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6 Tips for small business owners who don’t think they have time for marketing but actually do

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“Small business owners are busy,” is definitely an understatement! As a small business owner, your to-do list is long and you don’t always have enough hours in the day to get it all done.

As busy as you are, you know that you should be spending more time on marketing and sales. How else are you going to grow your business? 

Don’t despair! Marketing doesn’t have to take a lot of your time to be effective. It’s a matter of being organized. Here are a few tips for quick and efficient marketing that could work for your business.

1. Write blog articles whenever you have the chance

Inspiration can often strike at different times in the day. A great way to get your ideas down is to use a voice recorder app on your phone. If a topic comes to mind, you can keep adding voice notes for as long as you’re inspired and at the end of the week, you’ll have all the pieces of a blog piece, ready to put together.  

That audio file now needs to be turned into text, but you don’t need transcribe it yourself - that would take up far too much of your time! Instead, you can use an online service for a cheap and fast transcription.  

What you’ll end up with is something between an outline and a draft of an article or blog. You can fill out the blanks and have content ready to publish with minimal effort. 

2. Plan social media in advance and in batches  

When a prospective customer wants to learn more about your business (and check out if you’re legitimate), they’ll likely check your social media accounts. Try and keep your social content recent and relevant. That being said, guess who doesn’t have time to post on social media every day...that’s right, you! Check out this article for some helpful tips on social media marketing for small businesses.  

3. Share other people’s content

If you only post your own content on social media, you’ll most likely not post very often. Don’t hesitate to post industry news and content from other influencers that’s relevant to your audience. An easy way to find news from your industry is to search on Google News. You can also set up Google Alerts for some search terms so you get notified in your inbox when something newsworthy comes up. Another easy way to stay up to date is to subscribe to a few newsletters that are relevant to your industry.

4. Share your content more than once

You spend significant time and effort producing new marketing content (articles, videos, etc.). It would be a shame to share it only once on social media, especially since most people will not see all of your social media posts. Repurpose and post your evergreen content on social media a few times a year to reach the widest audience.

5. Start an email newsletter

One of the goals in marketing is to stay top-of-mind for your customers and prospects. An email newsletter is a great way to do that. Select a frequency that you are confident you can stick with. Once a month can be a good minimum frequency. In your email newsletters, share your new content (yes, just like on social media), industry news, events and important updates. Try not to make your content come off as too “salesy”. A newsletter is about maintaining communication between your company and its customers. A well-balanced and regular newsletter will translate to more sales in the long run. If you need a solid Canadian solution to manage your newsletter, Cyberimpact is for you! Check out this article for more useful tips on e-mail marketing.

6. Ask the people you talk to if you can add them to your email list

In a typical week, you talk to a lot of people (from prospects to clients to business partners). If you think it would be useful to them to receive your email newsletters, simply ask them if it’s OK to add them. You’ll be surprised at how many people will say yes. It’s all in the way you ask. Something like this works wonders; “We send out a monthly newsletter filled with educational content and industry news and I think you’ll like it. Do you want to start receiving it?” 

Ensure that the first e-mail you send to any contact who gives you verbal consent includes a ‘subscribe’ button if they wish to keep receiving e-mails. By asking the contact if they want to keep receiving e-mails, your business will get that explicit consent in order to be CASL compliant. 

Each of these little tips might not seem significant on their own, but they add up. If you were to put them all in action, you would end up with regular new content, active social media accounts, a newsletter and a growing email list. That’s a great marketing base for any small business in 2019 and beyond. Good luck!