If the idea of marketing your business puts a pit in your stomach, then you want to automate your marketing.
Automating your marketing is an ideal productivity strategy for small business owners who want to concentrate on their business.
Once you commit to marketing automation, the biggest work you have to do is map out your marketing process. After mapping out your marketing process, you choose your marketing strategy and choose your tactics. Finally, you create the content that supports your strategy and guides prospects through a funnel until they become a customer.
Just make sure that whatever you do automate, you don’t just set it and forget it. The good news is, most marketing automation tools have reporting functionality and alerts for major points you need to note.
Why Automate Your Marketing?
Marketing automation is the best way to increase sales and free up your time to do what you love.
What? More leads, more customers more time? Absolutely! Let’s dig a little deeper on this high-level marketing automation benefits.
Manage a ton of moving parts:
If you want more leads that turn into customers, you’re going to need a lot of marketing channels. Most marketing automation tools will manage your blog, social media promotions, Facebook ads and more. Pulling in new leads from all over the web or even locally and feed them directly to your business.
Give your customers the experience they deserve:
As you know, the more moving parts, the more potential for customer confusion. A well-designed marketing automation process gives you the ability to consistently improve your customer’s experience. For example, you can make sure that there is contact information. You can add additional ways to contact you and get their questions answered
Sell more stuff
While a machine can never replace the human touch, machines are simply awesome at consistently spotting patterns. Today’s marketing automation tools will match your customer’s wants with additional products and services that they might like.
The beauty of this modern, digital world is that it’s completely viable to automate a lot of your business processes. Of course, there’s no substitute for doing your marketing research and planning a proper strategy. However, once you’ve done so, you can set a few things to run by themselves.
Out of all your business systems, marketing is one that’s actually quite easy to automate. A good business will know who they are targeting, what their brand message is and where they want to spend their marketing budget. With this knowledge, automating the actual process of marketing becomes fairly simple.
It’s all about investing in the right tools to make your life easier. There are plenty of apps or software programs out there that will do the actual nitty gritty of marketing for you. All you have to do is take the time to set them up properly and you’ll be A for away.
So Which Areas Can You Automate?
There are quite a few ways you can go, but these three are the easiest to get started with and will immediately show you some great ROI:
This is all of your email and text message marketing, and it’s one of the simplest marketing methods to automate. It’s also one of the most cost-effective methods that will give you an incredibly high return on investment. In addition to this, there are a myriad of platforms that allow you to automate your message sending.
Yes, you will have to build your database of people to send these messages to. You will also have to write the messages. However, once that’s done, you can set up the system to run itself with automatic replies from templates and regular follow up messages at selected intervals. All you need to do is keep an eye on the responses to ensure nothing serious is being missed.
Most of these platforms also allow you to create templates, making life easier for the next campaign you want to run. The more you use the system, the easier it’ll be in the long run. You can have templates for email newsletters, text message special deal announcements, follow up reminders, and more.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
This might seem like something that’s only for the big corporations, but even small businesses can benefit immensely from a good CRM tool. They’re also not that expensive to invest in, with several being cloud-based these days, and your fee for use based on the number of customers and leads you generate in the system.
The general idea behind these tools (exact features and functions will vary from developer to developer) is that you have one dashboard where you can access all of the information relating to your leads and your customers. You can sort through them based on what interactions you’ve had with them and where they are in the sales funnel (new lead, interested in buying, already a customer, etc.). With a good tool, you can track exactly what conversations you’ve had and set reminders to follow up or send more information to the lead or customer.
Having all of this information housed in one place will allow you to get an overall picture of how your business is doing. You can see reports on how many leads were brought in during a month, week or year – and which marketing endeavors brought them in. You can also look at whether they converted into sales or dropped off.
Being able to just pull reports on all of this data is invaluable to a business of any size. You can see what marketing efforts are working for you, allowing you to focus your attention better. You can also see where you are possibly going wrong in your sales pitch if people are falling off the radar at a certain point in the process. All of this will help you to refine what you’re doing and boost your business.
This is another of the more popular areas that businesses of all sizes can easily automate. The tools available to schedule your posts are quite impressive and vary in terms of price to use. With one of these tools in your arsenal you’ll be able to write and create your content well in advance (although it’s probably best not to do more than one month ahead) and schedule each piece to post on the correct day, at the time you choose. Getting that all out of the way – whether you do an entire month or one week in advance – will free you up to focus on other things in your business.
You can then use that same tool to keep an eye on comments, replies and messages from your customer base that have come through via your social media profiles. If you have several social media profiles, consolidating them in one tool can make your life a lot easier because all your community management can be done in one place. You won’t have to log into each profile every day to see what people are saying.
To Automate Or…
There is no “or not to” about it. With so many tools available online to try for free, it would be crazy to not give them a trial. It may take a bit of time and effort to set everything up, but once you are up and running, the rewards are clear. You will save time and you will have a more efficient and effective marketing strategy.