8 ways to automate your marketing
The great strength of today’s marketing is the fact that most activities can be automated. There are numerous tools available that allow you to incorporate automatic processes into almost all marketing activities. What is marketing automation and how to use it in your company?
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation, i.e. the introduction of automated rules and functions to marketing activities, allows you to increase the effectiveness of campaigns and save people’s time. Thanks to the huge availability of the so-called big data, it also enables complete personalization of marketing content, which was previously possible only to a very limited extent with the “manual” method of operation. Internet marketing automation includes, among others, effective lead nurturing, engaging recipients, managing marketing campaigns and many other activities. Check out our guide to the possibilities of digital marketing automation.
Marketing automation – methods
We will look at eight areas where marketing automation can be used and the most interesting features that marketers can use.
1. Email marketing automation
Email marketing is one of the oldest fields of marketing, but it is still a simple and effective way to reach consumers. It used to be that emails had to be sent manually and their effect could only be assumed. Today, however, you can schedule the automatic shipment of a whole series of them and react to consumer behavior – depending on whether the message was opened, a link was clicked, a survey was completed, an ebook was downloaded, or maybe even a purchase was made.
This allows you to tailor your communication to what your recipients are doing, creating increasingly engaging messages. For example, if a user added a product to the cart and then abandoned it, you can send them an email with a reminder and a special discount, and you can offer other similar or complementary products to people who purchased a given product. If, on the other hand, we see that someone has been viewing the offer from an email for a long time, you can encourage them to make a purchase by sending an appropriate message.
After some time of conducting email marketing activities, you can group your recipients into segments related to their behavior and preferences, so they will receive messages that are more tailored to their needs, and will gradually exclude groups of recipients who are not interested in receiving emails at all.
Email marketing automation also brings other benefits related to reducing human errors. The system will not “forget” to send an email, nor will it confuse the order of the messages, the recipient’s surname or first name. Thanks to this, you can carefully plan marketing activities and ensure the appropriate reputation of the company.
2. Online advertising automation
Advertising on the Internet has existed almost since the beginning of the global network. In the past, its most popular form were various banners on well-known and less known websites. In 2000, the Google Ads system with short contextual text ads in the search engine was created and then gained great popularity, and in 2010, video ads embedded in YouTube videos appeared. Advertising on the Internet today has many faces and innovative forms.
What possibilities does automation offer? First of all, you can plan your ads months in advance and decide who they will be shown to (select your target group in terms of demographics and other characteristics), but not only that. You can also – most importantly – optimize them depending on user behavior, just like in the case of email marketing. Advertising automation allows the use of interesting targeting criteria – for example weather targeting, which makes the content of the marketing message dependent on the current weather. For example, umbrellas are advertised on a rainy day, and ice cubes are advertised on a hot day.
We will present how advertising automation works based on an example – the popular Google Ads system. This tool contains algorithms that allow you to automatically adjust advertising rates so that it is cost-optimized and allows you to obtain the highest number of clicks or conversions within the set budget. The system will also suggest a budget for a campaign addressed to a specific target group.
Google Ads also displays the most clickable versions of the ad to users more often, which gives the chance for the message to be most effective. An interesting functionality of the system are the so-called automatic rules, which allow, for example, to change keyword bids, pause selected keywords or ads provided that the criteria set by the advertiser are met. In turn, dynamic text allows you to adapt its content to the user’s query – for example, to insert additional keywords consistent with their search. The countdown function is also an interesting idea – thanks to it, a counter is inserted into the ad text, which automatically counts down the time until the end of the offer, making the ad always up to date. In a way, advertising systems available on other platforms, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, work similarly to Google Ads, although not identically – for example, the cost of advertising on the Internet is dynamically automated.
