How much time do you spend working on the marketing for your business? And how much of your online marketing time do you spend actually doing something productive? You know, rather than staring blankly at your computer monitor or checking unactionable stats…
Marketing a business online can be pretty time consuming and with so many different facets to manage it can be difficult to stay focused and actually be productive.
As an online marketer myself, this is a challenge I face every day. So here are a few tips to help you to avoid wasting time in your own marketing efforts:
Measure What Works
The most important thing you can do as a marketer is to learn what actually works for your business and that means tracking everything. More importantly though, you need to track which of your actions are causing the best results and do more of them.
The way to do this is to set up Analytics correctly and track what you are actually doing. Find ways to tie your actions to results and only track things that you can actually act on. Data for the sakes of data is just a big time waster.
Set Tasks & Goals
Working aimlessly is obviously a great way to get nothing done, but a lot of marketers and business owners fall into this trap. The easiest way to prevent yourself from getting in your own way is to set yourself goals and tasks.
Every week or two, set aside an hour to figure out what you want to achieve in the coming week or two and set yourself a list of tasks accordingly. This hour will save you many hours and make you more effective.
The best thing about having a task list is that you will never sit at your desk and waste time trying to figure out what to do. Make sure your task list is the first thing you look at each day and aim to tick off those tasks one by one.
Use A Dashboard
Ok, it’s pretty inevitable that you will have to track certain stats to keep abreast of how your campaign is performing. Ensuring that you only track actionable data will help you to avoid time wasting, but it’s still too easy to spend an hour each morning idly checking how much traffic you’ve received or whether you have any new Twitter followers.
Use a business dashboard, such as Cyfe.com, to keep all of your data in one place. This will save you time by saving you having to check your different accounts separately.
A typical usage might be to track your Twitter follower count, SERP rankings, Analytics conversions, Webmaster Tools and even your Gmail inbox. This way, you can see everything at a glance and you can see whether anything needs actioning.
Use A Time Tracker
This is a simple one, but one that many marketers leave out. Tracking expenditure on paid advertising is easy, but how can you know whether your free marketing (SEO, Social Media etc…) is effective if you don’t know the time cost?
Toggl is a helpful time tracking tool, but there are plenty of other more comprehensive options too. Find something that works and that you will actually use and start timing how long you spend on tasks.
Ok, it doesn’t have to be excel, you can use whatever works, but the point of this final heading is that you need to track what you actually achieve. What you actually track will depend a great deal on your business, but for example:
- Updating title-tags
- Writing a new blog post
- Sending out a new proposal
- Uploading new product images
Basically, make a note of what you are doing because later on you will be able to use that information to tally up to your time-tracking and compare to your data to see what is working. For instance, how many eBay listings can you create in an hour and then how much revenue do those listings generate over 30 days?
You don’t have to track every last detail; that could just create more time-wasting. Just track high-level tasks so that you know what you have done, how long it took and what the result was.
My name is Clive, I work at Cyfe.com, we offer a marketing dashboard for internet marketers who don’t want to waste time checking multiple emails and social accounts. Check us out and get a free account here.
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