8 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Brand in 2018January 2, 2018
The new year is a great time for self-reflection, aspiration, and goal-setting. The resetting of the calendar allows us a new interval of time with which to try and improve upon the last. It’s the season for losing weight, eating better, getting to the gym, abandoning bad habits, and reaching for what has previously eluded our grasp in years past.
While most use the new year to focus on their own personal growth, people aren’t the only ones who can benefit from setting New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is created by examining the past to plan for the future. While most companies are constantly trying to improve themselves, collecting those efforts into a measurable amount of time helps more accurately gauge progress. The new year is a perfect time to set goals for your brand, and steps to achieve them.
1. Review and update brand assets.
Review all of your available brand assets to ensure that they are up to date. Are there copyrights that need updating for the new year? Is everyone utilizing the correct version of the logo on all materials? Are email signatures, business cards, letterhead, and presentation templates all being used uniformly across the brand? Consistency is key to presenting a uniform front, so make sure that everything is on the same page for the new year. Archive assets that shouldn’t be available anymore and make sure that those responsible for their use have been informed accordingly.
2. Update your website.
Check out the content and imagery on your current site. Is everything correct for this year? Look for obvious things like the mention of employees or clients that may not be with the business anymore. Have your services changed? Do you have a new focus? Make sure the site reflects these new brand directions. Also, look for more subtle or hidden references to time like how many years you have been in business, or the year associated with the sites copyright information.
3. Post to social media regularly and with a plan.
Social media is a great tool to supplement traditional marketing efforts, and consistent use of these media can make a real difference in how your brand is perceived. Posting regularly is an effective, inexpensive way to keep your brand in people’s mind. That being said, do not just post to social media because you know you are supposed to post to social media. Build a plan for your social media content, and create interesting and engaging posts or campaigns.
4. Create more unique content.
Unique content has become essential to standing out in a crowded digital landscape. Whether it be blog posts, social media, or a new video for your brand, new and original content will work wonders for customer engagement, search engine results, and expanding your brand image. This is especially true in the realm of social media, but is also applicable to creating new marketing materials, advertising, or website content.
5. Make a real effort to engage with your customers.
Your customers are the reason you’re still in business, so you should get to know them a little better! Engage with them on social media. Hold a contest that gives away prizes for unique participation (sharing a story, photo, video, etc.). Try and think of ways to improve customer service. Most customer service is intrinsically reactive; how can you make yours more proactive? Some things to try could be following up with questions, providing additional content or resources, or event just thanking them for helping your brand hit milestones.
6. Try something new.
Is there something that your brand hasn’t experimented with yet? Give it a try! Something great could be just beyond your comfort zone. Stretch a little farther, create a little more, and welcome the successful ideas, while throwing the duds back to the drawing board. Depending on what these new things are, you may want to keep them internal until they are public-ready.
7. Review and update your search engine optimization strategy.
Chances are, your product or service offerings haven’t changed too drastically over the course of the year. This means that most of your keywords that have been successful, will probably continue to be, but what if there are other keywords that have become more or less popular due to current events, social media, or the hot meme of the week? It’s good to review and see what has been working, what hasn’t been working as well, and changes in trends to help you predict where things are going and jump onboard early, instead of late with everyone else.
8. Create a brand calendar.
Take the previous seven points and start planning when or how often they need to happen. For example, if you want to start posting to social media once per week, set a calendar event each week for when you need to post. Start planning those posts as far into the future as you can. Do you have a Valentine’s Day special? Getting it on the calendar will help make sure it doesn’t pass you by before you have the opportunity to capitalize on it. Set goals with concrete dates and work backwards to figure out how you can accomplish them. Notate when you should be reviewing specific elements of your brand. Quantifying these brand goals and setting time constraints changes the spot you envision your brand being from a dream your company has, to a goal with a series of steps to get there.