You know the expression of “beating a dead horse”? Basically, it’s used to describe someone who’s wasting time and energy on a lost cause. Unfortunately, we see many small business owners and marketing teams “beating a dead horse” when it comes to their marketing. Either they’re spending a lot of their precious resources on strategies that aren’t working or they’re simply unable to keep up so they go nowhere. Does that sound like you? If so, you’re not alone. Here at E/Power, we want to help you work smarter, not harder, when it comes to digital marketing. That’s why we’ve put together 5 things you can do right now to help make your marketing easier, more efficient, and more effective.
1. Take a look at the data.
Between Google Analytics, built-in analytics platforms across social platforms, and a plethora of other data tools, there are endless amounts of data at your fingertips. By diving into the data, you can learn details about your target audience, see emerging trends, and determine what’s working for your business (and what’s not). Then, you can adjust your marketing efforts accordingly, rather than wasting precious time, money, and resources on campaigns and platforms that aren’t performing. One of our driving forces here at E/Power Marketing is that when something isn’t working, we’ll do everything we can to make it work. And if it’s still not working, we’ll do something else. Our programs are agile and our team is focused on results, so we’re always watching the data and pivoting when we need to so that our programs are data-driven and productive.
2. Develop buyer personas.
We’re big proponents of buyer personas here at E/Power. In case you’re unfamiliar, buyer personas are semi-fictional profiles of your ideal customer based on data and consumer trends. With research-based details about age range, income levels, where customers spend time online, and how they make purchasing decisions, buyer personas give a clear picture of exactly who you’re targeting and how best to connect with them. This helps make every aspect of your marketing — from social media to advertising to content and SEO — more efficient and targeted.
In addition to improving your marketing strategies, buyer personas also help keep everyone involved in your marketing connected as well. Whether you’re onboarding a new internal team member or working with a digital marketing agency partner, buyer personas help simplify communication, get people up to speed, and keep everyone on the same page.
3. Develop (and stick to) an editorial calendar.
As a small business, we understand that small business owners and employees wear a lot of hats. There’s a lot to going on and it’s definitely easy to let specific marketing objectives fall through the cracks. That’s where an editorial calendar comes in handy! In fact, it’s an essential part of your marketing strategy.
A well-planned editorial calendar allows you to plan ahead for holidays, events, and trends that impact your business and keeps you consistent and cohesive across channels. You can then schedule content ahead of time, rather than scrambling each day to find something interesting to post on Facebook or going months between posts on your blog. That cohesive and consistent messaging helps improve brand awareness and keeps customers engaged. From a digital marketing perspective, it also helps to drive consistent traffic and results!
Editorial calendars also make it easy to keep everyone, including yourself, on track. Distributing the workload amongst your team or marketing agency partners also gets a lot easier when you plan ahead. When it’s already noted exactly when social posts, blogs, email blasts, and advertising campaigns are expected to go live, everyone involved in the process knows what to expect and how they fit into the bigger marketing puzzle.
If things change or you get behind, that’s ok! All you have to do is update the calendar accordingly! We’ve done a lot of pivoting both internally and for our clients throughout the last few months thanks to COVID-19. Having clear editorial calendars has helped us work together more efficiently and implement new strategies quickly.
4. Use free and/or paid tools.
There are so many great tools out there to help make your day-to-day marketing and communication more efficient and productive. Here are just a few that our team finds incredibly useful:
- Canva – This is a great tool for quickly designing visuals for your website, social platforms, and even non-digital marketing. There are many pre-designed templates and filters, which makes it easy to use even if you’re not a designer.
- Stock photo sites – While unique and original photos are great, we know that small businesses don’t always have the resources to take pictures and videos all the time. When used appropriately, supplementing your brand photos with stock photography can come in handy. Some of our favorite free stock photo sites include Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, and StockSnap.
- Scheduling tools – When you have other responsibilities to focus on and can’t be glued to a computer, scheduling and automation tools are great. We’re a SharpSpring agency here at E/Power Marketing, and beyond the awesome email marketing, CMS and dynamic form functionality, it also provides us with social media scheduling and listening tools! Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, and Later also offer great functionality. (Keep in mind, you should still be checking in for questions and comments on a regular basis.)
- Organizational/communication tools – There’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to marketing, so sometimes more structured task management and organizational tools are helpful. Depending on your business needs, task management tools like Slack, Asana, ClickUp, and Monday can be helpful to keep you on track from beginning to end! We’re an Oshkosh digital marketing agency, but our team is remote! With team members spread out from Fond du Lac to Waukesha to Chicago to Madison, we depend on these tools to keep us connected and productive! Figure out what you’re struggling with the most and then search for the tool that seems like the best fit. We recommend trying the free trials and reading reviews before committing to a specific tool or platform, especially ones you pay to use.
5. Partner with a marketing agency.
Ok, ok. You probably saw this one coming — E/Power is a marketing agency, after all. But, bear with me for a second as I tell you why a marketing agency, particularly E/Power, can help your business. You’re an expert when it comes to your business and industry, we’re experts at marketing. That means we’re able to put our 20+ years of insights, expertise, and an outside perspective to work for your business to make your marketing efforts more efficient, more effective, and, in turn, more profitable. On top of that, we’ll be able to take some of those marketing to-do items off your plate so you’re able to focus on running your business (or finally taking some time off?).
No matter where you’re at with your marketing strategy or how big your business is, we’re here to offer our marketing expertise and insights! If you’re ready to work smarter, not harder, let’s chat.