January starts in a similar vein every year, promises of eating right, hitting the gym and having more "you" time - when in reality, by the 1st Feb, the fad diets have faded away, you've lost your gym pass and you're probably sipping on a high calorie warm beverage with a side of delicious but not so healthy biscuits as you read this.
As well as ruined diets, the start of the year also heralds the annual planning meetings where you tentatively try your best to predict what's going to happen in the next 12 months and how digital marketing is going to fit into that strategy.
So it's time to close the tabs on your browser, log out of social media, sit back and indulge in our fat free, top 5 digital diet tips for 2016.
Tip 1: Make time to work out (your audience)
It's no secret that a good diet is best supported by exercise, and the best exercise you can do at the start of this year is taking time to understand and work out your audience.
We're not saying you should start doing squats in focus groups, but a focus group itself would be a great start. If you're more the exercise at home type then simply pick up the phone and give your customers a call.
If you take the time to really understand what it is your customers love about you, how they found you and what they value about your product or service - you're a good way to nailing your marketing in 2016. You'll be surprised at what your customers are willing to share and how much you get out of it.
Tip 2: Take a before photo
So you might not look amazing in Lycra right now, but this before photo (painful as it might be) is vital for measuring success later in the year.
When it comes to your digital detox, take a good, long, hard look at your website. How fast is it? How easy is it to use? Are you appearing for relevant search terms?
Your website is your digital body, it's your online face so it's essential to get the foundations right. This means making sure your site has a structurally sound code and ensuring your site it's user friendly. It also means making your website easy to find by optimising your meta data.
Tip 3: Be nutritious and delicious
Keep your audience engaged with only the best and most relevant content. This could be a blog or something more visually stimulating like an infographic - whatever it is, make sure it's right for your audience (see Tip 1).
They may well have subscribed to your online newsletter, but bombarding them with daily updates about trivial, generic information will quickly lead to them opting out.
2016 is the year hyper personalisation really takes hold. You may have heard the term before now, but customer expectations have only heightened in expectation - it's not good enough to send a generic communication anymore, they want to feel the love. In the same way a personal trainer and nutrition expert would tailor a food and exercise regime specifically for an individual, the same goes for brand interactions and digital activity.
Tip 4: Scale and measure your channels
Drop excess digital pounds by using your audience research to full effect and know what channels work best for your business. Does your audience tweet on the go? Do they enjoy podcasts when they indulge in a morning jog? Would they rather read a blog than watch a video?
Don't fall into the trap of being peer-pressured into every channel available. The occasional dessert won't make you pile on the pounds, but that treat can soon turn bittersweet if your eyes are bigger than your belly.
Digital channels work much the same way, you may think you have the capacity to do everything, but it's very easy to accidentally end up taking on more than you can handle. Balance is a beautiful thing, so don't try everything at once, know what works for you and master that before taking on anything else.
Most importantly, make sure you're tracking it all and measure the results. Once you're a lean, mean, digital marketing machine - you'll want to share your success with the world.
Tip 5: It's all about portion control
Finally, exercise some willpower.
Creating a content calendar will help you to divide your digital marketing plate into manageable portions. This activity should all be targeted at helping you achieve your wider marketing goals, if not then it's time to reassess.
A little structure goes a long way and by planning in advance, you're giving yourself a much better chance of being successful. It doesn't mean you can't have the occasional treat, a timely and relevant blog here, a social post there - just keep it in moderation and you'll reap the benefits.
By rationing your digital activity, you'll not only feel better, but you may also see a better and clearer return on your investment.
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