Automating certain tasks in business can turn hours of work into minutes, and sometimes eliminate manual processes altogether. While completely hands-off automations are the perfect solution for the daily busywork that exists just to take up valuable company time, marketing often requires more human interaction and authenticity.
So what does automating your marketing look like when you want to stay in direct contact with potential leads and create valuable content? Keep reading to get some insight into what marketing automation is, how it helps your business, and some tips on how to implement it.
What Is Marketing Automation?
In the simplest terms, marketing automation is about using software to increase revenue and improve efficiency to cut costs. Automating your marketing involves using software and web-based platforms that put certain tasks on autopilot to both free up your time and give you valuable data that can help you better grow your customer base.
Marketing automation can generally be separated into three categories: automation of internal processes, marketing intelligence data collection, and general business development.
- Internal processes can include all of the essential tasks that the company has to complete to keep the marketing department going, including budgeting, content calendars, and the storing, organization, and security of data.
- Marketing intelligence and data collection generally involves monitoring customers’ online behavior, including the number of visitors to your website, how long each page was viewed, and identifying patterns to better understand the traffic your brand experiences across several platforms.
- General business development is all about turning visitors into leads, and leads into customers. This can be done through email marketing, digital ads, etc., after gathering information on a lead’s (or group’s) specific interests and other behavioral data.
How Marketing Automation Benefits Your Business
There’s no question that a marketer with vision will always have to put thought into the intricacies of their work and plan for the future. Despite the fact that marketing will never be as hands-off as some other facets of business, automation can provide you with the time you need to focus on more important projects and push your business to a new level.
One of the biggest advantages of implementing marketing automation software is the ability to put your company’s time to better use. Whether you’re an owner or an assistant, automation will allow you to delegate time-consuming daily tasks to a specialized software so you can spend time more productively. Reducing the amount of busywork that both employees and managers have to complete will allow for better ideas, more collaboration, and a more effective workflow.
High quality leads are more profitable and offer a higher return on investment. Companies that truly cultivate, develop, and nurture their leads and use tactics such as targeted email campaigns make 50% more sales for 33% lower cost. It has also been reported that businesses that utilize automation to help manage leads see at least a 10% bump in revenue within a year or less.
Improve Customer Relationships
A great way to form connections with potential leads is by sending targeted marketing materials (emails, ads, deals) based on their interests and behavioral patterns surrounding your brand. This makes people feel seen and heard and encourages them to have more trust in your company’s intentions, as well as more interest in your product or service. Having more data on leads helps you cater to them as individuals as opposed to sending out a wide net and hoping to catch a few sales.
The Bottom Line...
First, you want to pick a tool that fits your needs. A great way to start is by looking at the reviews for the marketing automation software you’re interested in. If you’re not sure where to begin, visiting a software review site such as G2 could help you compare the leading softwares and get an idea of what’s out there. During this process, it is important to think about which automations would be the most valuable to your company and what you want your marketing to look like in the future.
Most software will have an easy-to-follow process for integrating and implementing automations with your current data and programs. It’s usually best to start small in the beginning and automate something simple, like ‘thank you’ emails or calendar updates.
As you look through your data and make decisions about the direction of your marketing, you can automate specialized email campaigns that can be used to nurture leads and make ROI higher than ever, create optimal content calendars, track, plan, and publish effective digital ads, and so much more. The best time to get started with automated marketing is now!