How to create a Marketing Automation Strategy
Forrester predicts that companies will spend as much as $25.1 Billion USD by 2023 on marketing automation technology.
But in a survey by Three Deep Marketing, 58% of marketers indicated that lack of an effective strategy is stopping them from achieving success with marketing automation technology.
This means that while companies realize the importance of marketing automation, they struggle with creating a big-picture strategy to use it.
To do so, marketers need to stop focusing on automation and start focusing on the right marketing strategy to use automation tools effectively.
How to create a marketing automation strategy?
How does marketing automation help you?
Marketing automation tools allow you to focus on your most valuable asset i.e. your customers while automating most tasks that come in your way of achieving that.
But if you don’t have a strategy, you won’t experience many benefits!
In this section, we are looking at 5 basic steps that you can take to ensure you have a rock-solid foundation for your marketing automation strategy.
Get the hang of your buyer personas
With content marketing, the relevancy of the messages you communicate is the most critical key to success.
If you don’t know who your customers are and where they hang out, how will you post relevant content or target them accurately?
Here are some steps you can take to help improve data collection to create/enhance your buyer personas:
- Interview your sales and customer service agents to know about customer problems
- Survey your end-customers to know about their preferences
- Extract demographic and other types of helpful data from Facebook and Twitter analytics
- Use Google Analytics to get data about visitors’ sources and their interaction paths within your website’s ecosystem.
Align your marketing messages with the phases of the buyer’s journey
In modern times, all the research happens online. So you need to provide the right content which helps them research. Then you also need to provide the right kind of messages at each stage as they move along the buyer’s journey funnel.
To do so, execute the following steps:
- Understand not only the needs and questions your buyers have at each stage of the journey, but also what exact terms they use to search for them. Interview and survey techniques will help you a lot in identifying these aspects.
- Understand what kind of content they would need and where you must be present to provide them this content at each stage.
- Optimize your content with relevant keywords specific to each stage.
- Optimize the format of the message specific to the medium of sharing.
Optimize your marketing automation strategy
Marketing automation strategy is not a one-and-done kind of thing. You need to measure relevant KPIs and optimize your strategy at least every quarter to achieve your long-term goals.
When measuring KPIs, be aware of vanity metrics – those stats that make you feel good when you read them but they actually signal no significant progress. For example, when sending emails, email open rates don’t mean much if your emails can’t garner enough click-through rate.
Conduct a thorough content audit
A great way to ensure you are serving the right content to your customers at each stage is to optimize their content experiences through a thorough content audit.
Think of a content audit as a way to find out optimize your content offerings for the next quarter; it will reveal your content marketing strategy’s strengths and shortcomings.
If you know what kind of content customers are liking right now, you can produce more of that content in the near future to make sure you stay aligned with the buyer’s journey.
If something is not working, the content audit will also tell you why and will give you ideas to test for the next quarter.
When you do this for emails, you can optimize how you use your marketing automation software to conduct email marketing.
Leverage marketing automation in lead nurturing
Sending a series of “welcome emails” is the perfect way to nurture a brand new lead (who filled your lead capture form) into a paying customer. If not that, a welcome email sequence can convert them into a fan of your brand (at the very least) if they like your email content.
Based on the data you gather from their activities on the website and in your emails, you can send them different email sequences.
You can quickly set up all such sequences in a smart marketing automation system.
Your marketing automation strategy is in your hands
Marketing automation strategy is not only about conducting business but also improving ways of doing business.
When you align your marketing automation strategy with the buyer’s journey stages, you can maximize return-on-investment and make informed (i.e. data-oriented) decisions.