As April draws to a close we face an interesting time in the agency marketing calendar. The ski season is over, children are back at school providing a good 10 week window to engage prospects before the summer lull.
Those of you with a marketing plan and calendar in place will no doubt be working hard to keep on track and avoid project creep (there are still a few bank holidays to contend with after all) but for anyone just getting to grips with a more marketing focused approach, here are my top tips for making the most of May and June:
Plan your content
Whether you have world class thought leaders in your agency or simply an interesting and informative point of view, there is time to plan a campaign.
- Get the team together, agree themes, assign responsibilities, apply deadlines.
- Once you know what you want to talk about, you can decide how the content can ‘live’ and build a campaign around it. Is it a blog post, a white paper, a video? Or is it several of these things. How will they work together? How can you leverage social media?
- Your insights should relevant to a one or more prospecting segments so depending on the depth of the content piece, think about how you can offer a ‘first look’ to a selection of key prospects before the rest of the content is published.
- Uri Baruchin from The Partners gives great advice for thought leadership here.
Hosting events is a wonderful way to engage clients, advocates and prospects alike, but the biggest reason for failure is down to lack of planning or compromising on deadlines.
- Feed their minds, not just their bellies! Whether you are inviting guest speakers or promoting your own content, tailor the talks, presentations or leave behinds to your audience. What do you want them to remember you for? How do you want them to feel?
- Mix clients and prospects. It’s good networking for everyone and should help keep last minute drop outs to a minimum.
- To get maximum attendance try to avoid the school holidays, which means events ideally need to be planned to take place before the end of June.
- Invitations should be ready to send out 5/6 weeks beforehand so there is just about time to get something organised now. (Try not to be too ambitious, if the dates aren’t working or you haven’t the resource, plan for early September instead).
- Sense check dates against sporting events and other industry events – ten minutes on Google will serve you well here.
- Try not to get caught up agonising over the invitation design – this can be a real deadline killer so keep it simple.
- If you are sending printed invitations, do follow up by email too. It’s much easier to track and you’ll get a far better response rate.
Get out from behind your desk and meet new people. This is a fantastic time of year with industry events and networking at every turn. Use this as an opportunity to pick up new insights and ideas that could help shape your own thought leadership whilst adding new contacts to your network. You can read the Gunpowder Guide to Networking here.
Check award entry deadlines. There a few in June – and you’ve got to be in it to win it!
Plan for the Autumn
The next key window in the marketing calendar is September to November. Start planning now and use the quieter, summer months to prepare.