What Businesses Need to do About Marketing in the Age of Automation
Marketing is all about fulfilling the needs and desires of as many people in your target market as possible. However, to fulfill so many needs, the marketing strategy has to be highly intricate.
When you’re sending out bulk emails, you don’t know those thousands of people in person, but you know certain facts about them (their position in a company, their industry, where they’re operating it from, etc) because of your research.
A great marketing strategy is all about collecting all that data and reaching out to your target market in a way that the message resonates with their exact situation. And that’s just email marketing. There’s customer relationship management, online advertising, social media and so much uncharted territory you’re yet to take advantage of.
Before you Utilize Automation Tools...
There are 3 rules you need to keep in mind about marketing automation tools:
All marketing automation tools aren’t for all businesses. I would even go as far as to say that utilizing automation tools won’t make a huge difference for some businesses.
There are automation tools for every scale of business and budget.
A marketing automation solution that offers highly subtle and nuanced solutions is way better than an all-in-one tool.
It seems that in the modern-day, brands are overcompensating to the notion “attention is everything”. Brand names show up in the forms of pop-ups, emails, and remarketing ads, and all this creates content fatigue.
Your goal is to help your clients make genuine human connections with your audience. This is where you use AI to learn about buyers’ needs, interests, and behaviors and use that information to deliver authentic, buyer-centric messaging.
So, How do we Make Marketing More Human?
Use Data to Segment Your Audience
How well you conduct your research to collect data will predict the success of your business. After all, your marketing automation is only as good as the data that you implement it on. You need a mix of both explicit and implicit data to make sure your marketing automation strategy creates a personal connection.
Data that concerns you can be divided into 2 types - Explicit and Implicit Data. Explicit data can be collected from forms and surveys, including name, address, company, job title, and the size of the contact’s team.
Implicit data is all about your target market’s interests and desires. It can be derived from the types of content they download, the number of times they open your emails, and what links they click on in emails.
Utilizing both types of information properly is when you can start expecting good news. They both have an important role in determining which phase your lead is in, in the buying journey. It also helps you segment your leads, and tailor your message to match their needs.
We’re pulled in 1000 different directions, caught up with multiple tasks, and distracted by everything. Reaching out to all the contacts with personalized and timely messages is nothing short of hefty. That’s where email automation comes in.
With email automation, you can maintain a consistent flow of email communication with your contacts. You can set how many days apart you’re going to send a message if they don’t respond.
Hubspot’s CRM allows you to build sequences of emails and offers customizability with the help of which you can make your message personalized for every lead. Just don’t start messaging those leads too often or keep urging them to make a purchase, it will always backfire.
Use email marketing to build a relationship with your audience. To understand that, you have to see in what phase of the sales funnel is your target market, based on which you start unfurling the conversation. Just communicate regularly with helpful information.
Adobe’s email usage study from 2019 reveals 4 reasons why people block work and personal emails.
Here’s what people find annoying in work emails:
- I’m emailed too often (38%)
- I’m not their target market (25%)
- Poorly written/too wordy (24%)
- I’ve already purchased the product but they just don’t stop (21%)
Here are things that people find annoying in personal emails:
- I’m emailed too often (43%)
- I’ve already purchased the product but they just don’t stop (24%)
- I’m not their target market (23%)
- Poorly written/too wordy (23%)
To have your business needs met, you have to use the implicit and explicit data you collected and distribute them into different groups based on their needs and interests. Now is when you tailor your message to every different group so that it’s personalized.
When you send well-written emails that align with the sales funnel stages of your leads, you’re just providing them with the right information at the right time. This brings value and they will remember you when they're ready to purchase.
Pop-Up Forms, Sliders, and Hello Bars
Honestly, pop-ups and sliders are usually annoying, but are they useful? That depends on how humanly you use them. Keep in mind the following guidelines and you’re good to go:-
The promoted content in the slider or pop-up is highly relevant to that webpage’s content and matches the website visitor’s intent.
The pop-up enhances the user experience and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
They appear at the right time.
Language resonates with the visitor and reminds them of the value of what you’re offering.
Use the types of pop-ups that don’t get in the way of the path of your ecommerce conversion or any other type of conversions, such as slide-in boxes (pop-ups that slide in as visitors scroll the page) and on-click pop-ups (a pop up when a particular CTA is clicked).
These 2 are typically less intrusive than overlay pop-ups since they are triggered by the visitor’s engagement with that page. Using a heatmap tool like HotJar will help you determine how people engage with your page which will help you figure out the right place to trigger a pop-up or slider.
Chatbots with a Human Touch
Chatbots are being adopted by more and more businesses as the AI behind them has become highly sophisticated and easily customizable. The visitors can get the information they want quickly, and gradually become qualified leads.
A chatbot can answer based on FAQs, direct website visitors to downloadable resources, connect them with sales reps, and set up demos. Not to mention, chatbots execute “conversational marketing”, having a human touch in the way they interact.
A chatbot interacts with real humans who have questions and expect to be provided with quick answers. Here’s how you create a good chatbot:-
Give it a personality and a name. The more person-like, the better for people to resonate with it.
Create a chatbot that greets website visitors as soon as they arrive.
As soon as their chat begins, ask the visitor’s name so that the chatbot can personalize the messages.
Ask them questions that can make them a qualified lead.
Give the user several options, and direct them to the information they’re looking for in the least back and forths.
Social Media Automation
Here’s a caveat of automation on social media - just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Look at the messages you receive immediately after connecting with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter. This starts to come off as robotic and you kinda lose interest right off the bat, don’t you?
Besides, it’s important to reduce marketing costs in a way that maximizes returns. A lot of times when companies discover automation, they rush to sell their products and services right away. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out it’s an automated message and hence, it’s a wasted effort.
It’s a basic human need to want connection. Start by understanding your prospect’s needs and interests, and try to build a relationship with me. A better way to use social media automation is to automate mundane, repetitive tasks such as sending connection requests.
Social media postings are another area where you can use automation. Usually, people post the same message on different social media platforms, but users of various social platforms have different expectations from the content on those channels.
Customize your message as per the audience. Try to analyze the responses of your audience and deduce what kind of content works best on each platform for your particular product or service.
Content and SEO
Earning high ranks in the search results isn’t accomplished by stuffing keywords into your content. Your goal is to match the searcher’s intent with your content, more than your competitors’ content.
A holistic Digital Marketing strategy requires you to combine social media automation with a great quality of content. Good content is the conversational one, hence appealing to the reader, as well as SEO friendly, i.e. filled with the right keywords throughout the content.
There are SEO strategies to help you understand Google better, what parameters it takes into consideration before ranking your content. Google crawlers index your webpage content before deciding where it should rank.
Ironically, Google’s bots don’t like content that seems like a machine wrote it. Try to incorporate your brand’s story in your content marketing and social media marketing. Meanwhile, your valuable content helps people, a good SEO strategy will ensure that search engines understand your products and services.
Marketing automation enables you to communicate with your prospects on a much larger scale. The key to a successful marketing automation strategy is segmentation and personalization, to make sure the right message reaches the right person at the right time.
Also, evaluate and test your audience’s engagement with your automated marketing campaigns regularly. This will help you figure out what would work and won’t.
When you market like a human, you reevaluate your lead scoring, reassess your funnel, and fine-tune your brand message to connect with your buyers authentically.