Kyle Hamer • April 9, 2020
arketing automation can increase sales productivity by nearly 15 percent. At the same time, it can reduce overhead by more than 12 percent. That frees up time and money you can use to reach more prospects, who you can then convert into customers.
Let’s look at how a marketing automation strategy can help you build your brand more effectively.
What is Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a process of automating repetitive marketing tasks with software or other tools. It lets you reduce the time you spend on the processes so you can focus on the bigger picture.
These automation tools let you streamline things like:
- Email marketing
- Social media posting
- Video marketing
- Mobile outreach
Automating these processes can save you a lot of time but it’s important to remember that there is such a thing as too much automation (we’ll get to that shortly).
Creating a Consistent Brand Identity
One of the easiest and most effective steps in automating your brand marketing is to set up internal processes for a consistent brand identity. This gives your brand a standard look and feel across all your channels.
Create templates for common documents like PowerPoint presentations, letterhead, web assets, and other images. Whenever you or someone in the company needs to create a document, the template helps ensure a consistent presentation.
Email Marketing Automation
Email is one of the easiest and most effective marketing channels to automate. There are many email service providers (ESP) that let you automate sending messages to your list as well as segmenting the list based on any number of different criteria.
You can send newsletters to your entire list to keep your brand on their radar or you can send promotions and follow-ups to segments of your list that have taken another action (or haven’t taken an action). For example, you can send one message to people who click a link in your newsletter and another one to the people who didn’t click the link.
Social Media Marketing Automation
Social media automation tools make it easy to update all your social channels from a central hub rather than having to log into each website to post updates manually. Tools like HootSuite and Zoho can connect to major networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
You can schedule posts to go out on a particular day and time, you can repost older items to increase engagement, and you can cross-post items between sites. These tools can also give you consolidated reports for all your social platforms to make it easier to identify the most valuable sites and the ones that you can spend less time on.
Video Marketing Automation
Video marketing automation doesn’t mean you’re automatically creating the video itself. It’s about automating some of the steps in the creation process, such as video templates, and posting and promoting your videos.
A tool like YouTube Studio gives you a dashboard where you can upload your video, see channel analytics, and track and respond to comments on your videos. Once you have more than a couple of videos uploaded, it becomes unmanageable to stay on top of these things on a video-by-video basis.
Mobile Marketing Automation
Mobile internet usage has been growing over the last several years. It accounts for more than half of the traffic on most sites. The bounce rate is the other side of that equation though. Mobile users account for over two-thirds of the bounces on those same websites.
The takeaway from those numbers is that you can’t treat mobile users the same as desktop users. Adding mobile-centric features like automated chatbots to your website will help keep those visitors engaged with your brand.
Mobile also offers some unique marketing channels that aren’t an option on the desktop such as text messaging. Automated text messaging can improve engagement with your prospects and customers and can provide front-line support for many common issues. If someone reaches the limits of the automated system, it can hand them off to a live person.
How Automation Can Work Against You
Automated marketing campaigns can help build your brand but they can also damage it if they’re not used properly. Like any good superhero knows, with great power comes great responsibility.
It can be tempting to automate every possible task in your marketing process but some things are better to have at least some human input.
Automating your content curation can lead to publishing irrelevant or poor-quality information. Someone should be vetting any curated content before it goes live on your website or any other channel.
Automated chatbots and other customer-facing automation can work well but don’t try to pass it off as a real person at the other end. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have come a long way in the last few years but they can still run into roadblocks that make it obvious your customers are dealing with a computer.
Scheduled Content Publishing
Scheduling your blog posts, social media posts, and other content publishing is a great way to save time but you need to be careful not to go too far with the automation. Scheduling content too far in the future with no review process can lead to content getting published at a bad time. It can come across as tone-deaf or, worse, offensive in some cases.
Most email providers let you personalize the messages you send with things like the recipient’s name. This adds a personal touch but you need to be careful to pay attention to what’s going out. There’s no quicker way to destroy any sense of a personal connection than sending an email that starts with “Hi [FIRST NAME]”.
Where to Turn for Help With Your Marketing Automation Strategy
To create a strong marketing automation strategy, you’ll need a mix of skills. It’s not only about knowing your market and creating a strategy to reach them, but it also takes some technical know-how and data crunching ability.
If you would rather focus on the core strengths of your business and leave the marketing automation details to experts, Hamer Marketing Group can help. We offer a full range of marketing automation services to help you automate your marketing funnel.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you reach more customers and grow your business on autopilot.