Every company should designate a portion of their annual budget to employee development and productivity, but it’s often not feasible. Effective marketers especially are pulled in many different directions and can find it hard to concentrate and finish projects in a timely manner. We’ve compiled a few tricks to help our stressed out marketing comrades become more productive and effective marketers.
CONTENT (OR EDITORIAL) CALENDAR
Think of your content/editorial calendar as a fluid, evolving list of topics that are important to your customer base; rich with content ideas that match your business and, at times, connect your business to your customer.
Your content calendar should be updated regularly so you don’t have to hunt down ideas every week. Maintain a list of topics that resonate with your business and customers, and reserve time to manage the editorial calendar. That way it becomes easier to write about each topic. Having this list of topics and reserving time to write about them prepares you so that it becomes easier to outline and deliver.
It’s also a good idea to have your tracking report available when you plan your content calendar. It allows you to see what kind of traffic each type of post topic gets. Making the most of your time in this way will allow you to produce popular content that drives traffic and engages your target. Therefore becoming a more productive and effective marketer.
STRATEGIC CONTENT CREATION
Schedule Content Time Wisely
Allow yourself a specific amount of time to define your editorial calendar, in addition to the time that it takes to research and create each blog post. Block it out on your calendar so that no meetings or phone calls are scheduled and you can focus all of your attention on your content. Staying focused on the topics and the importance of what you write about helps to identify both holes in the content you deliver, and popular content you should write about regularly.
Recycle and Reuse
No, this is not just meant for paper and plastic products, it’s also meant for content. Part of your content strategy should definitely include republishing/repurposing your older blog posts. It gives the content new life. You can repost on your social media channels or update a blog with new information. Let’s face it, if you write something that gets attention the first time, it is a good idea to reuse that in the future to grab additional attention…and even build on it.
Use Your Network
Are you struggling to keep up with your own content calendar? Contact guest contributors to help lighten the load. Reach out to those in your network to share content or ask them for recommendations on resource writers. You will find that your network explodes as well, and it will only help your marketing efforts if you can publish guest blog posts on your site.
The elephant in the room here is obviously keywords. Have your list of keywords handy to make sure your content is fortified with them. The more you compose with them the more naturally they will come to you. Keep in mind that you want to use effective keywords in every post, and you will want to use them a few times. But don’t get caught trying to force words where they don’t belong or trying to use too many in a single post.
You can also look to improve the click-through rate of your content in search engines by crafting effective meta descriptions. The meta description is a snippet of up to 175 characters that summarizes a page’s content and acts as a selling pitch. Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO.
Part of the optimization obstacle is getting the information seen to begin with. Aside from populating your own blog, become a guest blogger on other sites or go ahead and syndicate your blog content to reach a broader audience.
When tagging or mentioning a person or company in your posts, reach out them. Let them know you’ve referred to them. Chances are they will love the additional exposure and may even share your post…a bigger audience for you!
Multi-tasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
A research study found that only 2% of people can effectively multi-task. For the majority of us, that means trying to do too much at once will kill our productivity. Create a weekly or daily schedule that allows you to concentrate on specific tasks at specific times. If your days don’t allow you formally schedule then, at the very least, block your time throughout the day to tackle specific projects; one at a time. If something comes up and you need to jump into another task, put the first task aside and come back to it later.
This also means scheduling time to manage your email. Believe it or not, the biggest time drain is email management. You need to plan to work your inbox, instead of letting your inbox work you. If you answer all of your email as it comes in, you will have a hard time acting on projects that take 30 minutes or longer. Keep your focus on the project at hand. You will produce better results in a shorter amount of time.
Also, when you do work your inbox, try to respond to emails that will take 5 minutes or less immediately and once. Anything that will take longer should be scheduled on your calendar. This is the OHIO principle – Only Handle It Once – if you can complete it in under 5 minutes, do it now.
Break It Up
Most people think they look and feel more productive if they appear to always be working. However, this really isn’t the case. Less than 20% of Americans get away for lunch and even more, (39%) eat at their desks. It’s actually important to take breaks to boost your productivity. In fact, even a 30 second “micro-break” can increase your productivity up to 13%. So, go out for lunch, or eat in the lunchroom—just get away from your desk. Taking a walk or stretching helps boost your energy as well.
We’ve all been in those meetings that just drone on and on. What you’re probably thinking in those situations is about what you could be getting done instead. Meetings are a necessity but there is a way to keep it moving and on task…speeding it up and getting you back to your schedule. Make sure you always have an agenda and set a start and end time. While you may run over at least you know that when you come to the stop time, things will progress rather quickly. Assign tasks for the next meeting, set a date for the follow up and you’re done and gone.
There are so many diversions during a typical workday that sometimes it may feel like you haven’t accomplished much of anything. Hopefully these tips have helped you discover additional ways to become a more productive and effective marketer. However, if you need help getting over the hump, let us know. We’re happy to help. Call us at 847-259-7312 or visit our website.