Ah, spring… the time when flowers are blooming, coats come off, and we feel the urge to turn our homes upside down and shake out the winter clutter. Turns out, we’re biologically hardwired to spring clean, and that instinct extends to our work, too.
While many marketers spend Q1 in strategy mode, the arrival of spring is a great time to fine-tune your existing plan or tackle priorities you snoozed earlier in the year. And like spring cleaning your home, small moves can make a big impact (just ask anyone who recently changed their shower curtain liner).
With budgets and resources tighter than ever, a full spring cleaning may seem out of reach. Fear not: Prioritizing a few quick wins can put you on a faster track to growth. Here’s our Q2 checklist to keep your marketing program so fresh and so clean!
1. Scan the websites and marketing channels of your top 3 competitors. Do you notice any changes in how they’re talking about themselves or what they’re offering? This periodic pulse check can help you ID necessary tweaks to your own positioning.
2. Review your site home page, social profiles, e-newsletter and collateral all together. Do any inconsistencies in messaging, design or tone jump out? Look for small ways to unify your branding and amplify impact.
3. Take a customer, donor or partner out for coffee (in-person or virtual). Ask them about their biggest challenges and priorities this year and how they feel your organization is helping them meet those needs. These conversations are crucial for taking an audience-centric approach to marketing – so the more of them you can have, the better.
4. Run a start-stop-continue exercise. Use this three-step structure as a team to evaluate and adapt your marketing plan on a quarterly basis. Acknowledge what worked well, what fell flat and where to go next, then distill your findings into a simple one-page plan to guide your efforts.
5. If you haven’t created persona profiles or refreshed them in a while, now’s the time. Conduct an analysis of your top audience segments (prospective clients, current clients, referral partners, etc.) and start with personas for your top 1-3 segments. A strong profile should cover demographic and psychographic data, goals and needs, and your unique value proposition for that audience.
6. Conduct a survey to better understand your audience’s needs and preferences. Tools like Typeform and Google Form make it easy to share longer surveys with your audience, while LinkedIn’s poll feature is a great way to get quick informal responses to a single question (and also lets you reach people beyond your own network).
7. Update your website's meta descriptions and title tags for SEO. Use a tool like Ubersuggest to research the keywords your audience is searching for and include exact matches in your title tags. While meta descriptions aren’t technically a Google ranking factor, they do impact conversions since they appear on search results pages, so make sure yours are thoughtfully written.
8. Freshen up content and images. If you’re still featuring a blurb about last year’s gala at the top of your home page, update your site to highlight whatever you want your audience to focus on next.
9. Analyze your website's page load speed. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will show you how your site stacks up and specific issues to fix (although you’ll need a developer to handle many of them).
10. Conduct a website audit to ID broken links or errors. Semrush’s scanning tool can help you find problem areas to fix quickly.
11. Set up Google Analytics 4 if you haven’t already. Google will sunset Universal Analytics starting July 1, so now’s the time to make the switch.
12. Optimize landing pages for conversions by testing new headlines, images, and calls to action. Depending on your traffic volume, run your new creative until you have enough page visits to see what’s working, then tweak as needed.
13. Make your website mobile-friendly. Responsive design has come a long way, so make sure your own site is following best practices to ensure a seamless experience for all users.
14. Make your email signature work harder. This often-neglected marketing real estate is a great place to include links to your social media profiles, upcoming event, or latest campaign.
15. Test and optimize your email subject lines to improve open rates. Try plugging yours into subjectline.com for specific tips on where to improve and AI-generated inspiration for subject line alternatives.
16. Clean up your list. Check for inactive or unengaged subscribers to make sure your communications are reaching people who truly care about them. HubSpot has some helpful tips for how to spot and deal with these contacts.
17. Implement an A/B test on your e-newsletter. Small changes to your emails, like switching the order of your modules or testing two different feature articles, can have a surprising impact on engagement. Most email service providers make it simple to divvy up your list for A/B testing.
