I’d rather not say that July is winding down, but summer once again seems to be flying by! As we all try to make the most of our remaining summer plans, believe me when I say that autumn will be here before we know it. So, in between weekend trips to the beach or shaving a few strokes off your golf handicap, now is the perfect time for your mid-year branding and marketing check-up.
Take a close, thoughtful look at these key areas and prioritize which ones you need to address to keep your momentum – and results – going for the rest of the year.
When was the last time you read your positioning statement or reviewed your brand’s attributes with fresh eyes? Two aspects are at play here:
– Consistency: Are you diligently developing your marketing content with these points in mind, always drawing focus to your core message(s)?
– Relevance: Is your brand identity and messaging still relevant to your audience? What could you do now to make sure you remain differentiated from and ahead of your competition?
As mentioned, fall will soon be upon us, and the category of campaigns is a big one — from media relations to thought leadership initiatives to email and online communications and, yes, even to traditional or digital advertising. Is your campaign calendar in place, with well-timed deliverables to complement one another? What is your content plan? What action(s) do you want your audience to take? How will you measure results? From project management to developing messaging-oriented content to analyzing metrics, integrated campaigns have many moving parts and myriad details. Good organization and getting a head start on creating and executing your campaigns now will help you avoid a season of late nights down the road.
Your website is likely your primary marketing vehicle, so it is critically important that your visitors find something interesting, have a positive experience and leave your site feeling satisfied. Maybe I could make a parallel to food (one of our favorite topics here at Paragon!). If you like to entertain on a regular basis, it is highly unlikely that you would serve the exact same meal time and time again. Sure, maybe you offer a few reliable favorites, but you put your energy and creativity into offering something exciting to your guests. Your website should do the same — present a consistent feel and a reliable message for your brand while offering timely and relevant content. Make it all easy to find and satisfying to experience, so they get their fill of what they came for. So, make sure you are keeping your content fresh, adding new areas while deleting unnecessary ones that are causing distraction, updating your graphics when they are getting stale, and auditing your SEO to make sure your audience is finding you.
Once summer winds down, event and conference activity picks back up, with September and October being peak months. What’s in your fall and even your winter schedule? Like campaigns, managing events involves many details. Some elements take a while to produce, such as booth graphics, promotional items or new marketing materials. Try to cross as many of these elements off your to-do list now and stick to the deadlines you set in your project plan for yourself or your team. This way, come September, all of the tasks are not piled up, and you’ll avoid any last-minute rush fees.
Many professionals are diligent about regularly posting social messages. However, we often forget to review occasionally our personal or business social media profiles. Is your profile or company description still accurate and interesting? Are there new points of interest that you could add? For example, have you expanded your services, won any awards or completed special projects? On the social publishing side, how consistent are you in your posts, tweets, etc., both in terms of timing and topics that are relevant to your audience and reinforcing your message? Are your social following and traffic (views, likes, shares, retweets, etc.) increasing? If not, this is an opportunity to review your social strategy and make adjustments to support your objectives for the rest of the year.
Hopefully you are regularly monitoring your marketing analytics, and reviewing your results to ensure things are going in the right direction. But now is an especially good time to take a close, objective look at your marketing goals and confirm your results are as expected. Are your calls-to-action generating response? Is your website traffic robust? Are you generating leads from that new customer segment? Your metrics and reporting are there for a good reason, and can give you insight to recalibrate your efforts for the remainder of the year.
Feeling rejuvenated and healthy?
Come out of the summer months refreshed and ready to rock the rest of the year! Let us know if Paragon can help with your own mid-summer branding and marketing check-up. We promise, no painful shots.
Tags: Branding, Marketing, social media