Without marketing, nobody will know how awesome your product is, or how professional your customer service is. It doesn’t matter how much you spent on building a stellar app or website. Without marketing, your business might as well be invisible.
Marketing elevates gets you in front of your customers so they can patronize you. Marketing also takes time. At least, some parts of it. And since time is a finite resource, there’s only so much you can get done each done.
But there are also a lot of marketing activities that you can do in 1 hour or less AND get legitimate results. Here are some of them:
1. Create an editorial calendar
If you’re into content marketing, and you should, then you should have an editorial calendar. Almost any great blog begins with a detailed editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is what marketers use to organize and categorize the content they plan to publish in the future. It’s an organizational tool for all different parts of their marketing: their blog, their social media profiles, and their marketing campaigns.
By creating an editorial calendar, you can coordinate your content, schedule your posts, set deadlines, list your CTAs, and so on. In other words, an editorial calendar provides structure to your blogging campaign and keeps things from getting messy.
Check out this list of editorial calendar templates from Builtvisible for more ideas.
2. Tweak your editorial calendar
If you already have an editorial calendar, or you took our advice and created one, then you can spend the next hour tweaking it. Editorial calendars are never static. The best ones are dynamic and ever-changing.
If you haven’t checked your editorial calendar in a while, look it over and make any necessary adjustments.
For instance, you might: Check off posts that have been completed, add new content to create over the next month, look for ways to make it more organized and so on.
3. Read three industry blog posts
It’s advisable to keep your nose tuned to industry trends. This is your best bet to spot patterns, generate new marketing ideas, and come up with interesting new content to share with your audience. Make it a habit
Make a habit of reading three high-level industry blog posts whenever you get a chance.
4. Comment on three industry blogs
Comment marketing is a real thing. A lot of people underestimate how important commenting is for your marketing efforts. Most times, you’ll see things like, “This is a great blog post!” Or “fantastic insights!” Don’t let that be you.
Instead, shoot for something more detailed and insightful to prove you’ve really sifted through the information and analyzed it.
Let your comment add even more depth to the conversation. It goes a long way in making a good impression on the blog owner as well as other readers.
How? First, make sure you’re commenting in the right place. Second, Leave your signature with your website’s url on it. Third, provide massive value to the reader with your comment. Without this, you’ll fail.
Fourth, be consistent and five, track what you’re doing to know if it’s working.
5. Research industry trends
A lot of success in business is about seizing an opportunity. That’s why marketers try to stay on top of recent trends. By getting into the trending conversation, you increase your business’ chances of being seen and heard. Do your industry research. A quick Google search on “[your industry] trends” should pop up a wealth of information.
This can shape your business and marketing decisions and will help you stay sharp as an entrepreneur.
6. Brainstorm topics for your blog
Coming up with new ideas for blog posts can be quite exhausting. That’s why it’s wise not to wait to the last minute when you need new ideas. Devote some time to simply brainstorming new ideas especially when you’re fresh.
Buzzsumo is a great resource for checking out ideas of what has resonated with readers as well as what has already been written. Try to see how many ideas you can come up with in an hour.
7. Do keyword research
One marketing task that can be quite time-consuming is keyword research. When you do this prior to writing every blog post, it can really drain your time. You can spend time doing your keyword researches in blocks. That is, identify keywords to target all in one sitting.
You can then add your keywords to your editorial calendar so you know what to use in your upcoming content.
8. Send a pitch for a guest post
Guest blogging is one of the best hack for growing your audience. It helps you get your name and ideas in front of a large, established audience, thereby getting exposure for your brand.
It’s just as simple as that. But, of course, guest blogging first begins with sending an initial pitch.
If you’ve got an hour to burn, why not send out a couple of pitches to relevant bloggers?
This guide from Backlinko really breaks down the process of guest blogging, step by step.
9. Repurpose one of your best blog posts
If you’ve been blogging for awhile, there’s a good chance you have a handful of posts that totally crushed it.
They’re the best of the best—your “unicorn content.”
If your audience was receptive to a particular topic presented in a standard blog post, there’s a good chance they will give it a warm reception in a different medium too. So take an hour to repurpose one of your best posts using a different medium, e.g., a whitepaper, long-form guide, infographic, or a short e-book.
10. Record a video
Video marketing is gaining a lot of traction now. The kinds of engagement video marketers are getting with video is really impressive. If you’re not already leveraging video marketing, you should get on board right away.
