You’re probably reading this on your smartphone or computer as you sit at your desk, right? Whether we like it or not, we’re ruled by our digital devices and, so, it’s no surprise everyone seems stuck staring at their phones and laptops.
As a result, the way people shop has changed dramatically throughout the last decade.
Think about it. Your customers are likely following the exact same behavior patterns you are. Like you, they’re on their phones, browsing sites and social media absent-mindedly and taking information in quickly.
To keep up, businesses have had to evolve their marketing strategies to ensure they’re aligned with this consumer behavior, which has been transformed by technology.
But what exactly defines this evolution?
For companies like yours, it starts with an open-minded approach when it comes to the technology and resources available to you. Chances are, scalability is critical and you want to leverage all of your resources to create a solid foundation.
Good or bad, this usually means dispensing with humans and looking to machines as your best allies – also known as marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
Think about this the way you would a car’s transmission. With manual transmission, driving requires five actions and the constant use of both hands:
1. Release the gas pedal.
2. Press the clutch pedal.
3. Switch gears.
4. Release the clutch pedal.
5. Press the gas.
Seems like a lot, don’t you think? On the other hand, automatic transmission simplifies the entire process. With automatic, driving looks a little more like this:
1. Press the gas and go.
See the difference? There’s fewer actions with the same exact outcome. That’s the goal: get more done with less.
And think of all the things you could do with that precious energy and time saved. You could hold your loved one’s hand, change the radio station, or enjoy a delicious cup of coffee during a long commute – what a dream!
This is exactly what marketing automation does. Marketing automation is software that helps businesses target users across multiple channels, like email, web, social platforms, SMS messaging, and more, automatically.
Automation platforms work 24/7, 365 days a year, relentlessly performing all the tedious tasks once done by hand, giving managers more freedom to oversee the process and focus more on what really matters: growing the business.
What does marketing automation look like?
Here’s a simple marketing automation strategy laid out.
Step 1: Platform
Your platform is simply the channel where you distribute your video. Depending on your business type and audience, you could use multiple platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even your website.
Step 2: Video
Once you’ve picked your platform, you’ll need to determine the type of video that’ll get you the most traction; for example, a 45-second commercial with a 16:9 aspect ratio would be ideal for LinkedIn, whereas a 15-second vertical video with a 9:16 aspect ratio would be better suited for Instagram Stories.
Need help figuring out your video’s specs? Check out our video ad cheat sheet.
Step 3: Form
Your ultimate goal is to collect a prospect’s or customer’s data, so you’ll need to set up and attach a form to your video. Determining your required fields will depend on your business type and your expected outcome.
Usually, the form includes simple fields like name, email, phone number, and company name.
Some social platforms offer a built-in form through a lead generation campaign, allowing you to pre-populate certain fields with the user’s information. If you can, take advantage of this, since it usually leads to higher conversion rates.
Note: The more fields you add, the lower your conversion rate is likely to be, but the higher the quality of your leads. Try to find the right balance of quantity vs. quality for your business.
Step 4: Action
With your prospects’ information in hand, you’ll need to determine what to do next. Services like Zapier help facilitate a wide range of automatic actions through the use of its 1,500+ integrated apps. Most likely, placing your leads into your CRM system will yield the best results – we’ll break this down a little further soon.
Bear in mind that the options are endless here, and so are the automation possibilities. That’s why we’re digging a little deeper into the most commonly chosen option: the use of a CRM with automatic email notification.
Step 5: CRM
Regardless of what the action selected above is, you’ll want to keep all these leads organized in a safe place. This place is usually a CRM (customer relationship management) system, where you can build lists and store all your clients’ information.
In order to keep all this information safe, properly incorporate email marketing, and more, there are multiple tools available to you, including:
Before picking one, be sure you know what your campaign goals are, what success metrics you’ll need to measure, what your budget is, what other uses you might have for your user data, and whether or not these CRMs include that functionality.
Step 6: Output
Now that you’ve got your leads, you’ll need to define the type of action you want to perform. For instance, you might send a confirmation email as the first communication touch point to let these new contacts know they’ve been successfully enrolled in your system.
Don’t stop here! Use action-step integrations in every and any way you can, like sending text notifications as a reminder to check in on your leads, enabling Slack team group messages, creating new spreadsheet rows to maintain your records, adding new contacts to your Gmail list, and the list goes on.
Type of Applications
We’ll say it again – marketing automation possibilities are endless! You just need to be creative, have a solid plan in mind, and use the resources on hand to make it all happen.
Need more ideas on how to apply marketing automation actions in your marketing strategy? Here are just a few:
- Collect new leads.
- Promote newsletter sign-ups.
- Offer special coupons or promotions.
- Collect user reservations.
- Send out quizzes.
- Send out satisfaction polls.
- Schedule events and invite attendants.
How We Use Marketing Automation
At Lemonlight, we constantly strive to test innovative approaches and new ideas – especially when it comes to marketing automation. And we rely heavily on tools like Zapier and HubSpot for automating our outreach and promotion efforts. These tools are indispensable for our purposes and keep all of our user data perfectly organized, in sync, and up to date.
We recently launched a brand new video reel to spread the word about our services. Our goal was to attract – here’s how we used marketing automation throughout the process.
Lemonlight Social Reel Promotion
- Goal: Collect new leads.
- Platform: Facebook
- Type of Video: Social Reel
- Form: Facebook lead generation ad
- Action: Place new leads into our CRM.
- Output: Enroll these leads into our drip funnel email campaign.
Our goal was to obtain leads from our prospect audience across Facebook. We crafted a lookalike audience based on a list of current customers and used a captivating, 30-second social video reel with a concise message and call to action to reel those users in. By capturing the viewers’ attention and inviting them to learn more, they’d input their personal contact information, automatically enrolling them into our CRM.
The form we used was simple and straightforward, requesting only very basic user information:
After submitting the form, we wanted to place and classify each user accordingly in our system. To do that, we created a new Zap (or integration on Zapier,) with the goal of moving them from our Facebook form to a HubSpot form and then place them in a custom workflow.
The output here is to provide users with further value and ultimately place them into our sales funnel.
Once that action was complete, we didn’t limit ourselves with a simple hard-sell email, instead opting to provide custom content following the buyer’s journey, bringing users valuable content through email, while building up our thought leadership.
Pro-Tip: As you build out automated workflows, aim to gather as much information as possible for better prospecting. Downloadable resources, like ebooks, gated content, tutorials, or even product demos, are great for this because they allow you to set up progressive fields, which request more information as the user fills the form out.
Remember, automation doesn’t have to be this big, scary thing. Just like your car, automating certain business tasks can help you save time, helping you become more efficient and more results-oriented, which will make you a happier worker (and happy person) in the end.
And luckily, most automation services work seamlessly with video, so you can automate a lot of the distribution and data collection tasks that so often keep marketing teams from pulling the trigger on their video strategies.
Don’t wait! All you need is the right video to get started!