Marketing automation is an incredibly powerful tool when implemented as part of an overall digital marketing strategy. And we’d like to devote some time in this article to discussing just how powerful it is and why you need it in your own marketing strategy.
Your Website is Your Marketing Hub
A significant number of people still view their website as no more than an online brochure or advertisement for their business; similar to a digital version of the Yellow Pages. People search for your products, services or information and are directed to your online advertisement and are then motivated to call you. This way of viewing a website is selling the potential of your website short to an alarming degree!
What is a website for then? Boiled down to its most basic, a website should take traffic, convert that traffic into leads, then turn those leads into customers, and then ultimately into repeat customers.
A website should be the hub of your online marketing machine.
Your Very Own Robot Salesman!
How does a website accomplish ALL of this? Simply speaking, it is done with the implementation of marketing automation.
You are an accountant and have a website. You’ve been faithfully content marketing your services for several months now being very focused on providing high quality advice and high value to your growing audience. People have started recognising the quality and value of your content and have started talking about it and sharing it over social media.
You decide that you want to launch a new service specifically targeted at small businesses. So you set up a marketing funnel to sell the new service.
You create a small PDF document which addresses some pain points that small business owners face when doing their accounting, offer it as a free download from your website, and advertise it to your audience through social media. Business owners come to your site and happily give you their email address in exchange for this valuable content.
Traffic to your site has now been converted into qualified leads.
Upon signing up for the pdf download, two things happen simultaneously: the leads are immediately emailed a thank you message and a link to their download, and they are redirected to a thank you page on your website. The thank you page thanks them for downloading the file, informs them that it is winging its way to them through the interwebs, and introduces them to a short 3 part video course which you have created to help walk them through a specific accounting nightmare that you know they are most likely struggling with. You offer it for $47. They can’t believe that you would give something so valuable away so cheaply and they purchase it.
Your lead has just become a customer.
Now the same thing happens again, the customer is emailed a thank you and instructions for accessing the content while being directed to another page which thanks them and offers an upgrade to your service.
If they purchase this, they are now a repeat customer.
Now this example is very basic and I would space some of this stuff out with automated email series between products etc.. to A) provide more value, and B) to continue to cultivate trust. But the idea is clear; once you have set this up properly, it becomes your robot salesperson working for you 24/7/365.
THIS is the inherent potential hidden in every website! This is a website that is working for you and driving your whole digital marketing strategy. It is doing the work of transforming traffic into repeat customers, and it is FULLY AUTOMATED!
Sure you need to spend some time setting it up and creating the resources, but this is no different than any marketing campaign. The difference is that once you set up a marketing automation, it is working for you even as you sleep, all the time.
So how does this fit into the whole digital marketing strategy? That’s a big answer, but it’s pretty cool! So let’s take a look:
We’ll start with your website. This is where most of your high value content lives. You create your content and publish it on your website. Then you push that out to your traffic sources: Social Media, Paid Traffic(Adwords etc..), These traffic streams bring visitors to your website where they can be funnelled into different streams for different products or services. It’s the respiration of your website: content is exhaled, traffic is inhaled.
Within your website, you have landing pages where targeted traffic is sent to. They serve as the gateway of each funnel. Your funnels are split into two parts: the pages on your website, and automated emails that are triggered to be sent based on events that happen on the landing, thank you, and up-sell pages.
Next we have your social media properties such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many more depending on your target audience. Social media is the most efficient and effective way to get your content out to the public. It also starts to qualify your traffic before it gets anywhere near your website. People who see your content will be interested in and looking for information, products, and services related to you and once they find and start to follow your content, you have already weeded out people who are not interested in what you offer. By means of social media your content is going to the people who will be most likely to be interested in it. Awesome!
Then, finally, we have your email and marketing provider. This can be platforms like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, all the way up to big guns like Infusionsoft or Marketo. Whichever you use, these platforms allow you to coordinate your email marketing with your website and other marketing. These platforms, once integrated into your website, are where all of the automation magic happens.
I hope you can see now the potential a website has beyond being an online brochure or an internet advertisement. Having a brochure website is like ordering salad at a restaurant famous for its BBQ ribs- it’s selling your whole visit short.