Marketing can take up all of your time if you let it. Even the simplest of social media posts can take hours to pull together if you don’t use your time wisely.
Some of the most influential figures in my LinkedIn network post multiple videos and viewpoints EVERY DAY. You think, “How are they managing to do this AND do their day job?! They must have teams of people working on their personal profile on their behalf.” Well, some of them do. But others are just super smart in terms of working efficiently and laser focussed about what works for them (and what is a waste of their time).
Wouldn’t it be lovely to be like them? Here are 20 tips on how to get better marketing results in half the time.
1. Write down every marketing tactic you try to do or think you should do and cross out the ones you don’t enjoy.
If you don’t enjoy doing something, you’ll keep putting it off and it will just become something that will frustrate you and you’ll do it badly. So, write down everything you think you must do and try to reduce that list down to the bits you enjoy.
2. Look at what has driven no impact over the last few months.
Some of the marketing tactics you’ve tried over the past few month won’t have worked. And others will have exceeded your expectations in terms of engagement and traffic.
Learn about Google Analytics or find someone who knows it well and then pick out all the things you did that made no impact whatsoever. Don’t do them again and you’ll save time on your marketing efforts without losing any of your influence!
3. Look at what has driven the most impact.
Again, use Google Analytics to identify your killer plays. These are the posts/campaigns/links that drove the most traffic and conversions. Make them your priorities for the months ahead and you’ll know you’re putting your time and effort to best use.
4. Look at how the influencers of your target audience use marketing and be like them.
Who are the biggest influencers on your target audience? Start watching their every move. By comparing the engagement of one of their posts to another, you’ll be able to see what your target audience most values. That’s your guide for what to create.
Don’t feel you need to copy the quantity of posts they do, just some of the styles, themes and formats and you should see that you’re getting more out of your marketing efforts.
5. Do marketing in multiple bursts of time, not one long block.
Don’t block out a whole day per week to do marketing. You’ll get bored and you won’t be able to react in good time to breaking news, events or comments. Instead, allocate an hour a day to your marketing efforts (if you can afford to).
Not only is this less time overall but it’ll also focus the mind and make you work more quickly on the things that are most important to you.
6. Outsource to experts.
This has got to be one of the easiest ways to get better marketing results in half the time.
Remember that list you made? What can you outsource? Are some of the things you crossed off the list really important? Find someone highly experienced in those tasks and outsource. They’ll get the job done more quickly than you will and your time is worth more.
7. Identify your creative space.
Find where and when you’re at your most creative. That should then become the environment you try to put yourself in for “marketing time”. It could be at a local coffee shop. Or maybe it’s in the boardroom so you can make use of a really big table. It could be the end of the day when your team have all left for home and you have peace and quiet to think.
8. Clear out your social media feeds.
You can lose hours reading and scanning through irrelevant posts so unfollow/unlike those that are not adding any value to your life. Go on, consider it therapy.
Don’t spend hours sitting alone struggling over an idea. Find a network of like-minded souls and have a ‘share session’ once a week on Skype or Slack. For 5 minutes each, you take the floor to discuss what you’re planning and you get their creative input and feedback.
10. Find a design template that works and stick to it.
Trying to create new designs every time you do a new visual post is a waste of time and it dilutes your brand identity. For example, on Instagram, Upmarketry sticks to a very simple style which it alternates every few days. This makes posting very quick and straightforward.
11. Get help in determining your golden opportunity.
Invest in a session with a marketing consultant who’ll be able to build you a laser-focussed marketing programme to reach your business goals. Then, activities not in the plan don’t need to be done.
12. Curate content.
Retweet posts you like. Share other people’s content. Incorporate other influencers’ info in to your content (and credit them for it). There are many schools of thought about HOW MUCH third party content you should share, as explained in this article from Buffer, but the main point is DO IT. Just make sure it’s relevant to your audience and really interesting/valuable/enjoyable.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel if the wheel is working well. Make the most of other people’s content and give yourself a break. You might also build a relationship with an influencer by sharing their content so it’s win-win.
If you can map out and set expectations for the frequency and quantity of social media posts, emails, blog posts and videos that you need to do then you’ll lose the feeling of “ah i must do more “marketing””. Just stay on track with the plan and relax.
14. Use sites like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule and publish your posts on your behalf.
Your research on Google Analytics and within each social media channel will have identified the best times to post. And if 7am on a Tuesday morning is THE time, are you really going to try and post something creative and witty while simultaneously getting yourself and your kids ready for work? No. No you’re not.
Buffer and Hootsuite are fantastic (and affordable) platforms where you can store and schedule weeks’ worth of content on all of your social media channels and it will analyse their performance too. Buffer will also alert you when you’ve run out of content so you can quickly restock. Time saved.
15. Get specialist sites to flag stories of interest to you
We’ve already discussed the value of curating content in saving you time. But it’s only time effective if you can find quality content quickly. You don’t really want to be going to the same 3-4 sources each time – boring – so instead, there are companies that find interesting content for you. I could provide you with a list but instead of reinventing the wheel – see earlier point – here’s an excellent list of content curation tools from Curata.
Some of the tools will even connect with Buffer to automatically fill you timeline but be wary of them. Check every recommended post before it’s shared. A lot of them will focus on US content which might not always work for your target audience. You also don’t want a post from a competitor to slip in there!
16. Set up a guest post programme on your site’s blog.
Writing a quality blog post to help your SEO and engage web visitors takes time. Rather than committing to delivering one every week yourself, invite other people in your network to contribute. In return, they’ll reach new audiences and get a backlink to their own site. For more information on how to save time when business blogging, read our guide here.
17. Find a partner who shares your brand values and your target audience and share the load.
Provided the partner provides a complementary service – not a competing one – you can get them to promote you on their channels, in return for you doing the same for them. It’s free and will definitely reduce your workload.
18. Get your customers to market for you.
There’s a full guide here on how you can use your customers to promote your business but one thing you must do is add a Share button on your purchase page. Getting each and every customer to tell their entire network every time they’ve bought from you will be a huge sales driver.
19. Repurpose old content.
Just because you’ve written about a topic already, doesn’t mean you can’t ever mention it again. Old campaign ideas can be repackaged into blog posts, videos and even slide decks.
You should also reword old social media posts and publish. For each blog post, some bloggers recommend writing as many as 10 posts on social media to promote it.
20. Run a competition to generate marketing campaign ideas.
This works particularly well on Facebook. To enter the competition, all participants need to do is tell you a problem they face. You’ll then end up with hundreds of new ideas AND lots of new likes on your page. All for a simple competition prize.
And that’s your 20 ways to make more of your marketing time. If you’ve found any of the tips helpful, please do share.
Hannah is the Managing Director of Upmarketry.