5 Time-Saving Ideas for Your Marketing TeamDecember 5, 2019
According to imageseven's recent survey into school marketing, 63% of school marketers report that their biggest challenge when it comes to social media marketing is lack of time. This echoes similar sentiments that we heard in the Interactive Minds Digital Summit earlier in the year, where marketers talked about growing demands on their already under-resourced teams.
As we head towards the end the year, many marketers are starting to assess their team, resources and budget for 2020. Now is a good time to look at how you can save precious time and make a bigger impact.
1. Measure twice, cut once
Let's be honest: most of the time-wasting in your team is likely coming from a lack of planning. Setting aside regular time to plan your marketing activities is the key to ensuring your team is all on the same page. Without a clearly-defined strategy, there is a good chance that your team will lose direction and cost you valuable time.
Start by creating a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a document that shows the activities your team will undertake to work towards your team's overall objectives. Not sure where to begin? We've written a handy how to guide to help you out.
Once you have a plan in place, it's time to start planning your publishing schedule. At Digistorm, we plan our content quarterly. We start with a brainstorming session, where we bring client requests to the table and figure out different types of content that can help them. After this session, we refine the best ideas into content topics, and schedule them into our content calendar. We use a program called CoSchedule to help us visualise our publishing schedule — including our blog posts, email marketing, social posts and more. We assign clear deadlines to all team members so that the pieces are ready to go well in advance.
2. Repurpose your content
Many publishers and businesses have an aim to make every piece of content perform double (and even triple) duty. Workshops can be repackaged into webinars. Webinars can be repackaged into videos. Videos can be repackaged into blogs. Blogs can be repackaged into infographics. And infographics can be repackaged into social graphics.
You can also put your content to work by updating old content pieces with new statistics and information. This isn't about pushing out old content over and over, but instead it's about keeping your web presence up to date with the most recent information. For example, on this very blog, we used to recommend keeping blog posts short — around 200-500 words. In line with this thinking, we also used to keep our own blog posts fairly short. More recent research showed us that long-form content performs better in Google search results and is more engaging to readers. So we updated the post.
Repurposing content, when done thoughtfully, can be a great way to reach new audiences. Different audiences prefer to consume their content in different mediums. As Michael Brenner of SAP writes, "Multi-channel marketing... provides the content our audiences are searching for, in all the places they search."
3. Consider using scheduling software
In 2019, school marketers have to wear a number of hats. Staying across content creation, events promotion, advertising and project management — it's no wonder marketers are feeling stuck for time. Enter scheduling software.
Scheduling software is a tool that integrates with your other marketing platforms, including your blog, social media, online advertising platforms and more. You can schedule your content ahead of time, publish directly from the tool and then use their advanced analytics to measure your results. The most popular platforms, according to the imageseven study, include Hootsuite, Buffer and HubSpot.
4. Outsource to the experts
It takes a lot of time and effort to regularly produce quality work. When all else fails, sometimes it's best to tap in a marketing agency or freelancer to do some of the heavy lifting for you. Outsourced work often gets a bad rap, but with a little preparation and a good brief, you'll find that you can eliminate some of the more time-intensive tasks in your calendar. Wondering when you should outsource? Tim Ferriss offers this fantastic flowchart to help you decide:
If you're looking at employing a freelancer or a marketing agency to assist with your marketing activities, check out our helpful guide, How to Choose a Marketing Agency For Your School.
5. Keep a running list of ideas
Thinking of new marketing initiatives and content ideas can really hold you up — particularly when you know you need to publish soon. To save yourself from the tyranny of the blank page, keep a running list of ideas that your team can easily access. You never know when inspiration may strike, so having somewhere to quickly jot your idea down allows you or someone in your team to come back to it later. A good place to start is when a customer asks an important question.
At Digistorm, we once had a customer ask us how to create a social media calendar that could work for a school marketing team. We figured other schools might be wondering the same thing, and wrote down the question to use in a future blog post. A few days later, we published our post, How to Create a Social Media Calendar for Your School, which is now one of our most-viewed posts.