How to use marketing automation to make your brand stand out
Automation isn't a buzzword: it's the future. Over 50% of businesses are already on board with the concept and even more are hopping on board as automation dominates a bulk of today's B2B conversations.
With so many moving pieces of any given online marketing strategy, the idea of juggling everything all at once is downright daunting. It's no secret why automation has built up so much buzz over the past few years as way to make the marketing process so much simpler.
Finding opportunities through automation
Although automation continues to evolve, the benefits of putting crucial pieces of your marketing on autopilot are well-documented, including:
- The potential to make more positive impressions on your customers versus your competition.
- The ability to raise awareness for your products and content without blowing out your budget (for example, the ROI of email marketing is absolutely staggering).
- Opportunities for you to focus on the crucial aspects of your business: once you've automated the essentials, you can play the role of monitor versus constantly hustling.
Creating the ideal customer experience
The elephant in the room remains: automation can be challenging when it comes to customer concerns.
After all, no brand wants to sacrifice their personal touch by coming off as cold and calculating toward their customers. Bear in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to automation: you need to understand the balance between meeting the news of your audience and getting down to business if you want to make it work.
Before investing in automation, it's crucial that you step into your customers' shoes. To best understand the buyers' journey and how automation can lead to more sales, we recommend that any business familiarise themselves with the 11 essential B2B marketing automation insights to help refine their strategy.
The question remains: how can you make your brand stand out against competitors? How do you set yourself apart from others in your industry who are implementing a similar strategy?
Remember: the customer always comes first. When you keep this point in mind, it becomes much, much easier to implement your automation strategy and put your brand on a pedestal.
How to harness the human touch in your marketing campaigns
The most important element of any automation strategy is a human touch.
This rings true for email campaigns and social posts alike. After all, your audience is saturated with hundreds of emails per today and exponentially more social messages.
Standing out from the crowd requires an authentic, personalised approach, which sounds complicated but is honestly rather simple.
Just because your autoresponders and drip campaigns are sending out optimised messages en masse doesn't mean your recipients should see them as such. You should do everything in your power to personalise your marketing messages through the following strategies:
- Engaging subject lines or headlines that speak directly to your readers (think: includes the name of the recipients or refer to them as “you”).
- Approach your readers with a conversational tone that's free of jargon (again, there's no reason to sound like a robot).
- Give your readers something to engage with (whether it's an infographic, video or free e-book, serve to provide them with a resource versus a sales pitch).
For example, Brian Dean of Backlinko uses his hugely helpful, totally free SEO-checklist as a way to build his list. Such free resources are simple, straightforward and serve as a hook for readers looking for something actionable to increase their search engine presence. Plus, Brian speaks directly to his customers and speaks in simple, straightforward language throughout his content.
Identifying pain points
Perhaps the best way to generate clicks, conversions and conversations is by speaking to the pains points of your customers. Create messages that not only touch on their troubles, but seek to provide a simple, actionable solution.
For example, how can your products help ease their stress? How can your brand help keep more money in their pockets? What results have you produced that can be of benefit to your base?
You should strive to send emails that really hit your recipients in the gut when they click “Open.”
Understanding such pain points requires you to get into the heads of your customers and see what they're talking about on a daily basis. Avenues such as social media (including private groups) and forums can help you understand what's ailing your audience and how you can provide a solution.
Check out how Neil Patel's CrazyEgg uses a marketing message that touches on the pain point of lost traffic as means of driving visitors into his email funnel.
The more you speak the language of your audience and address their problems, the more likely they are to respond to you.
Figure out what you're doing differently
Even if you have an immaculate approach to your marketing, the issue of your competition still remains. Especially if you're a young brand in a crowded niche, breaking through and engaging customers is easier said than done.
That being said, you can give your brand a boost by leveraging how you're different from the existing pack. For example, any of the following approaches are fair game regardless of your industry:
- Change your tone: if your competitors are taking a stuck-up, suit-and-tie approach, perhaps you can attract more prospects through a laid-back, straightforward marketing message (think: a luxury brand vs. a value brand).
- Look the part: perhaps it's time for a marketing makeover in terms of imagery and color-scheme, which can have a huge impact on whether or not your audience sees you are legitimate.
- Start small: consider segmenting your audience and targeting them accordingly (for example, start with customers seeking the lowest price point and then seek out solution-oriented customers).
For example, Outspoken Media takes a more colloquial approach when it comes to scoring SEO clients. They present themselves as a friendly, understanding resource versus a know-it-all company, which is appealing to potential clients who are perhaps on the fence about competing, stuffy SEO services.
This message can easily stand front and center in your marketing language to remind customers why they should go with you versus anyone else.