Using downtime to tidy up your marketing

Every business has its slower moments. When they happen, instead of trying to find ways to kill time, use the opportunity to tidy up your website and other marketing materials and toss out the obsolete trash. That way, they’ll be updated when things get busy again. 

I rarely find websites that wouldn’t benefit from a bit of housecleaning. Some are the static sites that are just the same as they were when they were launched six years ago. The companies, the products and services, and the people who deliver them may have changed, but the sites are telling the same stories they did when we thought of Corona as a beer. (At least update the copyright dates so your lack of attention isn’t so obvious.)

The other primary type is the site that has been regularly updated over time. That’s admirable, but it can create inconsistencies in how material is presented. Sometimes, updates result in contradictory information, because people forget another part of the site references the same thing. The page you’ve updated mentions your $99 service special, but another page offers the same special for $79.

It’s likely the needs of your audience have changed over time. Although it may seem boring to go through your website page by page, doing so will help you identify information that needs to be updated or deleted. It may even trigger new ideas or opportunities you’ll want to pursue. Websites can normally be updated quickly and inexpensively, so at a time when you’re watching every dollar, it’s a move with great ROI.

Don’t stop with your website. If your company has a blog, review what’s posted there and consider your strategy. Is your team making regular posts, or are you like the majority of businesses that began your blogging program eagerly, but soon forgot about the importance of regular updates? If your most recent blog post was from last July, you need to step up your game. Regular posting keeps your key audiences informed, shows them you’re paying attention to developments in your industry, and encourages search engines to rank you highly.

If you’re using case studies to promote your expertise (and if  not, why not?), review those you’ve completed. Do they reflect your current business and customer base? Do they promote services or products that have been superseded by newer ones? If they’re still in great shape, consider developing new ones to mirror your current situation.

What about your printed materials? Even in this digital age, most companies still generate stacks of brochures, fact sheets, and other printed materials. And for many of those companies, those printed pieces are gathering dust on a storage room shelf. Now is a good time to take stock of what you have. That pretty brochure may have cost you a pretty penny, but if you haven’t handed one out in two years, maybe it’s time to toss them.

As you look at other materials, you may identify a need to update current pieces. If a fact sheet details last year’s model and leaves off the improvements you rolled out in January, there’s not much use for it. The same is true for materials with outdated logos or photography. Don’t be embarrassed if you find useless items, because every company has a stack somewhere. It’s the business equivalent of those slacks in your closet — the pair you’ll never wear again but refuse to throw away “just in case.”

Taking time to tidy up will also shift your mindset. As you browse through what you’ve done in the past, you may come up with great ideas for supporting your sales and marketing efforts moving forward. Best of all, you’ll be a step ahead of everyone else!

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