I’m a huge fan of online marketing.
But I also know that it’s one of the most frustrating things small businesses deal with.
Because it’s confusing.
The rules change too quickly. There’s a lot of conflicting information. There’s an endless amount of work to do. And it takes time to see results – especially with inbound marketing – so it’s hard to know what’s working, and what isn’t.
But the most frustrating part is that online marketing does work. And most of us know that, which is why we struggle along.
Even if our strategies aren’t working, even if we’re not driving traffic or sales, even if we’re not increasing our online reach, we keep going. Because sometimes the task of analyzing our online marketing campaigns can be too daunting.
So, here are 3 things you can do to get control of your online marketing.
Give yourself permission to stop what you’re doing online for one week.
This might sound like a bad idea.
However, the alternative – to continue with a strategy that isn’t working – is worse. Sure you’ll fall behind. But you can always recover.
“Online marketing is all about the long game,” as social entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck constantly reminds us. Taking a week to get control of your online marketing is worth the sacrifice.
Take the time that you usually spend (answering tweets, writing posts, creating content, responding to comments, browsing) and refocus.
What do you want to do?
Specifically, why are you marketing your business online?
Sometimes it helps to revaluate your goals, and quantify them. Chances are you might have reached them without realizing it because you got swept up in the online whirlwind.
2. Don’t Be A Hero
You need a plan that you can follow, and will continue to follow 3 months from now.
That’s why most of our fitness goals fail.
Instead of committing to exercise 3 times a week, many of us set a goal of doing it 5 times a week, then realize we can’t fit that into our busy schedules, so we fall behind and barely end up exercising once a week.
We set ourselves up for failure.
The key with online marketing is simple. Don’t be a hero. Being online isn’t a race, it’s a lifestyle.
So, if you’re doing inbound marketing, choose a blogging strategy and a content marketing strategy that you can actually follow. And commit to it for 3 months. Then you can re-evaluate. At that time you’ll have a better idea of the time requirements to execute what you’re doing, and if you have the bandwidth to increase the scope of your campaign.
- To find a blogging strategy that works for you, check out: The Practical Guide To Creating A Blogging Strategy That Actually Works
- To create a content strategy that you can complete each week, check out: How To Hack Content Marketing In 28 Minutes A Week. Or Less.
- To provide world class customer service on Twitter, without spending hours doing it, check out: How to Cheat at Customer Service on Social Media (And Get Away With It)
3. Automate Everything
Once you’ve had a rest, reviewed your goals and put a plan together, there’s one thing left to do.
The biggest misconception about marketing automation is that you only need to automate things that take a lot of time. In reality, marketing automation is about shaving minutes and seconds off of everything you do, which saves a surprisingly amount of time each week.
Just thing about how much time you spend sourcing content. Sharing and promoting it. Responding to tweets and Facebook messages. Answering customer support. And so on.
Most of us budget time to create content, but few of us schedule time for other key aspects of our online marketing strategy. So, to start saving time and implementing a marketing automation strategy into your plan, check out this post.
To learn more about marketing automation, or if you’re still unsure how it can save you time, read this.
Final Thoughts: Get Control Of Your Online Marketing
Being online is a game changer for most small businesses.
If you haven’t figured out a way to make it work for you, keep trying.
If you’ve run out of inspiration, you might want to read about the Top 11 Most Powerful Content Marketing Examples By Small Businesses before you throw in the towel.
So, what tricks do you use to stay on top of your online marketing campaigns?