Here at the office, I am constantly chastised by my team for saying the following: Summer is almost over. And I don’t say it to be cruel. After the polar vortex last winter, I am hardly wishing for snow.
It’s just that as marketers, the fast-pace of the job keeps us on our toes, our fingers feverishly typing away on the keyboard and our carpal tunnel persistent. And, before we know it, June turns to July, July turns to August, and August turns to September, which starts fall. (See… I’m not that off in my thinking with how fast the weeks go).
In fact, almost every business call starts the same these days:
Caller A: How’s everything been going at your company? Have you been having a nice summer?
Caller B: Yeah, it’s been great—I think. Honestly I can’t believe it’s almost July, where did it go? I feel like I’ve done nothing!
Caller A: I know, the weeks are moving at lightning speed these days!
As a marketer we’re all thinking the same thing: how the heck do we slow down time—or figure out a way to cram more hours into the day—so that we can get everything done? Perhaps more specifically, we are wondering if someone can actually perfect the science of time freeze.
So if you’re like me and watching the weeks fly by impossibly fast, consider the following tips and tricks to get back precious hours in the day:
- Plan Ahead: Instead of scrambling on Monday when it comes to your content projects—like coming up with a blog topic or figuring out the subject of your next email marketing campaign—plan ahead and develop robust editorial calendars. That panic that ensues on Monday, followed by an exhaustive, gut-wrenching content creation process, will get your week off to a frenetic start, so plan ahead.
- Let the News Come to You: Actively scouring the feeds for content marketing news and happenings is exhausting—and time consuming. Thanks to today’s technology, the news can be delivered right to your virtual doorstop. Set up Google Alerts for terms like “content marketing,” “digital marketing” and “social media”; join various content groups on LinkedIn; and follow key influencers on Twitter (think Joe Pulizzi, Michael Brenner, and Jeff Bullas, among others). In so doing, the news will start flying at you.
- Offload Pesky Tasks: Do you still automatically enter email addresses and names into an antiquated system prior to blasting an email message? Are you saddled down by using some archaic blogging platform to post your latest entry? Then figure out a way to automate and simplify your life with some of the bleeding-edge technologies available. For starters, migrate your blog to HubSpot or WordPress (I promise you; they are easier, more intuitive and better for your content marketing strategy). Then start casting your eye toward a marketing automation platform. There’s a reason a quarter of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are already using marketing automation, along with 76 percent of the world’s largest SaaS companies. It gives you back hours in your day.
- Prioritize: It can certainly feel like the hours are slipping away from under you when you try to tackle a zillion things in 24 hours. So your job as a marketer is to prioritize. For instance, if that Facebook campaign is eating up precious hours and yielding little-to-no ROI, place it onthe backburner. Similarly, if you find your calendar is filled with too many calls that you actually have no time to get things done, see if you can tackle some of those calls via email. Expert marketers are expert time managers. They understand what needs to get done; how long a task should really take; and when to say “no.”
- Get Help: If you’ve tried all the following tips (and more!) and you’re still seeing your summer—and every season—fly by with little progress being made, it may be time to offload some tasks to a content marketing expert. Teaming with a third-party content strategy vendor, for example, can give you back crucial time in your day. Leave the editorial calendars, content creation and distribution and dissemination to them and focus on what really matters—customer retention, strategic partnerships and new revenue paths. Here at Content Boost, for example, we like to keep our mission simple: allow our team to become your team.
The good thing about marketers is we’re resourceful. We’re creative, we always find new angles and we’re always thinking outside the box. So you’ll find a way to get back more hours in your day if you really put your mind to it. Start with the tips above and if I missed any let me know (so maybe I can stop depressing my team about the fact that summer is almost done!).