From manufacturing to ATMs and everything in between, automation has made life easier for humans in so many ways. Even marketing automation has made the lead nurturing portion of a marketer’s job easier. What many fail to realize, though, is that marketing automation is not a magic wand that allows you to banish lead nurturing efforts, but rather a tool that helps you go beyond what you could accomplish manually in a day’s time.
Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD, shared a great analogy about automating lead nurturing in his article on Marketing Automation Software: “The ‘automated’ part of that equation is the equivalent of saying that a nail gun automates building a house. It might make building a house easier and faster, but without a blueprint as a starting point, you still don’t have a house.”
If you are reading this blog, you know the importance of building trust among your prospects. This trust is what turns your website visitors into leads and, ultimately, customers. Good, relevant content is what helps build trust; visitors get to learn about you and your product or service in their own time. Marketing automation with pertinent content can assist companies in responding to buyer behavior in an appropriate way.
But before responding, marketers need a plan or "blueprint." Creating buyer personas and well-written, relevant content is a must. As Gray said, “In order for MA to work, you need to have something good to ‘automate’ in the first place.” There are no shortcuts.
So where do you start?
First, gather the content you already have. If you think you are not producing content, look harder. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 90 percent of B2B marketers do some form of content marketing whether they realize it or not. There is most likely a collection that you can either make use of or adjust for marketing automation.
Determine the holes in the content flow: Do you have pieces for the top, middle and bottom of the funnel? Create a plan to fill those holes.
Shape your content around the buyer personas you have already created. This will allow you to build the content right into your lead scoring, which marketing automation software is made for.
For inspiration, check out one of the flow charts Kuno has created for both behavior-driven communication and an email drip campaign. As you can see, it revolves around professionally developed content.
If you are just beginning to develop a marketing automation strategy, let us know what challenges you have faced. If you have created a successful marketing automation approach, share your tips in the comment section below.
To read Justin Gray's full post, check out the MASG blog.
After developing the Kuno Creative content marketing department and growing it by 500%, Brianne has expanded her role to help grow the inbound marketing agency in size, revenue and resources. She now focuses on sales and marketing alignment; employee recruiting, hiring and development; and communication strategies, while still dedicating time to client strategy and Kuno’s marketing efforts.