Digital marketing is a demanding and time-consuming aspect of your business. You have to keep up with conversations about your brand, monitor your competitors’ efforts, connect with your audiences, stay updated with industry trends, craft relevant and valuable content, and so much more. On top of that, you have to meet with clients, brainstorm with your team members, talk to partners, and respond to calls or emails.
Sometimes (or most often), you’ll feel like there’s not enough time to finish everything that you need to do. But don’t panic, because you’re certainly not alone. Many marketers, new and seasoned ones, all go through the struggle of having so much to do in so little time.
So, to help you out, we’ve rounded up the seven simple but highly effective ways to save time on your digital marketing tasks.
How to Save Time on Digital Marketing
1. Develop a Specific Strategy First (Instead of Figuring it Out as You Go)
Before you dive into the nitty-gritty tasks, it’s helpful to have a comprehensive plan that will guide you in making decisions. It allows you to plan out your time and tasks wisely, thus increasing your efficiency and productivity. Similarly, it increases your chances of successfully creating and implementing effective campaigns.
When developing a strategy, be sure to do these things:
- Identify your goals and vision for your business.
- Understand your current and potential audience, your competitors, and your industry.
- List all tasks you need to do, set a timeline for each, and rank them according to priority.
- Delegate tasks to your team (if you have one) and set deadlines for each.
- Determine what tools and resources will help achieve your goals.
Just like your business goals, your strategy should be SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. Do you want to drive more traffic? Great! But be more particular and keep answering the relevant questions until you’ve covered all bases. Drive more traffic where? What kind of content will you need? By when should you achieve that?
Keep in mind that your strategy may change in the middle of the campaigns. And that’s totally okay. What’s important is that your plan outlines your course of action and that you’re able to evaluate and make adjustments based on results.
2. Create a Customer Avatar to Clearly Define Your Audience
A customer avatar is an in-depth profile of your ideal customer. It helps you get to know your audience. Create a character by defining their needs, desires, pain points, and other important aspects. By putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes, you can intimately understand who they are and build a solid foundation for your marketing efforts.
Take note that we said ideal customers, not just your average consumer. This is because you’ll want to target someone who’s high-spending, loyal, and with great potential to purchase again. This will help you save time, money, and resources by streamlining your business efforts and focusing on somebody who’s really interested in your products and services.
So, how do you create an effective customer avatar?
- Start by providing a character name. Carrie the Cook or Devin the Designer, for example. You may even want to include a cartoon or photo so you can picture them concretely.
- Identify your avatar’s basic details – age, gender, marital status, children, occupation, education, and income.
- Enumerate all the possible traits you can think of and have gathered from research.
- Define your avatar’s goals and values, challenges and pain points, decisions, preferences, and role in the purchase process. Write a story as if you were them. What were they doing before using your product? What do they think or feel about your item? Where/when did they hear/know about you? How are you helping them? Why did they choose you over the other brands? Will they recommend you to their peers?
While making a customer avatar, be as specific as possible and remain in the character’s mindset all throughout. This will help you learn why your current efforts may not be working and discover new tactics to reach and retain customers.
3. Map Out the Entire Buyer’s Journey
A buyer’s journey is a three-step process that outlines your customer’s process of – you’ve guessed it – buying!
At the first stage, called Awareness, customers are trying to solve problems, looking for answers, or seeking opinions and insights. They’re searching for educational content that will direct them to a solution. Your task is to inform them about your brand, so they can understand what you do and how you can help them. Use blogs, social posts, e-Books, videos, or online courses to capture people’s attention and give them their needed information. Though there’s no guarantee that they’ll purchase from you, those who find your content helpful may move to the next stage.
The second step, known as Consideration and Evaluation, is where people do more research and in-depth comparisons of the brands they’re considering. Here, you have to show them why your offerings best fit their needs. It’s important to have expert content that showcases your features and benefits — like guides, live videos, and webinars. It’s also helpful to have an active customer service team who can answer people’s inquiries and requests. Essentially, this stage is where you nurture leads, build relationships, and establish trust with your audience.
