Implementing a marketing automation program can seem like a daunting challenge, especially if you are a startup that is already struggling to navigate other marketing tools and campaign efforts. But when marketing automation is properly implemented, it can save time, improve efficiency, and amplify your marketing efforts exponentially.
So how can you ensure you are using marketing automation the right way? Here are a few tips we have learned through our own processes, and in working with some of our clients.
1. Set proper goals for your business
The most important step to using automation to amplify your marketing strategy is first determining why your business needs it.
- Do you need to increase brand awareness?
- Are you looking to drive lead generation?
- Do you want to improve lead nurturing?
Defining goals up front will establish proper measurement tools and benchmarks to define the success of the campaigns in the future. Having goals defined also means more effective testing, too.
Tip: Remember to keep goals reasonable, and do not be afraid of failure. Automation is more than just flipping a switch on and generating immediate success. It takes time and patience to build the foundation, test it, and adjust as you see results.
2. Develop your marketing personas early
When launching your automation strategy, it’s important to have a unified voice across the board. This can be hard when you have multiple people from the company creating content and speaking on the brand’s behalf.
That’s where marketing personas come into play.
Personas are fictional characters who represent different user types that might visit your site, check out your brand or purchase your product. These characters provide guidance for the company voice and tone to all team members creating content.
Tip: Create a marketing persona for each vertical/role you plan to market to. It is important to know your audience and speak to solutions that matter to each persona. Whatever your business model, make sure you are speaking to that audience, and use personas to create that voice.
3. Start creating content…like, now!
Your goals are set. Your personas are developed. You know what you want to achieve, and the people you are talking to. Now it’s time to create content. And by content, I don’t mean pushy, passive-aggressive emails trying to get your prospect to email back.
Marketing automation is about leading your prospects through the purchase funnel by providing relevant content at the right time, in the right way.
Your content can take many forms:
- Informational emails (not hard-sell!)
- Case studies and use cases
- Blog articles
Tip: As a startup, not all forms of content will be viable for you. Choose the formats and channels that best suit your company strategy and focus on those. As your company grows and your marketing strategy evolves, you can experiment with other forms of content.
4. Choose the best automation tool for YOUR business
One of the challenges a growing business will face is choosing the right tools to use in their business. Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, Pardot, Act-On, and LeadSquared are just a handful of the options a business has for automation software.
This is where defining your automation goals first comes in handy.
If you have all of your marketing automation goals laid out, then it is just a matter of finding the tool that gives you the functions you need to accomplish those goals. Of course, make sure it also fits within your budget.
Don’t be swayed by brand names or industry standards! Focus on your own needs.
Tip: Remember, the first software you choose may not be the final tool you use. Marketing automation is evolving rapidly, and as your company’s marketing gets more sophisticated, you may find new solutions that better complement your needs.
That’s (not) all, folks!
That is not all there is to marketing automation – not by a long shot.
But by using some of these simple techniques, your business can dive into what marketing automation has to offer in a way that reduces stress, rather than increasing it. After all, you’re building a company; you have enough to worry about already.