This is a guest post from Chris Kilbourn. Chris is an innovative entrepreneur who is the founder of TaskBullet, a virtual assistant company in the Philippines, and TOFU Marketing, a full service Internet marketing firm.
When it comes to marketing your business there are a million and one things that need your attention. How could any business owner get the time to do it all?
The secret: utilizing a virtual assistant!
You need to focus on the important stuff. So, there’s no better way to do it than hiring a virtual assistant to help you scale your business.
Our customers with TaskBullet use these techniques frequently, and you can too!
Just follow the 5 marketing tasks below to help you build and automate your marketing machine.
Scheduling Your Social Media Posts for the Week
Many of your best social media postings will be real-time responses to customers, colleagues or events; however, a virtual assistant can easily schedule the postings of your basic messages in advance. By doing this you ensure you won’t miss opportunities each day to keep your social community engaged.
There are several social media tools that enable the scheduling of posts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Buffer and Hootsuite are probably the two most popular because they are so easy to use.
Buffer’s scheduling interface allows you to select the days and times you want a post to go live.
To use a virtual assistant for this task you simply need to provide him or her with:
- Log in details for your social media accounts
- Pre-written messages, links and images for your posts
- A basic schedule for when to take the posts live
For example, you might tell your virtual assistant that you want to schedule one Facebook post each day at 3pm Eastern Time while scheduling Twitter posts to go out at the top of the hour each hour between 8am and 6pm Eastern Time. Your assistant can then go through your document with pre-written messages and queue them up.
Your virtual assistant can also help you find relevant links to share if you don’t have the time for that.
Prepping Your Weekly or Monthly Email Newsletter
Writing and sending a weekly or monthly e-newsletter takes up a lot of time. Free up some bandwidth by hiring a virtual assistant to take care of the basic prep work for you.
Your virtual assistant can set up your email campaign so that it goes to the appropriate list, assign the correct template to each campaign, add Google Analytics tracking code and even set up the campaign type (a/b test, basic, etc.) for you.
A virtual assistant can fill in the basic information for your email newsletter.
With all of that prep work completed in advance, all you need to do is go in and add in your copy, images and links before shooting off a test!
Adding Alt Tags to All Images on Your Website
Most SEO tactics require a hands-on approach from someone very knowledgeable in search marketing. Old school (scalable) techniques like social bookmarking, directory submissions, and comment spam no longer work because of Google’s Penguin and Panda updates. In fact, they can likely damage your site’s SEO if Google identifies it.
However, there is a basic task that your virtual assistant can help you with: adding ALT tags to all of your images.
An ALT tag is a small line of code that helps a search engine crawl and index an image.
It can be hand coded into a site like this:
<img src=”smiley.gif” alt=”Smiley Face”>
(You can see that the ALT text of “Smiley Face” describes the image smiley.gif and goes within the “img src” tag.)
Or, if you use WordPress there is a place to add ALT text for each image in the editor:
Your virtual assistant can be tasked with adding ALT text to each image on your website.
When possible, you should use keyword friendly phrases in the ALT text while still accurately describing the image. To have your virtual assistant help with this task you will want to provide him or her with a list of your top keywords.
If you have never added any ALT tags to your website, you’ll want your virtual assistant to go through the entire site and add them in to each image. If you’ve been doing this all along, you can simply have your assistant add ALT text to each new image added for you. This is particularly helpful if you blog often and use multiple images in each post.
When considering other SEO tasks to have your virtual assistant help with, it’s important to note that social bookmarking, blog commenting and directory submissions no longer work to give your rankings a boost. Certainly commenting and social bookmarking can help you get found by your target audience, but do not count on them as SEO tactics.
Routing Qualified Leads to the Appropriate Sales Rep
It’s important to get qualified leads to the appropriate sales rep as soon as possible. If you don’t have expensive software that can help you automate this task, having a virtual assistant can be very useful.
For example, if you have a form on your website used for lead generation you may also have certain questions in the form that help determine if a lead is qualified or not.
Consider this scenario: you are a marketing consultant and someone fills out a form on your site that says she is interested in hiring a consultant within one month. You probably want to get in touch with her faster than a lead that says he is going to hire someone within the next six months because the one month lead at this time is more qualified.
Similarly, if all your lead gen form asks for is name and basic contact information and each lead needs to go to a certain sales person, your virtual assistant can help with the sorting.
For example if all leads with a last name that begins with A-L should go to Sales Rep 1 while leads with last names that begin with M-Z should go to Sales Rep 2, your virtual assistant can help sort and send the incoming leads to the correct person.
Putting Together a Weekly or Monthly Analytics Report
Your analytics software, whether it is Google Analytics or something else, holds a lot of information. Depending on your role within a company, the information you find most important will vary.
A virtual assistant can put together a daily, weekly or monthly report for you that focuses on just the information and trends that you find most important.
For example, if you are the owner of a business and have a marketing person or team under you, it is likely that you don’t need to see the in-the-weeds data on the conversion rate of each specific organic keyword coming in. Instead you may want to see a chart that shows the top 10 keywords alongside their bounce rate, average time on site and conversion rate. Or you may just want to see overall trends by month for increased organic traffic.
A virtual assistant can pull together analytical data into easy-to-read charts for you.
Your virtual assistant can put together a report template and fill in the relevant data you request for each day/week/month. This allows you to optimize your time spent on reviewing analytics rather than pulling the reports yourself.
Other Tasks a Virtual Assistant Can Help With
The above list of marketing tasks a virtual assistant can help with is certainly not comprehensive. And of course a virtual assistant can help with many things outside the realm of marketing.
Whether you don’t have the time for marketing, or just need some extra hands to help you build a marketing machine, hiring a virtual assistant is a wise choice to scale your efforts.
What types of tasks do you outsource to your virtual assistants?
Can you think of any that we could add to this list?
We’d love to hear from you! Just let us know in the comments below.