Most business owners know that digital marketing is important. It can bring in potential leads and sales, and it can make a real, marked difference on their bottom lines.
But do those business owners actually have the time, budget or resources to invest in it?

Well, that’s a different story.

The truth is most business owners, despite knowing how important it is, just don’t have the bandwidth to do much digital marketing on their own. With managing their business, their employees and the day-to-day needs of their company, they’re already strapped for time as it is. Online marketing isn’t even a blip on their radar most days.

If this sounds like you, your boss or your company’s CEO, then I’ve got a secret to share with you.
Digital marketing doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you think.

In fact, if you go about it the right way, it can actually be a very streamlined, efficient task that can be easily worked into you or your team’s daily routines.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by online marketing or fear it will just take up too much of your company’s time, think again. Use these 7 tips, and start making digital marketing work for you:

1. Plan ahead.

Don’t go into online marketing unprepared. Sit down, outline the strategies you’ll use, and create a calendar that details what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. Store this on a shared drive or folder, and make sure all the appropriate people have access. You should also assign specific tasks to each team member, and make sure they’re fully aware of their responsibilities before getting started.

2. Rein it in.

You might be tempted to try every web-based marketing strategy under the sun, but don’t give in. If you really want your efforts to be rewarded, choose to focus on a handful of powerful, effective channels instead. Where do most of your customers hang out? On Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Do you have a big email list that could benefit from a newsletter campaign or blog notifications? Try focusing on the areas with the most potential. This will help you use your time most wisely, and it will deliver the best results in the long run.

3. Rely on your experts.

Don’t have just one person spearheading your marketing efforts. More than likely, you have dozens of experts on your team, and they each have something unique they can contribute. Instead of having your copywriter create a blog about development, why not have your developer jot down a few ideas, and then have your writer clean it up and edit it? Rather than have your SEO expert do all the keyword research and write the Meta tags, why not send it on to your copy desk, who can get it done faster and more efficiently? This will save time and make your efforts even more effective on the whole.

4. Create a process for everything.

For a really well-oiled marketing machine, you need to have processes in place for every strategy you’re using. Are you blogging? Then have a process for generating ideas, editing, posting and finding images. Are you investing in PPC? Create a set process for how keywords are chosen, how ad copy is created and how the campaign will be monitored. This not only streamlines your efforts, it also ensures each task is done as expertly and effectively as possible.

5. Use tools and technology to your advantage.

There are dozens of online tools and technologies that can make your marketing efforts even more efficient. BuzzSumo, for example, can help you come up with great blog and social media ideas that will really resonate with your readers and customers. Hootsuite can allow you to schedule out your Tweets and Facebook posts to save time, and Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator can help you come up with catchy headlines that are sure to get clicks. Find the right tools for your marketing strategies, and the entire process will become easier and more streamlined.

6. Automate your tasks.

You can also save lots of time by automating many of your online marketing tasks. If you’re on WordPress, use plug-ins to automatically send out emails, RSS updates or social media posts once a new blog has gone up. You can also utilize social media scheduling tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite to keep on schedule, or sign up for an all-inclusive solution like Hubspot, which helps you manage everything from your blog to your lead generation process.

7. Create a running list of ideas.

Often, one of the biggest hold-ups in the online marketing process is idea generation. Marketers, strategists and bloggers often find themselves struggling with what to write, what to post and what steps to take next. To help prevent this hiccup from happening, keep a running list of ideas on a shared drive or folder. Encourage your team members to add to it any time inspiration strikes. Did they just learn about a new product or development in your industry? Add it to the list. Did a customer just ask an important question? Put that on the list, too. This will ensure you always have a place to pull ideas and strategies from when your team is stumped.

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you think. By using these tips, you can actually streamline the process and ensure your efforts are efficient and effective. Want to improve your web presence even more? Check out our 25 must-have list now.

Author Info

Brad Parnell
Founder & CEO

Brad is the Founder & CEO of Steadfast Creative, leading the team in exploring new ways to solve creative problems and bringing direction and vision for the company. His passion is building relationships, providing solutions and empowering his team to send new ideas out into the world. With over 10 years of agency experience serving local and national brands, he is focused on results for his clients and team. Outside of  work, Brad serves on the board of directors at his local Chamber of Commerce and loves giving back to the community and spending time with his wife and kids.