4 Steps to Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

4 Steps to Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

Marketing automation can be a game-changer for small businesses. 

As a small business owner, you may find marketing automation daunting. However, you can quickly get started with this powerful marketing strategy with the right automated marketing tools and some know-how. 

Think about it – marketing automation streamlines your marketing efforts and frees up time for other essential tasks. Wouldn’t you like that? 

Before we talk about setting up your automation workflow, let’s first look at different aspects of marketing automation that you can do for your small business. 

Why Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a tool that enables businesses to automate their marketing and sales processes to increase efficiency and productivity. 

As a result, you can focus on more strategic initiatives, such as: 

  • Enhancing your customer relationship management to increase customer retention. 
  • Training your sales team to improve lead management.
  • Analyzing customer data to create a better inbound marketing process. 

With that, you need to understand the different aspects of marketing automation before implementing it in your business. Let’s begin!

Automation

Automation means automating repetitive tasks and digital marketing processes, such as email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, lead generation, and customer segmentation. 

You can automate repetitive marketing tasks, such as creating and sending email blasts, managing social media accounts, providing initial customer support, and analyzing Google Analytics and Facebook Ad data. 

By using automation, you can focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing creative campaigns and strategies, crafting personalized messages, and building relationships with your customers. Automation also allows you to track results and measure ROI in real-time.

However, automation must be used strategically and carefully because it can easily create a disconnect between you and your customers if not done correctly. 

Integration

Another powerful aspect of marketing automation is its ability to integrate with other software platforms. 

This allows you to create a seamless customer experience by sharing data between different systems. For example, you can easily add new leads to your CRM system and then set up email automation based on customer behavior. 

Additionally, integration ensures that your digital marketing campaigns are coordinated and consistent, further increasing their effectiveness. 

It also allows you to share data between different marketing automation software, which can help you make better decisions about your marketing campaigns.

In short, integration is essential for getting the most out of your marketing automation solution.

Segmentation

Critical to the success of any marketing automation strategy is segmentation. By segmenting your audience, you can more effectively target your marketing communications and ensure that your message is relevant to your audience.

However, segmentation is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. 

There are many different ways to segment your audience. The best approach will vary depending on your business and goals. Some common methods of segmentation include demographics, psychographics, and behaviors.

The most important thing is to start with a clear understanding of your target customers and what they need from you. Once you have that information, you can begin to develop targeted segments that will help you achieve your marketing goals.

You can apply segmentation across your digital marketing efforts, such as email marketing automation, Facebook ad targeting, and Google Analytics reporting. 

One marketing automation solution to help you with segmentation is a digital marketing hub, which can help analyze customer behavior and deliver personalized content and offers.  

Scalability

One of the most powerful aspects of marketing automation is its ability to scale with your business. As your business grows, you can easily add more contacts to your database and start using more advanced marketing automation features. 

Additionally, many marketing automation tools offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model, so you only pay for the marketing automation features you need. This makes it easy to budget for your marketing automation efforts.

Therefore, your marketing automation platform should be able to: 

  • Easily integrate with other software and systems. 
  • Handle large volumes of data. 
  • Adapt as your business changes and grows. 
Pro Tip! In choosing an eCommerce platform, consider if it has the ability to automate business processes, integrate with other eCommerce solutions, segment your leads, and able to scale with your business. (Curious if Prosperna fits the bill? Find out here.)

How to Get Started With Marketing Automation?

In many cases, marketing automation improves efficiency and frees up time to focus on other tasks. It is also used to enhance the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by providing insights and data that can be used to make informed decisions.  

Whatever the goal, marketing automation can be a powerful tool for you and your marketing team to help your online business grow. 

So, without further ado, let’s break down the steps to start marketing automation for your small business!

1. Identify Your Goals and Target Audience

Before you can score big with marketing automation, you need to focus on your targets – both in terms of who your target audience is and what kinds of goals you’re looking to achieve. 

You can’t just fire off a bunch of automated messages and hope that something sticks. That’s not how this works.

So here’s what you need to do: Get real clear on what you want to achieve with your marketing automation and who you’re trying to reach with your marketing message.

