Wash your hands before dinner. Did you brush your teeth? A little soap & water never killed anybody.

As much as you might have gotten tired of hearing these classic “mom phrases,” your parents knew the importance of good hygiene to a healthy, happy life. These tasks that were annoying as children have now (hopefully) become a part of your daily norm as a full-grown human. Not only do you no longer have to be talked into them (ok, fine. I still hate flossing), but not doing them feels just wrong.

The same is true for marketing. You can’t embark on cutting-edge campaigns or innovative outreach without some basic habits that should be a part of your “marketing hygiene”. And while they might seem like a lot of work at first, with time, they’ll soon be a part of your daily routine.

So before you leave the house looking like that, make sure you’re doing these five things.  Mama says.

1. Brush up your data.

We get it – managing data is no fun. But it’s a foundational practice that makes all the difference in whether or not someone will respond positively when you talk to them (kind of like fresh breath). Today’s audience expects frequent, consistent communication and personalization, and this can only be achieved through sophisticated data. Regularly update your CRM and marketing lists to make sure that your customer information is correct and that their statuses are up to date (you don’t want to send the same communications to a donor as you would to someone who just discovered you).  If you’re collecting data in multiple places, set up a process of regularly organizing it – and using it (too many marketers have lists of valuable data just sitting in a spreadsheet somewhere).  And if you’re not collecting data, start yesterday. Add an email capture to your site. Make it part of your presentations at event. And implement data management software that will let you keep everything organized as your list starts to grow.

2. Clean out your social media platforms.

In many large organizations, social media can get out of control, with each department creating their own accounts or pages. In smaller organizations, often platforms are created and then left unattended. Figure out what social media platforms your organization really needs (you likely don’t need to be on them all) and delete the ones you don’t need. If you have multiple pages for the same thing, migrate your followers and shut down the extras. And then set up a process for making sure they’re updated regularly. We recommend a key point of contact who is responsible for gathering content from each department, creating editorial calendars, posting and most importantly, responding to comments and conversations on your platforms.

3. Check up on your SEO.

Whether you have generally healthy SEO or haven’t had a check up in years, SEO requires frequent check-ins to stay effective. With search engines changing algorithms frequently and multiple sites competing for the same search terms, don’t assume you can get to position one and stay there. You must be constantly updating your content, switching out keywords and conducting regular reviews to make sure you’re as strong as you can be (and if you’ve never done an SEO review, now is the time!).

4. Keep your brand in style.

Logos and websites are like hairstyles – they change frequently and can make you look out of date faster than you can say “I want my MTV.”  So if your logo is the brand equivalent of a side ponytail and a Tears for Fears t-shirt, it’s time to give it a makeover.

5. Weigh your results.

Make a list of the key performance indicators you should be measuring regularly (think things like site traffic, click through rate, numbers on your marketing list and inquiries) and set up daily, weekly or monthly check-ins. You’ll never know what’s working – and what isn’t – if you don’t measure progress.

Do you need to brush up on your hygiene? Take a look at your organization and see if these key habits are a part of your culture. 

social media cheat sheet

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