But should we take time off from continuing our inbound marketing efforts during these hot summer months? Heck no! Taking a break could be the kiss of death for your small business. Even if you are busy now, consistently executing your inbound marketing is essential to keep your pipeline full of prospects.
The following tips can help you keep your inbound marketing flowing when you would rather be on vacation or have some down time that you can take advantage of to be ready for September’s increase in activity.
- Plan Ahead – The content marketing component of inbound marketing is important to do regularly and consistently. If you have a content plan, create your content for a month in advance. Write your email newsletter and a month’s worth of blog posts and set the schedule to cover your time away so your subscribers never miss a beat. Having your content under control can make your time off much more enjoyable knowing your business is maintaining visibility while you are enjoying the beach.
- Automate – Automating your posts to social sites is not taboo and in fact, can make it seem like you’ve never gone on vacation! Although you probably can’t schedule a month of tweets or Facebook posts, you certainly can schedule several days worth when you are off getting rejuvenated at the beach. Scan your blog feeds a couple of evenings a week for content your audience will like and usie Buffer or HootSuite to schedule them to go out at the most appropriate times for your target audience.
- Get Temporary Help – Offload tasks to others by hiring quality help through Elance. Elance makes it easy to find quality freelancers that can help you with your marketing activities. A colleague of mine hired someone to create high quality, branded PowerPoint presentations. I’ve hired a blogger to write content for some of my clients. This frees me up to do more for my clients while giving me some down time to spend on the golf course.
- Evaluate your Web presence – Take advantage of this less crazy time and do a web presence analysis. If your business is not visible for your top keywords, put a plan in place to update the third component of inbound marketing, your search engine optimization. Include a review of your web content, looking for places that can be rewritten for specific keywords. This is a good time to focus your marketing on the things that can increase your visibility and expert reputation.
- Review your service offerings – If your business slows down this time of year, use the extra time to review your service offerings, add a new service or expand your existing services to provide more value. Kick back on your deck with your tablet and use Evernote to start jotting down ideas.
- Support mobile – Your customers and prospects are also taking time off but that doesn’t mean they are disconnected. Make sure your email marketing and website supports mobile devices. While on vacation, I see many people on their tablets, checking email and staying in touch. If your website isn’t easy to use with a table or smartphone, you could be driving your prospects and customers to your competition.
I will admit that it is very difficult to stay focused on your business when so many other things are calling your name! For us in the northeast, this great weather we’re having doesn’t last all year so we want to take advantage of every sunny day while we can. I would so love to golf more, head to the beach or just lay on my deck and relax over a good book. But I owe it to myself and my clients to stay visible and active during these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!
What are your plans for inbound marketing while you are enjoying your summer vacation?