Regardless of whether you are running the most efficient company on the planet or not, every business is always looking for ways to cut costs while also driving better results.
In a lot of business aspects, this can be hard to do. However, there is one aspect where many firms can make a huge impact: marketing automation.
What is Marketing Automation?
Well, Forrester explains that marketing automation is a “tool and process” which in turn can assist in:
- Generating new leads
- Managing customer loyalty
- Improving existing leads’ likeliness to purchase
- Developing sales and marketing alignment
In other words, it means decreasing the amount of manual effort your employees need to contribute to your marketing strategy because they can (instead) make use of a range of mechanisms that automate these repetitive processes for them.
Not the direct communication with customers, of course. But the email reminders, the follow-up notifications, the “thank you” tweet for becoming a follower. These things don’t need to be manually written and sent; they instead can be part of an automated process that just happens — whether your employee is on their laptop or not.
There are plenty of ways to use marketing automation. Here are three:
Marketing Processes You Must Automate to Drive Better Results
1. Your Blog Promotion
It takes time to create good content, but there is no point investing those resources into it if no one actually reads the stuff. Writing less frequent, shorter, lower-quality blog posts isn’t the answer to preserving time and money on your content marketing. We’ve tested a lot of strategies and can proof that this is true.
Instead, you need to get better at marketing your content and ensuring that more eyeballs are looking over it.
Here is where marketing automation comes in. Instead of having an employee (or a team) manually write, schedule and promote your content in real time, you instead can automate the promotion parts of the equation.
For example, you can:
- Send automated email notifications to subscribers using GetResponse when a new blog post is posted.
- Instantly publish the links to new blogs on all relevant social media channels.
- Have an RSS syndication on appropriate resources for your blog posts.
- Immediately release the content links on your employees’ social media accounts.
There are plenty of other ways in which you can automate this marketing strategy, but those are four of the most common.
After all, you know that every time you publish a blog post, you are going to want to alert your subscribers and have it posted on the appropriate social media channels — so why waste time to have someone type those out?
2. Your Lead Tracking and Nurturing
There is no denying that thanks to the internet, you are competing against a lot of other businesses in your niche for valuable leads.
All leads are significant, and it is essential for you to capture them as often as possible. (Your sales team will thank you!)
However, there is no efficient way to capture and nurture these leads through a manual process. You need to utilize some sort of automation process, such as a customer relationship management solution (CRM).
This CRM solution should have automatic lead capturing from contact forms, as well as a way of systematically accumulating the data to drive conversions.
Typically, you only have 30 days or less to get a user engaged and then converted, so by having automated scheduled follow-ups or reminders, you can manage these opportunities.
Sending out these follow-ups and reminders manually is a time-consuming, exhausting process and one which is clearly going to let some leads slip through the cracks.
If you want to drive better results, you need to automate your lead tracking and nurturing.
3. Some Parts of Your Social Media Marketing
Ask a marketer about how they manage their social media, and you are likely to hear a very loud groan. It is a fair response, considering it is one of the most challenging tasks to manage manually.
Each business, no matter the size, has to find a method of engaging with thousands (or potentially hundreds of thousands) of fans and followers. This is no easy task.
Not only do you have to be posting on social media platforms every couple of hours, but you also have to be engaging in conversations, and making it all seem as though it is “real time” — not to mention concentrating on community building.
Doing this manually is an intense task and one that can use up precious resources.
So, by automating the social media process, you are a step ahead of the competition regarding maintaining a visible presence.
While the community-building aspect should always be driven and managed by real people, the other elements can benefit massively from automation.
For example, by observing your consumers on social media, you can better recognize current developments in your business, or new demands they have, and then have an automated message ready to go.
Unfortunately, too many people believe that only large-scale firms can afford marketing automation systems. However, this is not true — not in the slightest. More and more small businesses are recognizing the benefits of marketing automation systems and are implementing them in every manner possible.
Of course, large firms were the first ones to try out these systems, but once it was proven that they lead to higher efficiency, other sized companies realizes that they can’t afford not to use this solution as well.
If you want to achieve better results for your small- or medium-size business, while also lowering your marketing costs and increasing the number of leads you nurture, then automating these marketing processes is the way to go.
Additionally, too many companies think that automating marketing processes equals complex systems running large operations on big data. This also couldn’t be further from the truth.
While these “complex systems running large operations on big data” can bring even higher efficiency, you can see results from just adopting one of these automated marketing processes.
At the end of the day, when marketing your company, you want to get the highest results with the lowest cost to your firm. By automating your social media, your lead nurturing, your user onboarding, and the like, you can then spend your time, energy, and (most importantly) money developing other aspects of the business.
Seems like a win-win, no?
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.