Digital marketing is vital to your business, yet particularly when it comes to social media, we can find it taking over our lives.
If you’ve ever found yourself living in reaction to social media pings, like Pavlov’s Dogs, jumping to attention each time you hear a “ding” from a notification… it’s time to take a step back, reclaim your life, and put things on autopilot!
The digitally connected world we live in, can be incredibly harmful to living a balanced and fulfilling life – indeed, many people today sleep with their phones on silent yet wake up to a bombardment of social media notifications and emails that require a response.
One of the best ways to lighten your load is to create a network of automated process, systems, and apps to automatically take care of marketing tasks such as following up on emails, posting to facebook, and so on.
This will not only free up physical time, it will give you peace of mind, and a sense of certainty that things are being taken care of – without you having to always be in an alert state of reaction. Essentially, it will allow you the time you need to be calm, focused, and responsive rather than reactive.
Think of it this way, if you wanted a fantastic website or brand building, you would go to a design agency – not just to lighten the load but because they had specialist skills, equipment and insight.
Similarly, you could outsource your social media management to a specialist company or even a virtual assistant that lives the other side of the world.
However, if your budget doesn’t allow for that then it’s important to put in automated processes that free up your time and get you out of this state of perpetual reactivity that many small business owners face when it comes to their online marketing efforts.
If you think about a bricks and mortar business even a traditional store or conventional restaurant will leverage technology in the sense of a point of sale system.
The point is, no matter what your business, there are ways to automate processes so that tasks are more streamlined and require less of your time.
The reason this is important is because the less time you are working in the business (i.e. on functional tasks or responding to emails) the more time you will have to work on the business at a strategic level, which is where business owners need to focus in order to succeed.
Tim Ferris in his New York Times Bestselling Book, The Four Hour Workweek talks about the importance of automation in our work lives so that we can focus on managing our business in the sense of working ‘on’ the business rather than working ‘in’ the business.
Whilst Tim, along with several other millennial productivity experts urge us to go one step further and outsource our tasks to a virtual assistant; ideally someone living in India or Asia on the basis of cost – this article looks at automation as it relates to leveraging technological systems.
In this article we’re going to look at automating a number of the most time consuming digital marketing tasks the majority of business owners contend with; things such as being inundated by emails, following up on sales leads, and managing our social media presence.
There are plenty of time-starved business owners frantically sending out an email to a customer thanking them for their order and letting them know when it will be shipped. The key point with automation is that it frees your time to be working ‘on’ the business at a strategic level rather than ‘in’ the business where you are wasting your time doing the same job as a low-level employee. You could use something like mailchimp in order to start automating your emails at very low cost.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Managing your social media marketing campaigns can be extremely time consuming, particularly if you are personally responding to each comment, in order to keep the conversation alive.
Many business owners consider hiring a virtual assistant in order to manage this time consuming task though there are several free apps such as hootsuite and buffer that can help you automate this task.
Your marketing funnel is made up of several stages through which browsers (who will hopefully go on to become customers) move from initial awareness of your brand or website through to making a purchase. They are often brought into the ‘funnel’ by a lead magnet (e.g. offer of a free trial, free course, or book giveaway) which leads to a specific landing page.
You can easily create landing pages using a drag and drop landing page builder which means you don’t need to fiddle with code – you can design everything visually and let the magical technology behind the scenes take care of functionality.
In summary, a marketing funnel is essentially the process of converting a visitor to your website into a paying customer; the sequence starts with an offer (called a lead magnet) that directs them to something called a “squeeze page” that gathers contact information – at which point, the user is automatically added to your email list and can receive targeted emails in the future without you having to lift a finger.
In summary, if you want to reclaim your life and have more time to focus on growing your business at a strategic level – it’s time to automate your online marketing, as without automation, it’s a full time job in itself.