Start Using Marketing Automation for your BusinessBy Guest Contributor on September 15, 2018 Marketing automation is a topic that generates concern and skepticism in many small business circles. While larger businesses, especially those focused in online sales, have found a lot of success with targeted marketing automation, it can be difficult to see how the same process can work for your business. But, the rewards may be well worth the hassle of starting! What Marketing Activities Can Be Automated?First of all, it’s important to note that you can’t expect to automate everything to do with marketing. Some human involvement is still necessary for the best results. But, you can automate a lot of simple processes and use marketing tools to make everything easier for you in the long run. These are the main tasks you’ll be able to start automating quickly: #1. Email Marketing There’s no reason for you to sit and write up long emails each and every time you want to get in touch with your email list. Automated marketing means you can write out templates of emails ahead of time and direct an email marketing system to send them out at appropriate times. You can have welcome emails pre-programmed, thanks you emails, general newsletters, and more. #2. Social Media Posting Line up a number of social media posts for specific times and dates in advance. This will save you the trouble of having to log in at certain peak times each day and allows you more freedom about when you’re posting and what you want to post. You’ll be able to work ahead and not have to deal with social media posts daily.#3. Data Collection & Management Automated marketing makes opt-in forms and other data collection much simpler. Setting up automated data collection for marketing on your website is simple and helps you get more information about potential leads. #4. Tracking Leads Lead tracking is time-consuming if you try to do it manually, but it’s much easier for an automated program to handle. You’ll also end up with greater access to marketing data from all your leads. #5. Content Topic Research Content marketing is something you’ll still need a human to do, but you can help simplify the process with some automated tools that let you find trending topics and topics of interest. This way, you won’t have to do individual link research daily to find out what kind of content to make. Benefits of Marketing Automation What can all of that marketing automation get you? Here are a few of the main benefits you can expect when you have a great marketing automation system for your business: Collect More Customer Data The advantage of automated data collection is that it can happen 24/7 without you needing to be around all the time. So, if a customer visits your site or enters into your marketing process at any time you can still get data from them and start the onboarding process. Compete with Larger Businesses If you’re working with a very small team or doing all the marketing work yourself, you need shortcuts and automation to help you get more done with less effort. You may not have a lot of time, but by automating certain marketing processes you can accomplish just as much as larger businesses, helping you to compete with them. Encourage Repeat Customers New leads are less likely to make a purchase than repeat customers. For this reason, automated marketing messages to your previous customers can be a fantastic tool for customer retention. Building out a customer or buyer’s journey is very important for any business. Keep in Touch with Leads Following up with leads requires a lot of time and energy if you want to do it all manually. Your business may have hundreds of leads at once, which would make manual communication efforts very difficult. An effective automated marketing system can help you keep in contact with new leads and bring them through to conversion. Sustainability When your business starts to scale, your marketing needs to scale with it. Automated marketing processes are very sustainable because they’re scalable, consistent, and completely customizable. As your business grows and changes, your automated marketing practices can grow and change to fit whatever needs you have at that time. Automation also always a higher level of consistency in your messages across platforms. Maintain a Social Media Presence Remembering to post regularly on every social media network is a chore. But, automated posting makes it easy to line up a series of posts and plan them for specific times and dates. This means you can get way ahead of yourself and keep up a strong social media presence, which is very important in today’s online business environment. Quantifiable Results Marketing automation gives you much more data and helps to present results to you in measurable quantities. The right marketing system will use the data you have from your customers to produce better results while also giving you new data about the results. Increased Marketing Efficiency Do more with fewer resources and in a shorter time. By setting up a solid automated marketing strategy, you can stretch your resources much farther than you would otherwise be able to. Marketing automation doesn’t have to be a huge and scary process. It’s something businesses of all sizes can benefit from, and it can be implemented with relative ease in most companies. Look at your own marketing funnel today and see if there’s a good opportunity for automated efficiency!