Most online marketers have heard of marketing automation by now but may not have a firm grasp of what it means. The definition of marketing automation according to HubSpot is a process to automate repetitive tasks such as social media posts, emails, and other frequent tasks that keep a marketing department busy.
Content Creation of the Future
Intelligent content is another term that may just be appearing on your radar. Content Marketing Institute describes intelligent content as structured and reusable online content complete with metadata and entirely supported by intelligent content technology. To continue meeting the needs of your customers in the future, we encourage you to invest in both marketing automation and intelligent content. When you consider the numerous devices and channels your customers use to access your content, ensuring that it’s reusable just makes sense.
The Ideal Automated Marketing Solution
In an ideal world, marketing automation is a system of tactics and software that delivers useful and highly personalized content to prospects and nurtures them along in the sales cycle. Amazon.com has all but perfected such a system. Your company could expect significant return on investment and new revenue if you had the resources to implement the same thing. It requires a commitment to developing and nurturing leads until they become regular paying customers.
The Challenges in Implementing Marketing Automation
Because marketing automation is somewhat of a buzzword right now, many marketers have mistakenly thought that all they need to do to implement a successful program is buy some software. That is only the first step. What often ends up happening is that marketers have sophisticated software that allows them to automate their sales funnel in the middle but nothing to help them nurture new leads.
The frustration this creates causes some marketers to buy email address lists and attempt to nurture those prospective customers instead of generating inbound leads for themselves. Although this offers a quick fix, it provides nothing in the way of a long-term solution. It also doesn’t lay the groundwork for long and healthy relationships with future customers.
What to Do Instead
Here are some tips from a HubSpot blog post that fall on the “do this” side of things:
- Make sure you know your goals before you start. You never want to reach the point where everything is on automatic pilot and you don’t listen to what your customers want anymore. HubSpot recommends integrating your inbound marketing strategy with your marketing automation plan. The purpose of inbound marketing is to provide your customers with valuable content that matches their interests and goals. Implementing an automated marketing plan should only enhance that.
- Send specific and highly targeted content to a small audience to start. Assume that a potential customer downloaded and read a short eBook from your website. The next email that person receives should relate directly to that topic, which means you can hopefully move the person along in the sales funnel. Sending something totally unrelated would only confuse the prospect and perhaps even make him or her forget about the topic of the eBook.
- Establish customer engagement campaigns that ensure your current customers feel satisfied and want to come back for more. Once a customer has purchased from you, keep the momentum going by sending personalized and information-rich content that encourages him or her to continually check back with your company for additional products or services.
It’s About Nurturing, Not Selling
The whole point of marketing automation is to provide current and prospective prospects with relevant and personalized content while avoiding the hard sell at all costs. The program that you put into place should make it easier for you to attract, convert, and close more sales. Don’t forget about the importance of monitoring actions taken by your customers so you can tweak your automation process if necessary.
You need great content before you can automate anything. If you’re looking for a content writer, view our complete writer directory and then get in touch with any questions.