Making sense of marketing and engagement data is not easy. Especially when there are no tools available to store and organize this data. Before marketing automation, companies tracked data in various places. These posed nightmares including inaccurate data, conflicting information and slow processing times. These challenges make it impossible to analyze their data to gauge marketing performance. One way to navigate these obstacles is by using marketing automation tools. What is marketing automation? How is it used in everyday marketing activities? How can it be useful for your lead generation efforts? The list of questions is endless, so let’s dive in.
Getting Down to the Basics: What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a way to organize your marketing and automate marketing tasks. Some tools, like Marketo, can do everything in one place, from emails to landing pages and website forms. Other tools focus on one thing. Mailchimp focuses on email marketing, Unbounce manages landing pages and forms and Google Analytics looks at website tracking. The benefits of marketing automation are plentiful. Here, we will dive into each, and give a full view of what marketing automation is and how it can help your company generate more leads and sales.
Boost Efficiency and Overall Marketing Operations
Marketing automation tools allow you to manage your marketing efforts within the same platform. This enables the centralized collection of marketing data. With this data, marketers can extract insights and optimize campaigns for improved results. Instead of going back and forth between platforms to manage components, marketing operations become simplified. As time and resources become valuable, it is key to automate tasks. Over 30% of companies report using marketing automation to automate tasks. This frees up time to focus on other high-impact marketing activities
Move the Prospect Through the Buyer’s Journey
Another benefit of marketing automation is gaining insights into a prospect’s behavior. You can see what content they engage with to how their lead score accumulates. This gives a more ROI-focused view of marketing performance. With engagement occurring via outbound efforts and many digital channels, it is important to attribute behaviors with each. From email to social to website engagement and more, marketing automation platforms help teams see their prospect’s engagement levels. These insights allow improvements in the customer experience. As buyer expectations change, it is important to adapt and marketing automation tools can help uncover those trends.
Marketing automation platforms can also trigger actions based on behavior. For example, a prospect visits a webpage, fills out a form to download a piece of content and becomes a known lead. The marketing automation platform can then send the lead the appropriate follow-up email. Afterward, it uses the data collected to segment them and add them to an industry-specific email drip campaign. This keeps your brand top-of-mind until that lead is ready for purchase. When the lead visits the website again, they get served personalized content. These messages can vary depending on where the lead is in the sales funnel. This is all triggered via the marketing automation platform, moving them through the buyer’s journey.
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Improve Quality and Quantity of Leads
Marketing automation is a great tool to support overall marketing strategy efforts. That includes your company’s lead generation strategies. These are just a few marketing efforts that help generate more leads and how marketing automation can support each.
Creating quality content is the first step in bringing more traffic to your website. Creating a mix of gated and ungated content brings traffic to your website and supports lead generation. Gated content generates leads while ungated generates traffic. It is imperative to have a mix to see success.
Marketing Automation in Content Marketing
42% of marketers use content automation in the content lifecycle. Content automation takes manual content tasks and automates them. This gives marketers time to focus on creating quality content. Marketing automation also keeps your content organized in one hub. You can create, edit and publish all in one place. You can also automate workflows that include content. For example, in the lead nurture process, there might be a behavior-based trigger that sends a new blog to a lead. Automating tasks like this saves an infinite amount of time.
Your website is the cornerstone of your business. Make it shine. From incorporating messaging points to highlighting customer testimonials, optimizing your website is critical. Ensure landing pages have the most important information above the fold. Check that forms have minimal, yet essential fields included. This minimizes barriers to conversion. Consistently use brand identity elements across the entire website. Most importantly, make sure your website is mobile-optimized. Google is mobile-first, and your website should have the same focus.
Marketing Automation in Website Optimization
Depending on what marketing automation tools you use, most can also manage your website including forms and landing pages. Keeping these in one location saves you time. Marketing automation tools also offer insights into website performance. Use this data to understand engagement and make decisions moving forward.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Having content is great. Ensuring it is optimized for search engines elevates it and helps bring more traffic to your website. There are a lot of things to focus on when optimizing content and your website for SEO, to get you started, here is a list of what you should focus on.
Marketing Automation in SEO
Marketing automation tools can also support SEO efforts. They provide details on keyword optimization, linking best practices and formatting. All are important to SEO.
If budget allows, paid advertising is a great way to quickly generate leads. For the best quality leads, LinkedIn is the best place to be. Focus on your target audience. Ensure it fits your ideal customer profile. Here are seven proven strategies for B2B LinkedIn lead generation.
Marketing Automation in Advertising
Marketing automation tools can help you understand the best audience for advertising efforts. Groups of prospects can be sorted to form different audience segmentations. These segments are then used to mirror audience targeting for ads. Plus, most marketing automation tools integrate with ad platforms, giving your team direct insight into conversions and performance.
Maintain Sales and Marketing Alignment
To ensure sales and marketing alignment, it is important to define what a quality lead is. This happens through lead scoring. Lead scoring accounts for a lead’s demographic characteristics and behavior. Attribute a lead score based on elements such as their job title, geographic location and email address. While on the behavior side, you can score them on their website and email engagement. For example, if their job title is either President, Vice President, or Senior Manager, they get 25 points. If they download a gated eBook on the website, they get 35 points. Once the score adds up to a certain threshold, they are considered a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). Organizations navigate MQLs and SQLs differently, but at this point, it all means the same thing. A lead indicates interest in your company and product offerings.
Lead scoring can be very useful in the B2B setting where buyer lifecycles are longer. A solid inbound marketing plan can bring in a host of leads. Some may not be viable prospects at all, others may be at the beginning of the buying process, or close to the end. The behavioral and demographic scores assigned to these prospects can give a measure of where they are in the lead lifecycle. Marketing automation handles the scoring and moves the lead from stage to stage based on their score. This is important for sales and marketing alignment because it ensures that the right leads get to the right people at the right time.
Whether you are gearing up to take on marketing automation for the first time or looking to refine your marketing automation efforts, Launch is here to help. Request a free marketing consultation or contact us today to see how we can help you amplify your marketing and lead generation through powerful marketing automation.