Digital marketing experts agree on at least one fact that was and always will be true in their line of work. Advertising is fun and games until you realise how much has changed in the last few hours.
That’s right. It’s an ever-evolving field where missing out on new trends can ruin your efforts to become the leader in the industry.
Therefore, the old-school marketing tactics won’t get you far. The only solution is to keep up and come up with a plan that will wipe out the competition while staying loyal to your brand.
Marketing Automation Strategy Explained
To succeed, you will need to incorporate a marketing automation strategy to your business plan. We all know by now that marketing automation plays an indispensable role in every company’s lifecycle.
Sadly, countless B2B companies struggle with creating that strategy. Actually, 58% of marketers admit that the most significant barrier to marketing automation success is the lack of an effective strategy.
But what exactly effective strategy means?
It’s the steps you take to end up with a positive ROI (return on investment) without damaging other marketing areas. From interacting with your leads to analysing your best (and worst) practices, the strategy can solve one crucial B2B marketing problem: it shortens the conversion cycle.
Defining the Goals in a Marketing Automation Strategy
What do you want to achieve with your marketing automation strategy?
Is it getting better leads, boosting sales, or you simply want to free up some time by letting the machines do their work?
Every goal requires a different set of tactics, so make sure you know what you want to accomplish.
Understanding and Identifying Buyer Personas and Targeted Groups
The next step is to understand what your future prospects will look for and what point in the funnel. However, the easiest way to identify whom to target is to focus on a targeted group. For example, if there are too little leads turning into prospects, you know you have a problem at the top of the funnel.
Your B2B website may be perfect, but it probably lacks some minor adjustments, like sending an automated email after your visitors click on a well-placed CTA.
Separating the Leads
Not all leads are the same. Some of them will arrive with the intent of scrolling through your pages, while others will come with the actual buying intent.
The key is to separate the leads based on their intent. Most of the times, there’s an option of segmenting the leads in your marketing automation software.
In a B2B company, a marketer can divide people with different occupations, so the personalised messages get through all people in the targeted group.
Deciding Which Content Goes Where
The type of content delivered to leads varies even in a B2B company. After you’ve separated the leads to create personalised posts or emails, it’s time to decide which platforms you’re going to use.
Social media sites work great with marketing automation, but sometimes seem too wide for a B2B business, especially a small one. So why not choose a niche social media platform ?
A niche platform has a specific audience for the type of industry you’re looking for. That audience already has an interest in your field and it’s easier to turn them into prospects. After you find them, make sure to communicate and create a contact database.
Avoid Being Spammy
Getting tons of emails from the same company often results in unsubscribing. Your future customer may feel annoyed or threatened by the sheer amount of (mostly) unnecessary emails in their inbox.
Every marketing automation strategy must be created on ethical marketing principals. In other words, too much content and little time are a mismatched pair.
Decline a Contact List Purchase
It may look like an easier way to reach B2B customers, but buying contact lists should stay away from your marketing automation strategy.
First, the kind of contact list you need can’t be purchased, ever. Second, forget about building trust between your future customer and you after they got an email from an unknown source. Again, it’s far away from being fair and ethical.
Creating a marketing automation strategy seems easy, but it’s not. It’s tedious work, particularly for young B2B entrepreneurs who still have a hard time understanding how advertising in B2B companies function and how to communicate with the prospects.
Luckily, defining your goals, understanding what your future customers want, separating them, deciding which platforms correlate with your leads and avoiding shady techniques will help you make a strategy that works best for you.