When you’re leading a small business, setting digital marketing goals then achieving them can be difficult. For one it is very time consuming, and two you may not have the budget you need to accomplish all of your goals. Luckily, there are some free tools you can use to leverage technology to build an automated digital marketing system.
We recommend taking time to evaluate your target audience and define your buyer personas, then identify their needs. Why are they buying or what would help them move one step closer? Next, you will want to set SMART marketing goals. We offer a free SMART goal-setting template that can help you set goals. Now that you have a digital marketing strategy in place, you can get started executing. Here are 5 tools you can use to automate your digital marketing efforts and start achieving your goals:
- MailChimp – Email marketing is a crucial piece to any business’ marketing efforts. Unfortunately, you do not always have time to sit down and write emails on a consistent basis. Email marketing is most effective when you segment your audience and deliver relevant information that leads your audience closer to conversion. Mailchimp offers the ability to build custom workflow automations that will deliver content based on many variables such as previous campaign actions, list registration dates, last action dates or even purchases made on your website. The best part of email marketing automation is that you are able to be on-time every time. Mailchimp certainly is not the only email marketing platform that does this, but it is our favorite.
- Zapier – Zapier is freemium service that lets you setup custom cross-platform workflows. Much like the Mailchimp automation, you can setup workflows based on actions or timing. With Zapier, you can create workflows between numerous platforms, which can make managing your marketing database much easier. With the free service, you are limited on the integrations you can use, but you can still get access to a lot the most popular platforms.
- Kit – Social media done well is very time-consuming. To produce original, quality social media content, you must have a strategy, shoot the photography, make edits, create assets, write posts then schedule them. Many times, small business owners are on the move, so they’re not at a computer long enough to get all of those tasks done. Enter Kit. Kit is a social media virtual assistant that uses text messaging for job orders. Kit walks you through a short question answer process for each post, and you can either submit content from your phone or Kit will uses existing brand assets like product photos from your website. Kit is really best suited for retail ecommerce, but can be utilized for other types of businesses as well.
- HubSpot – Now we are getting into paid resources, but this level of services far outweighs the cost. HubSpot is the leading inbound marketing platform, and with HubSpot you can build out robust automated workflows based on deep audience data. HubSpot is truly best-in-class for lead generation and nurturing, so you get some amazing tools through their platform that let you base your workflows off of user activity on specific pages of your website or emails. You can also integrate other services like SurveyMonkey to collect more data and build even more detailed automations.
- Emphatic – Another paid service, but relatively inexpensive compared to doing everything manually, is Emphatic. This platform use information you input about your brand, content, audience and news sources to generate social media content. They primarily produce content that contains links to articles, blogs or other outside content, but this is great for maintaining a consistent content calendar so you can focus on growing your business.
There you go—our best kept digital marketing automation secrets. Use them wisely and frequently, but before you do, be sure you have a strategy and you have set SMART marketing goals. Otherwise, you’re just spraying and praying, and that’s not good for your brand or your audience