If you’re running a startup or a newly established business, you may have been overwhelmed by the countless number of tasks you need to do to grow awareness of your brand. How do marketers keep up a regular routine of posting on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and the countless other social media resources that exist in today’s world.
A key approach many marketers use to streamline activities is Marketing Automation.
WHAT IS MARKETING AUTOMATION?
We’re sure you’ve heard of this term before and perhaps have your own definition. Neil Patel puts it simply:
Marketing automation is the process of using software and technology to optimize, automate and measure repetitive online marketing tasks.
If you find yourself doing the same task, over and over again, you can be sure there is a way to automate it so you can focus on more important business requirements. At Medium Marketing there are two ways we approach marketing automation.
- Creating a set of rules that can be followed by an outsourced individual
- Acquire the right technology to execute the activities based on the rules defined to achieve that marketing task
Processes, processes and processes
If you want to automate, you must set process. These are simple rules that a person or machine can follow to complete a specific marketing task. You can list these out on a google doc or use Process mapping software like Lucidchart or Visio.
Some of the channels you can look at automating are as follows:
You can use software like Active Campaign or Infusionsoft to send out multiple emails that have already been pre-defined. These can be triggered to send with certain actions from the recipient like opting in to a sign-up form such as a newsletter subscription or inactions such as resending the email three days later if they haven’t opened the first one.
By now, there are hundreds of tools that allow you to publish and distribute your content even when you’re not in front of the keyboard. Facebook now has a scheduling tool, whereas programs like Hootsuite allow you to post in multiple platforms using a single platform. You can also use automation to engage users and leads when they respond to your social media posts, so that you don’t have to respond to them manually.
On Site Messaging
The growth of Artificial Intelligence has led to a wave of new technologies that have taken automation to the next level. We work with platforms like FanPlayr which increase conversion of eCommerce sites by delivering messages to people on site based on their online behaviour. Segmenting people based on behaviour used to be a manual job, now this can be done automatically and updated in real-time saving us time and money, while increasing sales/
WHY DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED IT?
The majority of businesses I speak to always ask the question – “How do I take my business to the next level”. Part of the answer to this question is automation. When you’re bogged down with day-to-day tasks (such as posting repetitive social media posts), you lose your ability to make high-level thinking and decisions. Marketing automation allows you to take care of these smaller, yet important tasks, so that you can focus on looking at your business on a macro level.
Marketing automation platforms have built in analytics, so that you have a way to test, measure, and optimize your marketing ROI and its impact on revenue. Whereas an organization usually has to create processes for this in place, the programs already provide a function to help you understand what worked, what didn’t, and where you can improve.
Since you have access to analytics and are able to cull insights, it’s easier and faster for you to get access to customer data and behavior. As your customer base grows, using intimate, one-on-one customer experience is important – a one-size-fits-all message will come off an impersonal. For example, your email service provider may be able to give you insight as to which subscribers are individuals, and which ones have business accounts. This will help you craft your message and make it more appropriate for their needs.
Marketing automation helps you make the most out of limited staff and resources. For example: any trained staff member can be allowed to create and execute any complex campaign (such as sending out email newsletters), social media posts can be scheduled in different platforms using just one program (such as Hootsuite) – which in turn, saves you cost.
Marketing automation also works within the organisation. Project management programs such as Trello and Asana, allow teams to work remotely and still be updated about project status and next steps.