There’s no doubt that marketers have a lot on their plates, which is why it’s so important to use digital marketing automation to free up their time.
What is digital marketing automation? Digital marketing automation is the process of automating repetitive tasks involved in digital marketing efforts.
What are examples of digital marketing automation? How can automation benefit your team? Here’s what you need to know:
What Are Different Types of Digital Marketing Automation?
Digital marketing automation is used in a number of different ways, including:
- Email Marketing
- Content Creation
Marketing automation is often used to simplify the process of creating and managing email marketing campaigns.
For example, marketers may use a marketing automation tool to automatically send a welcome email to new subscribers shortly after they sign up. This way, marketers won’t have to constantly check for new subscribers or manually send welcome emails.
Marketing automation software can also be used to automatically send emails around certain dates. Marketers may schedule these emails to automatically go out around major holidays or subscribers’ birthdays, for example.
Marketers can also automatically send emails to subscribers based on when they made a purchase. If a customer purchases a new car, for instance, a marketer may want to schedule an automated email for six months from the purchase date to remind the customer to come in for an oil change.
Drip email marketing campaigns are perhaps the most popular use of automated email marketing. A drip email marketing campaign is a sequence of automated emails that are sent to subscribers based on a predefined schedule.
For example, if a new subscriber signs up for your e-newsletter online, they may receive a welcome email right away. Then, they may receive a second email with discount codes and special offers in two weeks. A few days later, they may receive a third email reminding them to take advantage of the discounts and special offers, and so on.
Automating your email marketing campaigns can save your team time and make it easier to generate and nurture leads.
Marketing automation is often used to automate the content creation workflow. A typical content creation workflow might look like this:
- Conduct keyword research
- Generate topics
- Assign topics to writers
- Write content
- Edit content
- Get client approval
- Publish content
This workflow involves a great deal of manual work. For instance, a writer would need to manually send their work to their editor, who would then manually let the writer know what edits need to be made. Once the edits are made, the editor would need to manually send the completed content to the client for review. The editor would also need to remember to manually follow up with the client if they don’t approve the content right away.
Performing all of these tasks manually leaves a lot of room for errors and lengthy delays. Automation can help your team avoid these problems.
Automation would keep the content creation project moving forward toward completion. Once the writer completed their task, for instance, the automation software would automatically send the project to the editor for review. Once the editor completed their task, the software would send the project to the client for review, and so on.
Eliminating this type of manual, repetitive work simplifies the content creation workflow. It also ensures that the project continues to move forward so it is completed by the deadline.
What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing Automation?
There are countless benefits to automating your digital marketing efforts, including:
- Increase efficiency. Automation will eliminate manual work in your team’s workflow, which will free up your team’s time so they can direct their focus to more complex, strategic projects.
- Lower staffing costs. Automation increases productivity, so each member of your team will be able to complete more work. Because each team member can take on more work, you won’t need to hire as many people to get the job done.
- Reduce errors. Research shows that humans are more likely to make errors when performing repetitive, manual tasks. Automating these tasks will address this issue and help your team produce higher quality work.
- Scalable. It’s incredibly difficult to grow your business if you are still performing a lot of manual work. Automation can help you create processes that are scalable, so you can take on new clients and grow your business.
- Consistency. Automating your workflow ensures that everyone on your team follows the exact same process when completing projects. This way, everyone on your team will be capable of producing consistent, high-quality, and error-free work.
- Improves accountability. Automation helps you identify bottlenecks in your workflow, which can improve accountability. For example, you may notice that one person is slowing down the entire team by delivering their work days after it is due. In this case, you may need to reevaluate this team member’s workload or get them additional training.
- Accurate reporting. It’s easy to make a mistake when manually pulling data for clients. Fortunately, many tools automate reporting, so your team won’t have to manually compile data to show campaign results to clients. Instead, they can pull accurate reports in a matter of minutes.
These are some of the many ways in which marketing automation can help your business reach new levels of success.
How to Start Automating Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Automating the repetitive tasks involved in your digital marketing efforts is easy. Follow these simple steps to get started:
- Identify Repetitive Tasks
- Choose the Right Software
- Train Your Team
- Make Necessary Adjustments
Identify Repetitive Tasks
The first step is identifying the tasks that can be automated. Put together a list of all of the tasks involved in your marketing efforts. It’s best to get your team involved to ensure you don’t miss anything when creating this list.
