Marketing

Digital Marketing during COVID-19: Automated Marketing For The New Normal

Nobody could have predicted how the pandemic would affect businesses and one area that has changed is digital marketing. The pandemic may have you asking questions about whether your current digital marketing strategy is working. Or if you have had to cut down on the hours you spend developing your business, marketing may be one of the aspects that has suffered and you might be searching for solutions that will keep your campaigns afloat. 

Automation has been supporting businesses for a while now and one of the biggest reasons markers choose to adopt automation into their marketing strategies is for efficiency. By streamlining your digital marketing processes you can free up more time for creative and heavyweight tasks. A great example of streamlining is two-way app syncing whereby users of one app can integrate data with another app, say you want to create better cohesion between email marketing app Mailchimp and automation software Autopilot, you can do so by syncing your contacts – saving you time updating your contact’s information and data across platforms. 

Why Automation? 

Streamlining isn’t the only reason that marketers use automation in their digital marketing practices. Automation can save you time on conducting repetitive tasks, help with trend research and provide valuable analytical insights. Which during the current pandemic can be crucial for many businesses. At the moment, many are finding themselves working less giving them minimal time for marketing. Some businesses have made the decision to let go of staff and cease working with freelancers which has left them without marketers. In this case, automation can be really useful in taking the sting out of digital marketing especially if you lack time or know-how and can be used in multiple ways across multiple platforms.

Next, we are going to take a look at how you can use automated marketing to support your business’s marketing efforts during COVID-19. 

SEO 

During this time so many businesses aren’t even thinking about their SEO. This can be damaging to their ranking not only now but in the future. So keeping on top of your SEO is important and if you think about your competitors who aren’t concerned by their SEO at the moment, this can put you ahead. There are some downsides of SEO automation such as low quality backlinks and a priority of quantity over quality but overall automating your SEO can be super beneficial. Here’s why: 

First of all, if you have little knowledge about SEO, automation can help take the edge off tasks that you might have trouble getting your head around, as well as this, with the right tool you can schedule tasks, saving you lots of time and headache. 

SEO automation can handle your audits and reports, notifying you on broken links, keyword density tags and Meta content. It can also analyse your competitor’s backlinks, keyword density tags and Meta content so you can extract what is working for them and implement them into your own SEO. And if you want to get real-time data on keyword rankings, SEO automation is much more accurate, making it an efficient and economical solution. 

Email Marketing

Even when people decide to tune out of social media, they will always check their emails. You might be surprised to learn that email marketing is one of the best methods for lead generation and during the pandemic capturing leads may be harder than before. Email automation can help support lead and conversion growth and streamline your email processes in two ways: Trigger emails and drip feed emails. 

Trigger Emails 

Trigger emails are designed to send your contacts an email whenever a contact conducts a pre-defined action this may include: 

  • Welcome emails/An into to your products or services (useful for subscription based services) 
  • Abandoned cart emails – if a customer leaves your website without completing their purchase, you can send them a friendly email reminding them that they have left items in their cart. 
  • Refer-a-Friend emails – emails set to trigger when a customer has made a purchase. 
  • Milestone emails – these are usually set for customer birthdays or membership/subscriber  anniversary dates.

Drip Feed Emails  

Drip feed emails allow you to send your contacts sequential emails based on a set timeframe. This is designed to take your customer through your sales funnel and works well with cold leads. 

Maximise Your Email Marketing 

  • Analyse Data 

Data is your best friend. It not only tells you what is working but shows you trends and patterns that can help you develop better email marketing campaigns. Email delivery rates, view rates, open rates, click through rates and conversion rates are all values you should be aware of when looking at data. During the pandemic this information might vary greatly and so analysing the activity of your contacts is vital for creating email campaigns that are going to retrieve better results now and in the future. 

  • Utilise Segmentation Tools 

Segmentation allows you to categorize your contacts in order to create targeted emails based on various parameters. These parameters might include, location, age, gender, industry or how they learned about your business. 

  • A/B Testing 

You might spend hours crafting the perfect email for it to flop with your contacts. A/B testing allows you to compare different versions of the same email to show you which version is more likely to generate better results. This includes highlighting any content that may be scanned and result in your email being marked as spam. 

  • Personalisation 

In an age where we are being marketed to constantly, one of the methods that stands out the most is personalisation. 82% of marketers have reported an increase in open rates through email personalization and if you can get more people opening your emails, you have a better chance in increasing views, click throughs and conversation.  

  • Send Contact to your Landing Page 

You’ll be surprised to learn how many businesses don’t include links to their landing pages. This mistake can be costly, especially if you aim to get more click through and conversions. 

Social Media 

Social media is one of the largest forms of digital marketing and for some this is where most of their business comes from. You can use automation techniques for social media marketing for scheduling, reporting and to grow content ideas. When done successfully, automation can give you more time to engage with your audience and build stronger social media strategies. You can also create video content and post it to a dedicated YouTube channel. To give them a kick-start you can buy likes for YouTube videos, giving them some engagement to help draw more attention to them.

Content Creation 

Social media platforms like Hootsuite have built in content studios that provide you with tools to create social media content based on selected topics and industries. This is done by analysing which content is currently You can use this content and post it straight to your social media, however, it is recommended that you use treat created content as inspiration and adapt the content to your own voice and brand. 

Streamlining Engagement 

When you have a social media presence across multiple platforms it can be hard to keep track of notifications and conducting engagement. Social media automation can take all of your accounts and streamline them into one dashboard allowing you to monitor notifications such as messages, mentions and replies so you can engage accordingly. This will allow you to spend less time splitting yourself across multiple platforms and spend more time with your audience. 

Social Listening 

As the circumstances of the pandemic change it can be hard to keep track of the changing needs of your audience. Social listen can give you the power to stay current by giving you insights to: brand mentions, highlighting keywords, topics and hashtags, what your competitors are talking about and what is hot right now. 

Scheduling 

Social media tools like Hootsuite and Buffer were set up to take away the pain of posting to your social media channels multiple times. Scheduling tools allow you to populate a database with your social media content and set when and where you want that content to be published. This tool is key for businesses who want to remain consistent across all of their social media platforms and build a stronger social media presence. 

Chatbots 

Social media chatbots are designed to respond to customers with basic requests when you can’t be present to do so. For example, on Facebook, followers can use the chatbot to find out what your opening hours are or how long they can expect to wait before hearing from you. Chatbots can’t be used for more complex issues but can be useful in escalating the issue.  

Analytics 

Most automation platforms, if not all, offer analytics. Often giving you real-time data as well as reports over a longer period of time. This data is invaluable, not only can it reveal information on your marketing performance but can unveil patterns and trends that have changed since the start of the pandemic. This information can be useful for improving not only your current strategies but also your future ones too. 

While it’s hard to guess how the pandemic will continue and how this will affect businesses, business owners still have an important task in staying on track. Automation might not have all the answers where digital marketing is concerned, however it can support many businesses with the current changing tide and get ahead of your competitors. 

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