Before joining the TREW Crew, I spent three years working in-house as the one and only member of the marketing department. 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 whitepaper or video every quarter. Figure out what cadence works best for you and your company when developing these tasks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HubSpot lets you create workflows like this to send automated emails to prospects.
4. Ask for 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.
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.
5. Attend marketing conferences to help
When you're all alone in your own department, you miss collaborating with other marketing professionals. I started attending local marketing conferences to learn from sessions how to do my job better.
I ended up finding that the best advice and tidbits came from networking during lunch or in between sessions. Questions like 'which marketing 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.
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.
6. Read marketing blogs and books
As much as marketing conferences helped me, so did marketing blogs 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 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.
7. Bring in expert help
As the lone marketer for a company, I used to feel intimidated and a little 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.
You should also think about hiring a freelance technical writer 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.
Are you interested in learning more about developing a technical marketing strategy? Download our ebook, "Smart Marketing For Engineers: Build Your Foundation," to learn more.