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Marketing automation finds its root in mail-merge, and its essential to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Mail-merging inside word processing software will allow you to write a letter one time and it will generate copies for each and every person or business you wish. Well, with internet technologies being dependent on data its easier than ever to automate your processes so that you can set some of your marketing tasks on autopilot in order to focus on others. It has made the workplace much more efficient.

In the last position I held we started working out ways in which to do marketing more efficiently; there were 5 of us who all were apart of the marketing department secondarily. We all had other positions and we had to figure out easy ways to get marketing tasks done efficiently and quickly so we could do the other parts of our jobs. We quickly embraced anything that would allow us to automate what we were trying to communicate. We learned a few things along the way, so here are five ways to automate internet marketing.

Social Media

In my last position we purchased a pro account of HootSuite, for less than $10 per month. There are a lot of other services out there that will do similar things for you. It would show us all of our social media mentions and it would allow us to schedule our posts across many platforms. This was fantastic because once per month we would have our tweets scheduled. It took 2 hours on the first Monday of the month to put them all in, but essentially we were done for the month. If a question came through or any responses were required, HootSuite would notify us and we would take care of it. Social Media doesn’t have to dominate your time.

Email

Email marketing is absolutely essential. It is still considered the most trusted source of marketing, because a customer has asked to receive it. The more information you can collect on those who are on your list the better. If you can get industry information you can send customized emails per industry. Companies are getting pretty creative with their email marketing. For instance my wife and I have been researching the purchase of a new camera, and I was searching through Amazon for some ideas. Two days later I received an email from Amazon stating the a camera that I had been looking at was now on sale. Trust me no person was behind that decision to send me in particular an email a system was set up to send people email on products they were looking for when they go on sale. I’m sure its much more complex than that, but that’s the idea. When automating your email be creative discover new ways to reach out to your clients.

Advertising

Believe it or not you can even automate your internet advertising. This will come at a surprise for some, but working with the major search engines and social media sites they allow you to input start and stop dates for your ads. Do a month at a time and give each ad its own budget, and select the days and times you wish for it to run. Create landing pages for each ad that are similar and won’t require a lot of reworking between ads. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It will look professional without a ton of extra effort.

Blogging

When consulting with any company I would always suggest adding a blog and blogging strategy into their marketing efforts. Ultimately I would hear, “we don’t have time to write.” There are many ways to make this process simpler. I like to recommend WordPress as a blogging platform and there are editorial calendar plugins – I like Editorial Calendar for single author blogs and Edit Flow for multiple author blogs. What I would suggest is that in your marketing planning you actually decided what the topics will be for the next month or so. Select a large number of authors – if you can – and assign them posts throughout the next month. This system will allow you to have a structured way of getting new blog posts on your website without tying up too much time from your co-workers or employees.

Internet Listening

This is something that isn’t talked about very much, but there are ways in which you can listen for keywords that are posted on the internet (from a tweet, Facebook post, blog post, etc.). Many systems even do a very good job at understanding the sentiment or emotion being expressed. Its important to understand what people are saying in and around your businesses targeted keywords. This will help drive marketing direction. Think of it as ongoing marketing research. Also you can listen for opportunities. I have a friend who was searching for help to figure out the best online trading company for him to use. He tweeted about it and someone responded from Scottrade almost immediately. He eventually went with Scottrade. You can use those same systems to send you notifications on potential opportunities. Again HootSuite will do this, but there are many others as well.

Marketing automation has become a necessity in Internet Marketing. It is quite a new revelation – there is no way to automate Billboard advertising. There are so many channels to participate it would be impossible to do them all manually. Its no wonder why so many people are reluctant to start. Spend some time at looking into ways you can automate your internet marketing. Make your life easier and become more efficient.

What ways do you use automate internet marketing?

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