Marketing tools: keep it simple
Technology provides plenty of tools to help you promote your business. There are tools to manage and schedule projects, marketing, and even teams. You can get single tools to do all those things in one place.
These tools are meant to make our lives easier. And, well, for us to exchange that ease for our money.
The unpleasant, ill-mannered reality that can come with technology is we’re seduced into thinking learning to use these tools is as easy as using them once we get familiar with them.
Thinking about it is almost as headache-inducing as doing it. But it’s important to keep things in perspective.
Technology tools are just tools. They all come with a learning curve, and that’s normal. Just ask a musician. Or a painter. Or a web designer. Try to remember the first day you picked up the tools of your trade. It wasn’t effortless, even though there are now aspects of your work that you can do almost by reflex. The trick is sticking with it until that happens.
The wrong technology turns into a gym membership—you buy in with good intentions and high hopes, and way too soon you find yourself not using it.
So here’s a question: what do you need to get done?
Then think about the tools that are more than just the highest-rated, most-talked-about-by-the-cool-kids apps. Think about the tools that help you get your work done in a way that also causes a minimum of stress.
If you avoid marketing because you think you need a lot of technology, and if you think you can’t master it, please don’t.
I say this as someone who is tech savvy and hates reading instructions. I can wrap my head around all kinds of technology, but I often find myself choosing something that appears to be less sophisticated.
This is not an accident. The best tools are about efficiency and ease.
One of my favourite toolsets is a pencil, a good eraser, and a notebook. Most of my blog posts begin that way. I thought it would be clever to use my phone for ideas that pop into my head when I’m out for my morning walk, and it is—except I consistently forget they’re there. I have dozens of post ideas, sitting on that powerful little device, waiting to be rediscovered.
Good intentions and the wrong tool are not the best combination.
Facebook publishing tools work great for a business page—but you don’t get those if you find your best interactions are through your personal profile. Instagram scheduling tools also require a business account. Pinterest has a built-in scheduling tool, also for business accounts.
If Twitter’s your jam, Tweetdeck can serve your scheduling needs and then some. Twitter doesn’t have personal and business account categories, so you don’t hit that roadblock. I use Tweetdeck to view my feed and organize my favourite people into lists, so I don’t miss any of their content.
If you only frequent a couple of social networks, switching between scheduling tools isn’t a huge time-waster. And if you’re not currently using business accounts, there’s nothing wrong with using a simple spreadsheet to create a content calendar—or a real, paper calendar. Or a chalkboard, or sticky notes.
Put your images and posts in a folder for each network, and a folder for newsletters and/or your blog. There are no rules here.
A tool isn’t a good one if it’s too frustrating to use. You can work your way into more robust technology when—or if—that will serve you better.
The most important thing is to get your message out. Choose the way that works best for you. That can eliminate more friction than any piece of state of the art technology.