Rise and shine! Are you excited to be ridiculously inefficient at the office today, putting in more hours and having less impact, so you can ultimately spend less time with your family and friends and forgo pursuing enriching hobbies that make your life worth living?
And for small business owners, or marketers working in a smaller department with fewer resources, the hours required to be effective can seem daunting at times. So it’s no surprise — albeit unfortunate — that consistency wavers for many marketers who are drowning in a sea of other tasks that make them take their eye off the prize. And it’s particularly unfortunate for inbound marketers, because inbound marketing works best when it’s pursued over a long period of time with unwavering dedication.
That’s all well and good, but what are we all supposed to do to actually be effective with less time and fewer resources to, well … be effective? Focus on pulling the biggest levers you can pull in the least amount of time, that’s what. This post is going to assume you can carve out only 4 hours for inbound marketing every week — inspiration taken from Tim Ferriss’ popular book The 4-Hour Workweek – and tell you how to allocate those hours to keep your inbound marketing alive, well, and thriving.
The 4-Hour Inbound Marketing Workweek
Create Blog Content – 30 Minutes
You can create a week’s worth of blog content in 30 minutes? No, you probably can’t. In fact, it’s my profession, and I know I couldn’t do it. You can, however, outsource it to someone in 30 minutes. At the beginning of every week, sit down and think of the topics you’d like to publish on your blog the following week. Then send those topics along with some keywords you’d like them to include to a freelance writer. If you do this every week, you’ll have found a writer that you like, that understands your business, and you know is reliable. If you haven’t ever outsourced content creation, I recommend checking out Zerys – it’s a great content marketplace to get started on!
To save yourself even more time, ask the writer to include internal links within the blog copy. That way, when you get your bundle of blog posts back at the end of the week, they will be optimized and ready to publish after a quick once over from you. Just put them into your CMS, and set the schedule dates so they auto-publish for the following week!
Create an Offer – 60 Minutes
You could outsource your offer creation, too — if you had a great writer you already knew, you could chat with him or her about the offer and have something ready to go that required 60 minutes (or less!) of your time. More of the author’s time, sure, but you wouldn’t need to put in more than an hour.
Marketing offers are a big deal, though. They’re the crux of your lead generation efforts! Many marketers want to have a bigger hand in the offer creation process, and I get that. So when you don’t have time to write a long, elaborate whitepaper or ebook, you should default to some offers that require a little less time to put together. In fact, I’ve written an entire blog post full of offer ideas for time-crunched marketers. Here are some of the highlights you could easily pull together if you set aside 60 minutes to focus on offer content creation:
- Blog Bundle: Select a theme around which to write (we might choose SEO, for example), and find all of the blog posts you’ve written on the subject. Then “bundle” them together to form a comprehensive offer that teaches leads about every aspect of that subject matter.
- Persona- or Industry-Driven Offers: Take an existing offer, and tweak it to cater to a persona or industry you’re targeting. Continuing with the SEO offer example, we might tweak an existing SEO ebook that talks about the topic generically for all marketers, and edit it to apply to international marketers, edit another to apply to ecommerce marketers, and edit it yet again to apply to enterprise organizations. All of these segments have slightly different SEO problems that require a unique piece of content, but they’re not so radically different that you’d have to create an entirely new offer from scratch.
- Templates: Instead of spending time writing, those marketers who aren’t wordsmiths may find it easier to create a template that prospects can download to make their lives easier. Is there something you can create in Photoshop, Excel, or even Word that your leads would love to have bookmarked or saved on their desktop to use over and over? Perhaps you’re an accountant whose clients could use a simple deduction calculation spreadsheet, for example. I bet you could whip that up in a jiffy, and your leads would go nuts for it! Remember, helpful content comes in forms other than the written word.
You can find many more options for quick lead-gen offer content that you could whip up in 60 minutes or less in this blog post.
Create Your Offer’s Landing Page – 20 Minutes
Now that you have an offer, you’ll need a landing page to direct traffic to. Landing page creation doesn’t have to be complicated — we use our own tool in HubSpot that lets you literally drag and drop form fields onto your page, and use a WYSIWYG editor to input your copy. In fact, once you’ve created a landing page you like, you can just clone it and make copy tweaks to align with the offer you’re promoting on that landing page! It couldn’t be simpler.
If you still find yourself staring at a blank web page unsure of what to write, there’s a simple formula you can follow to ensure all the information you need to convey to visitors is taken care of.
First, include a heading that clearly states exactly what this landing page offers — an ebook on using Pinterest for business, a template to calculate tax deductions, a kit about grooming your unicorn … whatever. Then include a subheading that succinctly explains what you will learn by downloading the offer; this is critical because it’s like the elevator pitch that demonstrates the value of your offer, and why a visitor should give away their contact information to redeem it. Then, go into a bit more detail about your elevator pitch, explaining some of the key pieces of information the offer will divulge. We like to use bullets or checkmarks to do this, as it helps break up large chunks of text, making it more likely visitors will peruse those points of value. Finally, include a relevant image to help make your landing page more engaging and break up the monotony of the text. We usually choose an image of the offer itself, but you could go a different route as long as the image relates to your offer!
Of course there are other things on this landing page that are important. Social sharing buttons, for example, will help increase the reach of this landing page. And we didn’t even include the form in this screenshot, though certainly you need to include a form on a landing page (how else would you capture that lead intel?). But if you include those four components in your landing page copy along with, of course, your form, you’ll have an effective landing page on your hands that takes very little time to whip up. To learn more about how to write effective landing page copy, read our blog post, “The 7-Point Checklist for Powerful Landing Page Copy.”
Create Your Offer’s Call-to-Action – 15 Minutes
To read the rest of this awesome post head over to Hubspot Blog