Even the best marketers can succumb to the winter rut, losing valuable time that could be used to get back on track after the holiday blitz. Gain traction for the year ahead with refreshed creativity and an open mind to amazing marketing.

Here are 4 tips to shed the winter blues:

1. Refresh your content calendar

It’s easy to fall victim to the post-holiday slump after a furious few months of activity. Now is the perfect time to look at your content calendar with fresh eyes. Brainstorm new campaigns based on industry predictions for the year, or schedule content for any initiatives that may have fallen behind in 2015. Strategize powerful evergreen content to help you drive the year ahead, but be sure to leave open opportunities for any time-sensitive topics that may pop up.

2. Manage your messaging

Take the time to look back at your marketing material from the past year and evaluate what worked and what didn’t. This is your opportunity to retire outdated in-market content, refresh evergreen material, and even transition out overused buzzwords and clichés that could make you lose your credibility. Be aspirational with your objectives for the year and create messaging that accompanies your short- and long-term goals.

3. Be a trendsetter

This tip is both easier said than done, and easier than it sounds. Start with small ideas based on your new messaging and work your way from there rather than waiting for brilliance to strike with the idea of the decade. Take some time to collaborate with your team or peers, starting with a clean slate and allow your creativity free reign.

4. Map out your own brand journey

Successful marketers know that cohesive customer journeys are essential for lasting customer relationships. Exercise this principle with your own brand and explore how you can create a path to execute your goals for 2016. Whether it is growing subscribers, increasing engagement, or even rebranding, taking the time to create a plan for the year ahead will never be wasted time.

Need more inspiration? Check out the latest episodes of Marketing Cloudcast for thought leadership straight from experts.

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