If you are looking to adopt content marketing or marketing automation but are not quite sure how to get started you are not alone. Marketing is constantly evolving and technology is aiding the industry turnaround with it's fast paced nature. Attention spans are at an all time low and it seems automation may help combat the demand generations need for information. This week's FAQ Friday will detail the most frequently asked questions surrounding the adoption of content marketing and marketing automation. If you have questions that we have not covered we encourage you to leave them in the comments section below.
What is content marketing automation?
Content marketing automation essentially takes the best of inbound marketing and content marketing and melds it to marketing automation to ensure continued ROI.
Using the tenets of marketing automation to propel your content marketing efforts is the only way to put your company in the best position to optimize lead-to-sale conversion rates all while driving repeat purchases.
In fact, recent research shows that 59% of companies that have marketing automation are capable of using intelligent tracking to trigger fresh content, whereas only 17% of companies without marketing automation can do so.
Why is content marketing so effective?
Your content marketing efforts are perhaps already the cornerstone of your overarching inbound marketing strategy. If that's the case, then you know how to create engaging content and make your voice heard across trending conversations.
A blog on your website where customers can come to find out the latest that your company has to offer combined with social media engagement can be a potent one-two punch.
To be truly effective, though, content marketing needs to create content (infographics, blog posts, etc.) that captivates your target audience while distributing that content across all of the right channels to guarantee the highest traffic (e.g., via earned and paid media).
Lastly, content marketing has always needed to be measurable, responsive and feature a compelling call to action in order to move prospects along the buyer cycle.
What problems might you encounter with content marketing and marketing automation taken separately?
Both content marketing and marketing automation need to be tailored to the right audiences or neither works optimally. Content that leaves customers cold just doesn't get the job done in terms of establishing trust and securing the conversion.
Worse yet, when marketing automation looks like spam to your prospects, any lead nurturing efforts go right down the tubes as prospects instantly lose interest in your brand.
While content marketing can help with increasing your brand's exposure and customer retention, the fact that your content is so diversified across your blog and various social media sites can cause problems.
Namely, you have less insight into the context that prospects are approaching your content from, nor are you necessarily providing your prospects with a full experience of your brand since s/he might be seeing a random blog post or a one-off Tweet…and little else.
Why should content marketing and marketing automation be combined?
Content marketing automation reconciles any problems you might encounter using content marketing and/or marketing automation separately.
Content marketing automation provides a more comprehensive content experience for your prospects. More comprehensive in this case means that prospects will get to view any social media activity, blog posts, or videos that apply to their particular context.
Another very helpful aspect of embracing content marketing automation is that each interaction with prospects is bookended by a personalized call to action (CTA). A personalized CTA creates a rapport with prospects, makes them feel like you're listening and responding to their needs, and facilities more conversions.
Aggregating all of this content together in a convenient bundle for prospects vastly accelerates the buying cycle as well as prospects more swiftly move from the awareness to purchase stage. This is critical since nurtured leads make 47% bigger purchases.
How does content marketing automation create a virtuous cycle?
The fact that content marketing automation is so measurable greatly facilitates tracking and lead scoring for even more responsive content delivery and CTAs in the future. In effect, the more content marketing automation that you commit to, the more lead scoring you can measure, and the better content marketing you can deliver.
This constitutes a virtuous cycle that delivers serious return on investment: You benefit in the short term via more conversions and over the long haul by uploading lead scoring to your marketing automation software which, in turn, improves your lead nurturing efforts.
Need more proof that automation will rule the future: Gartner Research reported that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationship without talking to an actual human. Focus Research also found that over the last five years marketing automation has demonstrated the highest growth among customer relationship management (CRM) processes.
Does content marketing automation lower lead generation costs?
Content marketing automation can significantly reduce the amount of time and money spent attracting new leads.
When you automate the process of bundling together all of your blog posts, videos, eBooks and social content and deliver a customized experience to each prospect, you create targeted content streams while reaping the benefits of more conversions.
The fact that content management automation also includes a contextualized call to action significantly helps your lead generation.
In a virtuous cycle, the behavioral characteristics from one lead can also inform your subsequent marketing automation so that you can better optimize what's working.
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