Only then can you start to put together a plan for reaching them with automated content that’s actually going to get results. So, get out a pen and paper (or open up a Google Doc) and start brainstorming: 

  • Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or boost sales? 
  • Who would be most likely interested in what you have to offer? 
  • What demographics do they belong to? What are their interests and needs?

Answering these questions will help you create a successful marketing automation strategy that will help you reach your goals.

2. Map Out the Customer Journey and Identify the Content Needed for Each Touchpoint

Once you know who you’re targeting, you can start creating content tailored to their needs and interests. To create an effective content marketing strategy that will support marketing automation, mapping out the customer journey is critical.

Think about the various touchpoints that potential customers have with your business…

The customer journey can be divided into three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Each stage represents a different level of engagement with your business and requires different types of content to be successful. 

By identifying the touchpoints along the customer journey, you can create a customized experience that leads to conversions. Once you have identified all of the touchpoints, you need to determine what kind of content will be most effective at each one.  

Here’s an example:

Customer Journey StageTouchpointType of Content
AwarenessOnline Ads, Social MediaEducational and informative content, such as blog posts or infographics.
ConsiderationProducts Page, ReviewsPersuasive content, such as product demos or case studies.
PurchaseVisit Website, Speak to a Salesperson Transactional content, such as coupons or discount codes.

Keep in mind that the customer journey is not a linear process. 

Customers can move back and forth between stages as they interact with your brand. So, be sure to create different content at any stage of the journey. Doing so ensures that you always provide the right information to the right customer at the right time.

3. Set Up a Workflow That Makes Sense for Your Business

No business is alike. It only makes sense that there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer when it comes to finding the right workflow for marketing automation. So, where do you start?

First, you need to understand your sales process and how leads move through it. This is why mapping out the customer journey is crucial. 

Next, identify your business workflow, which are repeatable tasks to be completed to achieve your goals. In marketing, a workflow might be simple as sending out an email campaign or nurturing a lead through the sales cycle.

Once you have your workflow set up, your next step is to determine what you need to track and measure so you can see the impact of your marketing efforts. 

By taking the time to set up a well-thought-out workflow and get clear on what data you need to track and measure, you’ll be able to choose the right marketing automation platforms.

4. Select the Right Marketing Automation Tools for Your Business

Marketing automation is only as good as the tools you use to create and execute your campaigns. 

With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to know which one is right for your business. So, here are a few tips to help you select the right marketing automation tools for your needs:

  • Think about the marketing automation features you need. What kind of campaigns do you want to run? What kinds of leads do you want to generate? Having a clear understanding of your needs can help narrow down your options.
  • Consider your workflow. Marketing automation tools vary in terms of complexity. Choose a tool that makes sense for your workflow and your marketing team.
  • Research your options. There are a lot of marketing automation tools available at different price points. Be sure to compare features and pricing plans to find the best choice for your business within your budget.
  • Take time to read reviews. Others who have used the tools you are considering can give you insight into its strengths and weaknesses. Reading reviews from real users can help you identify which tool is worth checking out or not.
  • Test out the tool. Many companies offer free trials, so take advantage of that and see how easy (or difficult) it is to use. After all, you don’t want to end up with a tool too complicated for your marketing team to use.
  • Ask for help. If you’re not sure which tool is right for you, reach out to a marketing automation expert. They can help guide you in the right direction.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find a marketing automation tool that’s a perfect fit for your business.

Final Word

Small businesses can greatly benefit from marketing automation. It can help you save time and money by automating tasks that would otherwise be manual and time-consuming. 

Marketing automation can also help you get the most out of your marketing budget by effectively targeting your marketing. Plus, it enables you to track and measure results more accurately.

If you’re not yet using marketing automation, you’re likely missing out on a valuable opportunity to improve your small business.

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Dennis Velasco

Dennis Velasco

Dennis Velasco is the CEO and Founder of Prosperna, an all-in-one eCommerce platform for Philippine businesses. As a technology evangelist at heart, Dennis is super passionate about helping MSMEs "level the playing field" with technology. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Dennis Velasco

Dennis Velasco is the CEO and Founder of Prosperna, an all-in-one eCommerce platform for Philippine businesses. As a technology evangelist at heart, Dennis is super passionate about helping MSMEs "level the playing field" with technology. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook and LinkedIn.