Every New Year begins with millions of pledges to become healthier, smarter, and more efficient individuals. Popular resolutions reflect universal aspirations, which drive evolution in every facet of life. This is why the same goals that we set for ourselves can be easily applied to our businesses. If you’re looking to amp up your brand this year, copy is a good place to start—after all, it’s what defines your brand. We’ll show you how to spin these 10 popular resolutions into content/copy goals that will help your brand succeed in 2015.
1. Commit to a Routine
A goal is easy to set; actually committing to it can be tougher. The only way to stick to a goal is by turning it into a habit. Lots of well-meaning brand marketers set out to publish five posts per week, only to end up averaging a sporadic one or two per month. The New Year is the perfect time to set some frequency goals—and commit to them. “Fresh content” is one of the prime contributors to Google Quality scores, which determine your website’s ranking in search engines results pages (SERPs). Creating regular, quality content will set you on a path to higher rankings and give your readers more to buzz about online.
2. Get Organized
You tweeted about your Monday sale on Tuesday; you posted five listicles in one day; you’ve referenced Taylor Swift on your blog six times this week. Signs like this mean it’s time for you to clean up your content strategy. Editorial calendars are essential to ensure your content is balanced and timely. There are plenty of super affordable tools to help you plan and visualize your content—something as simple as a shared Google spreadsheet might work. Coschedule, for example, is a handy drag and drop calendar that lets you manage blog posts and social media content and communicate with your team.
3. Nix a Bad Habit
The New Year is when most people finally decide to quit smoking, put a kibosh on the cursing, or stop biting their nails. Cutting out bad habits clears the way for better ones. Brands looking for a fresh start might benefit from a content audit, which exposes recurring devices that may be weakening your message. Are you addicted to dry, technical jargon? Compulsively keyword-stuffing? Squelching bad practices is the first step to turning your copy around.
4. Get in Shape
When we get busy, we tend to neglect our bodies. The same can be said of brands and their copy. With year-end deadlines to meet and clients to please, internal goals start to take back burner. This year, make a firm commitment to getting your website, marketing materials, and brand collateral in top condition. Work with a trainer (read: copywriter) to cut the fat, cultivate stronger copy, and establish consistent tone throughout. It’s not just about looking good—it’s about being the best brand you can be and a well-oiled marketing machine.
5. Commit to a Good Cause
Many popular resolutions focus on self-improvement, but helping others out still ranks high on the list of New Year goals. Brands can also benefit from getting more involved. A second annual study from socially responsible marketing agency Good.Must.Grow found that consumers are opting to align themselves with cause-based brands over giving directly to charity. What better time to partner with a cause that’s close to your heart or explore ways that you can directly affect change through better business practices? According to Forbes, the 2015 consumer will be more moved by authenticity than by ads. Crafting a brand story that conveys your true commitment to a cause will endear you to these more conscious consumers.
6. Find Someone Special
Admit it, you’ve been putting this one off for too long. Let this be the year that you open yourself to a fruitful relationship. Commit to finding someone who inspires you to be the best you can be, someone who totally gets you and says all the write things (hint, hint). Sure, we’re biased—but we believe that a relationship between brand and copywriter is a beautiful thing. The right writer will get to know you inside and out to bring out the very best in your brand.
7. Network More
For professionals, networking is an imperative (one that some of us would rather avoid). For brands looking to build a better rapport with audiences, “networking” of the social variety is equally essential. You can’t just show up for the snacks and then hide in the corner—effective networking is all about engagement. Twitter, for example, is a great tool for starting conversations with potential partners and reaching niche audiences. LinkedIn offers brands opportunities to publish content that establishes them as thought leaders. If you don’t have the internal bandwidth, hire a full-service company like SparkGrowth, which can help you handle logistics and develop strategies for climbing the “social” ladder in 2015.
8. Learn Something New
Brands can also take a page from the book of knowledge-seekers who pledge to take a class, finish a degree, or learn a foreign language this coming year. Investing in efforts to learn more about your industry, your competition, and your customers gives you rich material to work into your copy. Readers don’t want to just hear about how awesome you are—they want facts that are relevant to their lives and insight that your competition is not providing. Conduct a competitive analysis to figure out what you have over other brands—and make sure you communicate that in your copy. Weave important industry news and the latest studies into content that establishes you as an expert in the field.
9. Make a Budget
Believe it or not, many full-grown adults operate without a budget. If your full-fledged business can claim the same, let this be a year for change. Don’t take words for granted in 2015! Copywriting and content development, optimization, and marketing are essential to your overall marketing strategy. A rising emphasis on quality content means that this year, many businesses will be allocating funds towards scintillating copy. A study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, for example, found that 58% of B2B brands interviewed a plan to increase spending on content in 2015. Creating a budget that prioritizes content will put you ahead of the competition.
10. Build a Roadmap
It’s great to have goals, but without a proper strategy for implementing them, you’re more likely to fall off course. Individuals seeking change often work with a life coach, counselor, doctor, or trainer to develop a solid action plan. For business making content resolutions, the equivalent to a life coach is a Brand Strategist. MadPipe CEO Daniel Griz, for example, draws on a wealth of knowledge in sales and content marketing to help business leaders translate goals into “flow.” Strategists who support continuous optimization and sustained growth will help your brand skyrocket in 2015…and beyond!