Digital Automation – What is it and How to Get Started
Getting started with automating your marketing efforts can feel a bit overwhelming, but there are lots of small, inexpensive ways to get started and the rewards are well worth the investment.
First off, let’s talk about what it is. Marketing Automation is using software and technology to automate certain processes like email marketing, social media posting and ad campaigns. Automation allows you to set defined processes and pathways for interactions to follow. This allows for more immediate and personalized contact with your audience without needing a human available at the time.
When you automate repetitive tasks, you free up time for more critical tasks and interactions that provide a high quality impact on your viewers and potential customers. By having a bot on your site answer simple questions, or setting up FAQ answers in Messenger, you keep a human from needing to be available at all times. Your customers are now beginning to expect these low value interactions immediately, but understand they often come from automated sources. In many cases, they are relieved to skip human interaction at this step because it saves them time too. The extra time is more effectively spent replying to post comments, presenting products and filling orders or working directly with clients and customers appreciate that attention.
There are some excellent resources to get you started with basic marketing automation. A few we love are HubSpot CRM for managing email, website bots and ad campaigns and Sprout Social and HootSuite for social posting. There are a lot of options out there, so it’s important to determine ahead of time what you need to automate, what your longer term goals are and what your budget looks like. This will help you to quickly narrow down what is right for you.
When you’re ready to scale up to a more complex automation platform, there are lots of options. The best way to determine your needs is to be laser focused on your customer. Who are they? How do they find you? How do they want to interact? What are their most common needs that you solve?
All of these questions will provide you with valuable insight on what to automate, how, when and what data you need to gather to evaluate the performance of the automation program. Like anything, when you are wading into new territory and complex systems, getting expert advice and support can be a critical time and money saver. By working with an agency that is already an expert at developing processes customized to your business, you side step the initial learning phase where the most costly mistakes happen.
When hiring an agency partner to establish an effective marketing automation system, look for prior experience, well established tools and processes and the most important factor is that they get to know the unique needs of your customer and your business so the whole system is focused and targeted.
Listen to the Digital Monk podcast on Automation here and reach out if we can support your business in any way