Marketing automation allows managers to reduce the amount of time spent to complete mundane tasks – social media management, running email campaigns, and so on. Recruitment process outsourcing companies or other businesses establish is too complex to handle with no assistance from technology – so is sales and marketing management. According to statistics, provided by Demand Gen, 91% of marketers that used automation in 2018 defined it as a ‘very important’ part of a company’s efficiency. 

What is marketing automation? How to get the most out of it? In this post, you’ll find out more about the benefits of automating marketing tasks as well as the list of activities that should have top priority during automation. 

Do you need marketing automation?

It’s common among marketing enthusiasts to define automation a ‘must’ for all companies, with no exception. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely evident that small-scale startups might not have so many complex marketing processes to fully benefit from outsourcing these tasks to technology. 

How to know if your company already needs marketing automation? Here are a few cases when automating marketing strategies is no longer an option. 

1. Most of your productive time is taking by performing mundane tasks

If you as a market manager are consumed with creating tasks lists, checking emails, and managing landing pages instead of researching innovative approaches to bring in new leads, it’s time to automate those redundant tasks. 

Marketing automation programs help marketing managers use their time more efficiently, prioritizing challenging tasks that demand constant training and skills over routing checkups and updates. You will also be able to create a set of standards for all your marketing activities – after running a successful campaign once, you can repeat it a dozen times over. 

2. You’re sort on qualified team members

As your company is upscaling, the need for new employees will become more apparent. However, due to budget constraints, expanding a marketing department is not always the most convenient approach. 

By outsourcing low-priority tasks to technology tools, you will be able to reduce or eliminate the need to bring new hires on board.

3. Keep track of all marketing tools you use is a challenge

Automation comes in handy for managers that use various tools to handle marketing activities – an email marketing campaign manager, a social media scheduler, a sales pipeline tracker, and so on. If these solutions don’t integrate with each other, managing each tool separately is a known challenge. 

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An automated marketing automation system is a way out. By being able to access all tools within one platform, you’ll be saving a fair share of time and increase performance efficiency. 

4. Your campaigns are ‘spray and pray’

Marketing automation allows managers to gather and analyze data efficiently. This way, instead of randomly blasting out email and social media campaigns, you will be able to get a better idea of your audience and tailor personal content. 

Here’s a brief list of automated activities that’ll improve the performance of your next campaign:

  • Create separate lists of leads based on selected criteria (gender, occupation, age, education, etc.);
  • Send personalized content to prospects based on their positions in the sales funnel;
  • Iterate campaigns automatically after a selected period to improve their performance and keep high brand awareness rates. 

7 Marketing Tasks You Need to Automate

While marketing automation is generally an effective tool, there are some tasks that are the most likely to benefit from it. Let’s take a look at the list of marketing activities you should automate in the first place. 

1. Blog posting

Blog early, blog often – goes the motto of any marketer involved in publishing content. Statistics, indeed prove regular blog updates to be an efficient way to attract traffic to a corporate website – according to HubSpot, companies that published over 16 posts per month, managed to increase monthly traffic flow by three times

Managing regular updates manually is exhausting and distracts a marketing manager from other tasks on the daily agenda. That’s where automation solutions come in handy. Here are some tools to check out:

  • Zapier – a tool allows you to connect blog promotion platforms with each other as well as create a publishing workflow that’ll publish new content with no supervision.
  • ConvertKit. The tool automatically segments blog readers – this way, a marketing manager can get a better grasp on what kind of content appeals to the audience;
  • Text Expander. This tool makes writing new posts faster and easier – you’ll be able to write snippets, and the entire word will be typed on the screen. For instance, when a manager types WP, a platform can turn a snippet into a word ‘WordPress’.

2. Email marketing

Manual email marketing is just about as exhausting as a regular blog posting. Without an automation tool, it’s nearly impossible to segment subscribers, reach out to different email lists at the most convenient time, and answer emails in a flash. 

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There are more than a handful of email marketing automation benefits. Here are a few impressive tasks it’ll help you accomplish:

  • Segment customers based on the customer journey;
  • Clean email lists automatically;
  • Integrate dynamic personal data into emails;
  • Customize an email template for each recipient. 

There’s a variety of email marketing automation software, namely:

  • Drip – a tool with pre-made, easily customizable email templates. Aside from personalization, the platform helps streamline the process of sending drips and allows to manage parallel campaigns;
  • MailerLite is a platform for email segmentation and campaign automation. The list of features includes pre-customized platforms, optimization tools, and advanced targeting instruments. 
  • MailChimp. The tool allows marketers to send automated emails, run follow-up campaigns, track users’ website activity and customize emails based on a shopper’s habits. 

