I’ve written about the usefulness of integrated automation platforms a few times before, and I’m going to again. Automation platforms really are impressive new(er) technology that makes running a marketing campaign so much easier, and they provide businesses with an astounding amount of insight. The trouble is, these platforms can be tough to navigate, and the data they collect is enough to make your eyes cross if you don’t know what you’re looking at.
Businesses that don’t know how to use these platforms correctly run the risk of turning off customers, so it’s no wonder some companies are hesitant to join. If you want to get the best out of your marketing automation platform, you need to treat it like a living being that needs food, attention, and health checks. Get to know the architecture of integrated marketing platforms and improve your campaign the right way, without generating spam content.
Automation Software Eats Healthy So Feed It Organic Leads
The first step is finding a balance in the complexity of your automation software. A lot of businesses use marketing automation as a glorified e-mail client: they create boring content and blast it out unsolicited and way too often (otherwise known as annoying spam). Other companies heavily invest in a complex system without a good base of prospective leads, only to find out their ROI is pitiful.
Automation software works by analyzing your real audience’s behaviors, and then showing you these behaviors in data form so you can formulate new strategies. Until you have organic leads to feed into your automation system and database, you’re wasting your money. Automation software doesn’t work correctly if you’re feeding it a list of e-mails that was bought, so if that’s your M.O, you should save your money and just use a regular e-mail system.
Getting to Know Your Leads and Their Behaviors
Once you have a substantial amount of organic consumers you will start to see results with automation data. However, when you start integrating other channels, you really will start to find gold. Social media analytics pulls your consumers’ clicks and reports their behaviors: what posts they’re reading, what they’re sharing, and if they’re researching your products. Combined with email automation software’s ability to tell you what type of mail is being opened and when, you can start to put together the big picture.
You’ll begin to understand what type of content your audience is interested in, when they need it, and how they look for it. If you’re using automation software on limited channels, you’re missing out on a huge portion of the pie. That’s like reading every other chapter of a book and then trying to write a review.
Nurturing Your Leads With Informed Content
Now that you’re gaining insight into a real customer base, you have the tools necessary to keep pumping out content that’s relevant to them. Look at what posts are the most successful on your social media sites and which e-mails are being opened. Think about what your brand offers in relation to this data. Let’s imagine you’re a clothing company that sells mostly basics and casual wear. Looking at your social media analytics, you notice that an article you shared on Twitter about a new fashion trend is getting quite a few views.
So perhaps you create a blog post about how to pair trendy pieces with classic ones, and of course, add a few links to your related products. From there you can delve even further to see which individual products get the most clicks, and so on. Using multi-channel automation software allows you to see the big picture by piecing together all the little parts. It lets you see the digital forest for its pixilated trees.
Segmenting Your Targeted Audience
Integrated automation software makes it easy to section off chunks of your audience for targeting – something all businesses need to do. If you’re sending out the same e-mails to everyone in your audience, you’re doing everyone a disservice, including yourself. Use your software for what it’s meant to do, section off your audience by group preferences, and then create and send compelling content relevant to each one.
Continue to Monitor the Growth of Your Platform
One of the biggest mistakes people make when employing automation software is the “set it and forget it” mentality. It’s not a crock pot, it’s a living and breathing platform that thrives when it’s fed sufficient data and continually tested for efficacy. The digital world is changing every day, so you should be checking your automation platforms weekly for new insights in e-mail marketing, lead generation, and social media behavior.
Look at your data to see what content is starting to go stale. Maybe you need to update your landing page or optimize your site to some new-fangled design. Perhaps you want to check your most recent e-mail blast to see which users are interested in your particular product or service. Check in on the status of your marketing campaigns as often as possible, and keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
To get the best out of your automation software, the overall takeaway is to treat it like an organism and recognize its life cycle:
- Feed it real food in the form of organic leads.
- Give it more than one way to grow by integrating multiple channels.
- Don’t forget about it. Continually monitor its health and data reports.
- Listen and learn from what it’s telling you. Use that knowledge to your advantage as compost for more fodder.