When you’re in the beginning stages of your small business, it can be way too easy to spend all of your time on a seemingly endless list of tasks. But something that takes time to learn and implement is automation. Automation is a small business owner’s best friend. Using tools and processes that streamline your day to day tasks and help save time (and ultimately money) is a lifesaver for your business in the long run.
As the saying goes — work smarter, not harder. Here’s how you can automate your small business marketing efforts in just a few steps.
Determine what needs to automated
In order to determine where automation can benefit your marketing efforts the most, start by taking a look at everything you do day to day or even each week that contributes to marketing and lead generation. Which tasks of yours take up the most time, but not necessarily the most brain power? These are the tasks that should be streamlined to make for a more efficient and productive day.
Social media, for example, tends to take a large chunk out of an entrepreneur’s day. An easy way to reduce the amount of time spent on social media is to take advantage of social media scheduling tools. Plan your content for the month and then set aside time on Sunday night to schedule all of your posts for the week — it will amaze you how much you’ll end up saving!
Use the right tools
When it comes to marketing for small businesses, there are a couple things that business owners will primarily rely on: social media and email marketing. Luckily, both of these can be easily automated!
For social media, there are numerous tools you can use to plan and schedule your posts. If you’re focused on Instagram for your business, there are apps like Later or Planoly that make it easy to visualize what your posts will look like on your feed ahead of time as well as schedule them. There are also tools like Buffer which allows you to schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, keeping all of your scheduling in one place.
Another helpful tip is to take advantage of the Insights on your accounts. On Instagram, for example, you can see when your audience is using the app and what the engagement on your posts is like. This will help you determine when you should schedule your future posts and will take all of the guesswork out of figuring out what your audience likes — which means even more time is being saved!
Automate Your Email Marketing
If one of your big goals over the next year is to increase your engagement and sales through email lists, start automating your email marketing campaigns! Whether you use a tool like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or another email management software, you can capture leads on your website and other marketing channels and add them to your list of subscribers in your account.
And as you build out a new program, build and sell online products, or launch periodic promotional offers, you can automate your emails in the system — and have your lists segmented so they only get emails for things they may be most interested in!
Make a plan
After analyzing your current marketing efforts and figuring out which tools are best for your business, it’s time to put your plan into action. Figure out which tasks need to be done monthly, weekly, and daily. This can help determine when you’re going to set aside time to plan out or schedule your tasks. For example, let’s say you post a weekly blog post to your site. Instead of writing one post each week, spend a few hours at the end of each month to write four blog posts for the month ahead. Then, schedule one post every week during your weekly social media scheduling or send out an email notification when the blog post goes live.
Hummingbird Collective offers web design, blogging, SEO, social media and other digital marketing services to small businesses and nonprofits in the Denver area and beyond. We love working with passionate organizations who are ready to take the next step in their digital marketing efforts. Reach out to us online for more information about our digital marketing packages, or call us at (719) 422-5198 to tell us more about your story!