In an era where time is a hot commodity, here are five ways marketers can save several hours each week and be more effective.
We've all heard the phrase, "Work smarter, not harder."
Too often people are toiling away at tasks that eat up time and prevent workplace efficiency instead of focusing on the bigger picture or priorities. I've been there, you've been there, who hasn't?
The truth is, anything from meetings to poor processes to ongoing distractions can be a time suck in the workplace. Marketing teams are not an exception. From countless campaign meetings to designing and writing copy to approval procedures (or lack thereof), days can tick away before we even get to the analytics and execution of marketing.
Here are five timesaving ways marketers can work smarter and effectively manage projects, rather than harder on the tasks at hand.
1. Create a solid workflow or approval process.
When signing off on a campaign direction, approving final copy or content, and executing marketing, do you know who the key decision-makers are? Do you know who needs to be informed, who has the final decision, and who is executing the moving pieces? Eliminate the gray areas and need for days, weeks, and sometimes month-long approvals with a solid workflow and approval process that everyone can follow.
Initially, this will take time to establish and get the right flow, but it is well worth it to save the headache and hassle of recreating the process every time. When setting up your processes, know who the key players are during each phase from approval to execution, make it repeatable and automate the pieces that you can.
2. Embrace automation.
Can you accelerate your team and push efficiency through the creation of templates and the utilization of tools and calendars?
There is no shortage of marketing tools out there to help your team automate its processes, are you using them?
No matter the size and budget of the business, these tools will help you and your team free up time to focus on priorities. Yes, there are even free tools out there for our small business owners and entrepreneurs!
Plan ahead and automate a few things: social media scheduling, email marketing scheduling, data analysis and consumer metrics, and inbound marketing, to name a few.
This doesn't imply that all marketing can be automated – it shouldn't be. Instead, it helps free your team's time, so they can focus on reaching goals, better understanding customers, and evaluating what is and isn't working.
3. Extend the life of your content.
After you create a blog post or perhaps a news article comes out about your business, don't just share it once on social media. Rather, think of ways to reuse the content and extend its life.
For example, if a podcast interviews the company's CEO, ask for permission to snip out pieces of the interview and post a question and answer as one- to three-minute videos on YouTube or social media advertising.
Blog posts can be reworked into social media posts or infographics. It can also serve as content for sites like Medium or LinkedIn. Key points of the post could also be highlighted in a slideshow and uploaded to a slideshow platform, which could increase web traffic to your targeted site.
Extending the life of your content saves you from constantly creating completely fresh content from scratch.
4. Segment your email lists.
Segmenting your email lists allows you to send targeted messaging relevant to a specific audience. This can increase the chances of your email being read and acted upon, rather than deleted. According to the Direct Marketing Association, 77 percent of email marketing return on investment (ROI) came from segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns in 2015.
The best segmentation typically comes from crossing multiple segment lists, along with trigger events and lead intelligence data. Here are some examples of segmentations that work well alone or crossed with another segment: geography, age, gender, persona, organization type, industry, job function, first-time visitor, buying frequency, past purchases and content topics.
5. Trust your data and listen to it.
Data doesn't lie. While it may contradict the way something has always been done or show that a tactic you're heavily invested in isn't working, pay attention to it and consider switching gears, or at least testing.
Whether you're planning your next marketing campaign or looking for ways to improve efficiency for your one-man marketing team, investing time into the above will free up countless hours in the future. Cheers to working smarter, not harder.