When you think of search engine optimization, what connotations spring to mind? The assumption would be that SEO’s one and only purpose is to drive organic traffic to your website, bringing visibility to your company as it ranks highly in the search results, assigning credibility, and improving lead generation.
Now, all of this is true – however, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your SEO strategy. You’ve taken all the time to implement the proper steps, have done your keyword research, researched the competition, optimized your content for SEO, created your landing pages and call to actions to effectively funnel your leads to you, now; what do you do with all of this information? How is this going to benefit your business, and what are the next steps in this long process?
Driving traffic to you is the very beginning of your journey – once you have your list of leads awaiting your content, you need to know how to reach them both effectively, and in a timely manner so they aren't losing interest. This is where the impactful nature of marketing automation can assist your SEO strategy in a big way, giving you room to develop your content, schedule it, and reach your audience at the pace your company sees fit for your current strategy.
Marketing automation is an extremely broad topic; in short, the definition of marketing automation is the act of a company using a software they’ve found works for their business needs to deliver personalized content to the leads they’ve generated, through whatever lead generation strategy they’ve used.
Imagine having to personalize each and every message for individual clients, formatting, scheduling, sending, and moving on to the next – this is extremely inefficient. Automation helps you to reach a broad range of your leads all in a single instant, while providing relevant data that will aid your future marketing automation efforts.
The first step to creating a marketing automation strategy is defining your goals, and having a vision as to what you want your end result to be. Having intention may seem obvious, but without a goal, you’re simply sending off content hoping something will stick. Is your goal to retain the current customers you have by sending them relevant, useful content? Is your goal to sign up a certain amount of new customers by the end of the year? Whatever it is you’re aiming for, have it fully decided before you begin to schedule and send your content. Automation comes into play when you start using workflowsfor your content marketing needs.
Workflows Help Consistently Reach Your Interested Prospects
Workflows are specific to the goals of the company sending them, and can consist of a wide range of topics that cater to a wide range of users.
Let’s say you’re an online shopping company, and your list of leads contains frequent shoppers – your data reveals that there is a number of your frequent buyers that haven’t purchased in a while, or haven’t had much interaction with your content as of late.
You can then take this opportunity to create a workflow that will follow up with these leads, in whatever form your company decides the follow up should take on. You can send these customers a coupon for future purchases, add extra rewards points in exchange for them spending ‘x’ amount of dollars on your product in the near future, whatever will prompt them and remind them that you’re still there.
This works for other industries in which a purchase of goods and services isn’t exactly necessary, too – marketing companies can utilize workflows in order to communicate content with their potential clients, setting up a series of workflows with content assigned that all work together, or blend into one another in an effort to show the lead that you know what you’re talking about, and can help them as it pertains to their industry – and you’re sending them the blogs to prove it.
The blogs can flow into one another, or detail the same topic with more depth to each blog – whatever will detail to the lead that you have a grasp on what you’re trying to help them with, and have the tools to make their business goals happen.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a vast subject with literally endless industries, topics, and strategies to choose from when automating and reaching potential clients. A workflow doesn’t have to be one thing or the other specifically, as long as you make the content work, keep it relevant for the client, and have an end goal you want to reach with it; usually, that end goal will be obtaining one or more new clients.
Qualifies Your Leads
One of the many perks of marketing automation is that it won’t let you waste your time or resources on the leads that are unresponsive, no matter how specifically and effectively you try to reach them. Due to data provided by your selected automation tool, you’ll be able to see real time statistics such as who is interacting with your content, who isn’t, and who should be taken off your list. The goal isn’t to bother or annoy an uninterested prospect, but to deliver content to prospects that can be converted.
This will require utilizing the data provided to you by your marketing automation platform for a few things; you’ll need periodic evaluations, and every once in a while you’ll need to clear out your e-mail lists to keep your leads as fresh and relevant as possible. You don’t want to be “that” company – always sending off e-mail after e-mail when you can’t even remember the last time you interacted with, or expressed interest in any of their content, or offers.
Assists with Link Building
Gaining high quality, relevant backlinks from reliable sources is an extremely important, if not necessary SEO practice – this can take up a lot of your time to properly develop and acquire all the backlinks that will make you more credible and trustworthy, and just one unhealthy link can tarnish all of your progress, and drastically hurt your ranking.
Your automation tool will be able to quickly pick up on a link that has for whatever reason gone bad, and no longer serves your content well – a good tool will be able to pick up on this immediately, giving you plenty of time to act.
Gets Your Content Out There
We know that content takes time – everything from the actual writing, the design, keyword research, and promotion on social media channels. Even one piece of content requires many resources, and all hands on deck in order to make sure it succeeds, and generates the appropriate amount of traffic.
Producing content on your website and social media is, of course, extremely important; you’re reaching your audience in all the right places, and driving traffic. However, there are ways to get much more out of your hard work, with more specific purposes than generating traffic and visibility for your company.
E-mail marketing will properly recycle the content that already exists and will deliver it to new eyes at the touch of a button – suddenly, you’ll be reaching a much bigger audience, and increasing the chances of converting leads to customers. This will help you get more out of it, bring more traffic, and is an efficient way to repurpose existing pieces without having to rework or edit the content.
Creating an e-mail list of the leads you intend to deliver content to can be a time consuming, tedious process, but has the potential to greatly pay off in the future. Once your list is crafted, you have a higher chance of converting, and a very high chance of reaching the right people that are looking for someone just like you to help them. So, get through all the dirty work and compile all of your prospects to make your marketing automation smooth – you’ll be so glad you did!
You will need to clean out your list every few months or so to ensure all your leads are as fresh, relevant and interested as possible. You don’t want to be “that” company sending constant e-mail offers that your prospect has never taken advantage of, and clearly doesn’t see benefiting them – your chances of converting will be much higher with a list of prospects that interact with and enjoy your content.
Protects Your Reputation
In many cases, poor online reviews can really hurt your company’s reputation; in the same breath, positive reviews can really help to structure a great reputation, and make you appear more credible and reputable online to anyone that may be conducting a search. Either way, reviews can make or break your image.
Without automation, you don’t always know what’s being said about your company online – the right tool will be able to do some social listening for you, so when a bad review pops up, you’ll become immediately aware of it.
This gives you time to take action, eradicate the issue with effective customer service, or respond to the negative comment or review before it spirals out of control, and becomes somewhat of a PR crisis.
Top Marketing Automation Platforms
Unbounce: This platform specializes in the creation of effective landing pages with the use of AI analysis, and SSL encryption
Moz: Moz has a heavy focus on search engine optimization, including keyword tracking, and thorough on page optimization checks
Hootsuite: Helps with social monitoring, publishing, and team communication and management
Mailchimp: Mailchimp is geared towards small businesses, landing pages, remarketing, and running ad campaigns on social media
Hubspot: This popular platform is a marketing machine – Hubspot helps you with scheduling content, automation, social media publishing, and more
These are just a few reasons marketing automation is a seriously worthwhile investment – just make sure the software you utilize works with your CRM, because not all do.
Automation is key for maintaining a schedule when it comes to reaching out for your prospects, remaining consistent, organized, and goal-oriented in order to convert, close, and delight.