Baking has always been a hobby of mine, but in the wake of COVID-19, I joined the hordes of other wannabe pastry chefs in pursuit of the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and a successful sourdough starter. Baking is a great escape—it requires concentration, consistency, and creativity, all of which are an excellent temporary distraction from cabin fever. But I’ve also realized that the lessons I’ve learned from my #quarantinebakes are applicable to other aspects of my life as well. Those lessons perfectly parallel many of the most important tenets of a successful digital marketing strategy.
Read The ‘Recipe’ Ahead of Time
Any seasoned chef—professional or amateur—will tell you that the first step to baking success is to know what you’re in for. It’s also a lesson every elementary school teacher I ever had tried to teach: read ALL the instructions before you begin. In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, this is certainly easier said than done. With new social media platforms emerging all the time, the urge to rush in and establish your presence on every one of them can be hard to resist. While I always encourage experimentation, it’s also important to take a moment and do your research to set yourself up for success. Familiarize yourself with the purpose of each platform, get a grasp on a few social media best practices, and decide what “ingredients” you will need for success. Knowledge is power, and a well-researched marketing strategy creates a solid foundation for building a successful and impactful brand presence.
Prep Work Is Essential
In the world of baking, the french phrase “mise en place” (literally “everything in place”) refers to the process of setting yourself up for a successful result by chopping, measuring, and prepping your ingredients so that when it’s time to put it all together, you avoid delays and mistakes that might put your recipe in jeopardy. When time and temperature need to be precise, pausing to bring your butter to room temperature can mean the difference between the perfect, chewy cookie and inedible bakes better suited as paperweights. In social media strategy, “prep work” such as curating images, establishing brand standards, and laying out a content calendar will help your social media presence to be meaningful and connect with your audience. When all of your prep work is under control, it’s easier to deal with issues as they arise and pivot your strategy in the face of unexpected circumstances (like a global pandemic, for example.) Of course, one of the most efficient ways to handle prep work is to delegate to a sous chef—or in the case of your content marketing strategy, to a digital marketing expert!
Choose The Right Tools
My most valued possession is my stand mixer. Without it, my dough would be overworked, my meringue peaks pathetic, and my cake batter catastrophic. Sure, I could do all those tasks by hand, but I save time and energy by letting my tools simplify the process. In my work as a social media manager, the metaphorical “stand mixer” that helps me be more efficient and organized is Airtable, a project management tool that I use to create and manage social media content calendars. These days there’s an app or software to help simplify virtually every task. If you find that you’re struggling to manage a certain aspect of your digital marketing strategy, identify the pain points—other favorites in my arsenal include Canva for creating consistent graphics and Later for scheduling posts on Instagram—and then find a tool that can help streamline the process.
‘Bake’ To The Indicator
Have you ever made this heart-breaking mistake? A recipe for chocolate chip cookies instructs you to bake your treats at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. You pop them in the oven, set a timer….and when ten minutes have passed, are shocked to find that your perfect cookies are burnt beyond recognition. It’s an easy mistake to make, and one that plagues many a baker. It wasn’t until I started baking often that I realized my oven actually runs 20-25 degrees hotter than what it says on the dial! It’s a frustrating problem with a simple solution – now I always bake to the indicator, rather than to the timer. The same principle applies to social media marketing. As much as I would love a one-size-fits-all formula for success, the reality is that every business, every audience, and every platform is different. Instead of a “set it and forget it” strategy, digital marketing requires a hands on approach. One of the best things you can do to achieve social media success is to set goals and then be prepared to make adjustments, pivot your messaging, and try new methods from time to time in order to reach those goals.
With a little patience and the right tools, your social media presence can be a masterpiece! Whether you’re ready to hire a team to tackle your social content, or you’re just trying to decide which platforms would be best for your business, the TrustWorkz team is here to help! Call, email, or give us a shout-out on social and let us answer all of your digital marketing questions.