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Marketing Automation in 2018: A Beginner’s Guide

Phillip Reinhardt

The phrase marketing automation is everywhere but it has a scary connotation. Many marketing professionals are afraid of automation, either because they think it’s a lot of work, or they don’t fully understand it. In 2018, however, marketing automation is more important than ever before. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a handy beginner’s guide that explains exactly what marketing automation is, why it matters, and how you can get started.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is actually quite simple. You’re going to develop processes and implement software that automates some of your most common marketing tasks. This includes a variety of pieces from your marketing mix like social media posts, emails, and much more.

One fear that many marketing professionals hold is that automation will render their jobs less valuable or, even worse, unnecessary. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The goal of marketing automation is free your time up so that you can be even more productive. When implemented properly, a good marketing automation strategy makes your team more valuable than ever before.

Why Does Marketing Automation Matter?

We’ve already discussed the fact that marketing automation makes your job easier. But it also drives results. Take a look at some of these incredible statistics HubSpot gathered about the effectiveness of marketing automation:

  • Marketing professionals in the B2B segment believe that the single most important benefit of marketing automation is that it generates higher quality leads at a quicker rate.
  • Email automation software generates, on average, twice as many leads than standard email blast software does.
  • In aggregate, companies are now spending more money on marketing technology than they are on advertising.

 

It’s clear that there are proven benefits to marketing automation and that companies are buying into these strategies completely. Let’s help you move forward by examining the key components of a successful marketing automation strategy.

Marketing automation will have a strong, positive impact on your marketing metrics and the company’s overall performance.

Where Should I Begin Automating My Marketing?

As you look for opportunities to automate your marketing, think of your most important communications tools. Where would it be useful for you to engage easier with your audience? Here are three of the most common areas for marketing automation, some ideas to get you started, and some handy marketing automation tools:

Social Media

Schedule posts well ahead of time, build automated responses to common inquiries and messages, comb the platform automatically for mentions or interesting trends that you can capitalize on.

Popular social media automation tools: Algora Pulse, HootSuite, Buffer.

Email

Develop nurturing campaigns for new subscribers, build out a full suite of automated responses based on keywords, create emails to be sent in conjunction with actions on other platforms (such as abandoning a shopping cart on your online store).

Popular email automation tools: Customer.io, MailChimp, Constant Contact.

Text Messaging

Much like email you can develop nurturing campaigns, automate responses, or send out messages based on an action trigger. You should also develop keyword responses to make it easy for people to get the answer that they’re looking for.

Popular text messaging automation tools: Delivra, ProTexting, Dotmailer.

Marketing automation feels overwhelming but it’s actually a fairly simple process. Still, it’s always nice to have a helping hand. If you’d like to leverage our expertise implementing digital marketing automation, simply reach out to us by clicking here.