Ashley Kemper is a marketing strategist who spends her free time traveling and pursuing hobbies in photography, Web design and blogging. This post was originally published on the Shutterstock blog and has been reprinted with permission.
If you’re like most marketers, the past 12 months were filled with their fair share of victories, as well as near-misses, and maybe even a total flop. Step up your game in 2015 by setting (and sticking to!) these three simple resolutions.
Here be gadgets
Not here exactly, but on our new hardware site Plugged.
Create monthly content calendars, and actually follow them
Whether you create content calendars weekly, monthly or even quarterly, having a documented plan in place is critical. A well-crafted content calendar provides the high-octane fuel to keep social, SEO, and email channels running effectively.
By taking the time to make a calendar ahead of time, you ensure that messaging and promotions are synced across channels, presenting a consistent interaction with your audience.
New to the content-calendar game? It’s a versatile tool that is actually very simple to create. At its most basic, a content calendar can be a spreadsheet that serves to document:
- Dates and times that you’ll publish your content
- Content format (photo, video, infographic)
- Key messaging to use
- Distribution channels (Facebook, email, blog)
Putting together your first content calendar can feel onerous and time-consuming, but you’ll be astounded at how much time it saves throughout the month.
Track each and every campaign metric
With a strategic content calendar in place, you can sit back and watch the impressive metrics roll in. (Wait, you are tracking your campaign metrics, right?)
Making the effort to establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and set up tracking against those metrics, is what will ultimately make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure. When you’re tracking properly, you can make better marketing decisions in future campaigns, but you also look like a rock star when you can quantify the impact of your efforts on the bottom line.
Many marketing platforms have built-in reporting, but a third-party tool like Google Analytics will enable you to track traffic across multiple campaigns and channels. When you’re determining which metrics to track, think beyond instantaneous results (for example: the open rate of an email campaign) to bigger goals, like click-through rates, and even bigger goals, like purchases.
Never use the same stock photo twice
As a marketer myself, I cringe every time I see the same well-groomed, average-looking guy smiling on the home pages of doctor’s offices, dentists and B2B Websites. Let’s face it: we’re all tired of seeing the same John Doe.
This year, make a pact to pass over all the images you’ve used time and time again, and dig a little deeper to find a real gem. And if you need help discovering great images, check out 4 Better Ways to Find Stock Photos That Don’t Suck.
What other marketing resolutions are on your list this year? Share them in the comments.