You may not end up sticking with your gym resolutions this year, but here are six value-adding inbound marketing resolutions worth keeping.

We’ve all heard: “New year, new me!” from one too many Instagram influencers. And while research suggests that just 8% of Americans keep their New Year’s resolutions, the start of a new year still provides a sense of potential that inspires many people to set ambitious goals come January.

This year, prioritize your digital marketing strategy, which, when effective, is a primary driver of lead generation, conversions, and direct year-over-year revenue growth. Here are six commitments to make today that are sure to pay off by Q4.

1. Update Details in Your CRM and CMS Software

Your approach to customer relationship management is a critical component of your inbound strategy. That’s why it’s vital to conduct periodic audits of the data in your CRM system to ensure information is up-to-date and accurate — and thus able to contribute effectively to meeting goals like lead generation and conversion.

Additionally, comb through all the contacts in your CRM database at least twice a year to eliminate fake contacts, identify data gaps, and ensure all information is correctly classified.

A common consumer complaint is that “unsubscribe” options — in email digests or campaigns — don’t work properly, and they continue to receive unwanted mail after attempting to unsubscribe. Marketers should ensure that their CMS settings guarantee that mail will not be sent to those who unsubscribe.

While this may seem initially counterintuitive (since you should want to keep reaching out to leads to encourage conversion), it is actually a more effective approach. Consumers’ relationships with brand come and go — a person may unsubscribe when they feel disconnected from the brand or tired of receiving too many email promotions, but choose to resubscribe later. When your button to unsubscribe doesn’t function properly, consumers are more likely to simply block your brand’s email and choose not to return later.

2. Express Stimulating, Valuable Ideas

Any thriving inbound strategy relies heavily on a flourishing content program. Up your content marketing game by investing in high-quality and high-frequency brand publishing.

A strong brand publishing strategy is centered around the philosophy of communicating value-adding information and interesting, innovative ideas that captivate target audiences. Do so through a variety of channels: Use long-form white papers and ebooks to take a deep-dive into industry trends or articulate complex, nuanced ideas. Leverage regular publishing on your brand’s blog to tap into current events and social media trends, promote a new product or service, or give a high-level overview of a stimulating brand-relevant subject. Additionally, create an authoritative thought leadership voice for your brand’s executives and pitch content externally to increase brand visibility and drive organic traffic.

Most importantly, ensure you are not merely repeating what you have read elsewhere, but adding real value to your audience’s experience and expressing ideas that spark intrigue and inspire deeper engagement with your brand.

3. Break Down Internal Silos

Low performance or sluggish results are often caused by a lack of cross-functional visibility and meaningful collaboration. On strong teams that consistently deliver on desired results, information is shared openly and teams cross role boundaries in order to solve demanding problems together — including how to effectively engage consumers.

Ensure that within your organization, teams are working collaboratively to achieve shared topline goals. This is especially critical between sales and marketing teams, who can leverage one another’s creative problem solving skills and expertise to push leads through to conversion through an optimized buyer’s journey.

4. Embrace Your Areas of Expertise

Along with crafting interesting, value-adding content, brands will see better results when they center their marketing strategy around their strong suit: their specific industry expertise.

When brands try too hard to appeal to a larger audience by claiming to know about every corner of an industry, they lose a level of believability that garners trust in a brand’s authority. Give your knowledge a platform on which to build brand trust by publishing quality content that communicates what your brand knows better than any other brand. Elevate your authority more by pointing out common misunderstandings that your brand can fact-check or articulating the way that your brand has solved a specific problem better than competitors.

5. Let Your Personality Shine

At the end of the day, people buy from people — that’s why consumers are attracted to authenticity. It’s common knowledge that companies are constantly trying to find new ways to “humanize” their brands — whether by invoking a humorous brand voice, engaging with customers directly on social media, or issuing heartfelt apologies to customers for a social or operational faux-pas.

One way to truly humanize your brand, build trust, and optimize your inbound marketing strategy effectively is to make a concerted effort to harness your founders’ personality and voice in your messaging. Pinpoint the essential personality traits of your founders — what would they want consumers to know about them? That they are innovators in their field? Highly approachable? A voice of authority? Witty and funny?

Hone into your personality and let it define your branded tone. A strong personality will attract the attention of consumers looking for someone — not merely a company — who understands them and can add real value to their business or life.

Author Kendra Clark

A current graduate student in creative writing at the University of Cambridge, Kendra writes for a broad array of L&T's clients in industries ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. She has consulted for tech startups in California and Washington, D.C. on editorial and brand strategy development. With a degree in philosophy and literature from Santa Clara University, she is a lover of poetry, vegan Thai food, documentary films, and arguing about Nietzsche.

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