You’ve probably heard about how popular marketing automation is.
According to Invespro, 63% of marketers will be increasing their marketing automation budgets this year.
Undoubtedly, one of the most significant changes you can make to your marketing agenda this year is to create a marketing automation plan. But how can you get started? Which marketing processes should you automate?
Using automation systems requires effort to adopt throughout your organization, but you’ll understand the juice is well worth the squeeze when you begin to experience reduced costs, increased conversion rates, streamlined workflows, more effective content marketing, and consistent, measurable progress.
Today we’re going to share everything you need to know to simply and quickly start marketing automation implementation in your organization.
But before we get into how you can implement marketing automation software to improve productivity and drastically increase your ROI significantly, let’s start by talking a little more about how marketing automation works.
How Marketing Automation Works
Marketing automation works by taking the repetitive tasks associated with marketing campaigns and using a software program to automate the tasks so you can re-focus human resources on other, revenue-generating activities.
The first step in implementing marketing automation in your organization is to figure out which marketing tasks can be automated.
For example, if sales and marketing alignment is a top priority, you might opt for a tool like Pardot that offers easy integration with the Salesforce CRM. So a good first step would be to have your marketing and sales team work together to define all their tasks and determine which ones Pardot can easily automate.
Once you create a list of items that can be automated, you can figure out which platforms or marketing tools would suit your organization. If you’re paying someone to post social media messaging, or individually sending emails, these routine marketing tasks can be delegated to software automation.
Switching these tasks to automation not only saves time and money, but it allows you to more effectively track ROI for your efforts.
Common Marketing Automation Features
Marketing automation platforms include many tools and features to help marketers improve their strategy. It allows for better project management, lead generation, and more successful marketing campaigns by managing and streamlining many repetitive tasks.
Let’s take a look at just a few for the most common marketing automation features.
Website Traffic Tracking
Your website is your online presence to capture customers. It would help if you tracked website visitors to consider which marketing initiatives are working and how customers are being driven to your website.
Tracking can also indicate when you need optimization either for technical SEO or content.
Through automation tools, you can also track the content analytics. Whether it’s a landing page, blog post, or gated download, automation software allows you to track engagement so you can convert more visitors and create more of the content that attracts them.
Instead of using a separate account for email campaigns, the most robust marketing automation platforms have a built-in email capability. These features will provide data on click through rates, open rates, distribution, and bounce rates.
They also provide convenient email templates and allow you to A/B test email components to improve your stats. Email campaigns are a significant task, best done through automation, which allows you to increase efficiency and get reliable reporting.
Post and Track Social Media
Managing social media business accounts manually can be time-consuming and expensive. Many platforms offer the opportunity to schedule posts and measure engagement.
This makes social media management more cost-effective for your organization and gives you a clear idea of what’s attracting buyers to your content and what’s falling flat.
Lead nurturing and lead scoring are necessary components of effective marketing strategies. Assigning leads a score depending on their likelihood to covert helps you to understand which leads are moving through the funnel the quickest so you can prioritize follow up with them while continuing to nurture those that may not yet be ready to buy.
While this list is just a sample of what you can find on a marketing automation platform, it’s important to understand that different marketing automation tools have different features, so it’s essential to compare them based on what matters to you most.
At Interrupt Media, we have a library of educational resources on marketing automation to help equip you for success. Our resources include product reviews, guides, and migration checklists.
Now that you understand what marketing automation is, how it works, and how you can use it, let’s dive into creating your first marketing automation plan.
6 Easy Steps to a Successful Marketing Automation Project Plan
The following steps not only detail the execution of a solid marketing campaign, but each of these steps are ones that marketing automation can be used to improve and increase efficiency.
Step 1: Determine your end goal for the buyer.
What do you need the buyer to do? Buyers typically go through three key stages when buying; awareness, consideration, and decision. Always determine the end goal first to know where to start, getting from A to B.
Step 2: Map the buyer journey from awareness to purchase decision.
You want to plan from where they first learn about your product/service to the end of the funnel where they buy. Through your content strategy, the buyer can successfully navigate where they need to find what they’re looking for.
Step 3: Segment your list and determine lead stages.
Depending on how extensive your contact list is, lead segmentation will help for targeted campaigns. Once your lead lists are created, you can use targeted marketing for each plan.
Step 4: Create automated email nurture to drop your leads into.
It’s vital to maintain contact with your leads throughout the funnel, particularly if your organization has a long sales cycle. An email drip will keep your organization top of mind for all your leads, and move those closest to conversion closer to the purchase stage.
Step 5: Enhance the buyer’s journey through content for every stage.
This is where content is an excellent resources to provide a more tailored experience that speaks to pain points, addresses objections, and educates buyers.
Content could be landing pages, blog posts, gated assets, webinars, social posts, etc.
Step 6: Optimize EVERYTHING.
Your efforts will be in vain if your journey isn’t optimized to increase conversions. This is one of the many places where automation software comes in handy by telling you what’s performing well and where problems may be occurring in the journey so you can address them and win more deals.
This could be a broken link to a landing page the lead is supposed to land on. Or it could be unusually high bounce rates that may cause a disruption in your email service that you need to address.
It could even be that you have a blog post with no CTA (call to action) so your lead doesn’t know what to do next (fill out a form, schedule a sale call, download an asset).
Whatever it is- fix it!
Getting Started with Marketing Automation
If you’re a startup or smaller organization, you might not have the bandwidth or financial capacity to hire the teams needed to execute marketing plans to scale. Not all businesses have the resources available to grow as they need.
If that’s you, consider partnering with an agency you can outsource the work to. As a business owner or manager, your goals are to grow and expand, and you might need to implement a marketing automation software. You can achieve this by relying on an agency’s expertise to navigate you through your marketing obstacles.
If you’d like to learn more about how Interrupt Media can be a digital marketing partner to your sales team members or marketing departments, reach out, and we’ll follow-up to schedule a free consultation.