Automation is the way of the future. Industries such as manufacturing have been automating their processes for decades, but traditionally, nuanced tasks like marketing were better off in the hands of human employees. This practice is no longer the case.
Technology is advancing at an exponential rate, and it’s helping expedite almost all business practices. The complex world of marketing is one such practice that has much to gain from automation.
Marketing takes time, and time is a valuable resource. By automating certain parts of the process, companies can cut down on the time they waste. Businesses that don’t adopt advanced tools into their marketing strategy will quickly fall behind.
Listed below are seven such tools that can speed up the marketing process.
1. Lead Generation Software
The first step in any marketing campaign is lead generation. For businesses to convert consumers into customers, they must first make them aware of their products or services. Generating leads can be a complicated process, but the right software can analyze the complex data available and allow companies to manipulate it efficiently.
Services such as LeadFeeder can use Google Analytics or similar analysis tools to collect and present users’ interests and behaviors. Using these user profiles, companies can select specific audiences to which the software can then market. Many types of lead generation programs can connect to other marketing tools to further automate the process.
Lead generation software can either work with sites’ existing traffic or target new users.
2. Email Marketing Automation
Despite changes in the online landscape, email marketing remains one of the most popular forms of digital marketing. Automated email software is also affordable, making it a tantalizing option for smaller businesses.
Email marketing automation tools can help design messages, automatically send them and track the interaction of recipients. Programs like Mailchimp and Constant Contract can send emails based not only on user behavior on the original website but also on whether or not a user opens or replies to the first email.
Email automation can be further improved by artificial intelligence (AI), which can lead to a revenue increase of more than 40%. AI allows for more complex market segmentation, and can even optimize emails for individual users. Advanced email marketing automation allows businesses to communicate with their customer base on a personal level without ever having to meet them.
3. Outbound Call Automation
Maintaining contact with consumers is a central part of converting them into customers. Outbound call automation software simplifies the calling process, allowing businesses to better communicate with their potential clientele.
Tools such as PhoneBurner can increase outbound call productivity four times over by offering functions like power-dialing, email follow-up and automated lead distribution. These programs can even optimize management with performance insights.
Call automation software doesn’t always deal strictly in calls, either. Some tools feature email capabilities and the ability to send messages while in-call.
By running all services through the employee’s computer instead of the phone itself, they accelerate the outbound process and allow for better multitasking. All of this means higher productivity for businesses reaching out to their leads.
4. eCommerce Marketing Automation
In the digital age, e-commerce is taking over. Many brick-and-mortar establishments supplement their in-person transactions with online stores as internet shopping becomes the norm. Some companies operate entirely online. No matter what form they take, modern brands need to make the most of their e-commerce if they are to stay afloat.
Several marketing automation tools seek solely to optimize online sales. These tools focus on the aspects of marketing that matter the most to web businesses, like browsing and cart abandonment. They gather analytics on users to create relevant marketing campaigns that they can then implement automatically. These programs can even track user behavior on companies’ websites to customize the marketing strategy for individual consumers.
Some e-commerce automation services, such as Drip, can work with other tools to create a more well-rounded marketing campaign. They can link companies’ social media accounts to other parts of their marketing strategy, such as emails, to deliver a consistent message across all online channels.
5. Advertising Automation
It can be complicated enough for businesses to reach out to the right market segment, but they also have to deliver an engaging ad to these selected audiences. This area is another aspect of marketing in which automation can help. Modern advertising automation tools not only help create ads but can handle bidding strategies to ensure these ads display on the most effective channels.
Services like AdRoll and Shoelace make it easy to design ads optimized for different outlets, and then can automatically create a strategy around when and where to display them. They can be particularly useful in retargeting, using analytics and algorithms to show specific users particular ads at planned times to convert them into customers.
Automated advertising platforms can save businesses up to 30% of their time that they can then use to address other pressing concerns. This efficiency stands as an impressive testament to the advantages offered by marketing automation.
6. Inbound Marketing Software
Any company running an online marketing campaign has to understand that sometimes users don’t want to be interrupted by ads. Inbound marketing capitalizes on that idea. Users may be more inclined to follow through with an ad if they don’t feel like they’re being advertised to, or even if they don’t know it.
By creating helpful or exciting online content, businesses can attract users to their brand without outright advertising. Some services, like HubSpot, focus on content and search marketing to bring in new customers. These types of software closely monitor users along the buyer’s journey to determine how and when to appeal to them.
These services, like other types, can be useful in generating leads, but they focus on nurturing those leads to fulfillment. Some even offer tips and courses so that employees can learn proper inbound marketing techniques.
7. Social Media Automation
Social media marketing is one of the most prevalent aspects of online marketing strategies. As such a central aspect of the process, and with as many different platforms as there are, social media marketing requires a significant deal of attention. Social media automation platforms take some of the pain out of the process by taking control of scheduling, curating and monitoring ads.
Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer help businesses track and maintain their social media presence. They can automatically post updates or send messages across various platforms, and can even keep track of user engagement. By automating much of their social media activity, brands can ensure they are not only reaching their audience but resonating with them.
Successfully Implementing Automation Tools
Companies may not need to implement all of the different kinds of automation tools at once. Several options have multiple functionalities, and the viability of these options, especially to small businesses, can waver depending on costs.
Some programs offer free trials, allowing companies to try them out before deciding if they’re worth what they charge.
By assessing their needs and available resources, businesses can decide what tool or mix of tools works best for them. There will never be a one-size-fits-all approach, but thankfully, there is an abundance of different options available.