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How to Use Marketing Automation to Attract the Modern Buyer

With the amount of time people spend online, if you’re not online, you’re going to be left behind. Marketing automation can help you to reach your customers at the right time without having to be tied to your computer.

How to feed the need for content with marketing automation

Content marketing has become another buzzword in the marketing world. The Internet is now made up of content, and marketers are clued in. They’re creating more content than ever before because they have to.

Today’s buyers want to get help and are looking to your company for that help — and they should be getting help from your content, too. Your content needs to be helpful to get people to engage with it, and you need to provide a lot of it, as well.

The need for all this content has put a strain on a marketer’s day and made distribution of content a massive problem. Marketing automation helps to solve a lot of this content problem by giving marketers an automated way to distribute their content and by opening up more time in their day to create more content instead of managing a database.

The need for content isn’t going away. Content is only getting more important, which means that the problem of distributing content, and following up with people after they have engaged with your content, is only getting harder as well. Marketing automation makes content distribution and follow-up very easy.

With the new release of Google’s Hummingbird, the content imperative has been driven to a new level. Hummingbird is the latest release on the Google algorithm for sorting search engine results. It now puts more emphasis on content, helping people answer questions rather than just supplying keyword matches.

Most marketers are creating many forms of content. Here are just a few of the many types of content you should be considering:

  • Webinars

  • Videos

  • Infographics

  • White papers

  • Research reports

  • Surveys

  • ROI calculators

  • How-to guides

  • Buyers’ guides

  • Ebooks

  • Blog posts

  • Newsletters

How prospects are searching for answers

People are beginning their research process on Google. Many marketers have turned to search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) to capitalize on these searches and help drive more leads into their pipeline.

SEO and SEM refer to the practices of optimizing your website for search engines. SEO refers to the natural way you rank in these searches, and SEM refers to the paid listing in these searches.

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If you ever want to think about how big SEO and SEM are, just look at the profits from the largest SEM provider, Google AdWords. Google AdWords made Google more than $42 billion in profits last year. This profit was made on the 1.2 trillion searches preformed on Google in 2012.

Search marketing likely is not new to you; however, being able to prove the ROI on search engine marketing may be. Closed-loop reporting on any marketing channel, including SEO and SEM marketing, is one of the larger benefits of marketing automation.

How consumers are engaging over a life cycle

The concept of the buyer’s life cycle is nothing new. It has been written about for years, and even implemented in just about every organization’s sales department. Your sales team probably has opportunities stages during which salespeople talk differently to a buyer and have different goals to meet.

This same thinking has not made its way to the marketing side of the house because there used to be no way to track a buyer’s life cycle before that buyer was in the hands of the sales team. Marketing automation has changed this situation with lead tracking.

Consider how a buyer purchases things. This becomes the basis of all modern buyer theory and marketing theory. Dissecting how a buyer buys tells you where to market, what message to use, and what your next marketing move should be. When you do the research, you’ll find out a few key things about the modern buyer, such as the following:

  • 93 percent of all buying journeys begin online. Search Engine Journal states that 93 percent of all buying cycles begin with a search. This may be a search on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or other search engines.

  • Buyers don’t want to talk to you right away. Buyers searching online don’t want to talk to a person right away. They prefer to gather information and then talk to the companies they feel are the best to talk to. This is why content marketing and online marketing have become so important.

  • Buyers are hypereducated. The amount of information marketers are putting online has educated consumers on a completely new level. Buyers now hold the power of the sales process in their hands. They can read every tweet and review and find out all the pros and cons of your solution before they talk to you.

  • Buyers are hypersensitive. With more than 294 billion e-mails sent every day, buyers are not engaging with e-mails or content unless it is 100 percent relevant to them. This is another reason that automated marketing has increased companies’ bottom lines. By tracking leads and automating communications, companies can now get relevant with every communication they have.

  • Buyers go back to Google 2–3 times. The buyer’s life cycle was proved in a study conducted in 2012 and published in an article on CLickz.com. The study found that buyers go back to search engines 2–3 times before they want to engage with sales and enter the sales cycle.

The concept of a buyer’s journey helps marketers to be relevant with their communications. Marketing automation is the tool being used to stay relevant over the buyer’s journey and the sales cycle. Understanding the fact that there is a journey is the first step in tracking where someone is in his or her journey. That tracking takes place through marketing automation.

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