Businesses have often been faced with the decision in harsh winter weather to either close or ask their employees to work remotely (provided they have power and internet access). Those who are unaccustomed to working from home may scratch their heads wondering how they can be productive in such an alien work environment. But snow days can actually be highly productive, especially for marketers and those who want to develop bigger, better business.
Assuming you have power, snuggle up in your sweatpants and sweater, stay warm (and safe) indoors, and advance your marketing strategy and business development efforts with these five tips.
1. Enhance Your Editorial Calendar
If you are passionate about content marketing, you likely utilize several different distribution channels to communicate. You blog. You send out email newsletters. You engage in social media. You mail post cards, brochures and letters. You host webinars. You cover a lot of bases and have to generate a lot of content. To keep all of your content marketing campaigns straight, you probably have an Editorial Calendar that lays out each of your messages. If not, you should.
A snow day is the perfect time to delve deep into your editorial calendar, focusing on ways you can maximize your available content, determining when you will need to develop additional content, and customizing your messaging per channel and/or target market. If you don’t already have an editorial calendar, being snowed in provides the advantage of fewer interruptions and distractions so that you can draft one, even if only for only one medium, such as social media.
Why is it important to maintain a detailed editorial calendar? It is an essential component of content marketing because helps you:
- Think beyond today and tomorrow
- Focus on your target market’s needs
- Connect with your target market audience
- Provide value to your audience
- Integrate and coordinate across mediums
- Streamline resources
- Drive internal teamwork
- Fuel innovation and inspire creativity
2. Warm Up Prospects & Reach Out to Cold Connections
Welcome letters are frequently set and forgotten. We don’t go back to update them unless something changes or we have a new target market or segment. Now is a great time to go in and take a good look at your welcome letters. How welcoming are they? How engaging? How creative? How well do they present your brand? If you would not fall in love with a similar welcome letter in your own inbox, then take a few moments to update yours. You want your prospects to love your marketing.
Speaking of love, don’t let your love for existing connections to be lost. Often, when we’re stuck in the daily mire of deadlines and tasks, we often let our one-to-one connections go cold. A snow day is an opportunity to take a few minutes to reach out to those contacts. Here are some suggestions for warming up those cold leads and re-establishing relationships while you (or they) are snowed in:
- Send a thoughtful message through LinkedIn
- Thank your top 20 clients with a personal note
- Nurture your warmest leads with a simple, personalized letter
- Call five of your newest prospects
3. Get Cleaned Up & Organized
What better time to clean up and organize your files, action plans and tasks than on a day when you have no commute, no pop-in-the-door interruptions, and no ringing-off-the-hook calls? Staying organized will help increase your productivity, save more time and enable you to allocate more time to more important (dare I say vital) marketing and communication projects.
Here are a few things you can do from your kitchen table with a cup of coffee while the storm blusters outside:
- Empty out your inbox
- Create specific subfolders for messages you need to keep and refer back to in the future
- Respond to messages that have just been sitting there
- Delete garbage that merely serves as visual and mental clutter
- Your goal is to have zero emails in your inbox and to keep it that way
- Organize your digital files
- Like with your inbox, create subfolders, reorganize and rename your work files
- Delete stuff you no longer need
- Use dates and other key terms to make it easier to find important files going forward
4. Write a Blog Post
A well-managed and thoughtful blog helps you engage current clients and extend your online reach. Yet, so many of us complain that we do not have enough time to write enough (quality) blog posts. What better day to bring out your inner blogstar (blogging rockstar) than today? Let the snow envelope your mind in a mental hug and begin to write.
Here are some suggestions to inspire you should you encounter blogger’s block:
- Tell a story (particularly one that has a personal or timely element)
- Choose 10 tips that will make your clients more profitable, productive or effective
- Piggy-back onto one of the day’s major headlines
- Use a new perspective to reinvigorate a common topic (such as your dog’s point of view)
- Write about what you’re thinking about right now
5. Stretch Your Social Wings
Many people will be flocking to social media today, using their smart phones to connect with other human beings while they remain temporary prisoners in their residential igloos. Work on your company’s Facebook page strategy, update your cover image, and draft some posts. Check your new Twitter followers and follow them back (if they’re legitimate and cool). Search out new Twitter people to follow (perhaps those who are following your competitors). Review your LinkedIn newsfeed, keeping an eye out for posts that inspire you and could be used to make your business more successful, productive and/or creative.
The Bottom Line
Don’t let bad weather freeze your marketing momentum. Take advantage of your snow day to spark a little marketing and business development energy.
What are you doing on this snowy day? Do you have some more tips for productive snow day marketing? Share your comments with us below.