Hi and welcome to our 28th podcast! We are excited to be in 53 countries now and want to thank you all for your support. Todays’ topic is around marketing automation, the first in a new ‘business automation’ series; but first, what did we learn this week?
Heather was at a speaking gig last week and was reminded of the importance of good mentors and a fair exchange for information. After doing some research this week she found that many experts are offering a ‘pick my brains’ or ‘buy me coffee’ session for paying clients. If you are wondering if you could do this and what you should charge, the going rate seems to be anything from $100 to $300 per hour for a strategy session. This is of course for people with a lot of experience and possibly multiple qualifications in their area. Don’t underestimate your value though, think about what it is that you are an expert at that others would pay for.
Andrew learnt about changes in Google algorithms which affect SEO for websites. He found that even ‘white hat’ tools that the business has been using have been affected by the changes. It goes to show that if you are using another company’s tools or ‘land’ to build up your business, you will always need to play by their rules. We suggest that you build your website and own what you do so that you can easily make changes when the platform you use makes changes.
So, how can you automate your marketing? We are going to share with you tools that we and our clients use to do this. Make sure you pick and choose as some will suit you better than others.
1. Automating Your Website Content and Blog posts
We are fans of Word Press as a website platform due to its simplicity and functionality. One of the things we love about it is that you can schedule blog posts ahead of time. This is important as if you want to rank better on search engines, you need fresh relevant content. Consistency is the key; if you can blog weekly then ensure that you are consistent with that, including days and times. If you can, set aside a day each month where you sit down, right a few posts and schedule them.
This is another thing you can automate and we love the tool paper.ley to do so. It lets you create your own online newspaper within minutes by giving you feeds on your chosen topic. You do this by inputting Twitter, RSS, Facebook or photo feeds from chosen sites into it. It basically allows your followers to keep up to date with what’s going on. You can also include your own content as you update it. If you don’t want to use paper.ley, you can easily schedule newsletters that you write to be sent out through your email marketing software if you write them ahead of time.
3. Email Marketing
There are a few tools we love here; AWeber, MailChimp and for a more robust platform, Office Autopilot. We suggest for starters looking at MailChimp as you can start out with that for free. Email marketing begins with an opt-in form on your website which you can get through your email program that encourages people to sign-up with you for something.
4. Lead Generation
This is about where you get your leads from. Where else can you include your opt-ins apart from your website? It’s like having a shop available 24 hours a day and allowing you to see who has been visiting to keep the connection. For example, you can include opt-ins on your social media accounts, blogs and various websites. Having multiple contact points and different giveaways will help you to build a good list. What should you give away? The things that work the best tend to be short bites, reports or cheat sheets giving people good information on what you can offer. Videos, calculators or free software also tend to do well. Ebooks do not do so well as they tend to be too big so people often don’t read them.
5. Social Media
This is a big one to ensure that you have right as more and more people are engaging via social media channels. We recommend that you concentrate on the big 4 or 5 platforms that people are on so that you are not too overwhelmed! Hootsuite is a great tool for automating social media posts. You can schedule posts and you are able to respond to any comments etc within there. This is also good for productivity as you only see your own accounts and won’t be tempted to spend too long checking other posts! They also have a good education section to help you out. There is also a great app which you can put in the toolbar of your browser so if you are surfing the web and find interesting content, you can click on the button and schedule it for your social media accounts.
6. Phone texting
You know those marketing messages where you are asked to text information to a certain number? This is one way of gathering leads and creating a database. As most people now carry mobiles, it can be a very effective way of communicating with followers. You can use it to give things away to people who text your number or send reminders, for example for upcoming events. Do a search of your local area and you will find companies who will set up a texting service for you.
Stay tuned to our business automation series! Next up we will be discussing sales automation.
If you would like to know more about marketing automation, here’s your opportunity to access a FREE webinar. CLICK HERE to get it now.
Got questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below…
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