One of the biggest time wasters for small business owners can be doing their online marketing. Now, don’t get me wrong, as a marketer I’m an advocate for online marketing and all that it brings to a business.
It is the time it can take that is the issue.
Have you ever jumped online to ‘do some marketing’ and two hours later wondered where the time went and what you achieved?
Have you ever felt under pressure with your social media and posted something on Facebook quickly just to get something out there?
The reality is, unless you spend the time upfront to plan your marketing, think about your marketing messages and look ahead, you’re always going to be on the back foot.
I know, I get it. As a small business owner, you are busy trying to do everything and you don’t have a marketing department to handle your marketing for you.
Here’s the thing…online marketing can be a huge time drain with few results if you are not careful. The secret to saving time with your online marketing is planning.
If you think about planning, it is important in lots of things. Events that are well-planned run smoothly. Designs that are well-planned have better results. Websites that are well planned work better. And if you plan your online marketing, there is less pressure on you and your marketing messages are more consistent and getting better results is more likely.
Thankfully there are apps available to help you manage your social media activity. You can track and analyse posts and conversations with one central interface and you can schedule your posts in bulk ahead of time.
For small business owners doing your own marketing, I recommend using online marketing calendars. This can be a simple spreadsheet or you can use an online calendar and invite your team so everyone has access. You can also sync your mobile phone so you have access on the go.
Marketing Tip: Create multiple Google Calendars for different activities and colour code them. For example, you could have one calendar for Blogs and Newsletters, one calendar for Social Media, another calendar for your appointments, events and blocking out time to work on projects and even another calendar for family and personal. You can see all the calendars at once, or select only the calendars you want to see. eg if you are working on your social media planning you have just the social media calendar viewable. You can also choose which team-members get access to each calendar.
Use your online marketing calendar to plan your content marketing, social media and promotions, and to track industry events, public holidays and conferences.
As a small business owner, your time is precious. So think of online marketing planning as an investment. You will feel confident that the marketing messages you put out there are well-considered and reflect you and your business in the best light.
If you invest some time on a regular basis (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) to plan ahead and make use of your online marketing calendar, you will save time in the long run. And that’s what we all want…more time!