Marketing Automation: Get More Out of Your Efforts
Marketers give automation a bad reputation.
As you look through your Facebook posts, you’ll notice dozens of articles about how automation doesn’t work or how it’s not helpful. Well, that’s not necessarily true.
Marketing combined with automation offers an opportunity for you to connect directly with your audience in a more efficient manner. Not only can your business save time with routine tasks, but your team can also gather new insights about your customers.
So, don’t subtract marketing automation from your strategy. There’s a chance to nurture your audience and increase your revenue. Here are 5 refreshing ways to optimize your business processes.
1. Share Relevant Social Media Posts
Research shows that 97% of online adults have visited or used a social network within the last month. If your business is aiming to earn new leads, social media is your destination.
However, most companies fail to maximize the potential of their social media presence. You’ve probably scrolled down your favorite brand’s Twitter timeline and noticed all the tweets referencing their products.
When brands focus solely on themselves, customers get annoyed. They don’t like that icky feeling of being sold something 24/7.
Instead, companies must gear their social media efforts toward educating and entertaining their audiences. You can share unique experiences from customers, post a vintage employee photo for #ThrowBackThursday, or even share funny GIFs during the holiday season.
Social media is all about giving your brand a vibrant personality that customers can relate to. Once you build that trust, your audience will feel more comfortable purchasing from you.
You’re thinking: that’s going to take several hours.
Not exactly. With social media management tools like Buffer, you can now automate your posts days in advance. You’ll reach your audience at the right times and drive more engagement.
Explore how you can share more relevant posts, and don’t forget to automate your social media tasks.
2. Track Visitor Behavior
Do you follow your website visitors? Are you monitoring how they interact with content on your pages?
If not, there’s a possibility your team is missing an opportunity to really learn about your consumers. Some businesses find it creepy to watch their customers, and it makes their teams feel like a bunch of stalkers.
If you feel that way, perhaps you’re taking the wrong approach. Tracking visitor behavior helps you understand the customer. When you know more, you can create better online experiences.
“By analyzing where your visitors come from and what content leads them to your site, you can better track your content ROI, learn more about how effective your efforts are, and create more of what your visitors find most valuable,” states Ashley Kimler, a communications specialist at Heroic Search Tulsa.
For example, if you set up Google Analytics on your site, you can observe which channels lead visitors to your products. You can learn how much time each visitor spends viewing a specific page.
Your team also can track specific interactions on your website, such as video downloads. More importantly, you gain all this data automatically.
Monitoring your visitors helps you serve your customers. When you focus on that goal, you eliminate the doubts of whether to track your visitors or not.
3. Capture Interested Buyers
Brick-and-mortar businesses are notorious for luring shoppers into their stores with catchy sales signs and window displays. And once a customer enters their doors, they grab the person’s interest with a friendly sales clerk and limited-time promotions.
As an online retailer, you can replicate this strategy for your business. All you need is a landing page, a content asset, and a pop-up box.
Landing pages work as a tool to earn your visitor’s attention. You’re not selling them on your product just yet. Rather, you want to encourage them to give you their email address in exchange for a content asset. The asset can be a five-part email course or a coupon for a future purchase.
“The content on the landing page primes the reader for what your asset will give them. It should provide a quick, digestible summary of what they’ll learn if they download it. This is the ‘exchange’ point in the process, where they decide if your asset is worth their time and their contact information,” writes Ben Silverman, marketing writer at Brafton.
But how will you collect their contact information? Will someone need to be online operating the site? Of course not.
You’ll add a pop-up box onto your website. So when someone clicks a specific link or button to sign up for your content asset, they will have the option to fill out a form. Below is a pop-up box from ThriveThemes.
You can capture interested buyers any time. That’s the advantage of marketing automation.
4. Identify Qualified Leads
You are thrilled when new prospects come through the pipeline. It’s a sign your marketing strategy is working.
Yet, most business strategies stop here. They have interested buyers and immediately start selling products to them.
That’s not quite how you want to do it. Instead, you need to create a system that moves consumers down your sales funnel. You want to turn prospects into qualified leads.
Work with your team to define activities that signal when consumers are ready to buy your product. These actions may include opening three promotional emails, visiting your product page five times within a week, or contacting a customer support member.
“Marketing automation provides a framework for your potential customers’ progress as they traverse the buyer’s journey, and makes it easy for marketers to manage leads. You define characteristics, such as a title or industry, and behaviors, such as attending a webinar, that indicate when a prospect will likely become a buyer,” says Chris Hardeman, vice president of sales at Act-On Software.
If you had to manually qualify leads, this labor-intensive task would take forever. Marketing automation platforms, like Pardot and ActiveCampaign, offer lead scoring that track customer engagement over time.
You have the power to improve team productivity and increase sales. So, start figuring out how to qualify your leads today.
5. Send Targeted Email Campaigns
Communication is important when it comes to online marketing. It matters how and when you send messages to your audience.
In the past, businesses dominated the communication with their customers. Companies made unilateral decisions about what they would say.
With advances in technology, the brand-customer relationship favors the buyer. Customers control when and where they want to receive sales messages.
As a result, businesses deliver multiple emails to their customers every day—all vying for their attention. To separate yourself from the pack, it’s imperative that you send targeted email campaigns. These personalized messages fit each customer’s shopping behaviors and specific product interests.
Customized emails ensure that buyers read your content and pay attention to your services. Plus, your subscribers get the sense that your business understands their needs.
Email marketing software makes it easy to deliver personalized automated messages to your list. For instance, with Constant Contact, your team can send automated birthday emails to each subscriber.
You want customers to listen to you. To do so, send targeted email campaigns to strengthen the consumer relationship.
It’s Time to Automate
Automation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all your marketing challenges. However, it is useful for streamlining your business workflows.
From social media to email campaigns, marketing automation facilitates the customer journey. You can attract, nurture, and convert leads without the unnecessary hassle.
Give automation another chance. It’s worth the investment.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.