On a regular basis,  library marketers should take a long, serious look back at the work they are doing and adjust their course.  It’s logical to do this at the start of a new year, but I’m really of the mindset that you can set new patterns and change your strategy at whatever point you feel necessary. You are not ruled by the calendar! So make an appointment on your calendar every few months to ask yourself if you need to adjust your strategy.

If you’re feeling overworked, you can lighten the load and concentrate on tactics that are really delivering results.

If there’s something new you’ve wanted to try, the new year is a great time to go for it.

If you haven’t yet worked content marketing into your strategy, this is the perfect pivot point.

If you work with a team, get their opinion and ask for suggestions.Your team members will appreciate the chance to help set the course for the following year. They might have a different perspective on the work you’ve done. An open call for ideas, with no limitations and no judgments, is sometimes the best way to gather innovative ideas!

As you are formulating your content marketing strategy, you may be temped to give in to the urge to try a whole bunch of new things all at once. Enthusiasm is energizing, and that’s a good thing… but it’s smart to temper yourself. Here’s an easy way to do that while trying something new in your marketing plan.

  1. Divide your final strategy into four parts.
  2. Begin the content year by undertaking one goal. Give yourself three months to get a process going, to get good at creating, refining and distributing your content, and measuring results.
  3. During the fourth month of your content marketing year, add the second element of your content marketing goal… and so forth.

Not only will this “divide and conquer” approach give you and your staff a chance to merge this new way of thinking and the new workload into your schedule without stress, it will give administrators and your audience time to absorb the changes you are undertaking.  It will make it easier to measure results, because you’re only making one change at a time.

Let’s say your content marketing strategy includes a goal of increasing readership of your monthly email newsletter. For the first three months of your content year, focus exclusively on the newsletter. You’ll need time to decide if you want to retool the content, the look, the editorial process, and the distribution.  Write down your new plan and then implement it. Do this three months in a row. By the time month four rolls around, you’ll be in a pattern that feels comfortable and familiar to you, and you’ll have enough measurement results to clearly show whether your new changes are working.

The divide and conquer strategy is kind of like making a cake. You want to start in layers and you want each layer to mesh seamlessly with the one next to it. You can have your marketing cake and eat it too! Using this method will make the new year and it’s marketing goals feel more manageable to you. You won’t get overwhelmed at the thought of a dozen new changes to implement and track. A slow and steady pace is best.

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor- -Winter is dead.”


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