By Sonia Slattery
In many of our recent blogs we’ve discussed the benefits of marketing automation and how to choose a marketing automation platform. But let’s back up the truck a little...all this is great stuff, but what if you’re unsure about exactly what marketing tasks you can even expect to automate?
In this blog we share an excerpt from our latest eBook: A Modern Marketers Guide to Marketing Automation that covers our TOP 6 marketing tasks to automate.
#1 Nurture programmes
This is a big one. Without Marketing Automation the process of setting up, timing and executing a series of emails to nurture leads from prospect-to-customer is nigh-on impossible. With Marketing Automation code being capable of tracking how leads interact with content (whether that be emails, gated content, visits to specific pages etc.), highly sophisticated nurture programmes can be created. Most Marketing Automation platforms use work (or leads) to set the rules for the nature and timing of follow-up communications, based on that behaviour. And with the right strategy in place, you can also use automation to ‘progressively produce leads as they engage with content over time, so you can put your time into nurturing only the most valuable leads.
#2 Blog Publishing
Blogging is still the number one way your Inbound content will be discovered through organic search. By writing and publishing multiple blogs that talk about
your gated content (be that video, eBooks, webinars, infographics, slide shares etc.), you will grow the organic reach of your content. Not all Marketing Automation platforms include blogging functionality (but don’t let that stop you from blogging!). If you can automate your blog publishing, you can efficiently produce, schedule and report on the effectiveness of your blogging programme.
#3 Social media publishing
With so many social media channels available to Marketers to connect with their target audiences, it’s becoming a nightmare to manage and monitor what’s going on at any one time – and what’s actually working. With the right Marketing Automation platform, you can solve both those problems. All your publishing for all social media channels can occur in one place – and you can see at a glance the programme of activity across all your channels. A bonus is that you can also write, approve and produce posts in bulk and in advance, then use scheduling tools to publish your posts when you want them to appear.
Ah, the dark art. Well, the good news is that with the right Marketing Automation platform, the SEO of your Inbound Content should be well and truly catered for ‘out of the box’. And if you’ve adopted Inbound Marketing as the way forward, the mere fact that you’re doing Inbound is an SEO strategy in itself. If you’re producing great, helpful content that people are searching for, then you will be blessed in the eyes of Google.
Sure, there are some instances where a technical or more comprehensive SEO audit and strategy is important – particularly if you’re dealing with a legacy website that has had many reincarnations. But on the whole, if you’re doing Inbound using a reputable platform, your basic SEO should be sussed.
#5 Customer lifecycle communications
Here’s where your sales team gets really excited. Most Marketing Automation platforms extend through the prospect-to-customer lifecycle and allow your Sales team to automate standard communications to help nurture customers through the onboarding process and beyond. No more rogue emails from ‘that’ sales rep who insists on doing it his/her own way. No more forgotten emails that leave your precious customer (who you’ve been spending months nurturing) hanging.
#6 Reporting and analytics
And the ‘piece-de-resistance’...with Marketing Automation, everything we’ve talked about above can be measured and tracked to the ‘tenth’ degree. As most of your marketing activity is being driven out of one platform, all the data is RIGHT THERE, real time, all the time - so you can see what’s happening. The beauty of this is that not only can you report on the ROI of each channel, but you can also watch, learn and tweak as you go to optimise your Inbound Marketing reports. No longer do you have to wait till the end of a campaign for your agency to send you results. With Marketing Automation the power is in your hands to see exactly what’s going on and adjust your content campaigns while they’re in market to get immediate improvements.