How to Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Tasks and Maximize Productivity

As a marketer, I’m sure you’ve got an endless
list of things to do. Or maybe you get distracted by new marketing
strategies you want to try. But with so many things to do, and so little
time, how do you prioritize your marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness and efficiency? You’re about to find out in this video. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up marketers? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. If you’re unfamiliar with our company, we’re a team
of around 50 people with just 9 in marketing. Now, to put this into perspective, our competitors
have 300% to 1300% times more bodies than us. Yet somehow, we’ve still been able to make noise and grow our revenue in a competitive industry. So today, I want to share a step-by-step process
you can use to prioritize your marketing efforts effectively
and efficiently. Let’s get to it. Alright, so step #1 is to remove distractions
that hinder efficiency. Listen, if there’s anything you do throughout
your workday that decreases your efficiency, then it’s best to remove them from your daily schedule. For example, if you check your Google Analytics
everyday with the purpose of eyeballing traffic stats, then I’m almost positive you’re wasting precious time. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to who start freaking out because of one slightly
lower day in traffic. If that worries you, then it’ll most likely
affect your performance in a negative way. Let me explain. Let’s say you saw a couple days where your
traffic decreased by 10%. This may lead you to believe you’ve been penalized. So you go and search for the latest Google
algorithm updates and find out that something happened a few
months ago. So you start reading about penalty recovery. And you spend hours trying to implement tactics
that people are just speculating. And before you know it, your whole day has passed and you haven’t touched a single thing on your to-do list. So stop. Other common activities are checking your social media networks for likes, follows, retweets, or comments. Yes, it’s important to engage if you’re using
these channels, but your social presence isn’t going to die if you don’t respond within an hour. Limit these kinds of impromptu activities and
set scheduled times to analyze your analytics. You’ll find yourself saving time and more
importantly, staying in the right mindset while working on tasks that matter more. Finally, don’t allow yourself to get distracted
by “Shiny tactic syndrome.” This is when you hear about a new tactic,
and you drop everything you’re doing to give it a shot, only to abandon it halfway through. So bottomline: You don’t need to be active on every social media network because a guru told you to. You don’t need to check your real-time stats
on Google Analytics every 4 hours. Not everyone needs a mobile app. And you don’t need to respond to every email
within 5-minutes flat. Life will go on. Alright, now that we’ve cut some distractions,
step 2 is to figure out what’s working for you. Rather than letting FOMO kick in and dropping
everything you’re doing, this step is all about identifying the marketing channels and
strategies that are working for you right now. And the way you do this is by separating these
marketing activities into three categories. Category one are channels and strategies that
are already working for you. And by “working,” I’m referring to generating
more customers to your business over vanity metrics like pageviews. Rather than guessing, this is where you
need to do a deep dive into your data sources. So that might be looking at your Google Analytics
conversion rate or new customer sign-ups. If you don’t have conversion tracking set
up, another great way to dig up this information is to do one-on-one calls or emails with customers. You can ask them questions like: How did you learn about us? And what made you purchase our products or services? If you have a decent sample size of customers,
I’m confident you’ll start seeing patterns and be able to identify your core marketing channels. An example for us, would be our blog and YouTube
channel, which we use to educate current and prospective customers on SEO-related topics. These are two marketing channels where we
spend a ton of our time, resources, and focus simply because they work. The second category are things that don’t work. And by not working, I’m referring to things
you’ve actually given a fair shot. Write down these activities and remove them
from your workflow. And the third category are channels and strategies
you’d like to try. A good way to do this is to have a running list
of brainstormed ideas. You can do this easily using Trello, where
anyone can add new ideas, and casually discuss different opinions or approaches within the cards. I cannot stress how important it is that you’re
able to identify activities that are proven to deliver ROI. Because if you focus your attention on unproven
activities, it’ll eat into time and money you could have spent on doing something
more profitable. Alright, step #3 is to delegate critical tasks
you don’t need to be involved in or share the workload with more capable team members. Let’s say you did an SEO audit on your website. You may be the best person to identify issues
and prioritize what needs to be fixed. But you don’t need to be involved in fixing every
little thing. For example, if you find some missing
meta descriptions, you don’t need to be the person to write all of these. You also don’t need to update them on the site. While the tasks may be small, they add up
and affect your mental capacity to focus on other tasks that require your expertise. The way to solve this is to break your critical tasks
into bite-sized pieces and delegate where possible. For example, if you’re like us and create blog content, you need to do your keyword research write your blog post, edit it, create a featured image,
and then upload everything to WordPress. Then you probably share everything on social media
and write up an email for your newsletter. If you’re doing all of these activities, then
