For those that read my blog last week, you’ll be aware that I set myself a New Years Resolution for 2017 to get fit.
Over a week into the year, I’m delighted to report that so far, so good. Although its just been 11 days of 2017, I’m pleased to say that I’ve managed to keep up momentum by signing up to run the Baker Hughes 10k in May, which has also resulted in me running three times a week and Bootcamp HIIT training once a week as well as eating well, lots of walking and now, having returned to rehearsals for Lyric’s 65th Anniversary – dancing!
Although a cliché to start these new regimes in January, I really hope to maintain this. Approaching my 27th birthday I think it is a fantastic time to get my health in order, so that I feel just as good as I go into my thirties in a few years time, and also have this whole healthy living thing down as a good habit.
Keeping your own health and well-being in check is an important activity that people all too often forget about. Similarly, businesses forget about running health checks on their brand and communications.
Below I’ve highlighted five keys health checks to run on your communications this New Year.
The New Year is the perfect time to catch up with clients and check that they are happy with the service or product that you are providing. This can be done through face-to-face meetings, telephone interviews or online surveys, but importantly the results should be collated and measured against your own client objectives.
Key things to check include: are you doing what you have said you will, are your brand values clear to your clients and of course, how happy are your clients with the service they are receiving?
Additionally, this is also a fantastic opportunity to understand what communication tools work best for your clients. Are they reading your quarterly newsletter and do they follow you on Twitter? This will help you, with how best to reach them, as well as prospective customers. Similarly, ask more about what types of media they engage with to understand channels you may not yet be utilising, and ask them how much they know about the service or product you are delivering for them. They may not be aware of all the services you offer, and this could be an excellent opportunity to cross-sell.
A clear and consistent brand is crucial in today’s market place, and through the course of a year a brand can often go through small tweaks and changes, or in some cases begin to move in different directions.
It is therefore beneficial at the start of the year to ensure that your brand is up-to-date and correct across all platforms. This doesn’t just mean your company logo, but your complete look, feel and messaging.
Ensure that any communications on social media platforms are true to your internal messaging guides, and check that the images you use in company brochures and flyers are correct to the brand guidelines you have in place and that these all sit together nicely as part of a suite.
More often than not two eyes are better than one, so pull on members of your team to carry out their own brand audits and better yet – ask someone external for their thoughts and opinions.
Check Your Stats
With so much communications now done online, there is an endless pool of data that can be pulled from to understand what is working for you. However, the issue many companies face is that they are overwhelmed with data coming from every angle and every channel. It’s almost too much data. In 2017, just concentrate on the data that matters.
This question can have different answers depending on your marketing and sales objectives – but a major metric that should be considered highly valuable is the number of quality leads. An effective marketing strategy doesn’t just drive a ton of potential customer leads. Rather, an effective B2B strategy drives quality leads from the ideal target market.
Keep an eye on your Google analytics to understand where your traffic is being directed from (newsletters, social media, etc) and where traffic then goes once it reaches your site. Are potential customers heading straight to your ‘contact us’ page after reading up on your blogs, or are they entering the site and then gone in 60 seconds?
Plan Your Activities
All good exercise and healthy eating regimes comes with a plan. So should your marketing and communications.
Consider the year ahead and work out key themes to inspire and engage with throughout the year ahead. This makes creating campaigns and content much easier as you will have time to sit and think about the activity you require.
This can easily be split into calendar months, and even days to allow for ideas. Start by noting key dates throughout the year – Valentines, Easter, etc, and then add to this with special company dates and industry activities. You’ll soon see your calendar filling up, and campaign and content for blogs and social media easier to generate.
Set A Goal
Just as I have set myself a goal to run a 10k in May, and get a new tattoo by October, it is important to set goals and objectives for your business and brand.
This can be anything from expanding your staff by another 2, to increasing turnover by 10%.
One goal that is often achievable, and can have further benefits for your brand is award recognition.
Take a look at a selection of business and industry awards and see what fits for your brand’s objectives and core values. Once decided, take the time to reflect on your business and achievements and fill in the nomination form as fully as possible, selling your company to the strangers who will judge this.
This activity can often be not only therapeutic for business owners and managers, but it also allows you to appreciate all the hard work that has gone into your brand. Even if you don’t get shortlisted, the exercise is extremely beneficial for these reasons – and if you do get shortlisted, all the better. This allows for content around the award shortlist, a focus on why you have been shortlisted and also the internal excitement of attending a glitzy ceremony.
It’s not always the winning that matters, but the taking part and this couldn’t be truer than an award nomination for your brand. So look out those award calendars, and dust off those gowns and tuxes.
I wish you a very healthy and prosperous 2017 – both personally and professionally.
If you need any support on maintaining your brand’s health, please get in touch!