Marketing automation is a buzz word on the digital marketing front, one that seems to gain traction with every passing year. As a business owner or marketer, it’s only natural that you see the appeal in relying on software and apps to take care of some of the busywork associated with marketing so you can free more of your time and budget to focus on other things. However, businesses that engage in marketing automation walk a delicate line; while it could prove a boon, it could also backfire, so it’s essential you know how much to rely on automation.
When It Works (and When It Doesn’t)
Smart Insights predicts marketing automation will increase by as much as 8 percent in 2016, to make up 20 percent of the average company’s marketing efforts. Automation offers many advantages, including:
- Posts that appear throughout the day, even when you’re not at your computer to post them, to access a wider range of Internet users
- Campaigns you can plan in advance
- Analysis of the users interacting with your campaigns the most
If you incorporate automation into a greater marketing plan, you can see positive results. Relying only on automation, however, is a bad idea. It makes your business’ social media accounts and blog entries seem like spam. Online engagement is essential to broadening your customer base.
B2B or B2C?
According to Capterra, business two business companies are twice as likely to rely on marketing automation as business to customers companies. That’s because B2B businesses often have a narrower target demographic and may even only deal with a handful of repeat customers. One part of automation is to ask recurring customers for feedback by asking them to complete a survey. With a smaller, more focused customer base, you’re more likely to see responses to these surveys, and letting the software handle the surveys automatically frees you up to focus only on the important part: analyzing the results and making adjustments to your marketing efforts in response.
Add a Human Touch
When crafting a social media post just before it’s about to go live, you use hashtags (but sparingly), craft the sentence like a human instead of an ad, and speak to a need in the market. For example, a tweet that asks a question or offers advice (“3 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep”) is more likely to appeal to users than a tweet that simply touts a product (“Buy Our New Mattress for a Good Night’s Sleep”). Any posts you schedule to automatically post should still have the human touch. Don’t rely on the software to come up with posts or they’ll be too similar to your competitors’.
More effective than marketing automation on your own is hiring a firm of marketers to take over your marketing efforts. While they may rely on automation; (but should do so only with your permission) they’ll be able to better monitor the results and make adjustments to the campaigns as necessary. If you hire them to do all of the marketing manually, they’ll be able to provide a better level of engagement with your targeted demographic, and by outsourcing your marketing, you’re still freeing your time to focus on other matters.