Marketing Automation has been such a hot topic for the last decade. Giving companies the ability to market their business and develop new customers, all automatically, it's no secret why it works for them.
A company's connection to a customer is compiled by marketing. In order for any small business or corporation to connect with their audience, marketing is absolutely necessary. Word-of-mouth is certainly effective, but a target market is not always within a company's direct network.
Different marketing solutions are made for different businesses with their own specific needs. HubSpot is a good place to start for content marketing, but you can certainly check into Marketo or MailChimp. Yesware is another one that has been doing alright to manage more the e-mail conversion side of things.
Here are the reasons why we love marketing automation, and why HubSpot has been the choice of ours since inception:
A myth about automated marketing, that a lot of marketing companies make big money on, is developing a content strategy. Having a strategy in place does several things: gives direction to your messaging, helps organize the pipeline, and also helps to understand a targeted market.
One thing that is important to note, is that strategy with content is always evolving, so spending a ton of time or money on the "perfect strategy" is not necessary. These marketing firms certainly do good work, but the strategy for content has to move with an audience's specific needs and wants.
Needs and wants can be uncovered during the content process. While campaigning to specific personas, you'll uncover what other needs they have, and what other markets you could possibly address with either content you've already produced, or with new content that you'll implement into your strategy.
Just remember, be specific.
The more vague the audience is, there's a good chance that the content written to engage them is going to either have a poor response rate, or will completely miss the right audience.
In general, through your beginning sales processes, you probably have a decent idea of what your target markets are like. Several things like how they found you, the problem you helped them solve, or the reason why they were purchasing from you, are great starting points.
If your sales team does not have this knowledge capital, before you automate, you may need to take one step back and implement policies to ask for these types of answers.
Let's get into different types of automation, and the reason why we like it, so that you can start automating your own marketing and grow your leads.
Does anyone remember getting their first email from AOL? Sitting around just waiting for that message "You've Got Mail!"
The excitement would build over a week and you were just waiting for grandma to figure out how to get online with the DSL or dial-up modem.
But now, of course, we all know that e-mail has evolved. We now have a handful of tools within our email inboxes to help sort the crap from the good ones. Or the spam folder that you have but just now realized, since it's just not something you generally think about.
First, we need to make sure that it's clear that email marketing is different than marketing automation. Email marketing is a type of marketing automation, and sometimes is used interchangeably, but is not the same thing.
With inbound marketing, the objective is to turn strangers into customers. So one of the greatest assets of email marketing are the emails contracted from an audience that has already engaged with your website.
In order to get them to actually purchase the product, you can align interests with marketing, branding, and content to engage them over time. Most websites will have someone give up information, like an email address, in exchange for great content.
So now, the person signing up has shown interest in what the company produces, and you now have their information.
HubSpot's email campaign set-up makes it easy for a company to market to these people. You can set up specific personas, and when people fall into these specific targets, that's which email funnel they'll fall into.
Email templates also have an impact in how many people will engage with an email. The flow of the email can filter someone into a call-to-action, or ask them to download more information. This is a great time to measure their engagement and really understand what it is they are attempting to accomplish.
It's really simple to set-up email campaigns to target each individual persona, because each has their own needs and wants. In order to have a successful campaign, though, you really need to have a great email template.
Once the campaign has been set-up, you can now use HubSpot's reporting methods to see what types of interactions your new persona has had with the emails such as open rates or who unsubscribed.
Using this information, you can gauge which changes need to be made to each email to increase persona sales success over time.
The data, the emails sent, and moving each potential client down the sales funnel happens automatically. So while your company is cranking out work for the clients you already have, several more are being built in your marketing automation platform in the meantime.
Social Media Marketing
Automating social media is one of our favorite reasons for marketing automation platforms. Social media play a big part in promoting content and sharing information from other reliable sources with an audience you want to attract.
Following the inbound marketing method, as a company you want to deliver content that is meaningful and helps the audience in some way. Maybe you show them how to solve their biggest problem, or you just make them smile.
It's very easy to schedule messaging to go out to multiple social channels in just a few short minutes.
If an employee or company owner is spending most of their day going around to various social media platforms just to put out one message, the value is just not there. Your audience probably appreciates it, but you're most likely not going to make a ton of money off one message.
HubSpot has implemented an upgrade for their social media scheduling, which now allows for the marketer to see each of the messages going out in a single string.
What this can actually do is not only keep messaging similar across multiple platforms, but also allows for the marketer using the automated software to view which messages will go out when, and can potentially lead someone through the very top of their sales cycle.
Social media can be used to nurture relationships with past customers or small businesses.
So here's the way it normally goes: you produce content to attract strangers within your target market to your website. The hope is to build trust with the potential customer and so they give contact information in exchange for the information provided.
Now when you email this person, they already have an idea of who you are, and what information you can provide to them. In short, they're more likely to respond or engage.
Here is a big tip, and the reason why we love content marketing so much.
When considering a target market, understand that they are worried about their problems, and not yours. A company that is producing content based on what services they offer, or oversell their own products, will never truly connect with the end user or their customers.
Content marketing and inbound methodology is all about creating an environment that helps the audience as much as possible. Not only can this set you up for a win when it comes to the sale, but it also plants a seed in making your own customers your best sales team.
So, stop thinking about how many times you can email someone, and your conversion rates and how many times someone opened your email or viewed your content. Instead, focus on how many people are actually interacting with your brand, and wanting to be a part of what you're trying to accomplish.
Marketing automation is a great tool to help your business grow. It is a powerful tool if used correctly. It's not about just blasting as many emails as possible, or growing as big an audience as possible. It's about becoming customer-focused and really appreciating and showing empathy for someone else's problems. Success will come to the company that takes care of their customers the best.
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