Marketing funnel automation is all about spending your time right. As a seasoned marketer with a business to manage, the time you have is limited. You have to dedicate an ample amount of your time to sifting through emails and responding to them. You have to talk to your sales reps, manage your team, and figure out how to maximise the profits you rake.
There’s plenty in your action plate, and each task eats an inordinate portion of your day-to-day time. So why not look into the possibility of automating some of these activities?
You could start by automating your marketing funnel process. And did you know who else automates their marketing strategies? Well, 76 percent of all the SaaS companies you see floating about, particularly the large ones.
So why not take a cue from them and offload the burden of handling every aspect of your marketing process manually? It sounds easy because it sure is.
All you need to figure out how to go about it is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to automate buyers’ sales funnel journey. It’s, however, important that you’re more strategic with the approach you take to avoid coming off as robotic.
Super Effective Ways to Automate Content Marketing
Content marketing is a time-consuming activity, and for this reason, you should look into how you can automate content marketing for your business. There is a general misconception about how content marketing automation works. In this article, we look at the seven super effective ways you can automate content marketing to increase website traffic and increase sales.
What Is Content Marketing Automation?
This is the approach of identifying repetitive content marketing operations and then automating the operations by using applications or tools. The major reason why you should automate content marketing is to improve the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
One of the reasons why you should automate content marketing is that you can apply it in any phase of the content marketing strategy process right from planning, to implementation.
Effective Ways to Automate Content Marketing
Content automation is not as complicated as most people like to make it seem. Here are the 7 effective ways for you to automate content marketing.
Know Which Type of Content You Should Create
Before you start content marketing automation, you need to have the right content that will lead to more traffic for your website and conversion of browsers into visitors. Google Alerts can help you know the types of content being created that touch your target keywords.
Such insight will come in handy when creating visual content such as video or infographics. Buzzsumo is a paid tool that allows you to set up content alerts. On top of this, you could subscribe to a blog writing service.
Such a service identifies the relevant keywords for your business that are also popular with your audience. Furthermore, they can go ahead to suggest content ideas based on your audience’s preferences.
Choose the Right Content Marketing Automation Tools
Content marketing automation tools will help you identify the content that you should upload, and they have alerts that notify you when it is the best time to upload it. More so, they will push your content to social media platforms and your WordPress website.
It might take you a while before you get the right content, marketing automation tool, but you should not rest until you do. We recommend these tools for your content marketing automation, Skyword, Contently, DiwyHQ, and NewsCred.
Engage In Social Media Management Practices
Social media is the best thing that has happened to digital marketing since it allows you to reach out to a wide audience. With that said, you do not have to do it manually; there are tools such as Hootsuite that automatically shares content from your website’s RSS feed to social media platforms.
While Hootsuite might not work for every business, you can compare the different social media management tools on sites such as Sprout Social or Buffer.
Promote Your Content
There are millions of websites trying to break out from online obscurity, and this makes it essential that you promote your content. A tool such as Outbrain will help you identify the best opportunities where your content can appear on authoritative publisher sites.
Another tool to consider is SimpleReach; it alerts you of the best performing content on social media in real time. This will help you decide on the best way to automate content marketing, that is whether you should use sponsored ads or boost your posts on social media.
Automate Your Email Newsletter
Sending out a newsletter to your emailing list once you have made a new blog post can be a tedious process. However, with a tool such as MailChimp, you can automate the personalisation and email nurturing your leads.
MailChimp is one of the most acclaimed and competitively priced email marketing tools on the internet today. However, you can also use tools such as GetResponse, HubSpot, Marketo, Aweber, and Constant Contact.
Connect Your Content Marketing Platforms
The only way to hack this is by using tools such as Zapier. It automatically adds all the leads collected from your website and adds them to your main newsletter list. This content marketing automation tool will also help you monitor your social media platforms by sending notifications to your email whenever you get a reaction or comment on your social media posts. You could also use IFTTT.
Track Your Content Marketing Automation
The worst thing that you can do is to go for days without checking whether you are getting from your content marketing automation processes. The best thing about using tools to automate content marketing is that they are highly customisable.
For example, Google Analytics send a monthly report to your email that shows you the best and worst performing pages and content. Armed with this information, you can then go ahead and take the necessary measures to boost the content and pages that are performing poorly.
Why Should You Automate Your Sales Funnel Stages?
