Small business marketing strategy – the easy way
Small business time-saver tips… want some? Seriously, I’ve never asked this question of my clients or my community members and got a “no” in return.
What if I asked you instead how you’d go about improving your marketing strategy? That one is usually harder to answer.
But really… those two questions are joined at the hip!
It’s true for all Etsy business owners, and most business owners in other niches too. Product-based and service-based.
Better marketing, with strategic intention = time saved. Attracting customers and clients more easily, with less hassle; that’s what more effective marketing does, so it’ll buy you time back in your business, to get on with more of what you want to do.
To spend more time making, to invest back into the business in other ways, to have longer lunches, to be with your family – it looks different for different people. You know what that looks like for you, I’m sure.
Developing a marketing strategy which truly fills you with confidence that you’re getting closer to your goals, in short, that IS saving you time in your business.
But it’s harder (and more intimidating) to look at from the perspective of strategising. And forming a plan. And tactics.
It’s all a bit scary and hard to formulate things clearly, I get it.
Yet, looking at it from the perspective of time-saver tips…
doesn’t that sound more friendly?
There is such a fine-line between effective marketing and time spent inefficiently on it.
So ways to save time on your marketing is a better, more user-friendly approach. And a much easier way to approach the idea of formulating a marketing strategy.
Let’s start from that more manageable angle. I invite you to brainstorm… maybe a list… maybe a braindump mindmap… I like to start off with this header:
“Ways to save time in my marketing”.
Marketing strategy tips? Aka business time-saving, efficiency tips? Yes, please!
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Then, with that start point, here are a few questions I invite you to think on, to get in the flow. Oh, and some solutions to consider, too. 15 of them to set up your strategy!
If they don’t all resonate with you, that’s fine. Maybe there are other things that align even more strongly. Go for it and add them to your plan.
How could your social media marketing feel less overwhelming?
- Try planning ahead the ideas for next week’s posts – even coming up with your own prompt word will make things easier; there doesn’t need to be lots of detail. It’ll reduce pressure on you to come up with posts on the hoof. This the crux of what solid content strategy is about! Planning doesn’t mean set in stone, as you can give yourself permission to be spontaneous if you’d like to be flexible in the mix.
- Drill down to understand the Content Pillars you’ll use to steer your marketing content towards your Dream Customer/ Client. Even if you’re not at the point of getting down to ideas for individual posts. Knowing these broad topic areas that overarch everything you create, it helps in so many ways… the efficacy of your communication, the ease and confidence with which you create posts, the consistent nature with which you do post, and of course the time it takes you.
- Set aside an hour or two at a time, to write as many posts as you can – when in a creative flow, you can capitalise by batch-working. Prep posts in a document on your desktop, in your Notes app or even in a task management system such as Trello. Include an idea for the photo(s) or image(s) you’ll use, so they’ll come to mind easily later.
How might your time spent on engagement be more meaningful?
- For starters, tell yourself that ANY time spent on engagement is time well spent. Engagement is a 2-way street and it isn’t ever time wasted to give engagement, since it increases your chances of receiving engagement back in return. Givers gain.
- Allocate 5… 10… 20minutes even… per day on engaging with your followers. In the shape of: replying to comments, responding to their Stories, finding relevant Facebook groups and commenting in those for 10mins every day.
- Watching and interacting with others’ Instagram Reels or IGTVs fuels you with ideas and/or confidence to create videos of your own. They might not be Dream Customers/ Clients of yours, but engaging even in this simple way can lead to overall growth. (Because video matters.)
What tricks might you apply to garner extra eyes on your content?
- Be more purpose-driven with your hashtag choices. Both with Facebook and Instagram posts, hashtags are a valuable way to push your content in front of new people who don’t already know you exist. So the time taken to grow your account is reduced.
Research intentional hashtags that are keyword-rich and send the right signals to the algorithms around who exactly you’ll want your post to be shown to.
- Diarise time to create Instagram Reels more consistently. They’re very powerful for being seen by more people, so can definitely be worth that little extra time and energy to make, rather than another still feed post.
- Commit to using Pinterest more regularly for your small business. Are you set up with a Pinterest business profile yet? It’s a crazily valuable way to put your existing content in front of a new, highly engaged audience. One that’s more ready to actually buy than social media audiences are. Plus, your content lasts far, far longer on Pinterest as it’s shared more, with relatively little time investment from you. (DYK, Pinterest is my secret marketing weapon?!)
How can you consider being more productive with your marketing time?
- Brainstorm the parts of your marketing that take the longest. And which take the least time for you. What can you learn from the way you work on speedy tasks that might be applicable to the others? The time of day, the focus you devote, anything else… they’re easy factors to learn from.
- Get into the habit of using your phone’s microphone instead of relying on typing. You can speak faster than you can type and you will communicate in a more natural way. Win, win. Talk what you want to write, then edit afterwards for typos and grammar. DONE. In less time.
- Shortcut your DM engagement time by programming Instagram Quick Replies to answer FAQs. Look for this function in the Settings of your profile. It’s a super-handy way to slash the amount of time you spend typing out the same old, same old. Simply add a personal touch to customise the conversation, and paste!
- Set up the Business Suite function to link your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Use it to engage in less time on your desktop, as you can stay more focused and be less tempted by the scroll!
- Schedule posts and Stories in Business Suite, saving even more time. Both for Facebook and Insta. It really helps you to stay consistent and frees you up to still post when you’re tired or busy. They’re pre-done.
- Create a set of templates for posts, cover graphics and Pins. Create them in an on-brand style to customise in a flash, primed to use them over and over. No need to design from scratch each time, or just leave it to a random design. The design tool Canva is your best friend for this!
One important strategy message to remember, in summary:
No, the time invested in marketing isn’t a quick-fix or cure-all.
Yes, time invested in streamlining the process will always be worth it and pay you back with gains in the future. That’s the point of being strategic, and not winging it.
Could you extend this same approach to other parts of your business, beyond marketing? That is to say, looking at how you might save time vs develop a hardcore strategy, one which perhaps you’ve been putting off?
Let me know your thoughts, and if you’ve tried it, what worked best for you – I’d love to know, so comment below.
Until next time, thanks for reading; I hope the time you choose to spend will return on the investment quickly 😉
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