It’s not easy to stay organized and be productive when you’re running a small business. Chances are you spend most of your day wearing different hats, taking meetings and calls, dealing with clients and customers, putting out fires – you know, running your business.
No wonder marketing so often ends up an afterthought – the thing you do when you miraculously find a bit of extra time, or when a slump in sales necessitates swift action.
But what if you could not only get organized, but actually stay organized long enough to reap the benefits of increased productivity? What if you could establish some best practices today, for increased sales tomorrow?
While it may seem overwhelming, it’s not as hard as it looks. Here are 5 simple ways you can stay organized and be more productive with your marketing:
1. Beware of “spur of the moment” marketing
You know the kind – this marketing happens at strange times of the day when you suddenly feel inspired to respond to ALL the messages on your Facebook page, or send the first email blast to go out in months.
There’s no point in messaging, emailing, or tweeting in a disorganized fashion. You can’t connect with your audience with sporadic marketing ‘fits’, just as you can’t build long-term customer relationships based on random interactions.
The truth is that any marketing inspiration you may experience can only be effective when you harness that energy and use it to create a strategic marketing plan.
2. Make a plan (and stick to it!)
All of your marketing ‘touches,’ whether inbound or outbound, should be part of a strategic plan.
Don’t worry – creating such a plan is not as daunting as it sounds! Part of your plan might be sending one email blast per week, or spending 15 minutes per day on Twitter.
The important thing is to decide what you’re going to do, and commit to doing it fully. Schedule the exact amount of time it will take to create an email blast, for example, and include that task (and time frame) as part of your overall strategy.
You might also assign team members various tasks as part of your plan, or decide when and where to incorporate PR. Don’t forget to include short, medium, and long-term marketing goals.
3. Do 10 minutes per day
The thought of creating an entire autoresponder series, or reaching out to thousands of potential customers on Pinterest sounds quite overwhelming.
That’s why it’s always better to break marketing tasks into small, manageable chunks of time. Instead of trying to find 3 hours to create a lengthy email series, commit to crafting one email per day until the series is done. Instead of spending hours on Facebook once per week, carve out 10-15 minutes twice daily to connect with prospects online.
Not only will this make you more productive – you’re likely to develop more rewarding (read: lucrative) relationships by being more consistent in your marketing.
4. Create a content calendar
Once you’ve decided important things like when emails will go out and when you’ll post on social media, it’s time to create a content calendar.
Use whatever program or application works best for YOU – there’s no shame in using a good ol’ pen and paper if that’s what helps you stay organized!
Make sure all of your email blasts, hard copy mailings, press releases and social media are scheduled in a way that’s easy for you to read. Once you have everything down on paper, it’s infinitely easier to follow-through with the schedule you’ve created.
5. Analyze your results
There is no point in following steps 1-4 if you fail to complete step 5: analyze and track your results. One month is enough time to take stock of what’s working in your marketing and what’s not.
Take a look at the following areas to see which marketing efforts are giving you the biggest ROI:
- Email opt-ins
- Email open rates
- Email click-throughs
- Email opt-outs
- Direct marketing response
- Google Analytics
- Social engagement (likes, retweets, comments, and so on)
You might notice that a particular blog post or email topic received a lot more attention than any of your other content. This information can be used to develop ongoing content marketing themes because it tells you exactly what your customers are interested in.
Analytics will also help you see what’s not working. If you get lackluster traffic from Facebook but your Twitter followers keep clicking, it’s a sign to focus more energy on Twitter instead of Facebook.
The easiest way to stay organized and be more productive with your marketing is to steer clear of “spur of the moment” marketing. Make a plan and stick to it. Section tasks into small, manageable time chunks. Create a content calendar. Always track and analyze your results.
Implementing these 5 simple steps is sure to take you from a frazzled marketing maniac to an organized marketing master!