Top Three Marketing Automations for Any Business
Megan Pullins Digital Marketing Specialist
Marketing teams are busy. Depending on your team size, you might be covering lead generation, email marketing, website development, SEO, lead nurturing, social media, paid advertising, trade shows, swag distribution and to top it all off, in-office events on any given day. It’s a lot! Some days it may seem impossible to get it all done. With marketing automation, marketing teams can automate some task to tackle more on their to-do list.
Phasing Out Third-Party Cookie Tracking
In case you haven’t heard, the tried-and-true method of using third-party cookies to build audiences for retargeting across the web is being retired by major web browsers and applications. A tracking cookie is a small text file attached to a browser that tracks users’ browsing history, location, purchases and website activity.
It’s been happening for a while now, but it’s finally getting serious. With third-party cookies on the chopping block, digital marketing teams will need to pivot to continue to build their audiences for retargeting.
Focus on First-Party Data
Not only are these three marketing automations going to save you time by cutting out the manual labor, they are going to help you build first-party audiences that you will be thanking yourself for building down the line. Keep your marketing efforts on track with or without cookies with these top three marketing automations for any business.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketers use marketing automation software and technology to trigger repetitive or time-based marketing functions to better optimize their time.
51% of companies use marketing automation software. That means 49% of companies are missing out on some serious time-saving marketing techniques. Marketing teams can automate loads of repetitive tasks in almost any aspect of marketing – it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities. Start with these three automations to build the foundation for more marketing automation opportunities down the road.
Why These Three Marketing Automations
As you know, cookie tracking is being phased out of the digital marketing playbook. Digital marketers have been using this data for decades to build targeted audiences across platforms for retargeting. In the past few years, leading browsers have been retiring the use of third-party cookie tracking, throwing a wrench in a lot of marketing automation opportunities.
The Countdown Begins
Google Chrome announced it will stop supporting cookie tracking on its browser by 2023. That’s a big deal in the marketing world. So, if you haven’t started collecting first-party data, it’s time to start.
Marketers need to prioritize gathering first-party data from their website and on social media platforms to be able to continue to build audiences that will open the door to targeted marketing opportunities in the future. These three marketing automations will help any business build future-proof audiences those opportunities.
1. Newsletter Sign-up
Open a line of communication between your brand and potential customers with a newsletter sign-up form on your website. Newsletter sign-ups will build your company an email list that you can use to retarget on many platforms down the road.
We’ve all signed up for newsletters. Perhaps it was for a 10% off coupon, or you wanted to learn more about a company or industry. Whatever the case, you opted in, you saved 10% and that company now has the right to send you emails or even texts. Newsletter sign-ups work to move companies forward and stay at the top of their customers’ mind.
What to do
Implement a pop-up newsletter form and an inline form on your site to immediately capture opted-in contact information from website visitors. Make your form catchy and aesthetically pleasing.
Then automate a well-designed welcome email sequence to get in their inbox and keep your brand top of mind. Build and schedule a newsletter with content tailored for your audience to read and interact with. Get help from a team of experts to deliver the best results.
Once your audience is interacting with your emails, you can start building out other targeted automations. These automations will be triggered by certain actions within those emails. For example, you can trigger other automations when a contact opens a certain number of emails – this shows the contact is engaged and interested in what you are offering. You can also trigger an automation when a contact clicks on a certain link.
Here’s another example, you just sent a monthly newsletter that included some industry insights, information about an upcoming trade show and a small promotion for one of your products. Now would be a great opportunity to build out an email drip on the key features of that product for the people who clicked on the promotion and haven’t already purchased that product.
2. Gated Content
Lead magnets, freemiums, gated content. These are forms that collect an opted-in email in exchange for some type of free item or limited service. Gated content is meant for truly useful robust content, tools or templates.
What to do
Create a piece of content that is truly useful to your customer. This could be an in-depth guide, a deep dive white paper, a time-saving template, or light version of a tool. Whatever it is, put in the extra effort to make it shine. Promote your gated content on your website, social media and if your budget allows, with paid ads.
Once a contact has opted in, use marketing automation to automatically deliver that content directly to their inbox. On your end, you will add another contact to your first-party data list. On their end, they will be happily using your free template or in-depth guide.
Depending on your marketing funnel, you can use marketing automation to move this new contact forward (through your funnel). Set up an automation to notify one of your business development employees to schedule a personalized follow-up with this new contact. Or automatically drop them into a lead nurturing drip to entice them to take more intent-based actions.
3. Social Media Scheduling
Finally, build audiences directly on social media platforms by using marketing automation to batch schedule posts so your brand is consistently reaching people in their feed, and your social media pages are automatically gathering first-party data to retarget later.
You and I both know that social media marketing takes a lot of time and effort. After you have created a content schedule that will delight your audience, written copy with the right tone and tenor for your customers, vetted out hashtags, added emojis and produced eye-catching creative – now you need to schedule and post at optimal times on multiple platforms.
Rather than interrupting your day at 9 a.m. for LinkedIn, 11 a.m. for Facebook and Instagram and noon for Twitter by posting manually on social media platforms, get yourself a social media scheduling tool, and let marketing automation post your amazing social media content for you. Automating your branded and well-crafted social media posts will guarantee that you are posting to the right platform at the right time for your audience.
What to do
Get a social media scheduler. There are many social media scheduling tools to choose from. A few off the top of my head are Later, Loomly, Canva, Falconio, HootSuite, SproutSocial, SharpSpring and MeetEdgar. If you are just posting to Facebook and Instagram, Meta Business has a scheduler ready to roll for any business page.
Batch create your content, then schedule your posts during high traffic times to guarantee your brand is showing up on social media, collecting data and building audiences on each platform.
Does this sound like too much work? If you can’t be bothered to take on the ever-increasing complexity of social media marketing, pass the ball to us, and we’ll get it done.
Connect your social media pages to your CRM and/or marketing automation software to trigger email drips, or add points to their score when they interact with your page and posts. Build out MOFO retargeting ads to educate your audience about your products, set them up with a trial, book a demo, or schedule a quick discovery call. Whatever makes sense in your marketing funnel.
On Track for Success
With these three essential marketing automations for any business, you will be on track to collect valuable first-party data to use for retargeting down the road. Start with these three marketing automations to jump-start your digital marketing efforts and build audiences that don’t depend on third-party data.
If you have any questions or want to connect, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Marketing Specialist
Megan has seen the world. She grew up in the Midwest, has worked as an au pair in Germany, a teacher in South Korea and has traveled across continents. She is also an expert in digital marketing, social media strategy, a talented writer and a true artist when it comes to all things design and connecting with people in meaningful ways. Megan is an invaluable member of the Kinetic team thanks to her broad skill set, unique and long experience and contagious laughter. When she’s not busy Kineticking, she’s busy with her baby boy, baking and spending time outdoors.Read more about Megan