Surefire ways to grow your revenue and your client base with a successful marketing automation strategy.
In part 1 of our marketing automation series, we discussed the basics of automated marketing strategies.
Now we’ll take a look at developing your marketing automation strategy and why selling your products should be the last thing on your mind. Sound counterintuitive? We’ll explain why it works.
Defining Successful Marketing Automation
We’ve established the value of effective marketing automation, but that’s not very helpful if you can’t tell the good strategies from the bad. So, what makes a good automated marketing strategy? There are several key factors of any automated strategy worth its salt:
- Goal setting: Every inbound marketing strategy needs concrete, measurable goals. Include a set of metrics you’d like to grow (revenue, lead generation, sales productivity, etc.) as well as a set of numbers you’d like to decrease (overhead costs, lost sales opportunities, etc.).
- Definitions: If you want to generate more leads and streamline the buyer’s journey, you’ll have to define your leads (demographic, income bracket, concerns related to your industry). You’ll then need to define your lead stages. Lead stages can consist of three basic steps (awareness, interest, conversion) or a more nuanced progression.
- Lead nurturing program: Create content for each lead stage and determine the type of activity that will trigger each piece of content.
- Data tracking: Monitor your metrics to allow your system to filter, segment and score relevant information. This allows your marketing automation software to respond to lead activity.
Content Over Sales
When people hear the word automation, they tend to think of a machine that runs all on its own. But while marketing automation can save you time and overhead, it’s anything but a hands-off process, and content creation is one of the best examples of this. Content is your most essential marketing tool, and if you want your lead nurturing program to work, you’ll need to create a lot of it, and create it well.
Having a database of consistent, high quality content targeted towards your demographic is the first step in your automated marketing plan. If you can’t deliver the goods after you have their attention, there’s no point in having an automated system in the first place. WordPress publishes 58.7 million new blog posts each month, a stat worth keeping in mind when you turn to your own content creation. Your content must be unique, well written and engaging to keep the ball in your court.
A visualization of the number of blog post per month on WordPress
But when it comes to content creation, don’t fixate on making sales. Some of the best online content out there seeks to entertain and educate rather than sell. Lead nurturing is all about keeping readers interested enough in your brand to take them to the next level, and the best way to keep them hooked is to provide them with interesting information, not bombard them with advertisements.
Assembling a Masterful Marketing Strategy
According to research by The Annuitas Group, 64 percent of CMOs have an informal plan or no process in place to manage their automation strategies. This is like setting sail without a compass. Without a guiding strategy, how can you hope to achieve your goals?
A number of factors can contribute to an effective automated marketing strategy. While each company can develop their own unique touch when it comes to marketing automation, these take-home tips are some of the essentials:
1. Analyze your results. Without proper data monitoring, you’ll have no idea whether you’re closer to meeting your goals.
2. Use multiple channels. Marketing automation is widely associated with email marketing. Email automation can be an excellent asset to your marketing strategy, but don’t disregard other channels like SMS and social media.
3. Personalize. Personalizing content is part of lead nurturing, and with the wealth of data you should be mining from your contacts, it’s only an extra step to include a name or follow up on a recent purchase.
4. Maintain a human touch. Automation is one thing — robotic is another. Know when to have your sales team jump in to close a sale or nurture a lead back on track. Respond promptly to customer inquiries, and never allow automated responses to sound impersonal.
The real value of marketing automation isn’t making more sales. It’s about building an experience for your consumers. The more you track buyer habits and tailor your campaigns to the activity of your demographics, the more your marketing automation strategy will succeed. And as much as growing your revenue is always an end-goal, remember that customer engagement is key to lead nurturing.
What other aspects of developing an effective marketing automation strategy do you think are essential? What are some common mistakes businesses make when it comes to marketing automation? Let us know in the comments!