18. Create a targeted email campaign. One of the strengths of email is the ability to target with precision, down to individual companies and prospects. Take the time to identify a high-opportunity segment of your audience – a specific industry, individual donors – and tailor a message crafted especially for them. Monitor the results, and then iterate and test with other segments.
19. Refresh your social media profiles. Are your bios, descriptions and links all up to date? Are your profile graphics and cover photos current? Take some time to make sure everything is clean and consistent, so your brand looks professional online.
20. Add a link in bio tool. Set up Linktree or a similar platform to curate and share content with users more easily from Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Youtube and other social profiles.
21. Give a follow. Think about your brand’s key supporters – referral sources, partner organizations, industry peers – and update your follower lists on social to include them. Spend 15 minutes a few times a week to like, comment and share their content; they’re likely to return the favor and boost the reach of your content.
22. Add social share buttons to your blog. Plenty of plug-ins exist to make this simple.
23. Get personal on social. Platforms like LinkedIn are increasingly prioritizing content from humans, not brands. Encourage your company’s leadership to post regularly on social (ghostwriting can be a huge help here).
24. Fine-tune your content strategy. If you’re posting the exact same content across multiple platforms, you may be wasting time on content that’s not reaching its target audience. Review your analytics to see who’s following and engaging on each channel, and adjust your topics and posting cadence accordingly. For example, if your nonprofit offers a lot of local programming, you may want to post class updates and tips for participants multiple times a week on Instagram, but limit LinkedIn posts to promoting open job roles a few times per month.
25. Refresh your reviews. Client testimonials and reviews provide powerful social proof to help secure new business or donations. If you haven’t updated yours in a while, take the time to add some to your website and social profiles (or ask for them during those audience interviews!).
26. Give old blogs new life. Need fresh material for your social or email campaigns? Repurpose a long-form piece into an infographic, reel or social carousel to get extra mileage out of your content.
27. Remove outdated or irrelevant content from your website and blog. Review your analytics to see your least-visited pages and weed out anything that’s no longer serving your brand.
28. Create a lead magnet. Have a template or resource your audience would find useful? (Hint: Pretty much everyone loves a quiz.) Brand it with your visuals and share it as a gated piece of content to collect email addresses.
29. Host an office hours or Q&A session. Webinars are a great way to engage new and existing contacts by educating them on important issues, but planning one for the first time can feel overwhelming. A simpler option is to host an office hours or Q&A, where your audience drives the agenda. Invite attendees to submit questions in advance, and prep a few of your own to get the conversation started. And remember: 30 minutes is the new hour when it comes to webinar length.
30. Create user-friendly graphic templates. Does one person in your organization hold the keys to graphics production? It may be time to build a more sustainable production workflow. We love tools like Brandfolder, Marq and Canva to organize brand assets and provide a platform for internal teams to edit and produce with ease.
31. Optimize your visuals for accessibility. Are your fonts, colors and graphics easily understandable to people with different abilities? Making visuals accessible isn’t a nice-to-have anymore – it’s a must-have. Check and tweak your colors and typography so they meet accessibility standards.
32. Tell it with visuals. Are there places across your marketing where words are taking over? Look for text-heavy areas in your blogs and other key assets that could use some visual breathing room to communicate concepts clearly.
33. Refresh your visual branding with updated elements. Has it been a while since you rebranded? Trends in typography, colors and imagery change quickly, so do a regular audit and facelift to keep yours feeling fresh. A new set of icons or secondary color might be all you need to bring your visual brand into 2023.
Once you’ve tidied up your marketing, keep that just-cleaned feeling going through regular audits and updates. Setting aside time every quarter to prioritize and tackle marketing hygiene can help you avoid overwhelm or starting from square one.
Not sure where to start? We can point you in the right direction by prioritizing the true needle-movers for your organization. Book a project planning call with us.