Marketing is one of those things that is essential to every business but is often forgotten about until sales or enquires start to wane. Cue maniacal tweeting of referral codes & offers, a website redesign, launch of several new PPC campaigns and a jazzy company news press release. It’s tiring and a wee bit scary; I mean what if it is too late? I know, I work for a marketing agency and so you would expect me to rave about the absolute necessity of a solid and continued marketing effort all year round. However, I have occasionally found myself on the other side…
My husband is a full time music teacher. About 2 years ago he started teaching 2 of our friend’s kids to play the drums. We decided to build him a website and optimise it to see whether or not we could make the teaching work (he was working full time in a bank at this point). Within 6 months he had a couple of students every weekday evening, all of which had found him online. Not long after things started to take off he left the bank and is now teaching as his main job. He even goes into a couple of local schools to teach. I really shocked myself this week when I realised just how complaisant we had become when it came to keeping his site up to date and marketing it. It seems as though we have had the same old conversation over and over again about how much we need to sit down and dedicate some time to working on the site. We always decide to do it tomorrow or the day after due to X,Y & Z commitment. Life is busy and it is so easy to become consumed with the work at hand. However, if we want the work at hand to continue, we need to put in the time to generate those sales or enquiries!
Make a To-Do List
It is likely that as you are going about your day, talking to colleagues or browsing your website, you will think of marketing tasks that need to be done. This could be things like updating an offer, uploading a new testimonial or taking pictures of a new product. Create a document on your computer called ‘Marketing To Do’ and use it to record these ideas the moment that they come to mind. When you come to your dedicated marketing time you will then have a list to work from that took minimal effort to compile. This is so much better than sitting there unable to remember the ideas and tasks that came to mind during the week.
Schedule As Much As Possible
It is very typical for a sudden surge of marketing excitement to take place which produces a flurry of activity in the days that follow and then nothing for 6 weeks or even loner. Try and make as much use as possible of those times when you’re all fired up and raring to go. Write several blog posts and schedule them to be published over the subsequent weeks and months. Same with your social media updates. This means that during the periods where you don’t have time available for these kinds of activities that they are still taken care of.
Create a Marketing Calendar
A bit of pre-planning can save you a shed load of time in the long run. When you finally get round to spending some time on your marketing efforts you don’t want to use it all in deciding what to do (how many of us have sat there killing ourselves over what our latest piece of content or tweet should be about!). At the start of the year (six months, quarter or month) have a think about all the things coming up. It could be a new product release, a seasonal occasion etc. and record them. Work from and theme your efforts around this calendar to give you more direction and enthusiasm.
Make the Most of Apps & Other Tech
If you spot an article online that you think would make for a great blog post or piece of content on your own site then you can use an App like Read Later for Chrome which will book mark it. When you visit your Read Later page you will find all your articles in a neat list just waiting to be read. This can also be used to aggregate any marketing manuals or online marketing tips for later reading.
Can be used in a similar way to Read Later but for aggregating images. If you have a Pinterest account for your business then you could either create a ‘secret board’ for internal idea gathering or a new private unbranded account which only you and your employees can access to. Use it to pin pictures of packaging, advertisements, creative ad campaigns or even image based stuff that your competitors are doing to spark off new ideas.
A social media dashboard that allows you to schedule tweets (as well as other social updates) across a range of social media accounts. See above for more on scheduling.
Want to follow up with people you met at a networking event (possible customers or partners)? Rooting through business cards can be a drudge and really eat your time. Spend a few seconds taking a photo of the card as soon as it is handed to you and CardMunch will add the persons details to a quick and easy to scroll contacts lists broken down by name, phone number etc.
Of course there is also the bog standard Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn apps etc. that will allow you to update whilst you are commuting, waiting for a meeting to start or in other dead time.
Now to look at the hubby’s site…..