what’s working and what’s not working.
Of course, you’re not going to reinvent the wheel on your marketing program which is still shaping up since the New Year, but there are a few areas that could benefit from some spring cleaning attention.
1. Clean Up Your Email Lists
Too many incorrect email addresses or unresponsive recipients can cause problems, including getting banned from your marketing email server or getting sent straight to spam in all your recipients’ inboxes due to too many total spam complaints from recipients who should no longer be on your list.
Start with your most active email list because it deserves the most attention.1 Go through and examine which emails were bounced back from your last few campaigns. Perhaps there are obvious typos in the addresses that you can fix or spam addresses that can be deleted.
If you’re worried that this spring cleaning exercise could go too far and remove potential leads from your lists, conduct a re-engagement campaign to gauge the interest- and relevance-level of your contacts. A few popular re-engagement campaigns can:
- Contain a compelling offer such as a free eBook
- Remind recipients why they joined your list in the first place
- Remind the recipient (if applicable) of the great history they have with your company
Once you’ve conducted this campaign, you’ll be able to assess metrics such as delivery, open and click-through, download and response rates, giving you a better sense of which recipients should stay and which can go.
2. Bring Your Content into the Present
Both your content and digital teams will have a content-related spring cleaning task, but they’ll vary slightly. Content creators should focus on updating and re-packaging, whereas digital marketers should focus on the pruning practices we’ll discuss in number five. Q2 is a valuable time to examine your content marketing because, at this point, you probably have some good data on how your website’s assets are performing.
Here are some ways to update your content:
- Ungate older assets that aren’t getting as much attention anymore. Turning these assets into pre-gated content (the content visitors encounter before they’d fill in forms to access gated content) that adds value for visitors to your site can help boost form-fills for your newer gated content.
- Compile and anthologize older content (don’t forget to fact-check it to make sure the information is still correct and relevant) and release it as a gated, larger offer. This is a “re-packaging” of your content that can help generate leads as the aggregate product will have a new appeal of its own.
- Conduct simple fact-checking: as touched on in the last point, going through your content to remove or update information that’s no longer correct or relevant is a must. Even though our SEO knowledge may tell us to be very wary of deleting content from our websites, one key principle of inbound marketing is to be helpful and human, and that means updating and changing with the times.
- Take a serious look at the changing needs of your buyer personas. Research shows that 51% of people feel that brands are doing a poor job of fulfilling their needs, and 40% of consumers say most promotions don’t deliver anything of interest.2 Tweak your content to match the trends that appear to be taking place so your content can stay helpful and relevant.
3. Do a Social Media Sweep
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are ranked among the top social media websites by B2B marketers.3 Keeping your social media profiles fresh and your follower-to-following ratios tight is an important component of your brand’s appearance. The top tasks for spring cleaning your social media are:
- Updating profile and cover photos
- Updating your about, service and product descriptions
- Unfollowing inactive accounts or accounts you no longer have a relationship with (Facebook and Instagram have “unfollow” and “mute” options, respectively, that allow you to remain connected to a page or person while also freeing your newsfeed from clutter)
It’s not mandatory, but you might also consider following some new accounts relevant to where your company is going in the next few months so you can stay current.
4. Tune Up for Tradeshows
Spring is tradeshow season, so depending on when you start your spring cleaning, you’ll either be getting your event marketing materials ready for this season or improving and restoring them after their exposure to wear-and-tear for next season. Here are some ways to make the most of tradeshow season during your spring cleaning:
- Update branded materials like banners and business cards with the latest company information.
- Make sure all the design elements are aligned across marketing materials for consistency and memorability.
- Lead follow-up time is vital to making a sale, so, upon coming back from a tradeshow, make sure that the new contacts you’ve obtained from business cards and mailing lists are imported and followed up with as soon as possible.
46% of B2B marketers surveyed said tradeshows and events where among their top sources for marketing and sales leads.1
5. Digital Marketing Pruning
As you collect data about the performance of your content, you know what assets are performing well and which ones just can’t seem to land in the search engine results page (SERP) position you need them to for their intended keywords. This is where pruning comes in. Content needs to be pruned when:
- It has already been re-optimized and continues to fail, particularly if the desired SERP position is now harder to obtain
- Your digital team has already performed competitor research to better align your content with the results in the top three SERP positions
- You’re moving your content focus away from that topic: unrelated content can make it hard for your site to be found for the topics you want to focus on
It might be hard to get yourself to prune content that represents lots of hard work and good intentions, but think of under-performing content as something that’s taking Google’s attention away from your site. It’s also beneficial to have long-form content focused on a few keywords, so consider compiling selections from pieces of content that aren’t doing so well on their own and blending them together, similar to the gated content anthology we discussed in tip number one.
Companies often use the beginning of the year to make grand plans for achieving their goals and improving their brand image. Why wait until the 6-month mark to see how those plans are taking shape? A second-quarter spring cleaning is exactly what you need to make sure your B2B content, social media, event and digital marketing are all performing as they need to be. If you’re looking to really refresh your marketing this spring, we’d love to chat about how you can accelerate your success with a fresh, integrated approach.
Are you interested in B2B marketing services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today.