Then, analyze the list to determine which tasks are compatible with automation. Look for tasks that meet one or more of these conditions:
- It takes a lot of time to complete.
- It must be completed on a regular basis.
- More than one team member must complete this task.
- It doesn’t require communication or collaboration with another party.
If a task meets at least one of these conditions, you may want to consider automating it to simplify your team’s workflow.
Choose the Right Software
There are many different options to choose from when it comes to marketing automation software, but some are better than others. For this reason, it’s important to do your research and find software that meets your team’s unique needs.
For example, some tools are designed for the sole purpose of automating social media posts. If you don’t need to automate social media posts, these tools would not be right for your team.
Don’t purchase marketing automation software without trying it first. Most of these platforms offer free trial periods, so use this time to test out the software and determine if it meets your business’s needs.
Train Your Team
Once you select software, make sure to host training sessions for everyone on your team. During this training session, explain what tasks are going to be automated, how this will affect your team’s workflow, and how to use the new marketing automation software.
Focus on how marketing automation benefits your team. For example, make it clear that marketing automation will simplify your team’s workflow and allow them to focus their time and energy on more important tasks.
Even though marketing automation benefits your team, they may still have questions and concerns about its use. Encourage them to speak their minds so you can have an open and honest conversation with them about how this change will impact your team.
Make Necessary Adjustments
Review your marketing automation strategy periodically to determine what’s working and what’s not. Over time, you may identify additional tasks that need to be automated. If this is the case, make the necessary adjustments to automate these tasks.
Don’t forget to retrain your team if you decide to make any changes to your automation strategy in the future. This way, everyone will be on the same page regarding which tasks are automated and which tasks are performed manually.
What Are the Best Digital Marketing Automation Tools?
Experience the benefits of digital marketing automation with one of these useful tools:
Thousands of digital marketers use Marketo to automate various marketing tasks involved in creating email campaigns, posting on social media, and generating new leads. Marketers can use Marketo to create personalized, automated campaigns across multiple channels, so they can engage with potential customers in a number of different ways.
Marketo even allows you to track your target audience’s behavior across various channels so you can create automated, personalized email campaigns in real time that are tailored to their needs. You also have the option of cloning successful campaigns so you don’t need to spend time rebuilding them in the future.
HubSpot is designed to help marketers attract their target audience and convert them into loyal customers.
To generate new leads, you can use HubSpot to create blogs, videos, and social media content that appeals to your target audience. You can also use this tool to improve your SEO to ensure your target audience can find your website when conducting relevant searches.
Then, use HubSpot’s automation tool to create a custom workflow that will help you nurture and convert each new lead. For example, you may want to use HubSpot to set up a series of automated emails. You will need to define the trigger for each email in the series. For example, tell HubSpot to send the first email as soon as the lead provides their information and the second email two days after the first email was sent.
Once you create the workflow in HubSpot, the tool will automatically perform these actions that are designed to convert your leads into customers. This allows you to focus on other marketing efforts that require your attention.
Pardot is one of the most popular B2B marketing automation tools. This tool is ideal for B2B companies that are primarily interested in using marketing automation to generate more sales.
You can use Pardot to map out a custom, automated customer experience. Each lead will forge their own path to purchase that will vary depending on what actions they take.
For example, say you send welcome emails to all of your new leads. New leads that open this email may take a different path to purchase than new leads who don’t open this email. Thanks to Pardot, you have the power to create a complex, automated experience that will vary depending on each decision that a new lead makes.
Pardot even allows you to experience each of your custom-built workflows with its visual testing tool. This gives you an opportunity to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and see if any changes need to be made in order to convert as many new leads as possible.
Gryffin is a workflow management and automation tool that was built by digital marketers for digital marketers. Use Gryffin’s drag and drop feature to create and automate custom workflows that meet the needs of your team and your clients. This tool will automatically move your projects through their predesigned workflows until they are complete.
Gryffin is also designed with a dynamic due date feature, so you can set due dates for each task that will change depending on when the prior task is completed.
For example, say task A must be done before task B and you want your team to have two days to complete task B once task A is complete. Once task A is complete, Gryffin will automatically adjust the due date on task B to two days later to ensure your team has enough time to produce high quality work. This makes it easier to map out workflows to meet project deadlines.
Learn more about Gryffin and how its workflow automation feature can help your business by starting your free trial today.