We live in a world where we have an abundance of information at our fingertips. Smartphones and tablets make it easy for us to obtain insane amounts of information anywhere and anytime we want. So in a world where it is so easy to gather information, it makes sense that the people delivering that information need to be even quicker to provide it. For B2B Marketers, automation can help make your marketing more responsive while improving conversion rates.
The Definition of Marketing Automation
What is Marketing Automation? Automation refers to the different types of self-launching technology and software platforms that have been designed for organizations to market their assets more efficiently on various communication channels. These channels include social media, websites, emails, and so on. The purpose is to nurture leads and guide them through the sales funnel.
A prime example of marketing automation is that email you instantly receive once you sign up for a newsletter on a website, or the email notification you receive if you left products in an online shopping cart. Another example is the quick information responses you receive when ‘chatting’ on Facebook Messenger or on a company’s website when you submit a question.
The Ultimate Goals of Automation
There are many reasons why an organization would adopt an automation strategy. A proper strategy will provide increased lead generation and lead nurturing. Automation also gives you the opportunity to improve on customer engagement and campaign targeting as a result of improved performance and productivity. A successful strategy will lead to increased conversions and ultimately increased sales revenue.
Automation + Social Media = A Perfect Match
Automation and social media work so well together, you can almost say that automation technology was specifically designed for social media. For starters, it is quick to implement and convenient, not to mention low in cost. You are able to search keywords, browse through content that has been automatically suggested to you, and schedule posts ahead of time, as well as analyze the results of your efforts.
The social media platforms that have responded the best with this technology are LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest can be just as receptive. It really comes down to your type of audience and the industry you are in.
Machine Learning & Chatbots
Automation has been part of this fast-paced, information-overload world we live in for quite some time now. Some may argue that the more it is being used, the less effective it is becoming. However, we do not agree. With emerging technology such as machine learning and chatbots, marketing automation in the digital age is just getting its feet wet.
Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence, or AI, that gives computers the ability to ‘learn’ without being pre-programmed with data. A chatbot applies the same theory as machine learning as far as artificial intelligence goes; it is designed to simulate conversations with real people over the Internet. Both of these forms of AI and automation tech are creating more human-like experiences for customers. They provide customers with automated and pre-scripted responses. In doing so, you are able to nurture leads and be active on your website or on social media anywhere your customers/followers are in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Marketing automation tools to get you started
Marketing automation sounds more complicated than it actually is. If you’re just starting out, some automation tools to get you started are Marketo and HubSpot. If you want to focus more on social media, some tools to consider are HootSuite, Buffer and Sprout Social.
If implemented properly, marketing automation can increase noticeably your overall productivity, and it won’t cost you much to get started.