Video allows you to connect with your audience on a level that most other mediums cannot. And the odds are good that it will produce a positive impact for you.
11. Record a podcast
Podcasts are great because users can download them and then listen on the go! Of course, if you plan to do it under an hour, you can simply discuss some hot industry news. Once you figure out the software and equipment, it doesn’t take much effort to record a podcast. You can easily do it within 1 hour.
12. Make a slideshow
Slideshows don’t get the credit they deserve which is a shame. They have a lot of content marketing potential. They come up in google searches a lot, have a lot of potential and are worth experimenting with.
Slideshare alone had 70 million users as of early 2017 and can be a great way to pull in some extra traffic.
13. Create a picture quote
I’m sure you’ve seen picture quotes floating on social media.
They’re especially big on Twitter and Instagram and work great for expressing thoughts in a visual-centric way.
The cool thing is that picture quotes are very easy to make. Canva and Pablo by Buffer are some of the easiest platforms to use for creating such cards. They offer a large library of professional images that are mostly free to use.
You can borrow from famous quotes or create your own.
14. Share three epic posts on social media
Curating content is an integral part of the social media marketing process.
By shining the spotlight on other people’s great work rather than shamelessly self-promoting your brand, you generate some goodwill for yourself and your company.
Whenever you’ve got some free time, search the Internet for three epic posts to share. To curate content like a boss, check out this guide from Curata.
15. Follow five relevant people
The beauty of social media is that, you can decide what streams of content feeds into your timeline anytime you want. Want a steady stream of sports content? Follow sports handles. Want something related to food or sarcasm? Real estate, business? The choices are incredibly many and diverse.
The quality of your timeline depends on you. So if you feel your social feed is a little stale, search for a few new follows to spice it up. You may even be able to make some new contacts, so always be willing to make the first move on social media.
16. Engage with five people on social media
While still on the topic of connecting via social media, if you’re looking to expand your network and potentially find new business partners, engage with others.
Commenting, liking or retweeting great content takes little to no time at all, and can sometimes be the catalyst for new opportunities.
17. Engage with five recent followers
It’s also important to engage with the people who follow you and build a genuine rapport with your audience.
When you’ve got some spare time, go through your social media accounts and pick out a handful of recent followers.
Then hit them up by thanking them for following you or even start an online conversation.
18. Target an influencer
Sure you’ve heard about influencer marketing and how potent it can be as a marketing tool. And it’s totally true.
But getting to the point where an influencer actually promotes your brand takes time. The first step in the process is finding someone who is likely to be on board. One effective technique when searching for influencers is to use BuzzSumo. A great way to make use of an hour is to research and target potential influencers in your industry.
19. Contact an influencer
Once you’ve found an influencer, it’s time for the approach. This typically involves doing a little research about them, their brand, values, philosophy, etc. Next, send them an email or contact them via their website to give them your pitch.
20. Check Google Analytics
It’s important to stay current on key metrics.
Knowing about any visitor traffic patterns and behavior that could be affecting your ability to make conversions should be on top of your priorities.
If you haven’t checked Google Analytics (or whatever type of metrics platform you use) in a while, it’s smart to spend some time there.
In particular, pay close attention to the amount of time people spend on your site, referrals, and audience interests.
21. Analyze your top competitors
If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you may want to see what the competition is up to.
Identify three or four of your top competitors and check the following:
Top organic keywords
This will give you some valuable intel on what’s working for them and what you can do to gain the upper hand. One great tool for doing this is SEMrush. It’s free and will supply you with a load of information
22. Do a content audit
Although the word audit may sound time-consuming and even a little intimidating, it’s actually not all that involved. You can do a basic content audit in as little as 1 hour.
Ask yourself (and your analytics) is your existing content up to snuff? What is driving conversions? What isn’t – and why? Asking these questions might make you sweat, but you’ll be better off knowing the truth. While it may be a tad boring, it’s a great way to ensure your content is hitting its mark.
23. Do an SEO audit
Just like you want to ensure that your content is in tip top shape, it’s also crucial to see what state your SEO is in from time to time.
Doing an SEO audit is a great way to get a glimpse of how things are performing.
More specifically, you can tell:
What your top organic keywords are
Whether there are any issues with meta descriptions, URL structure, etc.