It takes a lot of time investment and resources to grow your sales funnel to full potential. But once you’ve succeeded to get it there, the rewards are more worthwhile than anything you could have spent the time on.
Here are a few reasons you’d want to automate your sales funnel:
To reduce the time you spend on menial tasks:
You could pay someone to help you with all the humdrum translates like updating your sales database, writing emails. By why waste your resources and time on stuff like that when you could easily automate all these procedures?
This should also allow you to let your team focus on more important tasks like closing deals and building customer relationship.
To cut on cost:
You don’t need to hire anyone to help you with these menial jobs. That should be able to save you lots of your hard-earned money. That also means that your labour cost will be significantly reduced.
According to one recent research finding, marketing automation can help you reduce your overhead cost by up to 12 percent.
Capture more data on your customers
Automation makes it a whole lot easier to capture lots of data on customer behaviour and other aspects of their buying journey. With an organised data capture system, it’s possible to keep all this data in a centralised database for easy access.
Better leads, ROI, and conversion
Quality leads translate to a better conversion rate, which translates to better ROI. It all starts with understanding the nature of the prospects you’re interested in. With this information, you should know how to set up your funnels and automate the entire process for a better quality of leads and all that.
Now that you understand the value of automating your sales funnel process, let’s zoom in to how you can get the job done.
How to Create an Automated Marketing Funnel Strategy
Stage 1: Automating the Awareness Stage of Your sales Funnel
The most sure-fire way to raise awareness around your business is through killer content. Content like infographics, blog posts, and videos are the prime vehicles to use in educating your visitors on various topics as you direct them around your business.
It’s that simple. Visitors get to know you through content when they’re searching for a solution to a problem. It’s then that they discover a link to your site, and while going through your content, get to know about a pain point that you solve.
While working on raising some awareness around your brand or business, you might want to steer clear of any content that’s pushy or sales-y. Your goal should be on providing your readers with a real solution that they’ll be using to better their lives or improve on the various aspects of their business and everything else.
The content you write must respond to a specific query you suspect your users have. So how can you automate this stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Through Blogging
This is the mainstay of the awareness stage of your sales process. Your primary focus should be on publishing useful content for your prospects regularly. That way, you’ll be sense to explore your brand and find out more about what it does.
You also get to grab the attention of the prospects that are looking for information that relates to your products or services.
In a recent study conducted by DemandMetric, organisations that blog are more likely to increase the number of leads they generate by a whopping 67%. And the more you blog and the content piles up, the more people your organisation will be attracting.
Better yet, there are tools that you could use to automate some parts of the blogging process, and they include:
You win it big with content when you can get one of your articles to go viral. Don’t sweat the simple stuff. With a tool like BuzzSumo, this shouldn’t be that much of a hassle.
What Buzzsumo does is that it scours the internet for a list of posts that have been shared the most on social media for a specified time range. This clues you on what topics have the greatest potential so you can figure out how to come up with a blog post around them.
Of course, you have to figure out how to put your own spin on it and come up with something that’s totally unique and worth sharing.
Grammatical errors have a way of rearing their ugly heads on a nicely written piece of article. The good thing is that you don’t have to hire an editor to help you out with the simple grammatical mistakes that slip through to ruin your article.
With a tool like Grammarly, you don’t have to worry about the grammatical errors that escape your eyes to ruin the party for you. The tool is also designed to help you improve on sentence structure for an even better piece of writing.
At this point, you’re working on creating a good first impression on the prospects you attract, and the last message you’d want to send is that you’re not professional enough to even edit your own piece of article.
While blogging, a simple trick would be to focus on some of the common questions your prospects query into search engines. Focus on teaching your users how to do something or how to respond to a certain situation in life, and they’ll surely start checking you out in droves.
- Through Social Media content
You could use social media to create some awareness around your brand and grow the number of leads your site is attracting by a significant amount. Social media also creates an avenue for you to interact with your prospects, forge important relationships, and share branded messages with your followers.
Social media demands that you engage your followers on a personal level. Refrain from taking a professional stance by being, umm, social. That’s the only way you can be sure your social media strategy will have a huge impact on your marketing campaign.
And as with blogging, it’s possible to automate some parts of your social media strategy. Here’s how:
Here get it: you don’t have the time to post on social media regularly. So why not take advantage of this simple tool and schedule all the posts you’d wish to post in a week or month. Just prepare all the posts and feed them into the tool, specifying the date and time you’d want to post them and let the tool work its magic.
