It’s Monday night 9pm and your blog post is scheduled to go out tomorrow morning at 8:15am. You’re exhausted, out of ideas, and have more important things on your plate. What do you do?
A constant struggle for a small business is whether to outsource something or do it themselves. A worse struggle is whether to do it at all! I encounter this a lot in marketing. Many small business leaders and entrepreneurs fall into the trap of dropping their marketing as soon as they get busy. But it’s important that the activities that keep the leads coming in continues to run. To help you look at your own priorities here are two you should have near the top of your list:
1. Content creation
ANY kind of content will help. Written blogs, newsletters, video, podcasts, articles, case studies, whitepapers, etc. are all valuable pieces of content that can educate your prospect and prove your abilities and knowledge in the field. Be strategic on the content you’re creating and have your target audience in mind. Recycling older and larger pieces of content can be a great strategy to get more from less. The key is to make a schedule and stick to it come hell or high water! It’s super tough, but totally worth it.
Should you outsource your content creation?
Content creation can be a very personal part of growing your business. If you can find a content developer that understands what you do and can translate that into great copy – outsourcing is a good option for when you get too busy with client work. Other ways to outsource would be to get help with your own blogs. Maybe you draft and outsource the finishing and posting. Maybe you get help brainstorming a list of ideas and the development of a production schedule. There are many options here.
2. Reach and Sharing
If you have content then you should be sending it out into the world where your prospects are. This can be done through social media, newsletter lists, email blasts, etc. Automatic sharing settings can save time, but might not send the right message. Blasting the same message out through all channels on a timed schedule can come across as boring and impersonal. Looking at who your followers are and who are on your lists can help you tailor content or personalize messages. Tracking the impact of your shares helps you do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Without sharing your content and reaching out to followers on a regular basis you will lose their attention and your content is of little value.
Should you outsource your social media?
This might seem like an easier choice, but looking closer you should have a large hand in setting tone, frequency, messaging content, etc. so that it’s still your voice that is being heard and you have a clear expectation of what is being said and done. Again, outsourcing can be done in pieces. Perhaps you handle a specific channel or a singular topic across channels and you outsource the remainder? Maybe you outsource it all, but you devise the schedule and topics. It depends on the strategy you have and what your goals are for sharing. Social media should deliver clear benefits (direct or indirect) to your business. If you don’t know what they are then you aren’t measuring the right things.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to build a responsive audience so when time and effort are invested and results are beginning to show you should maintain this momentum at all cost. And if those costs are outsourcing then this is something you need to look into. This investment allows you to work on those things that you cannot outsource while still building your company’s intellectual property and engaging prospects. I’ll repeat – it’s an investment. Look at it as an investment and make sure expectations are clear on what your return is for this investment.
There are a plethora of things you can outsource to help your business move through those busy times, but the above are two of the common marketing ones for small businesses.