If you’re like most marketers, the past 12 months were filled with their fair share of victories, as well as near-misses, and maybe even a total flop. Step up your game in 2015 by setting (and sticking to!) these three simple resolutions.

Create monthly content calendars, and actually follow them

Whether you create content calendars weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, having a documented plan in place is critical. A well-crafted content calendar provides the high-octane fuel to keep social, SEO, and email channels running effectively. By taking the time to make a calendar ahead of time, you ensure that messaging and promotions are synced across channels, presenting a consistent interaction with your audience.

Image by balabolka

New to the content-calendar game? It’s a versatile tool that is actually very simple to create. At its most basic, a content calendar can be a spreadsheet that serves to document:

– Dates and times that you’ll publish your content

– Content format (photo, video, infographic, etc.)

– Key messaging to use

– Distribution channel(s) (Facebook, email, blog, etc.)

Putting together your first content calendar can feel onerous and time-consuming, but you’ll be astounded at how much time it saves throughout the month.

Track each and every campaign metric

With a strategic content calendar in place, you can sit back and watch the impressive metrics roll in. (Wait, you are tracking your campaign metrics, right?)

Image by karawan

Making the effort to establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and set up tracking against those metrics is what will ultimately make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure. When you’re tracking properly, you can make better marketing decisions in future campaigns, but you also look like a rock star when you can quantify the impact of your efforts on the bottom line.

Many marketing platforms have built-in reporting, but a third-party tool like Google Analytics will enable you to track traffic across multiple campaigns and channels. When you’re determining which metrics to track, think beyond instantaneous results (for example: the open rate of an email campaign) to bigger goals, like click-through rates, and even bigger goals, like purchases.

Never use the same stock photo twice

As a marketer myself, I cringe every time I see the same well-groomed, average-looking guy smiling on the home pages of doctor’s offices, dentists, and B2B websites. Let’s face it: we’re all tired of seeing the same John Doe.

This year, make a pact to pass over all the images you’ve used time and time again, and dig a little deeper to find a real gem. With more than 40 million images on Shutterstock alone, there’s bound to be something fresh to accompany your best content. And if you need help discovering great images, check out 4 Better Ways to Find Stock Photos That Don’t Suck.

What other marketing resolutions are on your list this year? Share them in the comments below!

Top image: Concepts for business strategy and creative process by Panki