2019 was a big year for self care. When you search the term, Google spits out more than three billion results, with supporting questions including: “What are examples of self care?” “What is self care and why is it important?” “How can I practice self care?”
While there’s a clear definition of self care — “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health” — the ways in which people embrace it are vastly different. For instance, one person may prefer to take a full-day hike, while another person may prioritize a weekly face mask and bubble bath. A choose your own journey of sorts, self care largely depends on what your priorities are, what helps clear your head and frankly, what brings you the most joy.
Since this is a blog for B2B marketers and we’re in prime New Year’s resolutions time, I thought I’d share my own professional resolutions. These resolutions are rooted in self care, mainly because they will help alleviate my anxiety, inspire creativity and help our marketing team reach its objectives in the New Year.
Resolution 1: Get Rid of the Content Clutter
We’ve all felt the urge to clean out our closets once the New Year hits. Less clutter and mess mean less stress, right? There’s a reason why Marie Kondo’s Netflix show “Tidying Up” was (and is) such a hit. And frankly, it’s why she’s been able to build her empire to include books, TV and even an e-commerce site: We all aspire to make our homes or offices cleaner and simpler. We believe it will ultimately help make our daily lives easier to navigate. I know my brain feels lighter and clearer when I’m working in a clean space. But eliminating the clutter is easier said than done. You run across that stack of books you were too busy to read, the picture box full of memories and the jeans you swear you’ll fit into soon. We grow emotionally attached to our stuff—so much so that we can’t bear to get rid of it.
Frankly, I think we could say the same for our content. Think about it: We spend days — weeks — creating new assets for our audience. After they’re used for a campaign or two, they stay on our resources page for anyone to discover and consume. That’s where holding on to content clutter can be a lot more detrimental than keeping that drawer of old t-shirts. Your content is a key representation of your brand; its knowledge, expertise, opinions, and the value it can bring to the audience. If you are promoting old or low-value content, or simply have it on your site, your putting your brand at risk.
Since relaunching our website in the summer, we’ve worked diligently to assess our content based on timeliness, relevance and value, among other factors. Throughout this process, we’ve identified content that can be used as is, tweaked slightly to meet our new needs, or repurposed to align with new buyers and messaging. This will help us be more strategic in our content investments, creating net-new content only when we need to. Additionally, it has helped us put red flags on outdated, irrelevant or poor content, so we can remove it from our site and eliminate it from any future promotional plans. If you go through the process yourself, you’ll likely find some content clutter you can throw away and not miss.
Resolution 2: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
My fellow Virgos can empathize with this: I have a real problem asking for help. If I have a goal or task in mind, I’m adamant about accomplishing it on my own. The reasons for this are a discussion for another day, but I’m here to tell you it is not productive—for you or for your team. We only have so many hours in a day. As our to-do lists expand and our minds get extended into so many different directions, we simply don’t have the time or creative wherewithal to get the job done well.
That’s why in 2020, I want to outsource or co-create content in more creative ways. Anyone can hire a team of freelancers to chug out content. And while we tend to tap internal subject-matter experts to clarify messaging and focus, there are so many great ways to tap into our larger community to join relevant conversations.
Onboarding happy clients, influencers and peers to tell their stories is a powerful way to get a point across. Instead of relying on our own commentary and thought leadership, and expecting our audience to trust us, we can have folks with clout and credibility validate our perspectives. This helps us develop more clout, too. Most of all, it allows us to develop and nurture relationships with like-minded peers in our industry. These circles of experts and thought leaders exist in your industry, as well. Consider who you can engage with, even to simply interview for expert insights and opinions. If anything, it will give you a good starting point for a piece of content or campaign, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Resolution 3: Focus on Quality, Not Speed
In this new era of marketing, I feel like we focus so much on how quickly we can get content out to market. Certain cases require it. You may have a new product launching on a specific date or you may have a campaign focused on a relevant holiday or event. But for all the other cases, I have to ask: what’s the rush? Why are we trying to apply the rules of the 24-hour news cycle to our marketing teams? Why are we working tirelessly to push things out the door, only to put content quality and our credibility at risk?
When the clock strikes midnight, I plan to slow down a little. I plan to focus on ensuring that all pieces of the content puzzle create something great for our audience. That means creating something meaningful. Messaging that’s relevant. Formats that align to the ways our audience prefers to consume content. Campaigns using channels and tactics that allow us to connect with buyers and bring them through the story and experience in an enjoyable way. As you map out your content plans for 2020, ideate the entire content journey; from the stories to the formats and delivery channels.
What promise will you make to your audience? Will you offer new perspectives on well-known pain points? New trends that will encourage them to shift priorities? A new experience that will reveal possible solutions or a new way of thinking? Connect that promise to a narrative. Then, map out how you’ll deliver on that promise through content assets, new formats, different promotional channels and so on. This process takes more time, but it will help create a valuable road map to hold you accountable and make sure you focus on quality first.
The weeks leading up to the holidays are always chaotic, but the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day gives us the chance to slow down. It allows us to press pause, revel in all that we’ve accomplished and go into the work year refreshed and reinvigorated. I hope these self care-inspired resolutions give you a good starting point as you develop your goals for 2020. I’d love to hear your marketing resolutions. Share them in the comments section below!