If you’ve taken on the role of promoting your business online, then you may be feeling overwhelmed. Digital marketing can be tough, and unless you set aside the time and have the willingness to learn, it’s easy to lose your motivation and feel like you’re getting nowhere. What’s the point in writing another blog post if nobody’s going to read it, right?

The simple truth is that making a success of a digital marketing strategy takes time. Whatever strategy you’re working on, whether that’s content marketing, guest blogging, social media or SEO, you need to stick with it if you want to enjoy any level of success.

But how can you motivate yourself to stick to your strategy if you don’t feel like it’s working, or it’s taking too much time and doesn’t seem worthwhile? Below, we’ve rounded up seven ways to motivate yourself to make a success of your small business marketing strategy.

Set realistic goals

Unless you set realistic, achievable goals for your digital marketing strategy, you’re going to fail. And, if you fail, the chances are that you’ll give up on digital marketing altogether.

Set reachable goals that aren’t set too far into the future, like:

These goals won’t necessarily be easy to achieve, but they’re actionable, measurable and can give you the motivation to carry on – especially when you start seeing signs of success.

And that’s another point – a small goal, like gaining 100 followers on Twitter – will be much more effective than reaching for the stars and aiming for 10,000 new followers.

You may decide to set both long-term goals for your business (like gaining 10,000 Twitter followers), as well as short-term goals that will help you on your journey. These can work alongside each other to encourage you to put in more time and energy into your digital marketing, and even consider outsourcing your content marketing to speed things up.

Add it to your workload

You wouldn’t start your week without doing a stock check or catching up on your emails, so make your digital marketing strategy part of your everyday workload and it’ll feel like less of an afterthought. If you’re really looking to get organised, you could even download one of these marketing calendar templates from Smart Sheet to plan deadlines and meet targets.

Planning and organisation are the keys to a successful digital marketing strategy. Of course, you can always dip into social media and content marketing when you have some spare time, but a slow and steady approach where you can set aside time every week works best. 

What’s more, most small business owners work on their digital marketing strategies after hours – and it can often feel like a chore. Instead of following suit, work on your social media, SEO, content marketing and email marketing during office hours, so that you can switch off when you get home and spend more time with your friends and family.

Don’t put it off

We get it – when you’ve had a busy day at work, the last thing you want to do is sit at your desk and bash out a blog post. But one of the worst things that you can do when working on a digital marketing strategy for your small business is procrastinate, so carry on as normal and work on your strategy even when you’d rather be finishing off extra tasks in the office.

If you care at all about your digital marketing strategy, you probably won’t be able to switch off and enjoy yourself until it’s done.

As WebMD writes, procrastination won’t make you happy or feel less stressed, as the tasks you need to do will always be at the back of your mind.  So, get on with what you need to do and you’ll feel better as a result.

Learn as you go

If you’re truly interested in learning about digital marketing, then you’ll be more likely to put in the time and find it enjoyable, rather than a necessary evil. That’s why we recommend learning digital marketing as you go – even if you make mistakes along the way.

Make sure that you follow plenty of digital marketing blogs, like HubSpot, Moz, Marketing Land, Content Marketing Institute and Blog Tyrant, and don’t be afraid of signing up to websites like Inbound.org and the Moz Community Forums to ask questions on your journey.

The more knowledge you acquire on your journey, the easier you’ll find it to market your own business – and the more engaged you’ll be in making a success of your campaign. Plus, as you learn new things and explore and experiment with new marketing techniques, you could stumble upon something that changes the game and helps you outrank a competitor.

Do what you love

If you struggled with English at school and don’t enjoy emails, then the chances are that content marketing won’t be for you. On the other hand, if you love Instagram and can’t get enough of Twitter, then social media could be the best way to market your business.

While a mix of content marketing, social media and SEO will prove most effective for small businesses, you can chop and change what you do depending on your preferences. And, if you really want to go all at it with your marketing, you could outsource some of it to an agency and do the rest yourself so you still keep a handle on the best ways to advertise.

Doing the things you enjoy will make your digital marketing less of an inconvenience and more something you look forward to doing. Play around with the different techniques of promoting your small business online, and you’ll soon see what works best for you.

Track competitors

Looking for a sure-fire way to motivate yourself to market? Stalk your competition.

Keeping an eye on your competition is one of the healthiest ways to grow your business. Not only does it give you an insight into what they’re doing, but it allows you to learn from their successes and their mistakes and adapt your digital marketing strategy accordingly.

For example, if your competition is big on social media, you can gain direct access to their customer base and fans – simply by looking at their Twitter followers and using a tool like Crowdfire to follow them back and market your products and services as you see fit.

Here’s the best way to stalk your competitors and improve your marketing strategy.

  • List all of your competitors, their websites and social media handles
  • For social: analyse social handles and rank based on engagement levels. From there, you can create social media posts using the same language, hashtags and keywords – and use social media tracking tools to target the same followers and interest groups
  • For the web: analyse competitors’ backlinks and look for guest blogging, link building opportunities from these. Reach out using the skyscraper link building technique
  • Compare your on-page content (blogs, web copy) to that of your competitors and make changes accordingly based on their keywords and where they’re ranking
  • Look at their keywords, effectiveness of their keyword strategy and decide which you’d like to rank for using tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush and WordStream.

Monitor your progress

There’s no point in setting aside time to work on marketing if you’re not monitoring the results of your campaigns. And, without data on the effectiveness of individual strategies, like guest blogging, social media or content marketing, you won’t know which is working.

  • Content marketing: If you’re working on content marketing, then you can monitor progress based on Google Analytics, the number of comments your new blog posts get, or the number of new email signups you get after mentioning your newsletter.
  • Social media: Twitter and Facebook come with various baked-in analytics tools to help you see how many people you reached, but you can track the return on your social media campaigns by tagging URLs, using micro-conversions and doing maths.
  • SEO: Use tools like Ahrefs to track keywords and monitor backlinks, and use Google Search Console and Google Analytics for more in-depth data on your success.

Wrapping Up

We’ve rounded up seven ways to boost your motivation levels when working on marketing campaigns for your small business. Take a step back from what you’re working on and do a stock check – you’ll soon see that you’re already making progress and improving your visibility to potential customers.

Whether you’re at the start of your journey or well on your way, stick with it – you can do it!