2013 New Year's Resolutions for Inbound MarketersHappy Holidays, inbound marketers! It’s the day after Christmas, and hopefully you’re all recovering from a fun-filled day spent with family, friends and cookies. Lots of cookies…and maybe a candy cane or two.

Now that Christmas has passed for yet another year, it’s time to look ahead and, if you haven’t, think about your resolutions for 2013. Are you going to exercise more? Eat fewer cookies? Spend more time with family? I confess that on a personal level, I’ve never really been one to make (read: keep) New Year’s resolutions, but I’m a big believer in professional growth and continuous improvement. As long as you’re evaluating plans and budgets, you should also identify areas that need some work and make them a priority. At the Kuno office, we’ve been talking about resolutions for inbound marketers. Here’s what we’ve been discussing:

  • Think More Strategically – In inbound marketing, it’s so important that everything you do, all of your tactics, are tied together with one strategic thread. If you’re sending marketing e-mails, have you thoughtfully segmented your list and designed a campaign of a certain number of e-mails over a certain period of time? Do your campaign emails flow from one to the next in a way that nurtures your leads through the sales funnel? All of these decisions should have a rationale behind them.
  • Learn Something New – Maybe you’re an account manager who has little to no web development experience. Why not take an introductory seminar on HTML or JavaScript? Or if you’re a developer who doesn’t get a lot of face-to-face time with clients, try conducting a training course or webinar. At Kuno, we’ve placed an emphasis on learning through weekly presentations from coworkers on best practices, new ideas or new processes. We’re learning from one another and getting better at our jobs every week.
  • Write Better – Effective copy isn’t always easy to write, but there are plenty of resources available to help you become a better writer. Take a creative writing, copywriting or even professional selling class. Yes, selling. A class in sales will teach you how to communicate persuasively. You’ve also probably heard (or even experienced) that reading good writing will make you a better writer. Challenge yourself to read more prize-winning fiction and nonfiction books next year. You’ll be happy with the effect it has on your writing ability over time. Learn how to write different types of content. Your approach and output should be different for a blog post, a whitepaper or a lead nurturing email because they all serve different purposes. Last week, our Content Marketing Manger, Brianne, shared her tips for writing quality copy for content marketing.
  • Write More! – We all know the key to inbound marketing success is content, content and more content. Not just fluffy, filler content for content’s sake, but well-written, thoughtful, relevant and fresh content. That is what your audience (and Google) looks for. Here at Kuno, we’ve challenged ourselves to increase our production of quality, sharable content, always trying to push the limit of what we can accomplish. We’re already seeing those efforts pay off with record traffic and leads numbers. Even if you feel as though you’re producing all you can, try adding just one additional blog post per week.
  • Take More Risks – Sometimes we settle into a routine of doing what we know will be approved or liked. On the agency side, you want to make your clients happy and turn things around quickly. On the client side, you may have several layers of approval that your projects move through before you can implement them, and you’re often tempted to stick to what you know will be approved quickly. This is important, but what if you’re sacrificing creativity for deadlines? Don’t be afraid to suggest something that might seem different or risky to your manager or client. Make sure you present it in a way that doesn’t alarm them, and you can explain why you think the fresh idea you’re pitching is a good one, and maybe even a game-changer.
  • Play Catch-Up– In our line of work, it’s challenging to keep up with all of the educational content being published every day, not to mention how quickly things change. It’s easy to fall behind on a topic. If you’re still wondering exactly how Google Penguin works or what the latest Facebook Privacy changes are, make it a priority to read all you can to feel caught up. This will only take a few hours of your time, and then you can cross it off your list. Sometimes it just takes putting it on a list to get it done.

In addition to these, I’m also making a resolution to spend more time with my treadmill, especially over the next week to work off those cookies. How about you? What inbound marketing resolutions are you or your team targeting for 2013? Leave me a comment!

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