In the marketing industry, when evaluating new marketing technology, AI has become a hot topic. Let’s not get lost in current trends and forget about our old friend, marketing automation. Utilizing automation tools in your daily life as a marketer will make your life easier, but there are things to watch out for when deciding which tasks to automate.
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Automation in Marketing
When using automation, there are numerous ways to make your life a little easier:
Automating your social media is a great way to free up time during your week by scheduling out posts all at once, keeping you from having to carve out time each day or even a few times a day to keep up. HubSpot comes with all the social media automation tools you’ll need but there is a seemingly infinite amount of other tools to choose from as well.
Save time by planning your social calendar ahead
One pitfall to avoid with marketing automation is to not over-automate. For example, social media is a living, breathing thing that changes on the fly. To keep your posts relevant, it’s still necessary to monitor your channels every day and edit posts when needed.
Another easy form of marketing automation is an RSS feed. This lets you share your blog updates automatically with subscribers via email. It’s easy to set up and nearly hands-free after the initial set up. Instead of carving out time daily, weekly, or monthly to compile your content and send an email out to your list of subscribers, you can focus that time on thinking creatively about how to get more subscribers to your blog or creating amazing content for your subscribers.
You’ll notice a similarity between these types of tasks and it’s that they are highly repeatable, low-impact tasks that aren’t difficult, just time-consuming. These are the types of tasks you should look to automate. While these are simple examples of automation, it is very easy for things to get sloppy if its not managed properly. Automation is about clearing time for you to focus on things that make a bigger impact on your business.
Remember the User
It’s easy to forget amongst the automation excitement but remember that automation is always about giving people a better experience. While automation does a lot to make a marketers job easier, it should also provide a great experience for your site visitors and leads.
Always think about the user experience when making decisions. Everyone has had annoying experiences with automation from the other side: getting multiple emails a day and having your social media feeds flooded with bad promotional posts will do nothing but leave a bad impression. Everything you do should be adding value to the customer, if not then it’s not worth doing.
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Keep it Simple
Over-automating is a straight path toward falling out of touch on social media and jumbling up your processes. Before you realize it, over-automating can become overwhelming. Eventually, the time you saved by automating gets eaten back up by trying to keep track of it all.
Keep track of everything you automate and make sure it doesn’t affect other processes you’ve automated in the past. Thinking outside of the realm of social and RSS automation, maybe you wanted to set up an automated workflow to change one field to another field, but then forgot about the automated process that was relying on that old field that’s no longer activated. That one misstep could throw your database into a panic, give you false reporting, and makes you want to hit the reset button on everything.
Our advice for this is to start simple and perfect each process before you decide to add more. Develop a routine that you can stick to, one that works well, and then decide the next form of automation you’d like to introduce. This process, on and on, will keep you organized and able to stay on top of it all which allows automation to have the effect that it’s supposed to.
Automation is not about taking your job away, it’s about allowing you to be more efficient with your time, give your leads a better experience, and create an engaging process that drives success for your business. Automation shouldn’t be impulsive, you really need to think about how it influences the goals you’ve set for your business and whether it’s simple enough to implement and manage moving forward.
With great power comes great responsibility, automation gives you a lot of power to optimize your workflows and free up valuable time but it comes with the responsibility of maintaining it all, which can be a daunting task in itself. Tackling automation is something that is worth your time but start slow. It’s about making your life simpler, not more complex.