How Smart Marketing Can Help You Do More With Less Staff
By Ian Messinger |
Like so many small businesses today, you might be struggling with a number of challenges:
- Keeping up with operating costs and overhead
- Supply chain issues
- Unexpected changes to “what’s always worked” for your industry or your region
And, of course, staffing.
In fact, when asked what their top business challenges were in 2022, small businesses said “Staffing issues” were their second biggest business challenge (behind “Staying on top of calls and emails").1 Not having enough staff can mean you need to turn away work…or you can’t provide the level of customer service you’d like to…or, if nothing else, that it’s hard for you and/or your employees to take time off when you need to.
One part of the solution to staffing issues is smarter marketing — marketing that does some of the work for you more efficiently, so that even with fewer people, more work gets done.
Let’s take a look at 5 simple ways that smarter marketing can help.
1) Use marketing automation wherever you can
“Marketing automation” may sound very technical – and it can be! – but at its core, it’s a great way to delegate simple, repeatable tasks to a program or app instead of a person.
Think about some of the things you or someone on your staff needs to do:
- Request reviews from your customers
- Check to see if you’ve gotten any new reviews (and reply to those reviews when you need to)
- Reconnect with customers about upcoming promotions (like a Memorial Day special) or seasonal appointments (like a spring tuneup)
Chances are, you have someone spending time on these tasks today…or maybe you’ve stopped doing them because you’re understaffed. Marketing automation can make sure these tasks never fall by the wayside while you and your staff focus on more important things.
2) Make your website your best salesperson
Especially if you’re short staffed, you need a website that:
- Can get found online, so you’re bringing customers in rather than reaching out to prospects
- Encourages visitors to see how to call, fill out a form or send you an email
- Automatically pulls in your latest reviews to build trust
And of course your site has to look good. And resize correctly on phones and tablets. And help you get found via voice search. And be secure.
Add all of those features together and you can have a site that’s capable of getting seen…educating your site visitors…and driving sales. That destination – your website – can do a lot of the heavy lifting that a salesperson or manual marketing efforts require today.
3) Use social ads to reach your target audience
If you’re spending time posting to Facebook and other social media channels, chances are your posts aren’t reaching that many of your followers. In fact, some studies say that organic Facebook posts only reach between 1 – 3% of your followers. That can mean a lot of effort from a small staff…with a really small return.
To reach more people – and to reach the right people – paid social ads are your best bet. From boosted posts to a dedicated paid social ad campaign, there are budgets to fit every business.
And where does this help when you’re short staffed? It’s simple:
- You aren’t spending time creating social posts that aren’t reaching many people (or that aren’t reaching the audience you want)
- You can pre-schedule your paid ads so you’re not stuck drafting them in a panic (or worse yet, getting busy and forgetting to post)
- Whatever time you put into social advertising will have a measurable impact – and be seen by the target audience you define
4) Clean up your online business information
How many times has someone on your staff had to answer a call about what your hours are? Or respond to a message asking if you’re open on weekends? Or spend valuable time answering any factual question that should be clear and correct online?
Incorrect and inconsistent information in your online business listings can be a drain on a small staff. That bad info may:
- Increase non-essential calls
- Cause frustration for potential and repeat customers
- Reduce the number of calls you get
Your staff shouldn’t have to spend time dealing with the fallout of outdated or missing information online. By keeping all of your online business listings complete and up to date, you can devote that time to other tasks.
5) Get more qualified leads
Every business loses some time on leads that just aren’t the right fit. Whether you’re getting calls from people in areas you don’t serve, or inquiries about work you don’t do, or reaching an audience that doesn’t want to pay your going rate…it’s all time spent on calls, emails and visits that don’t pay the bills.
Smarter marketing can help you get your message in front of the right customers, in the right places, at the right time…without adding to your headcount. An interconnected marketing solution that targets the right people as they search, surf and spend time on social can be a “lights on” lead generation and customer engagement tool for your business. Where you might be struggling to find someone to work for you 9 to 5, smarter marketing can keep nurturing, qualifying and driving leads to you 24/7.
Meet your newest staff member — smarter digital marketing from Hibu
By investing in smarter marketing — that is, marketing that takes over some of the manual burdens (like asking for reviews) and that can be inefficient (like Facebook posts that don’t reach most of your followers) — you can do more with fewer people.
Nothing beats a great staff, but when building or maintaining that becomes a challenge…or when you want your great staff to spend more time on amazing work and top-notch customer service…smarter marketing managed by experts like Hibu can give you that time back.