With the new year rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to think about process changes to improve efficiency for your business. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How some of us accomplish more than others lies in more than optimal time management and productivity hacks.
Take a look at some of the ways you can streamline your digital marketing efforts this year. You may be surprised at the increased productivity.
Centralize Your Data Analytics
Data analytics is increasingly important to the success of your business, as data-driven decisions can help steer you in the right direction. But the data you need to track is everywhere. There are website analytics, social media platform analytics, content performance, financial data to analyze, and so on. You could spend a lot of time – and leave room for lots of error – logging in and out of various accounts to collect the data and then trying to put it all in one place for analysis.
Cyfe is an all-in-one platform that allows you to monitor everything about your business – not just analytics – from a single dashboard.
It integrates with many tools you’re already using, like Google Analytics, Facebook, Pinterest, Salesforce, MailChimp, FreshBooks, Basecamp, and more. There’s a free plan with limited functionality to help you get started, and as you grow, you can pay $19 a month per user.
The premium plan gives you unlimited dashboards, widgets, data exports, and more.
Trade Spreadsheets For Customer Relationship Management Software
Spreadsheets may be a quick and easy way to manage everything when you first get started, but the more (and the faster) you grow, the harder it will be to maintain.
Instead of keeping a list of customers with important details about them in a spreadsheet shared with everyone on your team, start with a customer relationship management (CRM) platform from the beginning.
Plus, because Insightly is available on mobile devices and integrates with many other platforms you’re already using, you can streamline the way your entire business runs.
Data for each customer can include contact information, as well as the latest interactions with support staff, to ensure quality customer service remains easy to provide and at the forefront of your mind.
Data from Nucleus Research shows that for every dollar you invest in CRM, you can expect to earn an average return of $8.71.
Automate Processes Where It Makes Sense
Marketing automation can maximize the time you have in your workday if you’re using it for the right things. 91% of the most successful users say marketing automation is “very important” to their overall marketing success.
While you can automate social media activity, and it makes sense to do it to a certain degree, social media is not a set-and-forget application. Your audience needs to see you’re active and engaging with them, too.
You can automate your email marketing, and a great deal of the lead nurturing process, as well as many mundane administrative tasks.
If This, Then That (IFTTT) is an automation platform you can use to handle a number of tasks – such as saving all your email attachments to Google Drive or saving all your PayPal transaction receipts to a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
You can use it to tweet your Instagram posts as native Twitter photos, and so on. You can also use it to handle several personal tasks, such as getting an email if there will be rain in your area tomorrow, getting notifications for birthday events in your calendar, and even getting a notification when the International Space Station passes over your home.
Zapier is another automation platform, but as a paid option, it works with a greater number of premium business apps. While there is a free version, it is greatly limited in terms of the apps you can work with, and the number of times you can run the tasks.
Zapier integrates with apps like WordPress, ZenDesk, PayPal, Trello, Buffer, and more.
Some of the things you can do include Creating a new customer record in Insightly from the contact form, automatically sending survey thank yous and collecting feedback and other information from forms.
Creating Trello cards from new Evernote notes, creating Basecamp to-dos from newly labeled Gmail messages, and so on. Automating your workflows can save you micro-moments over the course of your day, which you can use in other areas of your business.
Simplify New Hire Onboarding
New hires are always a bit of a risk because you’re counting on them to be able to train quickly and stay with the company. Because hiring can cost up to 213% of the annual salary depending on the position to be filled, it’s important to fill positions efficiently with people you believe will stick around.
Companies with an engaging onboarding program were able to retain 91% of their first-year workers. And 15% of respondents say an ineffective onboarding process has either made them quit or think about quitting the job.
Onboarding won’t just affect how someone does for a few months since the right onboarding process gives them everything they need to be successful at their job.
Using online platforms keeps your onboarding process in the cloud but gives you the ability to customize the experience for each employee. All legal forms are kept in one place. You can create virtual training tools, integrate the platform with social media, and allow employees to collaborate with their managers to create a developmental plan.
Develop a System for New Customer Onboarding
Customer acquisition is necessary for business growth, but without the right onboarding process to educate and guide your users through features on your website or app, you will struggle to acquire and keep customers.
When you are effectively onboarding your customers, they’ll get a better experience, and you’ll see more revenue and reduced customer support costs.
Tools like Intercom let you get to know your customers better. You go beyond their purchase history, name, and email address. You’ll get their details and intention with your product.
With this information, you can communicate with your customers in real-time via email and in-app messages. This way, you can make informed decisions at appropriate times, and give your customers personalized responses with timely support.
You can also use the platform to create educational materials.
Solidify Brand and Marketing Messaging with Style Guides
You’ll have a variety of people working on branded content for your company, and if you hire writers or accept guest blogs, you’ll have even more. To keep everything as uniform as possible for brand recognition, and to reduce the time you spend editing, you’ll want a style guide you can share with everyone.
A style guide can be complex to write on your own since it needs to contain everything from logos and images to typography schemes and color palettes. It should also cover the accepted writing style.
Using a tool like Frontify can help you create style guides and other web-based manuals in a matter of minutes.
There are pre-built templates to help you customize everything as needed. You can work with others in your organization to collaborate on the guide, and then share it internally, publicly, or using roles and permissions.
Spend Time Now to Save Time Later
Yes, it will take time to set up and configure all these things, so they work for your business. Making the initial adjustments may mean some hiccups and unexpected issues arise along the way, but that’s to be expected of any business dealing with growing pains.
Once you get everything in place, you’ll be surprised at how much time you can save. You’ll be able to invest those savings back into your business in other ways, such as more focus on customer service and retention, employee engagement, and product or service innovation.