A small business doesn’t have unlimited time to devote to marketing, but you’re savvy enough to know that marketing is (more than ever) a key component of your business model, and content is central.
You need a few things you can do even when you’re busy, that are repeatable, in 5 or 10 minute chunks, to keep up the marketing momentum – things that lend themselves to your next digital campaign without too much disruption of your ongoing operations. Here are 4 constructive activities to keep your digital marketing moving forward no matter what’s happening around you.
Topic Generation – 10-minutes
You could sit down and stare at that empty “New Post” area in the back end of your web site, stuck and not knowing what to write about, only to walk away frustrated and sure that this blogging thing is not your bag. But now is not the time – when you’re busy, focus on generating topics. Keep a list of questions handy:
- What is something recently that a client found hard to understand?
- What was a recent barrier to someone becoming a client?
- What do you wish every client knew or understood?
- What’s the most interesting thing you saw or discovered happening in your local area recently?
- What thoughts or realizations inspired you this week and contributed to what you do for work?
- What was the most interesting conversation you had with a client recently – what did you glean, learn, gain, or gather from it?
Jot a list of 5-10 topics in language you’ll remember and keep them in a place you’ll see. These are the titles or topics for your next blog posts, videos, or infographics. You can do this routinely since, if your business is as alive and thriving as you are busy, the topics will change and evolve. No wasted time – you just made traction in your marketing, Pat yourself on the back and get back to work.
Pinterest Pins – 5-minutes
Creating pins is quick, interesting, and builds your profile of snackable content. Raid your smart phone for photos you took recently related to your business. Don’t worry if they seem boring – you’re going to add a caption. Even a picture of the Lincoln Memorial, the Mona Lisa, or Rodin’s “The Thinker” can get a new lease on life with the right words added beneath it. Always be taking photos, when you’re working, in the office or out. Upload the image to pinterest, add a caption and a link back to your page, and organize images into “boards”. Think of Pinterest board opportunities for building a rich bank of images:
- Day in the Life of a Professional (whatever you do).
- History and Growth of Our Company.
- Yet Another Happy Client.
- Our Product or Service In Use.
In short, tell your story, the story of your work, it’s impact, and results, and how it is received. You’ll never run out of things to pin. Be sure and share your pins across your other social media channels – like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Twitter.
Video Clips – 5-minutes
It’s the same principle as pinning static images to Pinterest, except you’re capturing moving video for Youtube or Vine. You don’t have to create the whole video when you’re busy, you’re just lining up clips for later, when you have time to make a video from them (which you can do in any video editor or a web tool like animoto). Build your clip library. One way to keep it fresh and lively, and remember what each clip is for, is to go ahead and add each clip to Pinterest, which takes video as well as static images. Give it a caption, link back to a page on your site, and you have yet more traction with snackable content that gets repurposed as a video compilation later. These video clips can make excellent substitutes for stock images on your web site pages, too.
Google Presentation – 10-minutes
There are a dozen or more marketing uses for a Google Presentation (as covered in this thoughtful guide) – not the least of which is video or a socially shareable slideshow. Grab one of your topics from your Topic Generation exercise and add a few bullets to it for what you want to talk about. Don’t worry if you’ve never made a Google Presentation – it’s just like Powerpoint, only simpler. If you can make a Word document, or write an e-mail, you can make a Google Presentation. Go to drive.google.com – log in – and create a new presentation. Or, if you’ve created one in the past, with your logo and colors, just clone/make a copy of that to fill in and change the content. Make each bullet for your topic its own slide title – that’s your basic outline. Once you have a few slides, put what you want to say about each headline on the slides, and then shorten that down to a few sub-bullet points. The nice thing about Google Presentations is that they’re shareable, publishable in a lot of formats, and can immediately be added to a web site / blog or social media. In this case, you’re ready to stop, though. Later, you can come back and do voiceover for a video, export for slideshare, or format as a PDF guide or embeddable animated slideshow, to mention just a few options. Your core content is easily captured – now it’s just putting it in front of an audience.
When you’re low on time, high on work, and know you need to keep the marketing momentum going or you’re going to lose it, these few items can become your bread and butter for rapidly gaining traction without a lot of frustration, wandering, and dead end activities that don’t lend themselves to a structured and ongoing digital strategy. Especially when you’re busy, you can’t afford to put your attention into things that don’t count.
For help crafting and maintaining an effective digital strategy, turn to MadPipe as your external marketing resource.