Our clients often see a bit of a slowdown during summer. It’s just the cyclical nature of business when the search for new technology solutions gets a brief respite from the busier seasons. As you approach the halfway point of the calendar year, summer can be a great time to take stock of your marketing goals, inventory your content, analyze your results and plan your next steps. If you’re not on track to hit your targets, or even if you are, use this marketing checklist to take a step back and evaluate the following:
Is it current in terms of design and navigation? Have you checked for broken links, outdated events, stale content, and 404 errors? Do you have landing pages to capture conversions? If the site isn’t doing its job of filling the sales pipeline, summer is a great time to prioritize a refresh.
This can be a big task so break it down into manageable steps. First, inventory and read your current content. If an item is outdated, ditch it or update it. This industry moves too fast for a 3-year old vendor white paper to be of value to your customers. Organize your content into four categories:
- Content for stages of the sales cycle. Make sure you have strong content for the middle and bottom of the sales funnel. That’s when your unique differentiation is critical. Concentrate on videos, eBooks, infographics, case studies and creative content that shows how you’ve solved business problems.
- Content by industry or vertical. Prospects are looking for the best partner for their specific business challenges and that includes deep knowledge in their industry. Be sure you have targeted content that promotes your industry expertise and resonates with the markets you want to attract.
- Content by role. After all, the CEO is concerned about radically different issues than IT director or marketing manager. Think through who the decision makers are for your products and services and ensure you have content that caters to each of those roles.
- Content for blogs and social sites. You already know the value of a blog, and hopefully are leveraging social media, but you’ve got to make sure your posts are consistent and relevant (and if you’re struggling to keep up—check out our blog subscription service or ContentMX solution).
This is a general term for all that customer-centric content we love, but never find enough time to collect such as testimonials from happy clients, customer case studies, success stories, and references. It’s an excellent opportunity to reconnect with your customers.
Lists can get out of control, and outdated, fast. Lock yourself in your office if you have to, but go through your lists and clean them up. Make sure everything is being recorded in CRM and you’ve segmented your lists, such as by customers, prospects, influencers, etc. A gold star if you take the next step and separated them by additional factors such as industry, size and need!
As marketers, we’re always thinking ahead. If you’re looking to fill the pipeline next summer, you should be planning an amazing campaign right now to launch in the fall! Integrate your campaigns across multiple channels and touch points to get the best results. And consider adding something you haven’t tried before, such as a referral program, approaching a new vertical market or setting up an automated campaign for web-generated leads.
Marketing automation tools.
I recently had the chance to be part of a session on marketing automation at the ITA Spring Collaborative and was thoroughly impressed at how effective the presenters (ISVs) were in their use of a variety of tools. While things are a little quiet – and I understand that’s a relative term – now would be an appropriate time to check out some of the tools that not only help you send out campaigns, but also track results.
Although that’s only six items on the checklist, they are six pretty big tasks to accomplish over a summer. As I noted before, one way to do that is to break them into smaller, manageable tasks. Another way is to get help from a technology marketing partner with knowledge and expertise in your field to refine your marketing strategy, populate your content gaps, and create a plan to hit your 2016 goals.
Here’s to a great summer (and don’t forget your sunscreen)!