We’re all busy. If you’re working from home right now, especially with kids in the house, you may feel busier than you’ve ever been before. Small business owners feel this pinch even more as they aren’t subject to the standard 9-5 many others are. While it’s only natural to feel this way, you can take steps to streamline your day and make your business more effective. For many businesses, the answer is taking marketing off their plate by choosing an automation platform. Here are 10 ways marketing automation can save you time (and money).
1. Focuses your social media plan.
Have you wondered where you should be posting and when? Or asked yourself if you’re posting too often or not often enough? Trying to keep up with constant social media changes can make your head spin. For example, this Instagram research shows the “best time to post” varies day by day. That’s a lot of work to try and keep up! Not to mention this research and data may very well change this year or next.
Marketing automation can save you time by making sure your social media pages are getting the attention they deserve. Your social accounts stay active and you look great without spending hours every week coming up with content ideas and remembering to share them.
2. Tracks and organizes content performance.
Data is important to know how your email newsletters or social posts perform. It’s also helpful to see what topics your audience enjoys and engages with the most. Remember: a single campaign isn’t the best indicator of how well your content is doing with your audience. Rather, look at performance over time and long-term effects like referrals that lead to future deals.
Marketing automation software will show you information such as how many emails you’ve sent, open rates, post engagements and the like.
3. Promotes your business regularly.
This is an especially meaningful way marketing automation can save you time and money. Most business professionals make a point to carry business cards with them or attend networking events. However, those events are normally infrequent and you can’t control how often they are scheduled. And during social distancing those opportunities can be even harder to come by.
Keeping your social networks updated is something easy you can do to stay top of mind. Going weeks without a social media post on your Facebook business page or months without an email to your network can be the difference between someone remembering your name when they need you and going with your competition. Marketing automation software can ensure your audience hears from you consistently.
4. Builds your reputation as an expert.
Those social media posts and emails that we keep talking about? They’re crucial to building your reputation as an expert. When you share interesting and relevant information to the right people, they start to think of you as the go-to source when they have questions or concerns. As a result, more opportunities, potential leads, and repeat business will come to you. In this way, marketing automation can save you time and money spent on prospecting.
And all small business owners know the value of referrals!
5. Extends your reach beyond your current network.
Your email newsletters and social media posts are primarily seen by the people you are already connected to. Engagement can help put your posts in front of others, but with ever-changing social media algorithms, it’s hard to know what people are really seeing.
One way to extend your name recognition is to do something like run social ads. Not only will you get your name out in front of new people, but you can target exactly who you want to see your message and promote your business.
6. Encourages natural conversations.
It’s good to remember that it can be hard for some people to reach out, even if they need your services. Maybe they’re shy, or nervous about saying something wrong or even sounding silly.
Having a talking point or reason to reach out helps them to take that step. An interesting email newsletter or social media post may be just the thing that gives a little extra push to someone who is trying to find a way to start a conversation.
7. Eliminates buying leads.
Buying leads is a gamble. For example, some real estate professionals might see some deals close from it. But most people worry about (or have experienced) their money being thrown away. Instead of rolling the dice on buying leads, lean on marketing automation.
Whatever software you choose should include an optimized website and an easy way to collect information from those who are interested, like using a form. Even if your website delivers just 5 leads a month and you close one of them, that’s 12 deals closed in a year by you simply having a way for people to easily find you online.
8. Highlights your most engaged leads and customers.
One of the most frustrating parts of selling in any business is cold calling. It feels like you’re wasting valuable time when call after call leads you nowhere. When your marketing automation software shows you who is ready to talk and who isn’t, you can focus on warm leads instead of guessing. Simply put, spend less time feeling frustrated and more time having productive conversations.
9. Gathers reviews and referrals for you.
Asking for reviews and referrals can be an uncomfortable task. It can be difficult to know how to ask, what to say, as well as when is the right time to ask. However, referrals are crucial to every small business and professional’s long-term success.
This screenshot shows how OutboundEngine gathers your reviews and referrals and makes it easy for potential customers to see how highly recommended you are.
10. Nurtures leads that may not be ready to buy yet.
Say you’re researching buying a new car. You shop around, do research, ask friends, read reviews–the works. Then you find a car you like at a local dealer and decide to test drive it. You may not decide to buy that car on the spot, but it doesn’t mean you won’t buy that car next week or maybe even later in the year. We guarantee that car dealer doesn’t want you to forget about that car either.
Same goes for your customers. When it comes to making important decisions, like an insurance policy, or a big purchase, like a new home, timelines vary for everyone. Keep the lines of communication open. Let them know you’re ready to talk whenever they are and make it easy for them to do so.
Save time and use it how you want
If you’re still spending time on each of these tasks separately, consider how marketing automation can save you time to focus on what you love. The fact is conversations are happening online and offline and you need to be sure you’re meeting people wherever they are. While online interactions are not meant to replace all relationship-building efforts, they should be a part of your business strategy.
These are only a handful of the ways marketing automation can save you time, and therefore, money. Marketing automation software like OutboundEngine can help you hit every item on this list. Learn more about what we do here.