“My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”– Dr. Seuss
Where did this morning go? How am I halfway through the week already? When did it get to Friday?
Time. Rather frustratingly you can't get it back and you can't slow it down. Remember the programme Bernard's Watch? He was using that magical time-stopping pocketwatch all wrong. Never mind skipping the queue at the corner shop for penny sweets, how about freezing time so you can finally complete that never ending "to do" list?
Until time control becomes possible, the harsh reality is that we're limited to 24 hours a day and 7 days a week (if you don't mind not sleeping or taking a break from the office). So how do you make the most of your precious time and use it to drive truly measurable and impactful results for your business?
Spend the next 2.39 minutes (we've timed it) absorbing our top 6 marketing time-saving tips and start to claw back those days, hours, minutes and seconds you hold so dear. The clock's ticking...
1. Develop a content calendar
It sounds simple, but do you have one and are you keeping it up to date? A content calendar will help you stay focused and save on both time and energy. Crucially, fresh regular content also keeps your website visitors engaged and helps drive new traffic to your site for you to then convert into leads for your sales team.
There are so many free tools available for you to manage this and share it with you business. From Google Sheets to Trello - the important thing for both your sanity and your business is that you have a plan and stick to it.
2. Social media - community management
As a marketer you're no doubt plugged into more social media channels than you're able to spell correctly (or remember the log ins for). You may even dread your monthly report meetings because you know your MD, Director or one of the sales team will have heard of an amazing new social media platform that you should really start using for the business.
It's time to stop dreading and start simplifying with automation. That's not to say you can no longer be a reactive marketer, but by using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite to plan in scheduled posts through the week will certainly help alleviate some pressure. Not only that, but these are clever little tools that also help you work out the best times to post your content for engagement. Marketing win.
3. Embrace (some of) the Trunchbull within
Roald Dahl's scary headmistress from Matilda had very poor people skills, but give her some credit, Miss Trunchbull ran an extremely tight ship. Now, there's no need to go to extremes and start locking yourself away in an office Chokey, but you do need to be brave and accept that you can't do everything for everyone. Marketers by their very nature are often people pleasers and love to say yes even when they know a task is almost impossible to fit in.
You also need to get more strict with yourself. Switch off your email (gasp!), put your phone on silent, turn off your social notifications and close all browsing windows on your screen. Constant distractions are one of the biggest hurdles to overcome to be a successful marketer. It's important to take yourself (buzzword alert) "offline" at least once a week to concentrate on a task, whether it's planning or writing or whatever. You'll be amazed at how freeing this can actually feel.
4. Repurpose existing content
Under pressure to create new content fast? There's no need to start from scratch. Instead, analyse the best performing content on your website and use that as the basis for some fresh content. Whether it's an old blog or downloadable guide - the beauty of marketing, particularly digital marketing, is that it's constantly evolving so there's always a way to update these pieces of content or add a new perspective.
Tools such as Buzzsumo are great for this because they help you analyse what content would perform best for the topic you're covering.
Don't let presentations you've slaved over go to waste, either. Remove any sensitive information and upload them to SlideShare. You could go a step further and turn it into a whitepaper or report. The trick is to see content as multifunctional and never use it for just one thing.
5. Don't worry, be appy
Don't let the terrible pun put you off - apps can be a saviour to marketers around the world. Tools such as IFTTT which stands for "If this then that" is completely free and allows you to create so-called recipes based on a set of conditions. For example, you could set up a recipe that means when you post a picture on Instagram, it automatically saves it in your Dropbox file. Another great time-saver you can set up using this is logging your work hours on a Google Drive sheet.
Finding the right app can help automate and regulate some of those pesky day-to-day tasks.
6. Trim down your reporting
Be a lean, mean, reporting machine and avoid drowning in your marketing report each month. Stick to the things that are important and really matter to your business. There is no perfect report, but what will impress and showcase what a great job you're doing is concentrating on the amount and source of the inbound traffic generated by the your marketing campaigns and the number of conversions (these could be enquiries or sales) that this traffic turns into.
Keep reminding yourself of the bigger picture, it'll stop you from getting carried away with too many layers of detail. The daily vanity project of checking your position on Google is both time consuming and not the definition of marketing success. Yes they can be a good source of traffic to your website but it's the wrong metric to obsess over.
Your only problem now will be deciding what to do with all the extra time you've just created. The good news is that there'll no doubt be a new piece of CMS software for you to get your head around or product/service to launch in the next few weeks that will easily fill that gap.
Isn't it time you got back to work?
If you've got a few more minutes to spare before you get back to the grind, take a look at:
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