my guess is that you’re doing too much. And this isn’t a compliment. It’s inefficient and for the most part, ineffective. Let’s look at this list and break it down. Keyword research can easily be systematized. In fact, we have videos on how to do keyword
research where you can literally copy our process. As for editing posts, I think every writer should do it
to a certain extent. But after writing for hours upon hours, you’re
eventually going to become blind to errors. At Ahrefs, we have Josh, who’s our head of content. Anytime someone writes a post for our blog, he’s
the one who’s going to edit and provide feedback. Then it goes back to the author, who’s responsible
for amending the fixes. Josh will then do a final edit and publish the article. So what about when Josh writes a post? How do we ensure his content is the best that it can be? I edit it and provide feedback. This editing and review process allows us to always
put our best foot forward without burning anyone out. Next on the list is creating featured images. This one is simple. If you’re the writer, don’t create them. Instead, create a detailed description of
what you’d like to see and send it to a designer. We have an awesome designer on our marketing
team, but we still occasionally send these to a freelancer when our internal designer
is bogged down with more critical tasks. Now, we need to upload everything to WordPress. And since we work primarily in Google Docs, we
actually use a tool called Wordable, which exports Google Docs straight into WordPress. Since it doesn’t take very much time using
this tool, we normally have Josh, who does the final edits to send them to WordPress. Ok, so maybe you don’t have a huge budget
to pay people salary. But you can use networks like Upwork or Fiverr
to work with contractors on a per-job basis. A simple way to know whether it’s worth hiring
is to put a monetary value on your time. Now, it’s important to note that you need to somewhat objectively decide your monetary value. So if you had a gig where you spent 1 hour, and you made a thousand bucks, it doesn’t mean you’re worth $1,000/hour. Just be honest. So let’s say you think your time is worth $30/hour. And it takes you about an hour to upload your
document to WordPress and make sure there aren’t any errors. Now, if we look on Upwork using the keyword,
“Wordable,” you’ll see a couple of potential prospects who have mentioned it in their profile. And it looks like this person might be good to try who may be able to do your job at 4X less than your personal hourly rate. But you should always trial and make sure
they can deliver the quality you’re looking for. Let’s move onto step 4, which is to document
your micro tasks and delegate some more. When I first started creating videos for Ahrefs’
YouTube channel, I was asked to “create awesome educational content.” So for the first little while, I did almost everything: сontent ideation, scripting, recording, producing, editing, closed captions, writing descriptions and tags, thumbnails, uploading, social media scheduling, and responding to comments. But as time went on, I was able to start training
and delegating tasks to other people on our team who are more capable. And even though we’ve lost some people throughout
my time here, onboarding new talent has been a cinch because of solid documentation. We have detailed documentation on all of the
effects we use in our video editing programs. We have a video on doing the closed captions
for our videos. We have a document for doing translations
of our closed captions. And another document for how we write our
YouTube descriptions. These are all micro tasks that used to overwhelm me. But with our video team handling small tasks
here and there, they’ve made my life easier, and our videos a lot better. Document your micro tasks and delegate appropriately. And the result should be more output and better
focus in the areas where you’re most effective. With your documentation in place, you should
be able to find people who can help you complete more work in less time. So it’s time to move on to step 5, which is
to scale what you’re doing. To illustrate my point, when I was creating
videos for our YouTube channel, I was producing a maximum of one video per week. After our team started taking on these micro-tasks, I can put out around 2-3 videos in the same amount of time. So to scale this process even further, it’s simple. Identify bottlenecks and breakthrough by modifying
processes or hiring additional help. This is something we’re doing right now and
it’s allowed me to allocate more time to other marketing channels and projects outside of
weekly YouTube videos. For example, I’ve been able to speak at conferences. Get YouTube Ads to work for us. And provide some training to others in our
group like our outreach manager, who’s absolutely crushing it right now. Had I continued to try and run YouTube all
alone, none of this would have been possible. Let’s move on to step 6, and that’s to experiment
with new things. If you’ve been following Ahrefs for some time,
then you know this guy: Tim Soulo. He joined Ahrefs four years ago as pretty much
the only person on the marketing team. He handled the blog and YouTube channel, hired
new people to the marketing team, trained them, and contributed to the development of
our product. And it wasn’t until last year when he was
able to let go of these two channels he had built to people like Josh and I. So this year, Tim has been able to speak at
a lot more conferences, contribute more time to the product, and be on over 20 podcasts
in the last 4 months among many other things. And as we continue to experiment with new
channels, we’re just going to rinse and repeat steps 1 through 5 focusing on only the things that
are working for us and the low-hanging fruit. Now, I’d love to hear from you. This video was clearly outside of what we
generally publish on our YouTube channel, so if you want to see more content like this, let me know in the comments. And of course, make sure to like, share and subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. So keep grinding away, focus and scale what’s
working right now, and I’ll see you in the next video.

