Running a business, keeping up with the brand's online presence, and communicating with leads can be a sizable undertaking, especially for smaller businesses that do not have a large number of employees on their marketing teams.
In today’s highly competitive digital industry, it’s important to be able to keep up with online demands while also staying in contact with a company’s lead and customer base. Fortunately, marketing automation software was designed to do just that.
Continuous developments in automation software have allowed small businesses to keep up with marketing demands all without having to invest in additional labor hours.
But which type of software do you need?
We’ve outlined the 5 main types of Automation Software for Marketing efforts to help you answer this question. Read on!
Marketing Automation Platforms
In general, Marketing Automation is used as an umbrella term for tools that automate numerous types of marketing tasks. When we talk about a Marketing Automation Platform, we are referring to software that does just that. The platform will include several pieces of technology under one roof—depending on the company’s needs. For example, Hubspot, a marketing automation platform, contains tools that handle repetitive marketing processes, performance measurement, and options to reduce human labor via automated systems.
The goal of these software platforms is to integrate and handle many of the manual tasks needed in the day-to-day operation of a business. Instead of keeping a company’s marketing team bogged down with tedious, repetitive work, marketing automation platforms free up time for the creative process and allow human employees to spend more time conducting rewarding, decision-focused work.
This type of platform is steadily gaining popularity, in fact, as of October 2021 over half of the companies are currently using marketing automation, and over 60% of B2B companies are planning to adopt this technology.
Customer Relationship Management Platform (CRM)
It’s important to have a well-organized system designed to store customer information, especially if you have a large customer base. When you can speak to specifics about your lead or client, you gain trust and major customer service brownie points.
CRM software is designed to help you organize your client data in a way that fits your business model. Keep track of customer names, email addresses, titles, workplaces, and unique contact information in one easy-to-view place. This paired with purchase history and customer behaviors can allow a company to make interactions personalized at scale. Having organized information makes receiving and responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner easier, leading your business to higher customer service ratings.
Stand-alone CRM software is great for a business not needing many online tools for E-commerce. However, growing companies will find that they will need to pair their CRM software with other tools to get what they need. Instead, growing businesses should look to Marketing Automation Platforms like Ontraport, Hubspot, or ActiveCampaign. You’ll find that many Marketing Automation Platforms include CRM software in their toolkit.
Marketing Analytics Platform
While having a well-developed marketing strategy is important, it is just as vital to ensure that the strategies and campaigns are working for your business. Many companies still neglect to measure their marketing performances with any sort of analytical software and are missing a crucial part of the marketing process. Gauging campaign successes and failures is so important when considering a company’s overall marketing progress and achievement because while it’s not terribly difficult to launch marketing strategies, there is not much of a point in making investments in strategies that are not performing well for your business.
To determine which campaigns and strategies result in the best return on investment (ROI) and which need to be reworked, companies use Marketing Analytics platforms. This type of software allows business owners to keep track of and interpret data surrounding their marketing strategies. Many of these platforms include reporting tools that will help you analyze your on-site content, and the behavioral/engagement data of your leads to show you from a high level where to invest your time.
There are many analytics platforms to choose from but the most popular and free-to-use one is Google Analytics. With Google Analytics you can keep track of customer behavior, user experience, online content, and many other important metrics.
Becoming familiar with this platform is important, we recommend doing Google Analytics training and obtaining your google analytics certification. Utilizing free-to-use platforms like this is pivotal to successfully using automation to improve marketing efforts.
If you are looking for visual reporting or performance reports that go beyond website data, you’ll want to explore either Google Data Studio or DataBox. Both are easy-to-use platforms that allow you to pull data from your Marketing Automation Platform, CRM, and google analytics account into one place to show beautifully designed reports.
Popular Marketing Analytics Software: Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Buzzsumo, Datastudio, Databox
Email Marketing Platforms
Email marketing is still one of the most reliable methods of digital marketing to date, and as such, it is also the most commonly used form of communication between businesses and their customer bases. Basically, in this era of automation, email marketing is essential
Email Marketing platforms make it easy for business owners to automatically send messages to scores of leads and customers. This type of software makes your business communication scalable and should be used by all businesses—small, growing, and large... Email Marketing automation platforms not only handle the distribution of large numbers of messages but also allow you to target client avatars and communicate with leads in a personalized way.
With the help of automated features, business owners can send out messages with customized subject lines, calls to action, and body content so that each recipient is receiving a unique piece of content. You can also target groups by their behavioral actions and engagement with your business so that you send the right email to the right lead, at the right time. The software saves business owners the time and labor hours of employees that would normally respond to inquiries and also promotes sales by targeting hot leads.
Using email marketing in tandem with CRMs allows you to send the highly focused campaigns your business will need as it grows. If you are just getting started, check out Mailchimp. It is easy to use and free! However, be wary that you may outgrow the platform. We highly recommend checking out Ontraport Basic at only $79/month since you can grow into their higher-tier platforms as your business grows.
Social Media Marketing Software
Finally, because so many consumers avidly use social media platforms, having Social Media Marketing software is an incredibly important investment to consider. Though social media is typically used for short updates and promotional information, it sees a lot of traffic.
While it’s best to leave content creation to social media managers, social media automation software acts as an aid for posting schedules and performance measurement. With these features, businesses can streamline their workflow, be consistent in their posts, and keep track of which social media platforms are yielding the most engagement and leads.
Crowdfire, a popular social media marketing platform, takes care of all social media management needs for your business. From curating new content to creating a posting schedule, crafting customized posts for each social network, and managing several social accounts, the Crowdfire app does it all. Create a demo account for limited access to the plethora of tools Crowdfire offers and see how they can help you.
Popular Social Media Automation: AgoraPulse, Buffer, Crowdfire
Have specific needs for your business and want to know which platform is right for you?
Automated Dreams is here to help you create automated marketing processes that will increase your company's productivity, while also saving time and money. Reach out to us for a free consultation and learn more about our strategy and implementation packages and retainers.
For more help with system integration, be sure to reach out to us at Automated Dreams today.