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Spring Cleaning for Small Business Marketing

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Spring cleaning your small business marketing

Spring is the season of renewal, so it’s the ideal time to take a fresh look at your marketing strategies and tactics. You’re past the new year rush and you still have plenty of time to correct issues so you don’t miss your year-end goals.

This spring, don’t simply sweep your old marketing dust under the rug—break out your deep cleaning gear and tidy up those things that just aren’t working.

We’ve developed this checklist to help you manage your marketing spring cleaning efforts.

Review Your Home Page and Landing Pages

Give your most important website pages some fresh eyes this season.

Ask yourself: Within five seconds, would a first-time visitor be able to answer these three questions:

  1. What is this company offering me?

  2. How will it improve my life?

  3. What action must I take to make a purchase or get more information?

If these things aren’t abundantly obvious, it’s time to clean up your pages by making them simpler, clearer, and easier to understand.

Revisit Your Entire Website

Your website is central to all your other marketing efforts. It’s where prospective customers learn about your business, buy things, make appointments, contact you, and more.

The issue: Many business owners treat their websites as once-and-done. Few ever look at them again once they’re launched.

Schedule time on your calendar to review each page—even the ones you might not think matter that much. As you look around, ask yourself:

  • Is the imagery fresh and relevant? Do you use various image types, including videos, diagrams, pictures, and infographics, as appropriate?

  • Is the messaging still relevant?

  • Are product and service descriptions clear and accurate?

  • Do staff member profiles include their latest information and accomplishments?

  • Is contact information current, complete, and easy to find?

  • Are there any dates that need to be removed or updated?

  • Is your blog content still valid and up-to-date?

Of course, you were involved in the final design and development of your website, but try to keep an open mind while you review it. View your website as your prospective customers do. Things change, and your website should, as well.

Don’t get overwhelmed as you jot down necessary changes—remember, you can tackle these things over the course of the coming weeks or months. The key is knowing what needs updating in the first place.

Conduct a Content Audit

Cleaning out your dreaded junk drawer is a critical part of a thorough spring cleaning.

For most marketing operations, its content (whether on a website, housed in a blog, videos, or printed material) becomes its junk drawer. Content accumulates over time, becoming a meaningless heap. That’s why you must conduct regular content audits.

Review each piece of content to ensure it’s current, accurate, and provides value. Make a plan to update anything that needs fixing or fresh context. Eliminate any content past its expiration date. Taking this step is particularly important for web-based content, which could send bad signals to Google and other search engines if it’s poor or out of date. You also want to ensure your cloud storage systems aren’t packed with junk, making it impossible to find valuable pieces.

Check Your Email Communications

Many businesses today use automated email systems. These tools set up email campaigns and then forget about them.

While a campaign may work at one time, it may not continue working as intended. Check that your content is still current and things are performing as you wish. As with all other aspects of marketing spring cleaning, take time to fix anything that’s not working as well as it should (or broken entirely). The effort here is worthwhile because it will improve your bottom-line results.

Declutter Your Email Contact List

People change their emails all the time. And prospects who provide contact information sometimes lose interest in your business. As a result, you will end up with old addresses in your database. Too many inactive emails can trigger warning flags with email service providers, which could limit delivery, even to people with a keen interest in your business.

Part of your spring cleaning should be to delete inactive email addresses. Most email service providers will help you generate a list of addresses that haven’t opened an email or clicked on a link in 12 or 18 months. Either reach out to the people on the inactive list with a special offer that encourages them to engage with your business again, or remove them to avoid issues.

Review Your Google Business Profile (GBP)

When was the last time you looked at your company’s GBP (formerly Google My Business)?

If you can’t remember, you likely have some more spring cleaning to do. Even if you have a Google Business Profile in place, Google will reduce the presence of your business on its platform if said profile is inactive. Check that its information—including your location and business hours—is current. Refresh your imagery so it reflects your operation as it stands right now. And make a point to post regularly. Special offers, company news, fresh photos, and helpful information are all great options for GBP posts and updates.

Don’t wait until next spring to tend to your Google Business Profile. Set alerts to review and update this important feature regularly.

Check Your Social Media Channels

Did you set up your social media accounts a long time ago? Have you reviewed them lately?

If not, spring into action!

Years ago, most companies took a scattershot approach to social media, signing up for, and posting in, a bit of everything.

If this is how you’ve handled it historically, it could be time for some housekeeping.

Most social media platforms have defined themselves over time, their purpose, and, most importantly, their audience.

Take some time to review your prospective customer base. Figure out the social media channels they’re most active on. If your target customer is young visual people, you probably need to be on Instagram and not Facebook. If you want to connect with professionals, you’re more likely to do it on LinkedIn than on Twitter. Use this spring as an opportunity to wean your company off the social platforms that no longer make sense so you can focus more on those that do. Double down on these relevant platforms and optimize your posts for their unique operating principles and audiences.

Reconsider the Metrics You Track

The metrics you measure are bound to shift around over time. If you set up your metrics dashboard way back when, now’s the time to rethink it. Maybe your business has grown, but your target numbers haven’t kept pace. Or perhaps you’ve changed your marketing and sales tactics but haven’t updated what you’re tracking.

It’s worth running a quick review of your metrics to ensure they are up-to-date. You can’t know you’re meeting your marketing goals without monitoring the correct ones.

And if you haven’t created a metrics dashboard yet, what are you waiting for? It should be your top priority this spring. Simply set numbers-based goals (key performance indicators, or KPIs) for all your marketing activities and make it a point to check against them a few times a month. This will allow you to quickly optimize the things performing as you intend—or better. And you can fix those KPIs that are underperforming before they cause too much harm to your sales and the overall bottom line of your business.

Finally, Review Your Overall Marketing Process

So, did you find any messiness during your marketing spring cleaning efforts? You certainly don’t want it to happen again! Cleaning things up usually takes much more time and energy than preventing a mess in the first place.

Take time to review the parts of your marketing that went awry. Figure out what you had to clean up and what caused the mess (or messes). Put procedures in place that will help prevent these issues from happening again.

That way, you won’t have to clean up the same messes next spring…although you may find some new ones.

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