When automating online advertising, it is also worth mentioning the so-called remarketing. These are ads targeted at people who have already interacted with the brand and are intended to encourage them to take further actions. An example would be an online store where the consumer looks at a product – the same product can then be shown to him in the context of other websites they visit, for example with a discount. You can also present similar products to people who have already made a purchase. An interesting solution in remarketing are voicebots, i.e. automatic voice assistants that talk to the consumer in a natural language. An example of such a use of a voicebot can be our client – Betfan, a betting website, who organized a personalized campaign to activate inactive brand customers to use the company’s services again. The campaign used the voices of sports stars, who, thanks to their recognition, effectively encouraged people to watch sports events and place bets.
By the way, it is worth adding that a voicebot will also work in an online store – it can call customers who have abandoned their cart and offer them a special, personalized offer, thanks to which the chance of making a purchase will significantly increase. This solution allows to effectively recover abandoned carts and increase store profits.
3. Social media marketing automation
Social media is currently one of the most important channels through which brands communicate with their audiences. Although each platform has its own system for publishing and analyzing posts, you can also use tools that allow you to publish posts on multiple platforms at the same time and conduct advanced analytical activities.
Thanks to social media marketing automation, you can plan posts for a longer period, taking into account the best time for their publication, when recipients are most likely to react to added content. This is not only convenient, but also ensures greater effectiveness in reaching potential customers. Also worth attention is the possibility of so-called social listening, i.e. monitoring mentions in social media and automatically engaging recipients based on specific keywords or hashtags. You can also set automatic replies to the most common queries or comments appearing on social media profiles.
4. Content marketing automation
Content marketing is a very popular direction of activities that involves attracting and engaging consumers thanks to content that is interesting to them. Marketing automation tools in this area not only allow you to publish content on a website and blog according to a previously designed calendar, which saves time, but also help optimize the content to meet the recipient’s needs. You can combine these activities with publishing content on social media – for example, when you add a blog entry, an appropriate post is immediately published on social media. By analyzing how content is consumed by the recipient, you can easily present relevant content to different user groups. Automation of content marketing activities also allows you to send users notifications about updates to content they were previously interested in.
The content creation process itself can also be automated – for example, by using tools for SEO optimization, creating graphics or proofreading blog texts. You can also do even more – reuse the same content with adding some changes.
5. Lead management automation
Leads are notifications from users interested in a given content, which are usually obtained through forms or pop ups available on websites, for example after downloading free material such as an ebook or subscribing to a newsletter. The creation of appropriate landing pages where consumers leave leads is usually also automated, and there can be hundreds of them, tailored to the various sources of future customers. When leads are collected, their automatic initial segmentation is possible, depending on, for example, the place of acquisition or the consumer’s industry, provided in the form.
The process that allows you to “warm up” such leads and encourage them to make a purchase or make an appointment with a sales representative is lead nurturing., which can be completely automated. This usually involves a combination of e-mail and content marketing – as part of a multi-stage process, the customer receives personalized content intended to further interest him in the product or service or expand his knowledge. Such a campaign is automatically set and optimized depending on the consumer’s reaction to the delivered content.
You can also use the so-called lead scoring here, i.e. automatic assessment of leads based on their online activity and behavior – customers receive points for specific actions, such as opening a newsletter. More engaged customers, as potentially more likely to make a purchase, may then receive special shopping offers. Such assessment is often made using artificial intelligence.
Voicebots are also used to pre-select leads in online campaigns. Voicebots can pre-qualify leads by calling the customer when they leave their contact information online. Thanks to this, you can immediately contact every interested person, which increases the chances of the campaign being successful. Then the voicebot asks the client several questions that allow us to obtain basic information about them, related to the proposal presented in the campaign.
An example is one of our clients – Foxford language school, which organized a Facebook campaign for customers interested in learning languages. When the customer left a lead, voicebot called them, asking about their experience in learning languages and the preferred date of classes, which allowed the sales department to prepare a more personalized offer. Voicebot also relieved the company’s salespeople, screening out worthless leads, i.e. those that contained fictitious data or when someone did not answer the phone despite repeated contact. As part of the campaign, the voicebot handled almost 8,000 leads, rejecting 2,500 and saving 291 hours of work and almost PLN 24,000. As you can see, voicebots help people by doing the tedious and repetitive part of the campaign work for them, which can and should be automated.