CoSchedule operates a whole lot like Hootsuite, with an option to schedule up to 60 posts at a go. The tool features a calendar that you’ll be using to specify the date and time that you wish to see your posts published.
You could also use it to respond to comments directly from the tool’s dashboard, without necessarily logging into Facebook.
SocialFlow allows you to keep tabs on what’s happening in the social spaces. It’s what you use to find out what’s happening and the conversations that people are having for a rough idea on what to post.
It’s the tool you need to capture the attention of your leads most effectively, instead of publishing random stuff with no sense of direction.
Stage 2: Interest and Evaluation
At this point, you’ve managed to grab your visitors’ attention through awareness. Now the most logical thing to do is to show them your offer. Not yet time to be sales-y, but there’s no harm in promoting your business. There’s no harm in letting your site’s visitors know you’ve got a solution to the problem whose answer they were seeking in the first place.
In other words, you should be working on how to install a lead magnet in place. By a lead magnate what we’re implying is that you should be thinking of offering something for free in exchange for the contact information of your leads.
You’re simply building some little bit of excitement around your products or services so you can get them to take action.
You have to be more specific on some of the benefits your users are likely to realise when they choose to sign up with you.
That said, here are a few suggestions on what you could use as a lead magnet:
A case study or Industry report
This is some crucial information that you may only want to reveal to the people that are close to you. Your subscribers or online community may be part of it.
You can start by preparing a detailed industry report or some case studies you suspect is valuable to your users. This also comes as an opportunity for you to establish yourself as a thought leader.
Thought leadership can also have a significant impact on the buying decision your prospects make. As a matter of fact, it’s been revealed that about 51 percent of the buyers that you’re likely to meet factor this in the decision they make while choosing a vendor.
This is another popular lead magnet that you would want to take advantage of today and factor it into your marketing campaign. Ever thought of compiling all the useful resources you have, including how-to videos and other resources, and sending them in bulk to some of your users.
Here’s your opportunity to try this on condition that the user leaves you an email or any other important piece of contact information.
Allow your prospects to view your webinar, with the only requirement being they should sign up and submit their contact information. A simple trick to pull this off and get a greater number of people to sign up for the webinar is to make it exclusive to a limited number of users. Once you hit this count, you close everything until the next webinar.
Where you suspect your visitor is about to leave your page, you can lure them back in with an opt-in page that will be asking them to sign up. Make good use of opt-in tools such as opt-in monster, and you should be good to go.
It doesn’t matter what lead magnet you choose, but how you incorporate your personality into the whole thing. People want to know that they’re responding to a request that’s been made by a real person and that that person has something valuable to offer to them.
This is where you grow your leads’ interest to the point that they’ll have no option but to proceed with a purchase. Your prospects might be well aware of your offering, but you haven’t enticed them well enough to get them to take the bold step of taking action.
So at this point, you should be focused on nurturing a solid relationship that will see to it that that they finally decide to commit. And the best way to pull this off is through email marketing.
You have to keep sending email sequence to your leads until they finally make up their mind and do the necessary. Here are the email sequences you may want to look into:
- The Welcome Email
This is the first email you send to a new subscriber immediately they sign up with you. It’s meant to introduce yourself to new users and thank them for making the bold decision to join your email network. Make sure the email features a CTA button just in case one of them decides to complete a purchase.
- The Lead Magnate Email
This email should be delivering what you promised your new subscriber. It’s a link with details on how to download or access what was initially promised to the email subscriber.
- The Social Proof Email
This is where you talk about your brand’s popularity and success story. You can talk about reviews, testimonials, and even throw in some of the big names that have benefited from your services or products.
- Ask Us Anything Email
Your users have concerns, and this is how you address them. You’re simply giving them a little nudge to open up and talk to you about the reason that’s holding them back from taking action.
- Last Chance Email
This email creates a sense of urgency. It tells your prospects to speed up their decision-making process. Works in situations where you think your prospects are stalling.
For this, you have two email marketing tools that you might want to take advantage of – and that is, MailChimp and Drip Campaigns.
The Final Thought
This is how you automate your marketing funnel. With everything set right, you don’t have to worry about handling some of these things manually. It will take you some time to automate some of these things, but once you’re done, the benefit will surpass all the money and energy you’d have pumped into the project by far.
Still stuck on the marketing funnel tools that you could use to automate your sales funnel project? Check out with us at MediaOne Marketing and find out more about some of the solutions we offer.