Proactive social, reactive social, social ads, blogging, content creation - if digital marketing feels complicated, that's because it is.
But here's the thing. Lots of businesses, both small and large, are unknowingly making their digital marketing strategies even more complicated than they have to be. At my agency Marketing Zen, we see these issues often in new clients who've been managing their own digital marketing. They're spending lots of time, money, or both, but not getting the results they want.
Is your business one of them? Here are 4 signs - curated by MZ's invaluable social and content teams - that you may be overcomplicating your digital marketing strategy.
You're visiting 4 or 5 or 6 sites every time you post to social media.
While it's true that you should have social media profiles on more than one platform, that doesn't mean you need to be posting your status, image, or link to your latest blog post on every site individually.
In fact, opening up Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest every time you want to post something is sure to leave your head spinning and posts falling through the cracks.
There are tools that can help you fix this problem - lots of them, in fact. Social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to post simultaneously on multiple platforms. IFTTT, or If This Then That, lets you automate postings between two platforms, like Pinterest and Facebook, or Instagram and Twitter.
Streamline your social media posting - start an account with one of these social media management tools, and you'll be amazed at the time (and sanity) you regain.
You're spending an hour brainstorming every time you sit down to write a blog post.
Now, I have nothing against brainstorming - it's a vital, productive use of one's time, especially when you're working on a creative task like content writing.
However, if you find that you're having to spend hours trying to come up with ideas every time you try to write a post, you may want to consider reorganizing the content creation process.
The first step is to implement a content calendar. By planning your blog posts (and corresponding social media posts) at least two weeks, and preferably a month, in advance, you can schedule dedicated brainstorming time to come up with multiple topics at once. Then when it's time to write or post, you've got your topic and title ready to go.
You're forcing yourself to come up with original content day in and day out.
Of course original content is important. If you want your customers to engage with you online, it's a must - today's consumers want original, relevant content that offers them something of value.
However, you do not have to craft your entire content strategy on original content. If you're not repurposing and curating content as well, then you're making it a lot more challenging to stick to that content strategy than it needs to be.
If you've got a high-performing blog post, you want to get the most mileage out of it that you can (in fact, that's true of every piece of content you develop).
Post it across social media, then see if you can pull information from it to create an infographic.
Use it as the basis for a podcast episode.
Build a webinar around it.
Update it or write a follow-up to it.
On the curation side, curating great content can not only take some of the pressure off your own content team, but it can also help you develop strong relationships with other influential brands or bloggers in your industry. These relationships are key if you want to expand your following and reach new audiences.
You're jumping into new platforms, new strategies, and new trends without taking the time to evaluate whether they're right for your brand.
The digital world moves fast, and brands often feel as though they have to jump on something as quickly as possible to avoid being left behind.
This will only backfire, however, if you're not taking the time to truly evaluate each new thing before deciding to jump on the trend.
Take Facebook Live, for example. You've likely heard that live streaming is the natural extension of video marketing, and as such, should become a part of any brand's marketing strategy.
That may be true, but that doesn't mean you need to start live streaming next week. Creating a successful live stream takes more than a strong internet connection. It requires preparation, publicizing, and of course, a confident subject who's ready to go live online.
The same can be said of trying to dominate every social media network, rather than focusing on the ones that are right for your brand.
B2B companies may get a lot more success from Facebook and Twitter than from the highly visual Pinterest. Retailers, on the other hand, will likely see their higher engagement levels coming from those visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.
Your job is not to blast your fans with messages in every format available. Instead, it's to choose the formats and platforms that really resonate with those fans, and then focus your energies there.
Overcomplicating your digital marketing strategy is an easy trap to fall into. Save yourself and your marketing team a whole lot of time - and headaches - by streamlining what you can, and being selective about where to put your focus.