Every December I take stock of the accumulated clutter my basement. Not exciting, but oh so necessary. Similarly, now is a good moment to review small business or freelancing endeavors – including the written portion. In the New Year, do you plan to stay put or mix things up with regards to your existing copy?
Spending even an hour or so to assess the state of your existing and planned content will reap benefits in 2019. Below are areas that should be on the year-end inspection list (though this will look different for every business), plus targeted questions to pose.
How long has your website content been the same? As in, exactly the same? Six months? A year? Longer than two years? Whatever the answer, as the year winds down take a critical look at the entire site.
Review each and every web page, and take notes as you do. Does the copy convey where you are, and where you’re going? Or does it reflect where your business has been in the past? Wherever the latter is the answer is where the text needs revising.
What subjects did you blog about in 2018? Do these align with your current business plan and marketing strategy? If not, determine topics and a schedule that will support and further your overall goals beginning in January.
Social Media Marketing
Do you have a day-by-day social media marketing calendar, or a haphazard, “when I can get to it” approach? Do you coordinate content curation / creation / posting with ongoing objectives and promotional efforts, including associated keywords and hashtags? If the answer is “no,” “sometimes” or “not at all” … you’ve got work to do!
Coincidentally, my last two articles focused on this theme, and will be useful here:
- #EditorsFiguringOut … A Social Media Marketing Schedule
- Book Review: Twitter Marketing Unlocked by Angela Hemans
Marketing Collateral / Promotions
This covers a number of broad areas, including (but not limited to): advertising – online/social media, print, television; email campaigns; newsletters – online, email, print; other print marketing – flyers, brochures, rack cards, mailers; radio; podcasts; videos. (Whew!)
The strategy here mirrors the other sections: taking a critical look at everything created for your audience to read, watch or listen to. Is the language in synch with your current or forthcoming marketing strategy, and does it serve to advance those goals? Time-saving tip: if you’re using the same pieces from two, three, four, five – or more! – years ago the answer is always going to be “no.” Time to budget resources to produce updated materials.
Willingness to (Write) Change
Finally, enter your end-of-year content evaluation with a mindset open to making the necessary changes. Remember, online, digital and print wording matching business direction will encourage growth. (For additional context, I recommend Jess Dewell’s in-depth December article: Hit a Business Growth Plateau? 5 Insights to Break Through.)
The task might seem huge; to avoid becoming overwhelmed, tackle one area at a time. Your audience will notice the difference in your text reboot, even if on an unconscious level. And if you find you need help with your 2019 evaluation, copywriting and editing to-do list – let’s talk!