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Marketing automation: an SME guide

Have you been lost down the rabbit hole of social media when all you meant to do was upload a post to your brand’s page? Or have you got a lead but it has gone cold because you are not sure where they are on the customer journey and you are too scared to re-send an email they may have already received? By automating your processes you can keep a keen eye on your marketing efforts and see which ones are successful and what needs a better process. Let’s look at how to automate your marketing.

1. Create a marketing plan

Before we look at how to automate our marketing we need to have a plan. A marketing plan will help you to define your customer personas, set SMART goals and ensure that your marketing is in line with your business’ overall mission. By setting goals, you will be able to measure your future marketing metrics against what you currently have.

2. Go through your customer’s journey

Map out what happens on their journey from the client’s first experience with your brand to the point when they become returning customers. We need to remember that our marketing shouldn’t stop after the sale has been made but we need to continue to remain in contact with our clients so they will consider us again should they require the goods or service we offer. By knowing the whole customer’s journey, we can plan what kind of content we need for our marketing journey.

3. Check which activities are repetitive and automate them

You will notice that some activities in your customer journey are repetitive and could be handled by an automated process. When considering automating a process make sure it will be on which won’t frustrate your customer more. We advise not automating replies to customer complaints.

Now, that you have had a look at your marketing process, let’s look at how to automate three common marketing processes.

Email automation:

Mailchimp is one of the leading email automation platforms. This platform will guide you through what emails to set up for different parts of your customer’s email journey with you. You can set up triggers that will send welcome emails and other informative and valuable emails when your customers perform certain actions.

Social media automation:

This is one of the best parts of marketing to automate, so that you don’t disappear down the proverbial rabbit hole when you go to post on your social media platforms. You can use Hootsuite to help schedule your posts. Later is great for businesses that mainly use Instagram to promote their business.

Chat automation:

Using chatbots for frequently asked questions will help to keep your customer service agents available for complaints or queries which are a bit more complicated. You can also use chatbots to help clients get more information on your products or services or to guide them to where they can find the information they looking for on your webpage.

By starting to automate repetitive processes in your marketing, you will be able to focus on building a better brand for your business. 

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