Staying organized in today’s tricky marketing world can be…let’s face it, sometimes impossible. Here are 10 tricks for keeping your marketing organized and in check.
1. Use an editorial content calendar
I like to think of an editorial content calendar similar to my marathon training calendar. I write down the mileage for each day, but it’s up to me to determine the speed, time of day and route of my run. Keep your editorial calendars flexible enough to stay up-to-date with breaking content, but have an idea of what you’ll post and when you’ll post it.
2. Use a social media manager
Social media managers help you schedule your messages and tweets, track brand mentions and analyze social media traffic. Basically, a great tool if you use social media often. There are lots to choose from; Jamie Turner, blogger for the Social Media Examiner highlights five supreme options that’ll make your life a bit easier.
3. Create a fool-proof system for tracking analytics…and make time for it
Tracking analytics is often a dreaded task and one that often gets pushed to the bottom of the list, if it makes the list at all, as noted in the infographic by Longer Days:
Analytics help you know what’s working, what isn’t and what trends will make your site the next “must read” stop for visitors each day. The only way to effectively do this is to have a good statistics package working in the background.
4. Know your target audience
Research your target audience. Get to know them.
For example, a group of women consumer influencers and opinion leaders were asked what they would do with an extra hour of the day. It’s probably no surprise that 24 percent wanted to catch up on sleep. That same group of women would most likely prefer connecting with family and friends via phone – not Facebook or even email. Interesting stuff, eh?
Analytics can help you identify your peeps. Keep their identity handy and refer to it often. Always keep your target audience in mind.
5. Keep your brand guidelines handy
What color is your logo? You need to know more than red and blue. You need the CMYK breakdown, the opacity options and color palette of the logo. What font or fonts do you want associated with your brand? Fonts, or type, are the building block of any printed page. And that page is definitely more interesting when there is more than one element used. Try combining two typefaces and elements that are clearly distinct from each other.
6. Create a checklist for all print pieces
Before printing a piece, check your brand guidelines to make sure your colors, fonts and graphics all line up. This is part of your visual brand, part of your identity. You want to make sure it’s right.
Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. This is easy to overlook, but can be the difference between looking reputable and looking unintelligent.
Hire a proofreader or enlist the help of a friend. Invite someone you know and trust to review your material before sending it to print.
Make sure there is always a strong call to action on all print pieces. Print pieces are still an effective marketing tool, but because they’re more expensive and time-consuming than other methods, you want to make sure they’re as effective as possible. They have a longer shelf life than social media, so people will likely hang onto them longer – especially if they feel the piece is important. Make them care. And make them do something about it.
7. Keep it simple
In any marketing piece, remember to keep the message clear, your target audience in mind and the call to action highly visible. With design, it’s definitely possible to be highly creative and yet still simple.
8. Create standard processes for creative development
Create your plan for creative development and use it every time you’re developing a new project. With every project, ask yourself a few questions:
- What is my target audience?
- What’s the main message or takeaway?
- What is the call to action?
- What is the tone or voice of the piece?
- How will I evaluate?
9. Have your “go to” people on speed dial
Make sure you have a strong team of talent surrounding you and challenging you. This may include a designer, a social media strategist and marketing coordinator. Or, maybe you do all those tasks. Either way, have a team (maybe it’s just a friend or mentor) handy that can offer help, knowledge and critiques along the way.
10. Be flexible…change when you need to
If we’ve learned one thing from social media, it’s that the marketing world around us is always changing. So, stay flexible, but stay knowledgeable.