Springtime brings back warmer weather, pastel colors, and baseball season. It is a time of renewal, fresh beginnings and transitions. It’s also a time for some good old fashioned spring cleaning.
For some of us, this is a dreaded two-word combo that hits harder than “swimsuit season” after a winter of couch potatoing. Many people treat spring cleaning like an essential pre-summer ritual, where the house gets a much-needed deep clean to prepare for summer, particularly hosting and entertaining friends and guests.
Before you put the mop and broom away, don’t forget that you can spring clean your digital marketing strategies, too. Again, spring is a time for fresh starts.
You don’t want to carry the same old, worn out strategies from year to year, especially if they’ve lost their luster or your brand and its objectives have changed.
Each dimension of your digital marketing functions like a part of your house and there’s lots of parallels between how you spring clean your home and how you can spring clean your digital marketing efforts.
So, break out the Windex and put on your favorite upbeat jams (my personal favorite spring cleaning song is Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” but that’s just me).
Branding – The Outside Of Your Digital Marketing Home
When we think of spring cleaning, the first thoughts that come to mind are of the scrubbing-mopping-polishing-vacuuming variety. Yet, there’s a lot of spring cleaning that happens outside your home, whether it’s putting on a fresh coat of paint, cleaning up the winter and fall debris in the yard or crafting an entirely new outdoor landscape.
The exterior of your digital marketing home is your branding. Just like the outside of your house, it’s the first thing outsiders (potential customers) see; it’s your first impression.
Branding, much like the outside of your real home, doesn’t need a coat of paint or other aesthetic facelift every year. That said, if you can’t remember the last time you took an honest look at your logos, brand colors, taglines, fonts and all of the other design elements that form your brand appearance, it may be time to do that.
Ninety-percent of consumers expect a seamless experience that is similar in function, quality and appearance, no matter what device, platform or touchpoint they’re using.
So, if you do make any changes to your branding efforts, especially something dramatic, like a fresh coat of rebranding paint to your branded colors, make sure that your efforts and brand appearance are consistent across the board. After all, you wouldn’t put new paint on only half your house, right?
Social Media – Your Entertaining Space
Something about warm weather just brings people together. It’s the best time of the year for hosting and entertaining your friends, especially if you’ve been cooped up inside for most of the long winter.
For some spring cleaners, hosting friends is the entire reason they launch into this mega cleaning frenzy. Naturally, you want your entertaining spaces (living room, dining room, etc.) in tip-top shape.
The same can be said of your social media efforts. Social media is the most customer-facing dimension of your digital marketing, which means it absolutely deserves your attention during the spring clean.
Because each social media platform functions a little differently, you should evaluate your tactics from the perspectives of each individual platform, as well as your overall strategy.
As you move from each social media account, there’s three messy things that you want to look out for and clean up:
- Fake, duplicate or otherwise irrelevant followers: While there’s nothing inherently bad about these fictitious accounts and it can even be nice to have your follower count a little padded, it can make your data inaccurate. And, you can’t be certain that these accounts aren’t contacting your not-fake followers. It could disenchant these real users from your social media experience, especially when you consider that 45% of consumers will unfollow if a social media page is overrun by promotions and direct sells.
- Content that doesn’t mesh with your brand’s current approach: In terms of content, we’re talking about anything you’ve posted or shared on your social media accounts, whether it be images, blogs, infographics, videos, etc. This is especially important on social media platforms where it is really easy to scroll through past posts, like Instagram. You want your brand and voice to be cohesive, even in your old, cob-webbed posts. Don’t be afraid to get rid of the pieces that just don’t feel like ‘you’ anymore.
- Outdated information or images: Similar to cleaning up old content that no longer meshes with your current brand persona, you also want to take a look at any information listed on your social media accounts, the images you’ve chosen as profile or banner pictures and any links you’ve selected. Your digital marketing spring clean is a great time to double-check that all of this information is up to date, still relevant, and still working. AKA, check your links, about information, and cover images.
Content – Cooked Up In The Kitchen
The kitchen may be my favorite place to clean. You really notice the change. The nooks and crannies are scrubbed clean of unidentified stains, appliances start looking brand new again and the fridge and pantry receive their annual purge of all the foods that you’re just never going to use (some having just barely escaped last year’s pantry purge).
The other part of my spring cleaning kitchen efforts that I love is the reorganization of my recipe collection. I collect recipes throughout the year. There are those that graduate to the esteemed ‘keeper pile,’ but many never see past the experimentation phase and some I can’t remember why I saved in the first place.
My yearly recipe review has a lot in common with how I spring clean my content marketing tactics. First, I take a look at every piece of content, whether it be a blog or an email newsletter or a video.
There are obvious keepers that stand out right away; these are the pieces that received a lot of engagement or helped push key marketing metrics. Then, I look at the pieces that performed average or below average. Is this just bad, irrelevant content that didn’t resonate with audiences? Or, are there successful “ingredients” here that just need to be reworked in a new way?
Remember, spring is all about renewal, so think about repurposing old content and exploring new ways to make those recipes pop. One of the simplest ways to repurpose past content is to transition it to a new medium.
For example, do you have a blog post that you thought was really terrific, yet it never saw high engagement? Maybe the content can experience a new beginning, with better engagement, as a podcast.
When spring cleaning content strategies, I also make sure to clean up any broken links. It’s good practice to look at your outdated blogs and see if the information is still accurate and relevant.
You don’t want a potential customer to stumble upon your website via an old blog and find data or opinions that just aren’t accurate or relevant anymore. Instead, redirect them to the latest content.
SEO – It Happens In The Basement
The basement is always the last place I turn to in my spring clean. After all, the basement is out of sight; if I don’t get to it, most people will be none the wiser. But, I’ll know, just like I know when I don’t spring clean my SEO.
While it may be “behind the scenes,” sprucing up the nitty gritty spaces of your digital marketing home is just as essential as a new coat of branding paint or cooking up some new content recipes.
The major step I take in sprucing up SEO is looking at keywords. It’s good to declutter your list of keywords, just as you might declutter your basement.
Here are some types of keywords to look for, as you spring clean your Google AdWords lists:
- Irrelevant keywords: No longer operating in Chicago? Then, drop any KW related to the Windy City.
- Low search volume keywords: If people aren’t searching it, don’t track it. LSV terms are only going to get in the way of your keywords that actually perform!
- Low-To-No Impressions: In this case, it’s good to look at both individual keywords and ad groups. If you have low or no impressions, you need to consider dumping the keyword or potentially increasing spend to gain impressions.
By the end of your SEO spring clean, you should have a much leaner and more efficient list of keywords. It’s also important to look at current SEO trends and technology to see how these might be affecting the way people are searching.
For example, voice assistants (Siri, Cortana, etc.) are a big factor in why there is a 61% growth in question-based search queries. This is vital information that you may want to use when refreshing your keyword lists and SEO strategies.
The best part about spring cleaning is when it is finally over.
That’s when you get to take a step back and appreciate all of your hard work. Your hands may smell like all-surface cleaner, your knees may be sore and there’s still at least one pesky stain that, no matter what you throw at it, refuses to budge, but, after all that, you can’t deny that you feel pretty good about yourself.
And, there’s comfort in knowing that your house, or your digital marketing strategies, are in top shape and ready for you to entertain and wow your guests.