The first few times you go somewhere to work out, it can feel like you’re back in a public school gym class. Intimidating, especially when you’re surrounded by what seems like a mob of expert bodybuilders.
The first few forays into doing your own online marketing can often feel the same way. In a world of high-caliber marketing campaigns, it can feel like you’ll never be able to achieve that level of polish and interest!
Your Online Marketing Fitness Plan
Much like your biceps, you can think of marketing as a muscle. It’s something you need to learn how to do the proper way first. Once you have that figured out, it’s a matter of measurement and improvement to achieve your goals.
1.Getting In The Rhythm
Just like you need to make time in your schedule to hit the gym, you need to schedule your marketing time. If you never make time for online marketing, you’ll never find time for it, either.
Start working on your marketing the same time each day. Don’t skip it. Give yourself rest days where you aren’t pressing your marketing ability, and you can focus on your work.
A good start is 30 minutes, twice a week to focus on your marketing and promotional planning. This can mean a variety of activities, which brings you to the next item on the list…
2.Use Circuits and Routines
Getting started at the gym means you need a plan to follow each time you’re there. If you do this with marketing, you’re going to get much more regular, measurable results. Building your marketing routine first means choosing where you are going to market:
• Improving your own website (such as photography and product descriptions on your ecommerce website)
• Sharing and having conversations on Twitter
• Writing a news or promotional email to your customers
• Updating your Facebook page
• Responding to Yelp reviews
• Checking your Google Analytics
• Building connections on LinkedIn
• Researching the marketing your competitors are engaging in
• Typing up a blog post
Choose a few of these activities. It’s okay to start with the ones that aren’t intimidating. The best strategy to start doing online marketing is to choose things that you are confident you can do, and branch out from there.
Add these activities to your scheduled marketing time, so that it’s properly structured when it comes up in your calendar.
3. Work Out with a Goal
Have a concept of success in your mind, and ensure that the success you define is attainable. This means it shouldn’t be “going viral” or tripling your twitter followers in a month (unless you have 6 twitter followers!).
Measurable goals involve things you can affect. It could be to have conversations with 4 customers on social media, make 3 Yelp review requests, or share 5 product photo updates on Facebook.
Once you start being able to do this reliably, shift your goals to audience behavior. Growing your likes on Facebook, improving your average pages per session when customers visit your site, or getting 5 retweets per day.
4. Record your Progress and Personal Bests
Social networks offer analytics, just like Google Analytics for your website. Use these reports to observe what is working about your marketing activity, and what isn’t.
When you get something really good, like 10 new subscribers to your email newsletter or a rave review on yelp, celebrate! This might mean taking yourself out for a coffee, or sharing with your sales team. Keep a reference of your most successful marketing efforts to turn to when you’re stumped on what to do.
5. Find a Buddy
You can’t brag to your customers about how well your marketing is doing, so it can be important to have an accountability buddy and a spotter, just like when you hit the weight room at the gym.
You probably have a network of other business owners already. Recruit them in your mission to improve your marketing. Share your questions, successes, and challenges with them. You can all learn from each other’s experiences and improve together.
6. Get Inspiration
It’s normal to start with a burst of ideas, and then start to run out. One thing that keeps marketing fresh and interesting is indulging in your creative, imaginative side. Get new inspiration for marketing ideas by looking around your industry as well as outside of it.
You can follow marketing blogs and groups, as well as companies that are doing work you really admire. Instead of letting their marketing progress discourage you, examine their campaigns for the spark that attracted your interest in the first place.
7. Let Other People Do the Work For You.
This is the one item you can do in marketing that doesn’t work at the gym! If you look, there are many plans that can help you start to build your own marketing routine, such as ATAK’s 8 Week Content Marketing Bootcamp. If you really don’t think you can do it, maybe you need to hire a full-service marketing team. You can learn a lot about marketing by working directly with marketers, after all.
If you want to talk to ATAK about starting a lean, mean marketing machine, get in touch with us. It’ll be no sweat.