Spring brings a feeling of freshness, renewed energy, and new leaves. For the green-fingered among us, it might be a time to get working in the garden again because those hidden flowers will soon start to bloom. Early spring is the time to prune our summer and fall flowering shrubs.
Now, we like shrubs for their low-maintenance vibes. We all know that a marketing strategy is far from low maintenance, but we still thought we could apply three spring marketing pruning tips to any business, no matter the size.
Sometimes you must be strict with those flowers to help them grow, so cut back your marketing strategy to enjoy flourishing results a little way down the road. Here are our top three spring marketing pruning tips.
Review + Audit
OK, before you start waving your shears around like Edward Scissorhands, take some time to review and audit your goals, objectives, and analytics. Any good gardener (or business owner) knows that the skill lies in evaluating what’s working for you and what you need to let go of.
Start by making sure your marketing goals still align with your business goals. We’re all aware that things change as they grow, so you must keep checking in. Make a list of your goals and objectives – do they still chime with you? Do they represent your vision? If not, it might be time to do a little pruning.
Then go through your analytics with a critical eye. Are you tracking the right things for your specific goals? For example, if you rely a lot on content marketing or lead pages, are you analyzing the load time and bounce rate? How do you measure engagement if you post a lot on social media?
Once you’ve gathered all the data, you can compare the results with your goals. Are the seeds you’ve planted flourishing, or are some areas not performing as they should? Think about how you’re calculating the ROI for each marketing channel – it’s not always about sales, after all.
Clean up + Remove
OK, so now you’ve evaluated your goals, objectives, and analytics, it’s time to clean up and remove anything that isn’t working. You’ll be surprised at how cathartic it is once you start pruning! Where are you going to start?
If you’ve got a lot of unengaged subscribers, then take them off the email list so you know that only genuinely interested people get your emails. We know it seems counter-intuitive, but if people are only feeling a mild twinge of irritation every time they see your newsletter pop into their inbox, that’s not a feeling you need to be associated with your brand!
The same goes for duplicates in your email lists. These also mess up your metrics, so it’s twice as necessary to get rid of them so that you know your analytics are accurate. Similarly, you want to clean up your followers on social media to ensure they’re all genuine; otherwise, your marketing is falling on deaf ears.
Then clean up some content. You’ll know from your audit which posts are getting traffic and which aren’t – try to figure out why. If it’s because they’re off-brand or out-of-date, get rid of them! Such drastic measures won’t always be necessary; sometimes, you can improve or consolidate them to keep all your content relevant and fresh.
Depending on your current marketing activity, there could be more to do in this area, whether cutting out an entire social media channel from your marketing campaigns or even reducing your ads. It can be challenging to remove things you’ve worked so hard on, but our marketing strategy can learn from the golden rule of gardening: sometimes you have to cut back to grow even better!
Simplify + Spruce Up
Once you’ve trimmed back all the excess that’s clouding your marketing message, it’s time to simplify and spruce up your business with critical strategy updates.
To help you focus on critical points, it can be helpful to create a one-page plan that consolidates your objectives and allows you to prioritize strategies that align with these. Taking in everything with just one glance helps you get the big picture and ensures that you keep working towards a clear goal.
In the spirit of sprucing up, now’s a good time to ensure your marketing tools are up-to-date and working efficiently. For example, are you maximizing the potential of Instagram Stories and live videos? These often send direct notifications to followers and foster more personal engagement.
Refresh your social media templates to streamline the content creation process and ensure your marketing will proceed smoothly, with minimum stress and mess. Use the review of your analytics to inform future planning so you know which platforms to post on and when. Your audit information will also help you see what topics promote engagement.
Allowing shrubs to grow at will with no pruning is an excellent route to a chaotic garden; the same applies to a marketing strategy. Taking time to cut back helps you create marketing that gets great results (and makes your life easier as well!), and begin to implement these three spring marketing pruning tips.