6. Analytics automation
Marketing analytics is a huge wealth of data about the recipients of marketing campaigns. We may use various tools – for example to analyze search engine marketing, the characteristics and behavior of people visiting our website, activities in social media or the results of marketing campaigns.
The most popular website analysis tool is Google Analytics – let’s take a look at its functions to understand what information is available to the user and how it can be used. This system analyzes both user behavior on the website and their data such as demographics, location, interests, devices used and much more. Examples of website visit data include unique users, i.e. those who visited a given website for the first time in a given period – thanks to which we know how many new people our website has attracted. Important metrics also include session duration, i.e. how much time people spend on the website, number of page views, i.e. how many pages were displayed, and bounce rate, i.e. the number of people who leave the website immediately after visiting it. This allows us to find out whether our content engages users. Of course, this is only the basic information available in this system. This data can be combined with demographic information, giving us deeper insight into consumer motivations.
Google Analytics also has many functions that improve analysis performance. For example, you can set goals to be achieved by users – for example, visiting a specific page or a certain number of pages – and track their implementation. We can also segment users according to their characteristics, including, for example, sequences that allow us to determine specific paths of people visiting the website. You can also monitor the effects of advertising campaigns or track searches on your website. Google Analytics is such an advanced system that it will provide all the necessary knowledge for a marketer to make marketing decisions.
7. Event marketing automation
In the modern world, events such as conferences and business meetings are increasingly held online or hybrid, but marketing automation also applies to these traditional events. The entire event registration process can be automated, including sending all confirmation emails, reminders and incentives to participate. The same goes for publishing a series of posts on social media. During the event itself, you can organize automated voting or online chat, which will allow you to shape the course of the event in real time. Follow-up, such as summary emails and satisfaction surveys, can also be fully automatic – the analysis of participants’ responses in the survey is used to improve the scenario of future events.
8. Customer service automation
In customer service, automation involves the introduction of intelligent automatic customer assistants who answer customer questions and solve problems reported by them. Here we can mention chatbots, i.e. assistants with whom communication takes place via written text, and the already mentioned voicebots. Voicebots have a very wide range of applications in industries where you talk directly to the customer – can handle many business processes. When it comes to customer service, they can, for example, set a delivery date in an online store, answer customer’s most frequently asked questions or arrange an appointment with a doctor at a medical facility. Because they learn thanks to artificial intelligence, they are becoming more and more efficient in handling matters and free humans from repetitive and frustrating work, especially at the first stage of contact with the client and in the case of standard problems. Such solutions relieve people’s workload, allowing them to deal with more creative and complex tasks.
Comprehensive tools for automating online marketing
There are many marketing automation management systems on the market that allow you to conduct many related activities at the same time – for example, email marketing, content marketing, lead nurturing, displaying ads or social media activity, often additionally combining it with the company’s sales data. These include Hubspot, SALESmanago, iPresso, GetResponse and Salesforce. It is worth implementing them in your marketing department to conduct more tailored and effective activities.
Marketing automation – summary
Automation in marketing, or marketing automation, is a trend that will certainly become more and more important. Newer solutions are emerging, such as the use of artificial intelligence or machine learning in marketing. They allow us to further personalize reaching the recipient based on the data we have about them (and the database of which expands as we conduct further marketing activities), but also to adapt our marketing to the consumer’s activities in real time.
However, marketing automation is not only about using many available tools, but also about the ability to choose those that provide real value and combine them into a coherent whole, so that our marketing activities will turn into a real machine that brings both savings and the achievement of ambitious marketing goals in the long term.
Do you want to know how to practically use marketing automation in your activities? Check how voicebot can optimize your marketing campaign.