Recently I was participating in one of our Unconference Session during Day 2 of the Virtual HITMC20 – Part Deux. The topic was Marketing Automation, however what shocked me was the majority of the participants in the unconference identified themselves as “the lone-marketer” or “a one-person marketing team” at their organizations. Many of them were participating because they were in-search of the best marketing automation platform for small marketing teams in the hopes of making their lives a bit easier.
Having been in the position of lone-marketer before, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the best tips that any one-person marketing team should have in their toolbelt. Let’s check some of them out!
1. Set Strategic and Achievable Marketing Goals
As a single marketer, being organized is absolutely key to your success. Start by developing an easy-to-follow marketing strategy that consists of SMART goals for the year. If a full year is too far in advance, you can always scale it to a “30-60-90 day” plan. It’s important to set specific and achievable goals when you’re in this position. Quite often you will be bogged down with other tactical tasks.
Start by developing a theme for each quarter. Do some research on the marketing trends in your industry to help you decide where your focus should be. Then it’s time to plan out your content development. Start big and work your way down. For example, set a goal to create a whitepaper or another big piece of content each quarter, a case study every other month, and a new blog post each week. This may differ slightly for each organization, so be sure to figure out what mix works best as you set out your SMART goals. Here are some pointers:
- Be specific about what you want to do
- Outline how the tasks with be measured
- Be honest. Can you accomplish it?
- Make sure they are realistic for a one-person team
- Set specific timing for each goal
Pro Tip: Remember to maximize your content efforts by creating Evergreen content that you can re-use in both the short-term and long-term.
2. Build out a Content and Social Media Calendar
Once your tasks and content plan are mapped out for the quarter or the year, it’s essential to create a social media and content calendar to keep yourself on-track. The easiest place to start is to build a simple Excel sheet that can be updated and followed each week.
For a content calendar, I have found that the following categories are a great place to start:
- Content type/content name
- Due date
- Author & reviewer
- Sales funnel position
For a social media calendar, here are some tips of what to include in your tracker:
- Date & time
- Topic of the post
- Social media handle
- Copy of the social post
Pro Tip: Try to fill-in your social calendar on a weekly basis. This eliminates scrambling the day-of to find something to post. And be sure to revisit your calendars often. Things often change throughout the quarter, so be sure you are checking in to make sure content and posts are still relevant.
3. Automate, Automate, Automate
As the only marketing person in your organization, marketing automation is a big key to your success.
Schedule some time each week to get your blog posts, social posts, and emails scheduled in advance. This will ensure you don’t have to carve out time each day to post on different accounts. Times may arise where you’ll need to post something that wasn’t on the calendar, but having the majority done in advance creates less worry, save you time, and makes your life much easier.
Pro Tip: Here are some of the tools that have made my life easier:
- Hootsuite – allows you to share content across multiple social channels from one platform
- Any Marketing Automation tool or Email Marketing tool – allows you to automate and schedule your emails in advance
- WordPress Scheduler or any other website scheduling tool – helps you to deploy your blog posts on the days they go-live
- Dlvr.it – Auto-posts your latest articles, blogs and photos directly to your social media pages
4. Don’t Take it All on Yourself
Just because you may be a lone one-person marketing department, it doesn’t mean that you have to take everything on yourself. Enlist some of your organization’s other experts to help. Whether it be having your SME’s write a blog post, or doing a Q&A with your CEO, or getting your sales reps to help connect you with clients for a case study interview, your organization is filled with people who are experts on your products and services and are likely willing to lend a hand if needed.
Pro Tip: If you struggle getting in-house help, another alternative would be to enlist or hire a copy writer to help you create the bigger content pieces that see to take up more of your time to write like white papers or ebooks. Most are not too expensive and, in the end, by bringing in a professional, you will get your larger pieces of content built faster so you can effectively fuel your other pieces of content.
5. Attend Conferences, Connect with Peers, and Subscribe to Blogs
One thing that an old colleague suggested to me was to get out of the office and attend a conference or two. Not only for your own professional development but to network and learn from other marketers who are going through the same things you are.
These opportunities not only help you go back to the office feeling inspired but you are able to bring back new tangible ideas that can fuel your current marketing strategy. Not to mention, you also get to meet a ton of interesting peers who you may connect with for years to come.
One of the other avenues that proves to be helpful is to subscribe to popular marketing blogs to help stay abreast of top trends. By doing so, you’ll receive weekly newsletters from popular blog sites that contain useful articles and best practices that you can use in your own strategies going forward.
Pro Tip: You can always connect with other lone marketers or Healthcare and IT Marketing peers at the Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference. Check out our upcoming virtual events here. You can also get the latest industry news and best practices by subscribing to our weekly newsletter at HITMC.com or by following the #HITMC hashtag on Twitter.