If you keeping up with the latest marketing trends for your business, you've probably also heard the term "marketing automation." But what is it? Do you need it? How does it work? 

Marketing automation is one of the biggest current trends to improve the effectiveness of your digital marketing—and it's not going anywhere any time soon. If you haven't taken a look at how to automate your online digital marketing efforts, you need to get up to speed. 

It's not a matter of allowing robots or automation to take over for the humans working at your company. However, automating your digital marketing plan can help you become more efficient and cost-effective with your marketing staff and budget. If that sounds pretty good, keep reading to learn more about marketing automation. 

What is Digital Marketing

Your company's digital marketing plan includes any marketing that takes place using a digital device, like computers, phones, or tablets. This can include email marketing, social media ads, and your website. 

The digital world offers the opportunity to reach new audiences (and current customers) online, where many consumers tend to spend more time compared to offline marketing tools like a newspaper or magazine. 

What is Marketing Automation?

Imagine if software could streamline your digital marketing efforts. It could also automate, segment, and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

These tools are here, and they are part of marketing automation. As of 2017, an estimated 79% of top-performing companies have used marketing automation for three or more years. Digital marketing and automation are the edges your company needs to keep up with—and surpass—the competition in your industry and market.

Digital marketing keeps evolving. As it becomes more time-consuming to run, automation handles it for you. While humans will always need to develop the ideas for campaigns and program automation software, technology can take the manual steps out of launching, funneling, and prioritizing your best leads. 

When technology does the time-consuming detail work, your human marketing staff has more time to be creative, follow-up with qualified leads, and help you grow your business. 

So, how can you use automation for your digital marketing? You might be surprised at the many aspects where automation can save you time, money, and improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Social Media Marketing

Do you currently pay a consultant or someone in-house to post on social media every day? With multiple platforms and distinct rules and best practices for each platform, your social media specialist could spend a lot of time posting on Facebook and Instagram. 

Are their efforts better used creating social media marketing strategies and finding ways to promote offers or new products for your business? Probably. 

With marketing automation for your social media campaigns, you can schedule posts in a way that's a more efficient use of someone's time. Automation also gathers performance data in a way that helps your social media strategists understand what works and what doesn't work for each platform. 

Your social media automation tools help you gain insight into how to effectively use content and strategy to reach a bigger audience and guide visitors to your website. When you use automation to build social media traffic, you find more new leads without the time and expense of a manual process. 

Search Engine Optimization 

Savvy digital marketers know the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Using SEO helps bring qualified visitors to your website by using strategic keywords and backlinks within the content of your site. Best SEO practices help your website land at the top of search results pages.

When you are more visible at the top of a search page, this helps bring more visitors to your site. Because they found their way to you through a search, they arrive on your website already interested in the products or services you offer. 

SEO can be more effective in generating better leads than outbound marketing to a cold audience. However, it can take significant time and research needed to keep up with the latest keywords for your industry. Top keyword strings continuously evolve, and the SEO algorithms continually change. 

Keyword search software helps you mine information about the performance of your website content compared to current SEO trends. These programs run in the background of your digital marketing strategies to collect and analyze keyword and backlink data. Yoru marketing team can use that information to stay on top of the latest keyword searched for your website content and marketing efforts. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing continues to be an effective part of a successful digital marketing strategy. However, writing and sending emails to nurture leads and convert them to customers can be time-consuming.

Forgetting to send the next email in a drip campaign can cost you a valuable new customer. Sending the wrong email at the wrong time to the wrong audience can also derail your marketing efforts. 

With automated email marketing, you take the human error out of following a lead through their preferred funnel of communication. You can set up the content for your drip campaigns, schedule each email to segmented audiences, and track responses. Your system will also help you analyze results through reporting. 

Event Marketing

Events are an excellent way to reach new audiences in person. Whether you set up an event for your company or you participate in other events as an exhibitor, getting in front of people for face time can generate new leads and fill your schedule with appointments.

Using automated event marketing tools like Eventbrite can make the behind-the-scenes work easier when planning your event. These tools provide all of your event details to attendees. They also sell tickets, keep track of registered event attendees, and create an automated list of attendee emails so you can keep in touch. 

Automated event services help your event marketing team focus on creating a wonderful event for attendees, leaving the registration details to automation!

Pay Per Click (PPC)

A complete digital marketing strategy includes Pay Per Click (PPC) ad campaigns. 

With PPC, you pay each time a viewer clicks on an ad that leads to your site. Without automation, you need someone watching the metrics of each online ad campaign to know if it's generating the results you need to justify the cost per click. PPC Automation helps behind the scenes with smart bidding, ad campaign health checks, and performance statistics, so you know the success of the content, audience, and other aspects of your campaign.

Automation services help make sure you get quality traffic from your ad campaigns. Quality leads have a better chance of converting to customers. When you generate more paying customers, your PPC ROI improves!

Digital Marketing Reporting

Analyzing marketing data is a cumbersome task without the help of automation. However, without reporting, you won't know if your marketing strategies work or where to make adjustments to improve your campaigns.

If you're using a combination of the digital marketing efforts that we've mentioned above, you need a comprehensive way to compile the data for the individual efforts as well as the combined efforts. 

With automation, you have tools set up in the background to do this for you—in a matter of seconds! You don't have to manually collect data from multiple sources and compile the metrics and results into spreadsheets. Instead, use the reporting tools in your automation tools to pull real-time results, any time. 

Digital marketing has significant benefits compared to print or other offline advertising. You can adjust the content, audiences, or other features of your campaign daily to improve your results. When a print ad or mailing campaign goes out, it can take days, weeks, and months to get a complete picture of the campaign results. Plus, you don't have access to early results at the click of a button. 

You make the best use of your marketing dollars with an automated digital campaign and on-demand results. 

Digital Marketing Automation is More Than a Trend

Using digital marketing automation is more than the "just" the latest trend to help your business grow. It's a necessity to keep up with your competition and grow your business in today's digital age. 

More consumers spend time searching for the products and services they need, and that doesn't apply only to major corporations. For local businesses, almost 97% percent of consumers search online for local companies before purchasing locally. If you're not maximizing local SEO and using automation for PPC and other digital strategies, you might be missing a significant customer base. 

If you're interested in how automating your Pay Per Click strategy can help increase website traffic and help grow your business, schedule a free 15-minute demo with us. Our team has ten years of digital marketing experience to help businesses get more out of your digital marketing strategies!

eLama, Marketing Specialist