Modern consumers are witness to the golden age of technology. Every day, new advancements are made that ultimately remodel how we go about our lives.
From relying heavily on postal services, we are now at a point where we can all stay connected at a push of a button. The internet has redefined our lifestyles, and its effects have spilled over to most, if not all, aspects of life.
Communication is easy as ever with messaging apps and social media; learning is met with a plethora of accessible resources; even shopping is an activity you can do without stepping outside your home.
In business, the internet and other technological advancements resulted in changes in consumer behavior. Customers are more in control of how they go about purchasing goods as technology enables them to make better, informed decisions.
Some companies have responded to these developments by switching from a traditional sales funnel to a flywheel model. This way, business operations constantly evolve to pin down the most efficient way to convert leads to customers.
But regardless if you’re employing a purchase funnel or flywheel, marketing remains a cornerstone for upscaling any business.
What is Marketing Automation?
Technological advancements have paved the way for marketing to go digital, expanding the horizon for brands to make contact with their target audience.
With over 4 billion internet users, marketing efforts are focused on meeting consumers on the web. Today, it’s a must to roll out social media campaigns, websites, and email marketing among others. Even SMEs have to be quick to set up their digital storefronts.
One of the most important advancements in the field is marketing automation. In 2019, a survey revealed that 75% of marketers are already leveraging this technology.
Marketing automation is the technology that allows you to implement, manage, and monitor digital marketing campaigns automatically across multiple channels.
Marketing automation tools are designed to simplify and carry out repetitive tasks that usually take up a bulk of time and human resources.
For example, email marketing automation tools let you send emails to leads and customers without having to manually enter every email address. Sophisticated tools are even capable of personalizing messages on top of helping you identify your target audience and analyze content engagements.
After collecting data, marketing automation tools streamline targeting processes. In turn, customers are provided with tailored information and are able to experience a seamless journey across all touchpoints.
Marketing Automation and SEO
Marketing automation may be applied to a variety of digital marketing strategies but it works particularly well when used hand-in-hand with search engine optimization (SEO).
Marketing automation and SEO are similar in that they both revolve around promoting marketing content. These two techniques take the long-haul approach in capturing leads, making them key players in inbound marketing strategies.
Once SEO practices bring in leads, marketing automation enhances their experience by nurturing them with scheduled emails and relevant blog posts.
Integrating SEO and marketing automation increases your return on investment (ROI) on both fronts.
Specifically, marketing automation boosts your SEO by:
Helping with SEO Tasks
Marketing automation has direct benefits to a number of SEO tasks.
By taking advantage of automation tools, you can upscale your marketing efforts — and your business — without allocating too much time on tedious tasks. This will reduce the likelihood of human error and allow your staff to focus on higher-level functions.
Link building is one of the most effective SEO tactics you can employ. Building backlinks to reputable websites take time but are a surefire way to boost your Google ranking. However, some of the links you’ve built may drop in quality over time and your ties to such websites will drag your hard work to the ground.
Marketing automation is useful in this regard because its tools can scan your pages for faulty backlinks. Select marketing automation tools send notifications whenever it detects spam-infested links, ridding you from unhealthy connections.
One of the most popular tools on the market is Linkody. It keeps tabs on all the changes that happen to your backlinks so you can remove those with tons of spam. Linkody also notifies you when you gain or lose links to your site and provides an inside look at what your competitors are doing.
For as low as $14.90 a month, the tool can be used on two domains and monitor 500 links. Higher plans can handle up to 100 domains and 40,000 links.
Crafting targeted email lists is crucial if you want to succeed in email marketing. Doing it all manually is not only daunting but impractical and inefficient.
Marketing automation tools gather information based on consumer’s web activity and demographics. Customer segmentation then allows you to tailor targeted emails depending on how far along the buyer’s journey the recipients are.
When it comes to email content, Mailchimp is widely used in this territory as it offers a variety of options. The tool can send welcome messages to new subscribers, remind users of abandoned carts, send rewards to frequent buyers, and more. Although it’s got range, Mailchimp can’t run parallel sequences to connect and respond to multiple events.
If you’re in need of a more in-depth strategy, you can switch to Sendinblue. It’s features allow you to create multiple workflows that you can run all at once. You can also add attributes to contacts and customize lists in one place.
Although content truly is king, not all kinds of content work. Marketing automation gives you insights on how your content is being received so you know what to create moving forward,
There are many tools to choose from to help you analyze engagements both in email and social media marketing.
Text Optimizer is a great tool to see what search engines think about your content. For example, it can give you insights on how Google categorizes your blogs by listing keywords that define the essence of the post. With evidence-based information, you can craft in-depth content that will rank higher and resonate with your audience better.
