Ahh…we’re nearing the end of 2022.
How’s it going so far? Maybe everything hasn’t gone exactly according to plan and some important creative projects got delayed. Perhaps a troublesome one-sheeter caused a mental breakdown…or two? Whether it’s blogs, design, the website, the sales materials…we all have something on deck that could use a fresh set of eyes and some real progress in these last few months of the year.
That’s precisely why we’ve created this short list of a few helpful tips & tricks that will help your creative team members prepare your future content (and themselves) for success.
1. Analyze Your Editorial Calendar
Before continuing, if you don’t yet have an editorial calendar for your blogs, newsletters, and emails…create one! Keeping an accurate and organized editorial calendar keeps the people producing that content motivated and driven toward common goals with deadlines. It’s difficult enough to get this type of work done with everything you need, why make it harder on your team?
Now, with your calendar in front of you, take a few steps in the right direction and ask yourself some basic questions:
- ‘Did our planning for this year reflect the lessons that we learned last year?’
- “Are our customers/readers responding to our initiatives?’
- ‘Which planned ideas did we not end up using this year so far? Are any of them still worth executing?’
- ‘What caused the changes in our strategy? Were those changes reactive or proactive?’
- ‘Did we reliably keep up with our calendar as it changed?’
- ‘Did we match our performance metrics to these communications as they were sent?’
Any one of these questions is sure to start an interesting conversation, but taking a few minutes to consider them all can make all the difference. After you’ve collected the above information, you’ll be in a much better position to adjust Q4’s creative content.
Quick Tip: Google Workspace is an excellent option (and our suggestion) for sharing and collaborating on editorial calendars, but honestly, it’s just necessary that you have one of some kind.
2. Leverage Past Performance
Performance should be tied closely to your content production process. Without regularly taking a deep and knowledgable dive into your metrics, you can’t predict what’s working creatively and what’s just treading water. Even worse, you can’t see what’s actively turning off your customers and losing money.
What do we suggest? Collect your data and consult with your analytics team. They’ll be able to help your creative team decipher exactly what went wrong in the past year and how you can avoid it from happening again. From blogs to banner ads, this strategy is always important and often overlooked or ‘undercooked.’ Don’t waste those clicks, you paid for them!
Lacking an in-house analytics team or confused about the results you’re getting? Schedule a call with our team and let us help you harness those insights before Q4 begins.
Quick Tip: Use these meetings to discuss and change any upcoming Q4 content on the fly. Don’t be afraid to ‘kill your darlings’ or ‘stick to your guns,’ depending on the situation and, more importantly, the click results.
3. Audit Your Branding & Website
Depending on your industry, Q3 might be an incredibly busy time on the client side. If it isn’t, this short window of time in between it and Q4 could be a great opportunity for your team to audit its brand identity as a whole. Why not use it to do something that will make a big difference to your most central pieces of content?
Gather your creative team and really try to understand how your brand and website comes across to a brand-new prospect. If you’re unhappy with one element (or a bunch of them), use the resources you have to make the changes you know you can. We suggest doing this once a year to both re-familiarize yourself with your brand and keep your website looking great.
Quick Tip: Creative teams are often made up of a few different disciplines, but when auditing your brand identity and website, we suggest consulting with at least one of the following: a copywriter, a graphic designer, and an SEO/metrics specialist.
Bonus: Next Year…Stay Up-To-Date & Flexible!
A combination of all (3) strategies above, it’s really that simple! Pretend you’re the hippest 40-something in a cool yoga class and:
- Be willing to try new things for the sake of your business’s health.
- Keep up with creative ideas that are working, even if you don’t understand why!
- Seek out and listen to expert advice from others when you need help getting the job done.
Customers and readers evolve quickly and you can’t afford to be left behind. That’s especially true in industries where the competition can outspend you. Q4 is approaching quickly and time is of the essence. Luckily, you always have the option to start fresh next year. If you want to learn more about how your business can better optimize Q4 2022 or 2023 content, schedule a call with our expert creative team before you delay those important updates again!