So you’ve created a smart content marketing strategy and are now masterfully executing it. You’ve got an editorial calendar filled with engaging content. Thousands of eyeballs are reading and sharing your content, as your paid and organic distribution efforts start to gain momentum.
Congratulations on getting this far. But now is not the time to rest on these accomplishments.
Bringing lots of eyeballs to your content without a conversion strategy is akin to filling a retail store with shoppers — but keeping the checkout closed. And it’s why marketing automation is the talk of 2015.
Marketing automation is, at the most basic level, software that systematizes the process of marketing to B2C and B2B prospects (or leads) through email and dynamic web communications. And because it has become cheaper and easier to implement, it’s no longer accessible to just big companies with big data, but to small and medium-sized ones alike.
In case you are not familiar with marketing automation, here’s what most packages can do:
- Segment prospects and prioritize them based on engagement and propensity to buy.
- Easily create customized landing pages for each email campaign.
- Automate the deployment of customized email based on the behaviour of your prospects.
- Measure the revenue contribution of each of your marketing programs.
- Manage content publication and track content interactions across online and social platforms.
- Integrate with lead management systems such as Salesforce.
Marketing automation gives you the power to nurture prospects and extend existing customer relationships without having to manually intervene in every interaction. But this doesn’t mean that once you’ve set up your marketing automation software you can “set it and forget it.” On the contrary. It requires a broad commitment from your marketing and sales departments to old school direct marketing principles such as offer, list and creative testing. For it to deliver results, it has to be baked into your marketing planning, and become part of an iterative process of continuously testing and learning.
To learn more marketing automation, check out this piece published by Hubspot.