Marketing automation is a proven tool to enhance your content marketing strategy, but it must be utilized effectively to reap optimal benefits. According to a study by Sirius Decisions, 75% of businesses that use marketing automation claim they are not maximizing the full value from it. Although many companies are investing in marketing automation software, they often do not have the right standards and tools in place to complement their content marketing. Here are four tips for effective marketing automation to help you gain a better return on investment.
Use Lead Nurturing, Not Selling
Potential customers do not like being “sold” to. Your audience is bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages on a daily basis. Marketers constantly compete to capture market share and establish a strong position in consumers’ minds. Using your content as a sales pitch will have a negative effect on your marketing efforts.
Lead nurturing is smarter marketing. Many qualified leads are simply not ready to buy. This doesn’t mean that they will not become profitable customers eventually; this just means that they need time to make a final purchase decision.
Understanding your leads’ wants and needs enables you, as a marketer, to establish credible relationships with them and stay top of mind. Lead nurturing campaigns include eNewsletters, emails and phone calls, which maintain contact and provide relevant and valuable content to prospective customers on a regular basis.
Educate your audience to help them solve a problem or question. Leverage lead nurturing to increase conversions of your leads into customers, while reducing your customer acquisition costs. When your prospects are ready to buy, they will think of your company first.
Open Communication between Marketing and Sales Teams
Although many people view marketing and sales as the same entity, they both work in different ways. Marketers attract visitors and convert them into prospective leads. Salespeople convert qualified leads into paying customers. Within your company, facilitate open lines of communication between your marketing and sales teams. Ensure that they are on the same page as far as strategies and goals.
The sales team can help marketers identify the appropriate sales funnel and develop a lead-scoring structure before the marketing team establishes the marketing automation platform. Marketers can develop better-targeted content for the right customers at the right stages, and sales can close more deals. Working as a team versus working independently aligns marketing automation strategies and establishes continuity in the lead nurturing and sales cycle process with customers.
Emphasize Quality over Quantity
With content marketing, quality reigns supreme over quantity. Relevant and informative content, such as blogs, whitepapers, webinars, eBooks, and case studies, is the cornerstone of marketing automation. In terms of quantity of information, it is more about consistency of published content than it is about the length of each article or webinar. Quality content offered on a consistent basis to your targeted audience attracts qualified leads, builds company credibility, earns customer trust, and converts leads into profitable customers. Drive demand with targeted content for specific buyer personas at specific stages of the conversion cycle. Marketing automation will not be effective without the ability of marketers to understand their buyer personas’ pain points, decision-making steps, and buying triggers. Attract, engage, nurture, and convert your customers by producing the right content for the right audience at the right time.
Track Marketing Effectiveness
Many marketers focus on email open rates and click-through-rates as measures of success. A visitor to your website, however, is not profitable unless you convert them into a lead and nurture them until they become paying customers. The right way to measure the ROI for marketing automation is with Key performance indicators that directly relate to business goals, such as the number of leads, subscription rates, and sales revenue.
Tracking marketing metrics enables you to pay attention to market and customer trends. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work saves you marketing dollars and increases effectiveness of future marketing campaigns. In order to ensure that marketing automation efforts maximize the return on your investment, you should consistently test and retest content marketing strategies. Repeat the techniques that succeed and throw out the ones that don’t. This will increase customer engagement and customer conversion rates.
Developing effective marketing automation techniques makes it possible for you to maximize the value of your marketing campaigns. Invest in great content marketing strategies and you will reap the rewards of happier, more profitable customers.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.