Finally, at the Decision stage, the buyer is ready to select a brand and make a purchase. However, it doesn’t guarantee that they’re going to buy from you, so a little more nudging is necessary. Use brand-specific content with a compelling call-to-action – including free trials, demos, or limited-time downloads — to encourage them to purchase from you. Take advantage of case studies and customer testimonials that show how others have benefited from your solution. Once they see more of your value, they’re more likely to become your customers.
Essentially, a buyer’s journey helps you save time by understanding the customers’ purchase habits and determining how you can effectively reach them on each stage.
4. Lean on Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is created with long-term relevance in mind. Rather than being relevant for just days or weeks, this kind of content can be consumed for months or even years. As a marketer, evergreen content can lessen the load of posts you have to continuously produce.
Maximize evergreen content by reusing it. You can do this by updating the title and tags, changing the visuals within the post, incorporating them to your newsletter, or updating the publication dates.
You can also repurpose your existing content by turning it into multiple fresh pieces. Consider converting your old posts into guides or podcasts, compiling similar topics into an expert e-book, or creating videos around already published topics. You can also transform high-performing blogs into email series, infographics, online courses, slide decks, or webinars.
Using evergreen content, you can publish many different posts from a few already-existing content pieces, and with less time and effort involved on your end.
5. Plan Your Content in Advance Using a Content Calendar
Imagine having to cram in content that you forgot and it needs to go live in a few hours. Insane, right? It’s doable, but it’s also avoidable. And why stress yourself or risk the quality of your content when you can plan ahead using a content calendar?
Your content calendar can include the following:
- Article topics
- Assigned author and deadline
- Captions, links, and materials
- Planned promotions and partnerships
- Publishing platform and date
- Reused and repurposed content
- Special events and celebrations
- Status updates
Essentially, a content calendar lets you schedule your posts in advance, prevents duplicate content, and makes monitoring performance a lot easier. It promotes accountability, easy collaboration with your team, and cohesive branding across different channels.
More importantly, it helps align all your efforts so you save time and resources for the long haul.
6. Optimize Your Content Per Platform
Rather than spreading yourself too thinly, you only need to be on platforms that matter most to your brand and customers. Use only the channels that you can effectively manage to ensure that you put your time, effort, and resources to good use.
In addition, keep in mind that each network has unique requirements, user base, and expectations, so you can’t create one piece of content and auto-post it across all platforms.
On Facebook, videos, blog posts, and curated content often perform best. Instagram is highly visual, so high-res photos, short videos, and creative quotes rank well.
On the other hand, breaking news, curated microblogs, GIFs, and short-form content are preferred by Twitter audiences. LinkedIn is for businesses, so it’s best to post job opportunities, company news, productivity tips, and other types of professional content. Text-based posts also perform especially well here.
Meanwhile, Pinterest users love infographics, step-by-step guides, DIY tips, and style inspiration.
Once you understand the differences between platforms, you won’t have to spend so much time planning what content will perform well or capture each channel’s user base. You’ll already know ahead of time.
7. Use Saved Replies and Hashtags
Whether you notice it or not, responding to the messages of your followers or customers takes up a significant portion of your day. And it’s a happy problem. This means a lot of them are interested enough to know more about your brand or care enough to leave a comment. However, there are days when you just don’t have the time to reply to all of them.
But, you can! For example, with e-clincher, you can create saved replies and hashtags and reuse these when posting or replying to messages (or creating content, in general). It automatically inserts your pre-written and saved texts instead of your needing to type it over and over.
For example, if someone has left you a simple query, you can automatically reply, “Thank you for contacting [your business name]. We are currently [answer to the query]. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for the latest news and updates.”
However, keep in mind that your message should always be genuine. And make sure your response is fitting for the customer’s message.
If you’re new to digital marketing, make sure to employ these seven steps to ensure that you start off on the right foot. If you’ve been at it for a while now, try to review your efforts to see if there’s anything you can implement today to improve your productivity and efficiency.
Lastly, make sure to invest in automation tools, like e-clincher, that will help streamline your overall marketing efforts, so you can focus on what’s truly important for your business. Also, take time to track and analyze your most important metrics, so you’ll understand what works and where to skew your efforts.
Remember, time is gold, so you have to spend every minute of it wisely.
What other time-saving tips do you practice? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.