Content is king, distribution is queen – but both are barely enough for a successful content marketing strategy.
As a blogger or content marketer, your main goal is to lead the audience down the path to conversion. While great content is vital for success, you must also pay attention to when, how, and why they are delivered. In other words, focus on the audience’s full experience, including every little interaction that can impact their final decision on whether to convert or not on your blog.
This is where marketing automation steps in to ensure everything proceeds like clockwork.
What is Marketing Automation?
As the name suggests, marketing automation utilizes automated messages to expedite your audience’s journey. According to statistics, it is 2 times more effective than blast email software in terms of lead generation and communication. Not only does it save time, it also reduces human error and prevents marketers from missing timely opportunities.
Statistics also show that—thanks to modern technology—up to 45% of activities done by professionals can now be automated. This is perfect for small content marketing teams that currently can’t afford hiring new members.
Without further ado, below are # strategies that let you leverage marketing automation today:
Using Email Automation to Distribute Content
Email marketing has seen the most widespread use of automation amongst all areas of digital marketing, and it’s not hard to see why. Studies show that automated emails get 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than regular marketing emails. Furthermore, automated messages are 133% more relevant to a customer’s purchase cycle as opposed to blast email broadcasts.
Remember that maintaining an email list is still one of the best ways to promote new content to your audience. It’s just a matter of sending the right email at the most opportune time. For example, a cart abandonment email can squeeze up to 5.2 % more conversions from lost sales. Automated FAQ or troubleshooting messages, on the other hand, can be highly beneficial to users who recently reached out to your customer support email.
To incorporate email automation in your strategy, you can get started with a platform like GetResponse. It’s main selling point is the autoresponder feature, which lets you build automated workflows with a range of conditions, actions, and filters.
For example, if you wish to create a “thank you” email in for confirmed buyers, your workflow may look like:
Take note that you can also move contacts into different campaigns based on certain actions, making it easier for you to segment your leads and provide them with better content in the future. As an added bonus, GetResponse also offers visual, drag-and-drop builders for your landing pages, opt-in forms, and newsletters. You can also use the built-in analytics dashboard so you can tweak your email automation strategy over time.
Automate Social Media Broadcasts
Apart from an email list, another effective distribution channel for your content would be social media networks. Aggregating your social media marketing activities in a platform like Buffer is a step in the right direction. Doing so will allow you to specify a posting schedule that aligns with the social media activities of your target audience.
But in order to achieve true automation, you’ll require the help of a standalone automation platform like IFTTT – short for If This, Then That.
IFTTT works via applets that connect different services as triggers and actions. For example, if you blog using WordPress, you can use an applet that automatically adds new posts to your Buffer queue.
Once this applet is active, you no longer have to manually schedule content through Buffer. You just need to focus on creating, polishing, and publishing content in your WordPress blog.
Lastly, IFTTT provides several other opportunities to save time with automation. You just need to mix and match the services involved in your desired workflow. When it comes to content distribution through Buffer, other services you can integrate include Pocket, Evernote, Google Calendar, and Google Drive.
Present the Most Relevant Content with Chatbots
Nowadays, you no longer need a premium live chat software to automate your customer service. If you have a social presence on Facebook, you can take advantage of the Messenger app to create chatbots at zero cost. Below are some of the tools you can use for this:
- ChatFuel – A straightforward and easy-to-use chatbot tool, ChatFuel lets you create automated live chat experiences infused with useful content. This means you can specify specific content to appear whenever users type a certain keyword or phrase.
- Botsify – With Botsify, you can manually plot out the audience’s live chat experience using a drag-and-drop interface. It utilizes machine learning so your chatbot grows more autonomous over time.
- ChattyPeople – If you want to leverage live chat to boost sales, then ChattyPeople is the tool for you. It allows you to set up keyword-based, clickable offers as well as integrate payment systems like PayPal.
Using chatbots is a great way to automate basic troubleshooting and FAQ answering. With the right approach, it’s also a great way to help social media users discover your content without resorting to SEO. Just remember that they should be considered as supplements rather than replacements to your customer service efforts. Luckily, the tools above enable human takeovers as to prevent poor experiences brought upon by too much automation.