The basic purpose of Marketing Automation is to provide companies with the online marketing tools they need to turn the Internet into their best salesperson. The Internet has changed the purchasing habits of both individuals and companies. Individual consumers no longer go to the brick and mortar stores for information. Companies are no longer sending representatives to expensive and time-consuming trade shows to learn what is happening in their industry. Today’s consumer goes to the Internet for information and product research. Your target market spends hours daily on the Internet searching Google and social media sites to seek out information and advice about products and services. To be successful, companies must consider the Internet one of their most powerful marketing weapons. When companies take advantage of Marketing Automation tools, leads turn into customers.
One of the best ways online marketing delivers is through Search Engine Optimization. The term SEO has been thrown around a lot in recent years probably because it is so important and at the same time difficult for most to achieve. The goal of SEO is obvious, be visible to your target market, which are searching for something that relates to your products and services. The objective is to get in the top ten on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP.) This task will not happen overnight. It will be nessessary to tweak, test and track key words to find a combination that produces results.
After your company has been found and searched by your target market online, the next step is to provide them with exceptional content. What you don’t want is your target market arriving at your landing page or blog site and immediately exiting because a lack of content or because the content is full of product or service claims. The goal is to give them relevant information that pertains to their industry. They want to learn about products and services in a way that is convenient and easy to understand. When companies create content the goal should be to create information that will always be relevant to readers. This type of “evergreen” content is useful because it can be used repeatedly in multiple channels such as, whitepapers, blog posts, or email campaigns. When Content Management systems are used in combination with Marketing Automations tools the result is better conversion of visitors to leads.
When the reader goes from visitor-to-lead by providing the company with their name and email, lead nurturing must begin. Marketing Automation make lead nurturing a much more realistic task for the average businessperson. Companies need to find a happy medium of information distribution. You don’t want to bombard them with content, yet you don’t want them to forget about you. The goal is to continually provide leads with information that is valuable to them. By doing this, the company builds trust with the lead. It is important to remember that all leads are at different points in the buying process and the key is to stay top-of-mind with the prospect so when they are ready to buy, they think of your company.
We are living in a new era of online marketing where content is essential. Today your target market is spending hours researching products on the Internet by conducting Google searches, asking their “Friends” on Facebook for advice, or following different companies on Twitter. When tools like Search Engine Optimization, Content Management, and Lead Nurturing are used in combination, companies realize the true benefits of Marketing Automation.