Spring is almost here, a time of renewal, rejuvenation, and reawakening. It’s no wonder the idea of “spring cleaning” is so popular; after making it through the dead of winter, that first hint of warmth and sunshine is a welcome feeling, and one that often sparks inspiration to dust off the clutter and start fresh.
As marketers, it’s important to think of spring cleaning as a task that extends to your brand, as well. And while a cluttered Pinterest page might not be as grating as a messy garage (nor something your spouse will mention every weekend), an annual check-in can save you from potential problems and extra work down the line.
Not convinced it’s worth your time? Below are a few signs it’s time for a brand strategy spring cleaning. If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to get to work!
Something about your business, mission, or culture has changed
Spring Cleaning Tasks: Clean up directories and NAP data, review on- and off-site branding pages, and dust off your buyer personas.
Have you experienced some ch-ch-ch-changes? This should be obvious, but your first step is to reflect any updates on your site. Having a proper NAP (name, address, phone number) presence on your site leads to better visibility in local search and a better user experience — if the details are correct, that is. Wrong info here can spread like dandelions, so make sure you’re always keeping this up to date.
Same idea goes for off-site directories and listings (like Yelp and MerchantCircle), your social media pages, and any affiliates that promote your brand. For logo revamps or site redesigns, don’t forget to swap out your social media photos. The last thing you want is an inconsistent look across channels.
But what about the smaller changes? Even items like adjustments to your mission statement, new campaigns, and industry shifts can affect your brand. So once a year (or more often), pull together your strategy docs and buyer personas, and take a look at them with fresh eyes. Are new campaigns or products introducing totally fresh audiences to your brand? If so, it may be time to update your personas.
Your social media pages are full of clutter
Spring Cleaning Tasks: Audit your social channels, delete any abandoned accounts, and update your strategy.
When it comes to social media, many brands are quick to jump on the latest trends. You might play around on a platform for a few weeks, and then… other priorities come up, or you don’t see the engagement you were hoping for, and your account turns into a desolate wasteland, much like most front yards during the winter.
For this spring cleaning task, take a step back and audit the social channels you’re on. Are your posts still resonating with your audience? Are your messaging and imagery still on brand? If you have a schedule in place, does your cadence still make sense? Moreover, are you testing different types of posts and the time you post them to see what works best?
Social media management is easy to push off to the side, especially for busy marketing teams. But your social presence can say a lot about your brand — it’s often one of the first impressions prospective customers and clients get. Without a strategy in place, you’re likely just creating social media clutter. When it doubt, select one or two platforms that you can commit to posting on regularly, and focus on those.
You haven’t gone “shopping” in awhile
Spring Cleaning Tasks: Get up to speed on marketing trends, and consider new tools or platforms.
When’s the last time you replaced your old, ratty clothing with new items? If it’s been a long time since your last closet purge, your style probably needs a major update.
Similarly, in our ever-changing industry, it’s important to stay on top of new marketing trends and strategies. Even just window shopping, so to speak, is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Take a look at what other brands are doing, how they’re using new technology and tools, and what’s been getting people talking.
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And while you certainly don’t need to jump on every trend out there, being at least familiar with them helps you stay ahead of the curve — which will come in handy at your next campaign brainstorm.
Tidying Up Year-Round
While the spring season is the perfect time to dust off your brand strategy and revisit your goals, the best marketers commit to regular and ongoing maintenance throughout the year. By establishing an organized process that hits on each of the above tasks, your workload will seem much more manageable. And when the big projects come down the pipeline, you’ll truly be set up for success.