How your domain ranks among the competition
Check out this post from Search Engine Land to learn how to do your own SEO audit in only 5 minutes.
24. Check for dead links
Hands up anyone who enjoys seeing the error 404 page.
Dead links aren’t cool. They disrupt the user experience and can make your brand seem unprofessional. That’s why checking for dead links every few months or so is a good time investment.
It’s no big deal. Just use the Online Broken Link Checker. It’s completely free, and it will give you the rundown of any broken links and identify their location on your site.
25. Test forms on your website to ensure they are not broken
This follows the dead link activity. If you have forms to fill on your website, test them out to see if they’re broken or working.
26. Do some internal linking
Internal linking is crucial to the success of an SEO strategy. An internal link “is one that points to another page on the same website.” Just make sure your links point to pages that are relevant and truly add to the reader experience.
27. Fine-tune your sales funnel
Your sales funnel is the key to leading consumers through the buying process until they ultimately make a purchase. But if you’ve been using the same sales funnel for the past few years, some serious inefficiencies could be holding you back.
Why not spend a little time going over your existing sales funnel to check for areas that could use some improvement?
28. Review and reply to comments on your content
Replying to comments acknowledges the person who made the comment, can show your appreciation and may encourage other readers to join in. You can move from an audience to a community, which can increase loyalty, advocacy and readership.
29. Talk to previous/current customers
A concept that many fail to follow is actively seeking feedback from their customers.
Be it after sales followup, care calls, quick polls/surveys – it’s you taking the time and effort to check in with them and get some insights.
Not only may you get to see things from their perspective (such as identifying flaws in your process or oversights), but you can foster a better relationship … and possibly even generate further opportunities.
30. Schedule twitter chats in your diary for the coming week
Brainstorm and list down some interesting topics you can organize a twitter chat on.
31. Schedule Social Media Posts
Using a social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule posts to go out ahead of time.
32. Contribute to LinkedIn, Facebook groups
If you’re not in groups on social media, you may be missing out on a huge networking, learning and marketing opportunity. Join groups but
Join groups but don’t just be a bystander, participate. You could take an hour each day to look at the most commented discussions and offer your own insights and ideas.
33. Repurpose video for Instagram use
Even if you have an instagram marketing campaign or not, you could jump start that process by creating instagram videos. But why start from scratch? You could repurpose any of your videos, editing them down to 60 seconds or less (since IG only takes between 3 to 60 seconds of video).
34. Write as many creative newsletter openers as you can
Writing is hard but the experts make it look easy. That’s because they’ve had years of
That’s because they’ve had years of practice. Why not practice some newsletter openings in an hour? You’ll be surprised at how much better your emails will get with some minutes of practice.
35. Improve your email signature
Having an email signature that’s consistent with your company is an important aspect of branding.
Unfortunately, it’s sometimes overlooked.
If you really want to make a splash, add your logo along with a professional headshot.
36. Research industry events
Are there any conferences, trainings, or awards ceremonies happening this week? This month? Search, note them and plan to attend.
You’re going there to meet other industry players, network and promote yourself and brand. If someone you’ve been praying to run into will be there, that’s even more reason to attend. Prepare accordingly.
37. Create a twitter poll
There was a time, Twitter users used to tweet out makeshift polls and use likes, retweets, or replies to get their “results.” It was a way of engaging with followers over timely events, random questions, and product promotions.
Now, an actual poll makes life so much easier. Let your poll cover something your customers/audience would be interested in.
38. Share something awesome from Reddit or Quora
Quora and Reddit are two of the biggest Q and A forums in the world right now. There’s always some legendary exchange every week on those platforms. Spend an hour combing through relevant topics to your industry and see questions people have asked and replies which people have given. The beauty of it is that, some of these replies come from experts and really intelligent people. Take a screengrab and share it with your social media followers.
39. Load up on Memes
Memes are fun and familiar for internet-goers. They also have a propensity to go viral. So it would make a good experiment to get a little cheeky with some fun memes. Search through animated GIFs to find suitable materials. It’s easy to make your own with sites like meme generator.
40. Caption Contests
Post a photo and ask users to submit their best caption. The prize can be anything. This kind of contest can get some pretty big engagement.
Amping up your marketing doesn’t always require exhaustive work sessions.
There are many business-boosting marketing activities you can do in 1 hour or less.
If you’ve got some downtime and want to devote it to marketing, any of these activities should be worth your while.