On social media, you can track impressions and tally link clicks using Sprout Social. On a single platform, you can analyze content performance on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Its standard plan goes for $99 and it comes with an all-in-one inbox, access to five social profiles, and more.
Similar to monitoring backlinks, marketing automation tools can alert you when your keywords are no longer performing.
You can find tools that offer a unified dashboard to show you keyword rankings, search volume, and more.
SEMRush is at the top of the list with its feature-loaded design. Aside from general keywords analysis, SEMRush gives related keywords, search volume, trends, and results in SERPs among others. All you need to do is enter a keyword onto the search bar and let the tool take care of the rest.
Forging partnerships with influencers is a great way to promote your brand. In today’s age, micro-influencers are just as valuable as bigtime personalities in carrying your name. And the best part, you may already have one on your contact list.
Marketing automation helps you identify patrons that have a significant reach. It can also be used to help track mentions of your brand on different social media platforms.
Depending on which platform you’re aiming to work on with an influencer, there’s quite a number of options to choose from. FameBit connects you to known YouTubers by creating a campaign where content creators can pitch their ideas. FameBit simultaneously reviews the engagement rates and audience demographics to ensure a worthwhile partnership.
Meanwhile, you can use Influenz on Instagram. The tool automates everything from finding influencers to paying them after successful product placements and other campaigns.
Finding and capturing more leads
SEO strategies can drive a lot of traffic to your website but they don’t target ideal clients. Without a distinction between qualified leads and plain visitors, you’ll waste resources trying to get everyone to convert.
Marketing automation tools sort through your leads so you can easily spot which ones actually have the potential to join your following. Focusing on what works with these clients will guide you in crafting highly-targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
In the long-run, utilizing this strategy will attract more qualified leads, making the influx of traffic more valuable.
One of the tools you can check out is LeadFeeder. When a company visits your website, LeadFeeder captures its data even if the user never filled out and submitted a form. It also looks up contact information of employees and prioritizes leads based on what they do on your website.
What every digital marketer should know is that getting a customer to visit your website or social media page is only step one. The ultimate goal is converting leads into paying customers, and marketing automation helps you inch closer to that by enhancing user experience.
With an immense amount of ads and information slathered across the web, content can come across generic and impersonal. Cutting through the noise requires you to really know your audience.
Getting their location, surveying their preferences, and gathering basic information are all possible through marketing automation. These will result in content that is custom-tailored to the specific needs of each consumer.
Google Optimize 360 does just those things letting you customize experiences for different customer segments. It also has a tool to test and compare your experiments so you can find out which ones your customers respond better to.
Contacting consumers easier
Marketing automation is most associated with streamlining email blasts and content publication — and it’s not wrong. Clicking send on every email is laborious and your team’s time is better spent on strategizing and implementing more complicated campaigns.
A steady stream of relevant emails, social media posts, and blogs maintain your position as a thought-leader and cement you on top of your followers’ minds. Once all these are automated, you end with active channels where consumers feel compelled to interact with your brand.
A variety of marketing tools offer this advantage, with some tools allowing you to time publishing posts across different platforms. For example, Custom Contact is mainly an email marketing automation tool but it can also manage Facebook promotions and events.
Facilitating businesses to scale
As a business owner, it’s no question you want your company to scale. To do this, you need to direct your energy and resources to the most productive and results-driven strategies. Marketing automation makes this possible by reducing the amount of time you spend on mindless tasks.
For instance, getting listed in local directories is a dizzying task when done manually. There are dozens of listings to maintain and the chance for human error can get too high. With tools like Moz Local, you can manage listings on a single dashboard and update them with just a few clicks.
More importantly, marketing automation lets you scale safely as marketing automation tools help you manage surges of traffic and sales.
Giving meaningful data analytics
Crunching numbers will always play a huge part in attaining success in digital marketing. Without the science of split testing and analysis, you’ll be sailing blind amid rocky waters. Analysis of any sort can be intimidating and SEO analysis, in particular, has a reputation for being time-consuming.
The scope of SEO analysis is far-reaching and complex. Keywords and backlinks are only a small part of SEO analysis. You also have to examine and optimize your site speed, cross-check with competitor sites, and custom landing pages among others.
Thankfully, there are all-in-one marketing automation tools that identify problem areas and offer solutions. A lot of the available tools are powerful enough to thoroughly audit your website and generate in-depth analyses that will guide your succeeding SEO efforts.
Google Analytics, SEMRush, Spring Metrics, and Woopra are only a few of the options you have at your disposal.
Marketing automation is a gamechanger in the field of digital marketing. It has numerous applications in SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing that help your business rise up to the global market.
Of course, marketing automation is not the end-all and be-all of marketing efforts. It is but a small, albeit crucial, ingredient of a successful campaign.
Whatever tactic you implement, remember to consider your own context, and keep testing what works best for your brand.