Business Process Management

7 Marketing Tasks You Should Really Outsource to a VA


It’s no secret that time is money in any business. No matter whether you’re selling the hottest real estate around or making toothpicks for a living, you don’t have time to do everything yourself if you want to scale (or even run) your business effectively. You need to outsource some of your workload, but what should you offload?

Whilst the answer is really “anything which you personally do not have to do”, as long as your time could be better spent on something else, we have the top 7 tasks to outsource to a VA right here. These are the most common, time / resource consuming tasks which (frankly) we could happily see the end of.

If you want more time to focus on the things that matter for your marketing efforts, go ahead and outsource these tasks before anything else!

Gathering Emails

Nobody likes the arduous task of trawling through hundreds of contacts, manually adding their email address to each one. Equally, the task of finding new contacts and their email address can happily chew up hours upon hours of your work day; hours which could be much better spent personally building a connection to those new contacts, rather than just finding them.

Hence, whenever you have a task which requires the collection of email addresses, you should be outsourcing it to a VA. This is a prime example of everything an outsourced task should be; it’s time consuming, monotonous and doesn’t require any of your personal input or expertise to carry out.

Finding Contact Handles

This task has many parallels to gathering emails; finding other contact information such as Twitter handles or LinkedIn profiles can be just as time-consuming as gathering their email. Time which, once again, could be much better spent creating content to market, improving your website or, as with the emails, building a personal connection to said potential contacts. Essentially, instead of building the framework, you’re shaping your network.

Curating Social Media Content

If this is not already handled by your business process automation system, social media is something which you (by and large) don’t want to be dealing with. You want to have your social media accounts topped up with content that isn’t just an endless stream of self-promotion, but where exactly do you get content that resonates with your audience.

Depending on your tastes, you might try social bookmarking sites like reddit,, GrowthHackers, or putting together a small list on Twitter of accounts that tend to share top notch content. Making a marketing process for this should be easy if you know the kind of content you’d like to curate.

Visual Content

Whether you’re designing the cover for your brand new ebook or just need to get some header images to pair with your Twitter and Facebook posts, you could spend the time to do them yourself. After all, if you just have to do one or two images you might as well take the 5 minutes it takes to whip up a good image.

However, when you get to the stage where you need professional-looking infographics, 20 social media images a week and a new ebook every couple of months, it only makes sense to outsource the task to someone more qualified. Hey, just because the task is going to a VA doesn’t mean that it’s going to be worse quality! All you need to do is make some inquiries to learn who has experience with creating visual content, and then boom; you’re away.

Blog Commenting

Other than being a fantastic way to get your name and brand out there and seen on more popular sources, blog commenting is another monotonous task which can take up hours upon hours without ever being complete (as long as there are more blogs and new posts, blog comments can be made). So, rather than tackle it yourself, you can quite happily hand the task off to a VA without too much trouble.

The only problem which can be posed by outsourcing this task is that the comments should have some sort of review process. This could either be yourself (even if you review each comment, you’ll still save the time taken to write them) or a permanent member of your marketing team, but there should be at least a little quality assurance before a VA is allowed to say anything under your name.


Although this mainly applies to those of you who produce a podcast or video content, transcriptions are easy to do and provide you with extra content with relatively little effort. If you outsource the task you’re not even wasting any time on it – you’re essentially getting several mediums of content for the effort put into just the one.

Content Creation (Be Careful Though)

This may be a bit of a controversial one, but content creation doesn’t always have to be handled by an internal member of your team. You can outsource your content creation to a VA with little problem and, although you’d better have a thorough employee onboarding process to help them along, it should take little time for them to produce similar quality content to yours in the same (or even a shorter) time period.

As with the blog commenting, this should always be monitored and go through at least one of your team members before being pushed live; although many VAs are very talented and can most certainly deliver on what they promise, there’s always a chance that an error has snuck by them or that they haven’t got your tone right.

And there you have it! With a little caution and training, VAs can be a massive boon to your marketing efforts if you let them take these time-consuming tasks off your hands. However, why not take it one step further? Get creative with analyzing your day-to-day tasks and you may find that you can outsource more than you thought to great effect!


How Your Marketers Can Improve Customer Service


The following is a guest post by Ben Mulholland, a content marketer at Process Street.

I used to hate being put on customer support duty. I’m a marketer, not a support technician, and that Intercom notification noise has practically given me PTSD by now.

Then I realized the benefits being on support had given me. Other than mixing up my daily tasks (which I’ve found can help me be more productive) it:

  • Forced me to learn our product inside-out
  • Brought me closer to my audience
  • Showed me what my audience wanted/needed to know
  • Kept me up-to-date with our product releases (features, bug fixes, etc)
  • Taught me more about our SaaS stack

Rather than waffle on about every little thing support has taught me, let’s stick to those four points and expand them. Here we go.

Support duty makes them learn your product inside-out

Before being assigned to support duty, I had a basic understanding of what our product was, how you could use it, and what problems it could solve. After one week on Intercom chatting with customers, there was practically nothing I didn’t know about the product.

This is a vital advantage of marketers who have taken support duties – they’re ultimately more aware of the benefits and limitations of your product, and so they know better how to position their marketing efforts.

