Minimal effort marketing for maximum results: 5 tips for SMEs

Time is the enemy of any small business owner. You always endeavour to squeeze more hours into the day than are available and often so much time and energy is put into running your business that you forget, or simply don’t have the time, to grow it.

While it might seem like a fantasy, there are ways you can grow your business without wasting too much of your valuable time.

Here are five marketing tips every small business can use to achieve maximum results through minimum effort.

  1. Automate everything

Use marketing automation to rid yourself of all those time-consuming tasks that fill your days. There are a number of digital marketing and social media tools that are designed to help you set-and-forget. This leaves you with more time to optimise your marketing strategy, explore new innovations, and maybe even leave work on time once in a while.

Here are two favourites of mine:

  • Hootsuite is a social sharing automation tool – and it’s free. Automate a number of tasks and posts and, when you have time to spare, you can easily track and check trends across your social media platforms.
  • Canva is a free infographic design tool – perfect if you want to transform facts and numbers into something that looks awesome to encourage social sharing.
  1. Outsource

Are you stressing over your accounts when you haven’t got a head for numbers? Or maybe you’re trying to design a new marketing brochure, when really you haven’t got the time or skills to do it justice. The answer is easy: focus your energy where you can make the most impact and enlist expert help for the rest.

Today, virtually anything can be outsourced; everything from bookkeeping and admin tasks to specialised design and digital marketing. Most of these services are very competitive so you won’t have to break the bank.

Imagine how easy things would be with a virtual assistant to help manage your diary and do those mundane daily tasks. And a designer to create email templates. And maybe someone to do all that data entry you’ve been meaning to get around to. The possibilities are endless.

  1. Get maximum mileage from your marketing content

One of the biggest marketing mistakes SMEs make is thinking that once your content is out there, that’s it.

Just like anything, your marketing material can be reused and recycled. Repurposing content that you know works saves both time and money.

For example, you could:

  • Transform a blog post into a podcast, video or infographic
  • Update outdated content with new information or opinions, or write a follow-up post
  • Continuously link back to old content to answer people’s questions and direct them to valuable content buried in the archives– especially on social media
  • Re-use an infographic in your advertising material
  1. Focus on a niche target customer

This one is about more than just time-saving. It goes deeper into how you are targeting your customers for the best results. Choose your target audience carefully so you are using your resources to the best effect. If you are a butcher, there’s no point advertising to vegetarians.

  1. If it ain’t broke…

One of the best ways to save energy is to stick with what works. If your Easter letterbox campaign is generating leads – why change it? If your email marketing is getting click-throughs, what’s the rush in swapping things around? It takes a lot of time and energy to get things right, so don’t be in a rush to change them when they are working. That’s not to say you should stop innovating and experimenting, but you need to be able to recognise when you’re on to a good thing and stick with it.

While these tips won’t necessarily get you working a four hour day, they will help you get better results from your marketing for much less effort.

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About the Author:

Michelle Cross is General Manager for Local Direct Network, the small business marketing arm of Salmat.

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