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63 thoughts on “How to Prioritize Your Digital Marketing Tasks and Maximize Productivity

  1. Me and wife are a lone ranger right now. Have to do everything by our self…A lots to digest. Thanks for the video!

  2. Very nice Sir.
    How can I manage all those tasks? is it possible to manage all for one person without any team ?
    plz upload a video for daily life cycle for digital marketing project (practically)

  3. Some great tips, Sam. 👍 yeah it’s so easy to get distracted. You start researching something and the next thing you know your watching funny cat videos on YouTube lol.

  4. More power to you. I definitely need to learn the process of practice than the practice itself. Practice being blogging, SEO & digital marketing on the whole.

    Thank you for such amazing content.

  5. would love to know your youtube video creation process. based on the steps you mentioned, ideation, scripting…. would like to know more in details

  6. Hello sir i have some request,, can you add indonesian subtitle because my english is not very good for learn so i have a little difficult to learn all about your video ,, thanks sir 🙂

  7. Great content as always! Would love to see the documentation you've mentioned in this video! Would be tremendously helpful!

  8. Sam Oh and Ahrefs team are really doing an awesome job with this YouTube Channel… You're a true inspiration for me and the amount of value you give to your audience while promoting your product is just perfectly balanced.

  9. Sam, I wanna learn how to make videos like you on Youtube. I have tons of topics to talk about. I'm the only marketing person with two writers for blogs. Can you help?

  10. Great piece! Would love to know more about 1) running SEO tests 2) how you guys document everything you mentioned 3) how you make sure people are following those guidelines. One of my main challenges today is the amount of time used to check the final versions of our pieces (we publish stuff in 3 languages, so it can be tricky).

  11. Definitely, I want more people of these videos. Sort of everything everyone knows info but structured in a nice way to act as a reminder to all

  12. I'd like if you guys started putting your video content out as blog stuff, as well. I don't always prefer video format, but don't want to miss out on the great stuff you put out. Example, Moz does this with their whiteboard weds.

  13. Amazing channel! Love what you're doing. I'm new to digital marketing and you guys are my gurus. I will be watching every video in your backlog. I'm sure your channel will contribute to me becoming great in SEM. Thanks Sam.

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