As a business owner or major decisionmaker, your time is valuable and you get to decide where it is spent. You can either spend it moving forward and growing your brand, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide.
Here are some items to check off regularly, to help you prioritize how to spend your time and manage your small business marketing:
People often complain about lack of time, when the lack of direction is the real issue. Use these below tips to plan your marketing calendar ahead of time, giving you plenty of direction for your small business marketing:
- This step takes time, analysis and lots of preparation
- Understand your target audience and your competitive position in that market.
- Decide how you intend to reach that market, what tactics and media you’ll use.
- Determine how you will differentiate yourself from your competition in the market.
- Look at your monthly calendar and plan campaigns and promotions around company dates/events, seasonal dates, holidays, etc.
- Marketing drives revenue, as such, it needs to be considered an asset for your business, not an expense.
- By focusing your dollars on marketing, you are guaranteeing that your brand’s message is out there; It’s being seen and heard.
- Things to consider include:
- Radio and digital — They go together like peanut butter and jelly
- How so? The magic is in the integration of the two. Combining your online advertising makes other media spend work harder. And as a result, the combination of on- and offline advertising improves the effectiveness of offline advertising.
- Photography and video
- Captivating, awe-inspiring, and stunning imagery helps create an emotional connection that can be difficult to duplicate otherwise.
- As a result, this drives traffic. In fact, Cisco is now predicting that by 2019, 80% of all internet traffic will be via streaming video.
- Photo and video are no longer used solely for branding, rather during all stages of the sales cycle in the form of things like customer testimonials and product descriptions.
- Promotional events and promo items
- With marketing gravitating more and more toward digital, there is real merit in meeting potential customers in person.
- Especially for event marketing, having promotional items will attract people to your area and leave them with something to remember you by.
- Discover The Do’s and Don’ts of Promotional Items for Event Marketing.
- Outsourcing/contracting of tasks (optional)
- When planning in advance, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of marketing dollars on your advertising packages.
- Work with your advertising partners to see if special packages or discounts are offered when you purchase in frequency to save money long-term.
- It’s also important to note — Aside from scheduling time to get a plan in place, you should also set aside time on a monthly or quarterly basis to connect with your media partner to make sure your plan hasn't changed, or to enquire about new ideas/promotions they may have coming up.
Over the years, we’ve noticed the term “time management” is really an oxymoron. Time is truly beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we manage our business and/or lead our lives. Priority management, on the other hand, is the answer to maximizing the time we have.
Making sure your marketing is a priority is critical to the success of your business. On a monthly basis make time to:Place/manage your radio and digital ads
- If you created your annual, comprehensive marketing plan, managing radio and digital ads just got much easier. Be aware of upcoming creative deadlines and ensure your creative doesn’t fall flat.
- Be mindful of upcoming events, holidays, and seasons and tailor your creative as needed.
- Previous month’s ads and ROI to determine effectiveness of previous spend
- Previous email open rates and click through rates
- Previous social media engagement
- Previous month’s web traffic and referral sources
- Monthly content (blogs, ebooks, educational content, etc)
- Monthly social media posts, contests, promotions, etc.
- Monthly social media ads
- Email calendar for the month
- Just as with your radio and digital creative, when it comes to planning your monthly content, social posts, and emails, be cognizant of upcoming holidays and events that you can tie back into your marketing.
- Ex: Small Business Saturday promotions, summer specials, holiday gift guides, etc.
- Place radio ads with deadlines within the month
- Place digital and social ads
If you’ve followed this checklist thus far, you’ve likely noticed a considerable chunk of your day-to-day time has opened up. This is all thanks to careful planning and placing a high priority on your marketing efforts. On a weekly basis, you no longer have to waste time putting out fires, rather you can focus on details, the elements of your marketing campaign that makes your brand really shine.
Dedicate time each week to:Schedule social media posts
- Ensure the posts are timely, engaging, educational, humorous, and/or interesting.
- Check out the 10 social media posts that deserve a place in your content calendar.
- Get some inspiration from 15 of the best email marketing campaigns
- Blogging really drives traffic. Entrepreneur.com recently ran an experiment where they increased their blog posts from twice a week to more than 10 posts per week. Their result? A 300% increase in traffic in two short months.
- To optimize your web content, make sure to include keywords, internal and external links, image captions, and promote it on social media.
- Software like SEMrush will give you a complete search engine optimization (SEO) audit and outline exactly what you should fix.
- Spending time on your website SEO is always time well spent.
Day-to-day management of marketing comes down to these small (but mighty) tasks. Make sure to dedicate time daily to:Check social media channels and engage with followers
- This includes addressing reviews and feedback (negative or otherwise) in a timely and professional manner
- Handle negative Yelp reviews like a pro
- Stay up-to-date with industry standards, changes, and what your competition is doing
- Just like your industry, your customers are evolving; they’re growing and their needs are shifting.
- Stay on top of these changes by dedicating time to getting to know your customers. Talk to your clients, ask for feedback, and listen to what they have to say.
We understand that not only are you working with a limited budget, you’re working with limited time. Regardless of the size of your marketing team, you have little time to dedicate to tasks outside your normal realm of operations. The above marketing timeline, broken down by year, month, week, and day, can help you plan out, and properly manage your priorities. Even better, we’re well-equipped to help you with all of the steps mentioned above.
At Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group, we create all-inclusive marketing campaigns to build brand loyalty, drive revenue, and radically revolutionize your business. Learn how we can help your sales soar!