Before joining the TREW Crew, I spent three years working in-house as the only member of marketing for a control system integrator. When you’re responsible for all the marketing tasks for a company, it can be overwhelming and daunting at times, so here are seven tips to make your job easier.
1. Develop an Easy-to-Follow Marketing Strategy
As the lone marketer in your company, organization is key to your success. Develop a comprehensive and easy-to-follow marketing strategy. Start by coming up with SMART goals for the year.
Do your research on marketing trends in your industry so you can decide if you want to focus your efforts on blogging, social media, email marketing, website development, trade shows, advertising, etc. As a one-person marketing team, you will need to prioritize what marketing route you take because you won’t be able to do everything on your own.
Sit down and develop a marketing strategy that details your marketing tasks for each quarter, month and week. For example, you can set a goal to create a blog post each week, a case study every month, and a new white paper or video every quarter. Figure out what cadence works best for you and your company when developing these tasks.
Learn how to strategically build your marketing plan by downloading our ebook, Preparing Your 12-Month Marketing Plan.
2. Create a Content and Social Media Calendar
With your content plan all mapped out for the year, create a content calendar to keep yourself organized and on–track. You can easily create this in Microsoft Excel. You can make your content calendar as detailed or simple as you want. Categories to include in your content calendar are:
- Focused keyword
- Content type
- Audience Persona
- Due Date
- Sales funnel position
Here's an example of a content calendar.
With all the content you are producing, you should share all your content marketing efforts on social media. To help yourself stay organized, you can also create a social media post calendar where you can detail what posts you will share and when. As a solo marketing department, these calendars will help lay the foundation for success and keep you organized all year.
Learn how to build your content marketing strategy by downloading our ebook, Getting Started with Content Marketing: Year One.
3. Automate as Much as You Can
Being the only person in marketing for your organization means that you must get everything done yourself. Marketing automation is your best friend.
In this day and age, you can schedule emails, blog posts and social media posts ahead of time. This makes completing these smaller tasks quick and easy, and you won't have to worry about pausing your day to post on LinkedIn.
For social media scheduling, you have lots of good options such as Hootsuite or Buffer. HubSpot also offers social media management and scheduling. You can also save time by scheduling out your blog posts in your content mangagement system. HubSpot and WordPress both give users the ability to choose when a blog post is scheduled.
Most email marketing softwares allow you to schedule your marketing emails. You can also upgrade your subscription to send automatic emails to users who complete a form on your website. This again saves you time because you don't have to personally reach out to every person who comes to your website.
HubSpot lets you create workflows like this to send automated emails to prospects.
4. Get Help Producing Content
Your marketing department shouldn't be the only ones creating blogs. Your company is filled with people who are experts on your services and products. Reach out to these technical experts to have them write a blog post. You can have them do a simple Q&A blog post if you get resistance. For those with competitive co-workers, make it a contest by handing out prizes for those whose blog posts do the best based on website data. If you can't get help from your in-house technical experts, hire a technical writer to help you write white papers or ebooks. You can often get content written quicker by bringing in a professional.
You also shouldn't feel like every blog post should align with a service. Show off your company's culture by writing blog posts on after-work events, new employees, or different hobbies your co-workers have. This will show you as an authentic company that people want to do business with.
Read this blog post to learn how marketing and engineering can work together to create engaging technical content.
5. Stay Current with Marketing Trends by Attending Conferences and Reading
I would highly suggest you get out of the office for a day or two to attend a conference full of marketers struggling with the same things you are. Look for local marketing events and think about joining a marketing orgzanization, like AMA, that has local chapters. If you can get approval, go to Content Marketing World or INBOUND. These opportunities will help you go back to the office inspired and with new ideas.
I ended up finding that the best advice and tidbits came from networking during lunch or in between sessions. Questions like 'which marketing automation software do you use' or 'how did you get buy-in from management on a website redesign' helped inform me and lead my marketing strategy.
As much as marketing conferences helped me, so did marketing blogs, podcasts and books. I started subscribing to marketing blogs because I needed to figure out our marketing strategy and stay on top of trends. Content from Yoast, Moz, HubSpot, CCO, and others helped me bring leads into our website using content marketing and SEO best practices.
As far as marketing books, I read books such as Value Proposition Design, The Long Tail, and Everybody Writes. But for me, the book that finally connected the light bulb in my head on technical marketing was TREW's own book, Smart Marketing for Engineers. This book was written for the lone marketers at technical companies and it will give you everything you need to fill your marketing and sales funnels.
Here's my copy of Smart Marketing for Engineers with pages falling out of it because I've read it so much.
Wendy Covey, CEO and Co-Founder of TREW, recently published a new book, Content Marketing, Engineered. The book guides business leaders and marketers through a proven, end-to-end content development process -- from identifying who to write for and what to write, to writing, publishing, promoting, and measuring compelling content that turns curious prospects into customers.
6. Re-Use Content to Maximize Your Efforts
There's only one of you, so work smarter, not harder. An smart way to maximize your time and efforts is by repurposing content. Repurposing content means to post to additional media or target an additional segment. Revamping content involves customizing or updating content to remain relevant or vertical specific.
Repurposing could include taking a series of blog posts and bundling them into an ebook, or taking content from a recent analyst study and turning it into a webinar. Revamping content include updating content so it remains relevant. An example of this can be taking an old and outdated white paper and updating it with new graphics, links or calls-to-actions (CTAs).
Here's an example of how you can take a white paper and re-use it into many different pieces of content.
Learn more about repurposing your content by reading this blog post.
7. Bring in Expert Help
As the lone marketer for a company, I used to feel intimidated and threatened by marketing firms asking me if I needed any help. Now, I wish I would have reached out for help on marketing strategy or a website redesign instead of feeling like I had to do everything on my own. Marketing firms work best with companies with a dedicated marketing professional who can help manage and collaborate on projects.
You should also think about hiring a freelance technical writer, graphic designer or an on-call website developer to help you from time to time. Building a successful marketing department takes collaboration and support from other marketing professionals.
BONUS: TAKE A MArketing TRAINING COURSE That helps BUILD YOUR INBOUND MARKETING PROGRAM
Our course, Content Writing, Engineered, packages thousands of hours of technical writing expertise into an on-demand course for internal marketing departments, marketing generalists, and freelancers looking to create better content. A step-by-step guide complete with digital lessons, worksheets, and an interactive group, this course will give you a deep technical focus that differentiates you as a marketing writer and your content as a valuable marketing tool for your organization.
Need more solo marketing tips? Listen to this Content Marketing Engineered Podcast episode where Julia Fellows gives some survival tips for solo marketers.