As a business owner, time is one of your most valuable assets. As we all know, it’s also an unfortunate reality that there is rarely enough of it to go around. That means that you have to utilize the time you spend on each aspect of your enterprise in ways that give the best possible returns.
This is where marketing can become pretty challenging. You know how vital it is to your business — it’s hard to succeed if consumers don’t know you exist. Yet at the same time, there are likely to be more pressing activities that require your immediate attention. So you need to figure out what marketing efforts give you the best return on your investment — not just in a financial sense, but time too.
The good news is that there are some excellent initiatives you can adopt when you don’t have a huge amount of time to dedicate to them. For the most part, these are the result of a combination of quality tools, and a small, regular amount of quality time you spend using them. Let’s take you through a few of them.
When time is tight, we can often make the mistake of thinking that we need to make quick decisions and get moving. This can be a recipe for disaster. As always, the phrase “more speed, less haste” is an appropriate one to this scenario. Without taking a moment to undertake analysis, you don’t have the data you need to make the best decisions for your time-crunched campaign.
In order to undertake analysis with efficiency, you should be utilizing current technology relevant to the marketplace. If you’re working on any kind of eCommerce or SaaS basis, you should be using an in-depth website or subscription analytics software. These should give you real-time data on what elements are driving or deteriorating your growth. Use this information to better understand what aspects of your business your customers best respond to, and apply this to choosing the marketing approaches they’re more likely to connect with.
Don’t overlook competitor analysis tools, either. Platforms such as Phlanx and Social Blade can help you to swiftly review not just what tactics your competition is using, but also what customers in your demographic tend to engage with. On the surface, these might seem like tools designed to help you poach business — and in some ways they certainly are. However, they are more useful for quickly and accurately gaining insights into your target demographic’s marketing and social media preferences.
Remember, being successful in choosing a swift marketing approach isn’t about skipping steps. Rather it’s discovering the tools that do a lot of the initial grunt work for you so that you can focus your time and attention on making the right decisions the first time.
The execution of your marketing campaign is likely to be one of the most time-consuming aspects. It’s the area that requires the most attention. One of the strategies you could adopt here is utilizing services such as SEO professionals who can undertake the planning and executing the campaign, and simply reporting back to you with the results. From a time perspective, this can help your business grow faster, and it frees up your personal attention. However, you also have to weigh this against the return on investment you’ll get.
Aside from investing in external sources, the creation and dissemination of marketing assets can be undertaken both in a budget-conscious and time-efficient manner. These can include:
- Capitalize on Relationships. Whether you have built partnerships with other businesses in your field, or developed connections via social media, these relationships are valuable. Reach out to these contacts and see if you can negotiate on trading exposure — a signal boost on their channels, links in their web content, interviews on their podcast.
- User-Generated Content. This is most effective when you have an active and responsive user base. If you’ve built a following on social media, or keep an active dialogue with your customers, invite them to provide content. This can be entire blog posts or even small videos that you can combine and repackage to make new content.
- Create Strategically. When it comes to creating marketing assets, the key is quality over quantity. Creating a single, relevant, well-written piece of content that is SEO friendly is worth more than several smaller posts that you’ve rushed to get out. Consider what your goals are, the tools you want to use, and create a manageable content schedule.
When you’re short of time, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thinly across all your tasks. This can lead to mistakes, which will take more time and money to correct. Yet, we don’t all have the budget to bring on additional members of staff or outsource aspects of the project. Thankfully, our digital landscape, along with the rise of accessible artificial intelligence (AI) has resulted in platforms that can automate parts of your marketing campaign.
Sometimes the level of automation you need can help direct you to the best marketing strategies to employ. If you need to adopt a platform that takes care of most of the workflow from start to finish, and provides you with analytics — email marketing automation is likely to be the most appropriate route. However, if you have time to be a little more agile, and make adjustments along the way depending on the response, you might find that an automated social media scheduler is more suited to your needs.
Use these wisely. Yes, they take some of the strain off of you, but you shouldn’t leave them to completely run things. That’s not what they’re there for. Think of them more like support staff — they’re most effective with clear instructions, quality information, and occasional performance reviews.
We are all short on time — there’s always something more we wish we could have achieved each day. Marketing can be a lengthy process, but it’s always worth reviewing whether our approach to it is what makes it time-consuming. Through effective analysis, streamlined execution, and intelligent use of tools we can make the most of the time available to us.