We’re all busy. Small business owners feel this workload even more strongly because they don’t have the standard 9-5 schedule that many others do. While this is only natural, you can take steps to optimize your day and make your business more efficient. For many companies, the answer is to automate marketing by choosing a platform that automatically takes care of it for you. Here are 10 ways marketing automation can save you time (and money).
1. Focusing your social media plan.
Have you thought about where and when you should post? Or asked yourself if you post too often or not often enough? Trying to keep up with the constant changes in social media can be overwhelming. For example, this Instagram study shows that the “best time to post” changes from day to day. It’s a lot of work trying to keep up with the times! Not to mention that this research and data may well change this year or next.
Marketing automation can save you time by ensuring that your social media pages receive proper attention. Your social accounts stay active and you look great without spending hours each week coming up with content ideas and remembering to share them.
2. Tracks and organizes the effectiveness of your content.
Data is important to know how your email newsletters or social posts are performing. It’s also helpful to know what topics your audience likes best. Remember: one campaign is not the best indicator of how well your content is working with your audience. It’s better to look at effectiveness over time and long-term effects, such as attracting referrals that lead to future deals.
Marketing automation software will show you information such as the number of emails you send, open rates, post engagement, etc.
3. Promotes your business on a regular basis.
This is an especially important way for marketing automation to save you time and money. Most businesses try to carry business cards or attend networking events. However, these events are usually infrequent, and you have no control over how often they are scheduled. And in times of social distancing, these opportunities can be even more difficult.
Updating your social media is something you can do to stay on top of things. Weeks without a social media post on your Facebook business page or months without an email to your network can be the difference between someone remembering your name when they need you and going to your competitors. Marketing automation software can ensure that your audience hears from you all the time.
4. Builds your reputation as an expert.
Those social media posts and emails we talk about all the time? They are crucial to building your reputation as an expert. When you share interesting and relevant information with the right people, they start to think of you as a source of information to go to with questions or concerns. As a result, more opportunities, leads and repeat business will come to you. In this way, marketing automation can save you time and money spent looking for leads.
And all small business owners know the value of referrals!
5. Expands your reach beyond your current network.
Your email newsletters and social media posts are seen mostly by the people you’re already connected with. Engagement can help put your posts in front of other people, but with social media algorithms constantly changing, it’s hard to know what people are really seeing.
One way to increase your name recognition is to run social ads. Not only will you get your name in front of new people, but you’ll be able to determine exactly who wants to see your message and promote your business.
6. Encourages natural conversations.
Keep in mind that some people may find it difficult to reach out to you, even if they need your services. They may be shy, nervous, afraid to say the wrong thing or even seem silly.
Having an argument or reason to reach out will help them take that step. An interesting email newsletter or social media post can be that nudge for the person trying to find a way to start a conversation.
7. Eliminate buying leads.
Buying leads is a gamble. You may find a few needles in a haystack, but you’ll spend a lot of time finding poor quality leads in the process. Those in the market for your services have likely already been called by competitors who have bought the same leads. Instead of rolling the dice on buying leads, take advantage of marketing automation.
Whatever software you choose, it should include an optimized website and an easy way to gather information from interested parties, such as with a form. Even if your website only provides 5 leads a month and you close one of them, that’s already 12 deals closed in a year because of the fact that you have an easy way to find you online.
8. Highlight the most interested customers and buyers.
One of the most frustrating parts of selling in any business is cold calls. You seem to waste precious time when call after call leads to nothing. When your marketing automation software shows you who is ready to talk and who is not, you can focus on warm leads instead of guessing. Simply put, spend less time being frustrated and more time having productive conversations.
9. Collecting reviews and testimonials for you.
Asking for reviews and recommendations can be an awkward task. It can be difficult to know how to ask, what to say, and when the timing is right. However, recommendations are critical to the long-term success of every small business and professional.
This screenshot shows how OutboundEngine collects your reviews and recommendations and makes it easy for potential clients to see how highly you are recommended.
10. Attracting potential customers who may not yet be ready to buy.
Let’s say you’re about to buy a new car. You store around, do your research, ask your friends, read reviews-anything. Then you find a car you like at your local dealership and decide to take it for a test drive. You may not decide to buy that car on the spot, but that doesn’t mean you won’t buy it next week or even next year. We guarantee that the dealer doesn’t want you to forget about this car.
The same goes for your customers. When it comes to making important decisions, like an insurance policy, or a big purchase like a new home, everyone’s timeline is different. Keep the lines of communication open. Let them know you’re available to talk at any time and make it easy for them.
Save time and use it as you see fit
If you’re still spending time on each of these tasks individually, consider how marketing automation can save you time to focus on what you love. The fact is, conversations are had both online and offline, and you need to make sure you’re meeting people wherever they are. While online interaction shouldn’t replace all relationship-building efforts, it should be part of your business strategy.