4 Ways to Prepare Your Brand for Winter

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You don’t have to be a Game of Thrones fan to appreciate the notion that “winter is coming.”

 

While you may not be battling feuding kings or gigantic wolves, the holiday season looms before you with opportunities as well as potential pitfalls.

Your best bet is to get things settled now, before the crazy chaos truly begins, so your brand is ready for wintery days and wily customers. To help you out, let’s take a look at four ways you can prepare your brand for winter.

4 Ways to Prepare:

Set up secure password storage outside of your brain.
Update and secure your passwords.
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First of all, if you don’t use 0000 or 1234 for your password, you’re on the right track! However, even if you came up with a truly epic and complex password, you’ll want to make sure you update it regularly.

Additionally, where are you storing your passwords? If your answer is an Excel spreadsheet or a sticky note hidden under your keyboard, today is the time to change that arrangement.

There are secure web-based ways to store and secure your passwords from enterprising hackers or, as happens more often, our own mental recall. A SaaS (software as a service) tool like LastPass will allow you to save each unique password you use. With a free account, you can share credentials, set up emergency access contacts, and use the free mobile app to tap into any of your passwords at any time, securely.

Just don’t set anything up using password as your password.

Add Goals to Google Analytics.

You’ve (probably) heard the quote by Peter Drucker:

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
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Set up several goals for your website traffic to measure marketing efforts.
Are you a business which has spent a solid amount of dollars and time on creating a great website, yet haven’t set up a website tracking tool yet? If this is you, you’re trying to manage what you aren’t even measuring.

Make some time this next week to add Google Analytics to your website. We’re talking about a free tool which provides so much data about your website—who is visiting it, where they drop off, what devices they are using, which pages they view, how long they spend on your site, and on and on and on.

As you prepare for the next season of your brand, do a little organization beforehand and set up Goals in your Google Analytics.

Go to Admin in your Google Analytics settings.
Select Goals under the View column.
Create a new Goal based on where you want your website visitors to end up and how much it is worth to your company. (For example: if you want your website visitors to complete a sign-up form for a product or service, assign a value to the Goal based on what that product or service is worth to your business.)
Verify that the Goal is working and create the next one.
At the end of this winter, you’ll be able to go back and see how well/poorly your marketing campaigns led to conversions ($$$) for your business. That’s measurement, which helps you manage your next successful campaigns.

Listen to your audiences.

Your customers are always talking to you. Whether you have a healthy pace of comments coming in or are still building your communities online, paying attention to what your audiences want is crucial.

No, really. Listen to what they’re telling you. If you don’t, you may as well pack it in now.
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Social media analytics let you know when your customers want to see your content.
How do you listen and prepare for a winter of epic service and products?

Review your FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to look for trends, or clues, about what your customers need from you.
Take a look at your online reviews (Facebook Page, Google Business, Yelp, Glassdoor).
Visit free tools like AnswerthePublic.com to discover what questions are being asked about your product/service online.
Check your social media insights and analytics to learn when your audiences are online and likely to see your content.
Remember, as enthralled as you may be with what your business does, your audience isn’t your own personal group of clones. They’ll have opinions and expectations, and listening to what they want will get you through winter without being caught in the cold.

Review your social media bios and profiles.

Have you checked your Facebook Page’s About section lately? You may be surprised what you find.

Particularly true for startups, brands often pivot and adjust their direction to achieve success. With each new course correction for your business, your social media bios and profiles become a bit more irrelevant if you don’t update them.

To avoid a disconnect between your current business focus and your social media About sections, set yourself a quarterly reminder to eyeball each profile and check the verbiage. Add links which tie in to your seasonal campaigns. Ensure timely hashtags are included, and make sure your web search keywords are included throughout your brand descriptions.

Bundle up and prepare for winter!

How are you feeling as winter approaches? These 4 recommendations are great places to start, but there are more ways to weather the future successfully. Don’t plow forward alone if you don’t have to.