Marketing automation involves the use of software, techniques, and strategies designed to streamline processes that help businesses build, develop and nourish relationships with their customers.
The aim is to automate and in turn, speed up marketing tasks that were traditionally considered tedious and time-consuming. By automating your marketing efforts, you can devote more time and resources to other aspects of your business, including creating new content.
Why automate your marketing processes?
Since 2011, a growing number of bloggers and other types of business owners have been adopting marketing automation. Studies indicate that almost half of the total number of companies are utilizing marketing automation software or techniques.
Why? Entrepreneurs who have adopted the technology have observed several benefits including the following:
- Increase in sales
- Saves time
- Improves customer engagement
- Provides prompt responses to queries
- Opens up more business opportunities
Who is it designed for?
Marketing automation is suitable for almost any company and ideal for start-ups, entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized business owners who have limited resources available for their marketing efforts. Bloggers also fall into this category. The people under this group may not have a big team of marketing specialists that can manually handle targeted communications.
As a result, marketing automation can give them a hand. Because resources are limited, these professionals prefer to use software that allows them to start off small and move step by step towards a more refined automation plan. This kind of approach is ideal for companies that want to avoid tedious IT-projects.
Tips for automating your marketing efforts
Contrary to popular belief, automating your marketing efforts will not make your business look cold. If implemented properly, it actually makes it easier to send more personalized messages to your subscribers, regardless of how many they are. Here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Develop a strategy
As with any other aspect of marketing, you need a strategy. Your automation strategy should answer a few questions. First, what is the goal of your marketing automation? Do you wish to get more people to subscribe to your mailing list, follow you on Twitter or get more messages via LinkedIn?
Second, what are your target segments? If you are just starting out, experiment with one or two personas. Over time, you can add, remove or edit these personas.
Third, how do you plan to measure the success of your strategy? Are you planning to count the number of mentions, shares, tweets, likes, followers or will you be using another metric?
2. Produce consistent, quality content
Automation is not just about sending emails. It is about finding a way to communicate with each member of your growing audience. As a blogger, you need to continue creating useful content.
Produce content that targets different segments and personas in your audience. Think of what these different personas would like to know at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
3. Target all digital channels
Marketing automation may have started with growing your email list but don’t let your inbox restrict your ability to communicate with your target audience. There are people who prefer to leave comments on your blog, follow your social media accounts, send an email and so on.
Consider as many of these channels as you can and develop a strategy that will allow you to produce or publish content for the people using these varying digital channels.
4. Build your group naturally
Keep in mind that growing a group of followers or subscribers takes time. Avoid the temptation of buying email lists to generate leads. You can’t expect to get quality leads from these lists. What you can do instead is to use your content to draw them in. Encourage them through your content, to become an email subscriber, a social media follower or get in touch with your business through alternative options.
Marketing automation may make it easier to communicate with your audience but don’t abuse it. Avoid sending spam. Make sure you focus on permission-based marketing activities.
By following these tips, you can make your marketing efforts more effective and efficient while continuing to build and nurture your relationships with your leads and existing customers.
AUTHOR BIO: Tomi Saikkonen is the Vice President of Liana Technologies, Middle East. Just like you, Tomi is fascinated by the possibilities of digital marketing and technology. He actively seeks out ways to help businesses and organizations across industries to improve their digital marketing ROI.