3. Social media posting

Marketers have learned that automation tools are highly convenient during social media management automation. They help track trends and latest news, publish posts automatically, curate advanced user statistics, and so on. 

The list of objectives accomplished with social media automation goes as follows:

  • Content curation based on niche-specific keywords;
  • Detailed analysis of each post’s performance;
  • Real-time social media monitoring;

As to the most popular tools for social media marketing automation, here are several top picks:

  • BuzzSumo – a must-have for content curation. The tool allows following popular topics, track post and video marketing trends. There’s a filter system for all posts – relevance, popularity, and so on. 
  • Buffer – a user-friendly tool for collaborative social media sharing;
  • Hootsuite – an automated solution for post scheduling, real-time account monitoring, and other social media-related tasks. A tool also allows marketing managers to repost evergreen content.

4. A/B testing

Automated A/B testing is a faster, smarter way to evaluate the performance of your website. A marketer can use tools to record scenarios – later, a solution will run them with no supervision, record the result, and gather insights out of the process. 

Automated A/B testing allows marketers to:

  • Test CTAs;
  • Split-test forms;
  • Compare email schedules;
  • Test website elements. 

Let’s take a look at some tools for automation testing:

  • VMO – helps you test different versions of the website, change the placement and the look of buttons, headlines, etc. ;
  • Google Analytics ‘Experiments’ allows you to compare up to 10 versions of the same page;
  • Adobe Target – a tool for guided A/B testing that helps optimize content delivery. You will be able to test which version performs better for users from different locations. 

5. Data analytics

Managing a vast data pool marketers usually get from monitoring a corporate website and social media accounts is challenging without any help from dedicated tools. With analytics systems, you can sort through insights and use the data as a tool to see a bigger picture of the company’s audience, its interests and shopping habits. 

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Moreover, with reporting automation, you’ll be able to get real-time access to metrics. 

Here are a couple of tools marketing managers usually use to handle reporting and data analytics:

  • Google Analytics offers a wide range of reports collected automatically. After setting up a website pixel, a marketing manager will be getting daily updates on the website’s traffic flow, users behaviors, etc. 
  • Cyfe – an all-in-one analytics dashboard for marketers that shows how your marketing activities change the impact of user behavior;
  • CallRail – a tool to monitor conversion rates and gather insights from phone calls. 

6. Lead management

Statistics provided by HubSpot demonstrate that lead automation significantly improves conversion rates. However, the problem with manual lead management is that it’s often asynchronous, with rising miscommunications and misunderstanding between marketing and sales departments. 

Automation is a solid way to handle lead management. In short, it gives a marketer:

  • Automatic lead segmentation;
  • Personalized recommendations based on a visitor’s position in the funnel;
  • Automatic profiling.

There are various solutions aimed at lead management automation. The following ones are definitely worth checking out:

  • Salesforce – a tool with a wide range of integrations that helps marketing managers coordinate lead management processes;
  • Zoho CRM – a user-friendly lead management automation solution, with a wide range of integrations;
  • Pipedrive – a CRM that allows a marketer to create customized forms for lead generation. You will be able to parallel-manage several pipelines. 

7. Content proofreading

Content proofreading is unreliable when done by humans. The devil is, as a rule, in details – for a human eye, it’s easy to miss out on seemingly insignificant errors that would, in fact, ruin the performance of a post. 

The good news is, like with any marketing activity, automation will increase the precision and efficiency of proofreading. With the growth of AI and machine learning, context-based proofreading is making its way. Now, an automation tool will not only fix grammar blunder but point out poor wording or complicated clauses. 

The tools used for proofreading automation are usually the following ones:

  • Grammarly – an AI-driven text editor with a free version;
  • Wordrake – a user-friendly spelling and grammar checker;
  • Hemingway Editor – a tool that’ll point out style errors and offer suggestions on making a text highly readable. 

Conclusion

Marketing automation is no news for SMEs and corporations. It helps speed up marketing processes, perform several operations at once, and create a standardized approach to running campaigns across the entire team. 

To implement marketing automation, start with automating day-to-day processes – blog posting, email marketing, and social media posting. It’s a good idea to use automation for analytics and reporting, testing, and lead management activities. 

All in all, there’s a wide variety of free marketing automation tools that’ll help you understand if marketing automation is worth giving a shot. After a while of testing, you will have no doubt about its efficiency and positive impact on the business’ performance. 


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