For example, without support duties I wouldn’t have known about the various use cases for our API, and by answering questions on the topic I inherently drilled the solutions into my own head.

So, when I switched back to marketing I knew more of what our product could do, and therefore how to more easily tie it into topics such as integrating SaaS apps.

Not only that, but I also knew what you can’t do with our API, meaning that nothing in our marketing made false promises as a result of incorrect assumptions.

It brings them closer to their audience

There’s nothing like support duty to let you know what your customers really want. From the questions asked, along with Intercom stats such as the company size, what platform they’re using, and what product plan they’re on, I was able to better flesh out the personas of our target audience.

This, in turn, led to us being able to better target a similar audience with relevant topics. For example, in manufacturing the most valuable feature of your product could be the ability to track the success rate of your processes. Knowing that means that we can benefit from making a point of that feature in any material which relates back to manufacturing.

There’s also the element of direct communication between your marketing team and their audience. Having some of your most visible employees (eg, your blog’s authors) answer direct questions from customers is a great way to enhance the connection they have to both your content and product.

Think about it – if you saw an article you liked, and then after reaching out to the support team manage to strike up a conversation with the author of that very article, there’s going to be an instant affinity to that team and author.

Common misunderstandings become apparent

Speaking of bringing your marketers and audience closer together, this also makes your team aware of the most common misunderstandings and points of confusion with your product.

In turn, this means that your marketers will have a much better idea of what they should be writing about to cater to their audience.

For example, let’s say that you’re an SEO SaaS startup, and your churn rate is in dire need to fixing. In your support box, ¾ of all free plan customers that leave are asking how to analyze the keywords their site currently ranks for, and what keywords they could branch off into.

That’s an opportunity.

If your marketers are on support duty they will automatically know that your audience needs to be told how to use your product to do this. Whether they create a single hefty blog post, a series of posts, a video, or an entire ebook on the topic, the content they create from knowing those questions will target key friction points your audience encounters, and help to ease them through their troubles.

This knowledge of common/key friction points can even help to reduce churn through your marketing material, as you’ll both attract a wider audience and educate your existing customers in the same piece of content.

They will know exactly what’s going on with the product

First, a declaration – I’m not in any way saying that marketers who haven’t been on customer support duty won’t have a clue what’s going on with the product. An organized team (no matter the shared responsibilities) will keep itself in the know with little trouble.

However, we still come back to the fact that the support team is closer to the product than marketing. For example, while you both may be told of updates that are coming to your platform, support will likely know of them first (through answering customer feature requests). Marketing (in my experience) is also far less likely to be notified of bug fixes when they’re pushed.

Once again, this knowledge can be vital when organizing your marketing processes and content. If there’s a big upcoming update then there’s every chance you’ll have been told to produce some sort of promotional material to go along with it, but minor updates can slip under the radar instead of being tied into fresh material for the blog.

For example, let’s say that your product is going to be updated to allow you to assign a group of people where previously only individuals could be placed. Knowing this, your marketing team could tie in some content which will allow them to mention how that’s possible using your app as an example.

Honestly, the list goes on, but even with these four key elements, it’s easy to see why your marketing team should be taking part of your support duty roster. Yes, it takes up their time, but the knowledge gained and relationships built from doing so far outweigh the negatives.

Have any experiences of your own with mixing up your support roster? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


The Death of Broadcast Advertising…

It has been a topic of discussion for some time now that broadcast advertising has been losing its effectiveness. I mean seriously, when was the last time you saw a billboard on the side of the road, picked up a phone and called the number displayed?

Maybe recently, but it was probably a fluke. Broadcast advertising is basically the same as spam – untargeted advertising to the masses.

Not that spam doesn’t work, it does. But it is not the most effective method of advertising.

Examples of broadcast advertising include:

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Newspaper
  • Billboards
  • Cold Calling
  • Junk mail
  • Etc…

These methods, while targeted to a small level (like you know that mostly females watch The Bachelor so you advertise female oriented products during the airing of that show), in modern age of today, you can do so much better.

With the technology and data that exists today, it is much easier to find, track and target your audience down to an almost exact science.

Here are some targeted advertising options to consider:

Search Advertising

I’m sure most of you know what search advertising, most people in the world have probably clicked on a Google search advertisement at some point in their lives. But you know why you clicked on it? Because you were searching for it, it works.

Facebook Advertising

Most people tell Facebook what their likes and interest are. So target people who are interested in what you have to offer…

Sponsored Emails

There are email newsletters in EVERY single market in the world. Instead of broadcasting to your general demographic, why not purchase an advertisement on an email list from people who have already indicated they are interested in what you have to offer?


Retargeting or behavioural retargeting is genius. You may have seen this happen to you already, but basically if you visit a site of a certain type (say a stock trading website) you can then follow that same customer across different sites showing them the same advertisement until eventually they buy.

Needless to say, there are many other methods of targeted advertising that all work very well. And a good combination of broadcast and targeted advertising can work wonders too (think broadcast advertising to determine your target market, then retargeting that customer until they buy). But if you find yourself stuck in the old school mentality of broadcast advertising only, you need to get with the times…