If you’re not already automating one or more of your daily processes to market online, you’re missing out on an important movement.
Whether you’re an online marketer, an in-house marketer, company owner, or someone else involved in marketing, your competitors are scaling fast to take part in the automation revolution happening around the world.
In fact, 51% of companies are using marketing automation. And those numbers are only going to go up in the next 12 months.
Which means if you’re not automating at least some of your marketing by this time next year, it might be too late to catch up as the automation economy and automation systems speed up.
How to Do More in Less Time
“According to recent studies, marketing automation on average drives up to 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in the number of leads using marketing automation software, and 77% had an increase of conversions,” writes Ayat Shukairy in Invesp.
And those are just averages. An extra 14.5% in sales is fantastic, but the most exciting use cases show automation to increase sales by up to 500%.
Plainly put: you’re going to be more productive, spend less money, and get more leads and more sales with automation.
You probably already know about email and social media automation—platforms like ActiveCampaign, Kartra, ClickFunnels, Hootsuite, CoSchedule and MeetEdgar, which are used by millions of organizations and solopreneurs to take the stress of email and social off their plates.
But there are other things that can be automated to make your job take less time so you can achieve more:
- Messenger bots on social or your website help automate customer service and are the secret behind some of the most powerful sales funnels online today.
- Automatically manage your pipeline so you never miss an opportunity to land a deal.
- Filter your inbox so you’re only notified for important emails.
- Monitor online mentions of your company so you can respond quickly.
That’s a short list, but consider how much time you spend on those tasks each day—scouring social media for notifications, responding to customer inquiries, deleting or archiving unimportant emails, and reviewing your list of deals to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
It’s not that automation replaces the marketer. Not by a long shot.
But what it does is free you up to focus on what moves the needle for you: audience research, training, testing, copywriting, implementation, and analysis. And, frankly, those are all things that go into making automations successful.
Essentially, automation makes every marketer even better at their job.
Take a marketer using automation and compare them with one who’s not, and you’ll see a huge difference in productivity and results.
According to Kweilin Ellingrud, writing in Forbes, “When automation can handle up to 45 percent of repetitive work, it gives workers time for more higher-value tasks such as problem-solving, finding solutions and developing new ideas.”
Automations help you increase conversions and sales—but they simply help save you time, too.
How to Automate Your Business Tasks
Option 1: Custom Programmed Bots
If marketers of the past could vocalize a dream, it would probably be to automate every mundane, tedious marketing task (and there’s a LOT) we have on our plate without sacrificing results.
The problem is that to actually build an automation you typically need programming knowledge.
Which usually means another team or developer involved with the marketer in the process. That means delays, more room for error, and bigger overhead for companies.
Many large organizations have invested in custom technology, and we see it most in the manufacturing industry. When a manufacturer wants to increase the size of its workforce without increasing its budget proportionally, it develops technology to do the task.
That is completely possible if you have the time and budget to dedicate to the project, but for most online marketers doing so is simply nog realistic. And, truth be told, even the big companies are looking for cheaper, better solutions (and cheaper, better solutions are out there).
Option 2: Predesigned Software
Solutions like IFTTT and Zapier are designed to help your marketing tools speak to one another. Have a Facebook post that you want to add to a library? There’s an IFTTT Recipe for that. Want PayPal and ActiveCampaign to talk to each other? Check to see whether there’s a zap.
At the end of the day, though, you’re still facing limitations and relying on the programmers who created those solutions. They made them for their own business needs and goals—which might not be the exact same as yours.
And though you’ll find those two resources can be incredibly useful for many things, if your specific tool isn’t supported… you’ve got to find another solution.
Option 3: Human Help—Hire a Virtual Assistant
VAs are contractors you can hire (without having to pay taxes and health insurance) to take care of anything you don’t want to. You also don’t pay them for full days—only as many hours as it takes to complete the projects or tasks you assign them. As a result, a VA saves you a lot of money compared with a full-time employee.
There is a big boom of extremely low-cost virtual assistants in the Philippines (and elsewhere). However, you need to be ready to provide thorough training and very clear instructions for anything you assign.
When you factor in the time to vet, interview, and train someone, VAs can actually be more expensive than people initially realize. It’s also important to consider that you have to pay them every time they complete projects, like research, producing videos, etc.
However, if you’re looking to automate a specific task or set of tasks and you can generate a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs), a VA may be the route for you.
Option #4: Customizable Automation Bots
Ultimately, none of those solutions allow you to scale. That has led to companies like UBot Studio to develop software that allow you to easily build any automation you want without the programming required.
So, instead of relying on programmers, marketers can use drag and drop software to build bots in minutes that can…
- Automate pretty much every process in your SEO workflow (keyword research, checking page rankings, etc.)
- Create content out of nothing
- Scrape, process, and analyze marketing data
- Scrape product data
- Download and process videos
- Turn video into audio
- Turn audio or images into video
- Create an entire e-commerce website (seriously!)
This solution is the best of both worlds: You have access to time-saving automations that beef up your bottom line without training someone or struggling to teach yourself complicated programming.
Not to mention, there are no limits to the number and types of bots you can make. You can create an automation for each of your specific annoying to-dos. It doesn’t matter if not many people need an automation for a certain task—you do. So, you can easily create it in minutes instead of using a tool made to solve something different and forcing it to work for your needs.
Imagine setting up an automation in five minutes to do all your annoying to-dos and walking away. When you come back just a few hours later, everything is ready to go in a nice, neat file for you.
How much more would you get done? What else could you be working on that is not only more enjoyable but makes you more money?
Bot builders like UBot Studio are a convenient one-time cost and one-time setup—ultimately saving far more time and money in the long run.
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Any way you look at it, the future of marketing is in automation—and if you’re not on board, you’re getting left behind.