Today, we’re taking a look at how automation can help you streamline your small business marketing from start to finish.
Here are 8 tips that will make your marketing to-do list to-done in no time:
1. Let your email signature do the marketing for you
You spend half your life taking care of your email…isn’t it time it took care of you? WiseStamp tips the balance back in your favor with beautiful email signatures that grab attention, convey what you do, and give people a reason to reach out.
Whether your email is going out to an old work colleague or your realtor, a WiseStamp signature is a nice way to show off your professional side without intruding on the content of your messages.
2. Set up an email funnel that sends itself
Services like MailChimp and Constant Contact let you set up automated email sequences for just about anything. Got a new customer? Line up a pre-written series of 4-5 emails that keep the relationship going, and set them to launch at designated times—like right after a purchase or a few weeks after you’ve delivered a service.
You can use these email sequences to do a variety of things, from automating client follow-up to building up excitement for a new service offering. (HubSpot has a nice overview of how you can use these types of email workflows.)
3. Stop copying and pasting your business proposals
If you depend on proposals to win client business, make the whole process easier and more beautiful (and eliminate a lot of the cut-and-paste) with services like BidSketch and Proposeful. They automatically fill in relevant proposal sections, let you customize on the fly, and make it simple for clients to sign proposals electronically.
4. Don’t chase down content ideas—make them come to you
Do you rely on great blog content to drive new business? Then you probably spend a fair amount of time brainstorming and scanning the internet for new ideas. But what if you could train the internet to automatically send those ideas to you? You’d save valuable time and have an endless stash of topics to choose from.
Here are a few things you can do. First, set up Google Alerts to ping you any time news relevant to your industry pops up online. You can use this as a springboard for multiple blog ideas—whether it’s taking a stance on the newsworthy topic or adding your own insights to a trending theme. (You can go a step further by setting up your inbox to send all these alerts to a special folder that you can mine for ideas later.)
Next, install tools like the Evernote Web Clipper and the Diigo browser button. As you’re casually browsing things online, you can clip, highlight, and save interesting things to incorporate into posts later. These tools can help you isolate an interesting quote or idea so you can expand on it when you’re ready to write—without wasting time hunting for it later.
Finally, try out a service that offers hand-curated content suggestions, Like Quuu. It can surface relevant ideas faster, so you spend less time searching for inspiration and more time creating great content.
5. Automatically post your stuff across platforms
Tools like HootSuite and Buffer are amazing time-savers. Use them to post your social media updates across platforms at exactly the right time of day for maximum engagement. If you’re still doing this on your own, it’s time to loosen the reigns and let your digital counterparts take control. You’ll be grateful for the minutes you spare each day.
6. Automatically share any new blog posts to Facebook
IFTT (“If this, then that”) gives you the power to set up a number of automated processes, or “Applets.” As an example, here’s one for those of you who regularly post to a WordPress blog. It automatically shares your posts on Facebook, completely eliminating that extra step.
IFTT can help you shave seconds off of your most common tasks, which doesn’t sound like a lot at first—but trust us, it accumulates over time.
7. Never let good blog content go to waste
Services like MeetEdgar can recycle past blog content and generate tons of fresh views. After all, just because you’ve put out great content in the past doesn’t mean you can’t get traction out of it today.
Think of the audience you’ve built up since you started posting on your business blog. There are lots of people out there who’ve probably missed out on valuable posts from the past and who’d love to see them the second (or third, or fourth) time around. As your audience grows and you add new followers, your older content can still be “new” to them.
8. Let an algorithm handle your social marketing
Touted as the “internet’s first Robo Agency,” Needls creates, targets, and deploys social ads on your behalf.
Needls keeps track of social media conversations happening in real time on Facebook and Instagram, and then creates targeted ads that point business your way. So if someone posts that their basement’s flooded, Needls surfaces ads for your water removal company. Or if someone lands a new job and needs a new wardrobe, Needls shows them ads for your tailoring service.
All you need to give it is a few images, videos, and a basic message, and it puts everything your ad campaigns together for you, from generating the relevant landing pages to reporting on a campaign’s progress.
Finally, remember: if a computer can do it for you, just let it. Don’t waste time doing the same things over and over again. Once you set up these automated marketing systems, you can set them and forget them—and get on with more important tasks.
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