As summer fades into fall, it’s time to talk budgets and planning. And while it’s difficult to know what storylines will be relevant 6, 8, or 12 months from now, we do know which content strategies work and which do not.

1. Choose acquisition or retention, not both. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Marketers often obsess over new client acquisition, but when it comes to building out your presence, quality is more important than quantity. Hone in on what’s going to have the most bang for your buck, and spend your budget accordingly. Deep can be far more profitable than wide.

2. Figure out the logistics ahead of time. Stock your resources, assign roles, and determine stakeholders. Circulate your plan of attack, and keep everyone informed. The free flow of communication supported by intermittent check-ins and analysis will keep the wheels turning. Digital marketing needs to be nurtured; a hit-or-miss approach will generate the same type of results.

3. Start the conversation; don’t just react. When it comes time to put pen to paper, look to engage with others and showcase your knowledge instead of becoming known as the marketer who is recycling what’s already out there. Generate fresh insights and information using subject matter experts and in-the-trenches experiences that will keep your audience interested and promote sharing.

4. Consider your voice. On a similar note, not all channels speak the same lingo. Build your strategy channel by channel to ensure you’re going to connect with that audience. Test your messaging and content a few times before finalizing your approach in order to maximize reach.

5. Create, curate, repeat. As search-engine algorithms change, and the organic reach of content lessens, it is more important than ever before to be original. Allocate some dollars for design work to accompany each campaign, hire a great agency to up your content creation game, or consider what a whole new look could do for your organization.

When it comes to marketing online, take the time to sketch out your strategy in full detail and discuss it at length well before the New Year hits. Those marketing dollars will only take you so far, so it’s smart to determine exactly what you’re looking to achieve and how you think you can achieve it. That should give you ample time to refresh, revise, and reinvent ahead of the next big thing. Be fluid, be bold, and be prepared. 2015 is right around the corner.