As a marketer, how often have you been asked by your board or management to report on the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns?
What was the impact of those blog posts you have been carefully crafting every week for the last three years?
How effective is it posting great content to Facebook every day and encouraging engagement from your 20,000 followers?
How much return are you getting from the company’s investment in Google AdWords, Display Advertising and Facebook ads?
Are digital advertising campaigns really more effective than old school print media, radio and TV?
Over the last three years or more, marketers have developed a range of strategies, usually made up of a combination of SEO (search engine optimisation), PPC (Google AdWords, FB ads, LinkedIn ads and Twitter ads), social media marketing, email marketing and content marketing using customer personas and quality content in a range of formats.
Although traffic to your content and from your advertising channels can easily be measured through Google Analytics, and conversions can be tracked using GA and Tag Manager, often it is very difficult to work out if a business is getting the full return on those potential customers who follow the trail of digital crumbs back to your website.
That issue has been largely addressed by the evolution of a series of Marketing Automation (MA) platforms that can now track those visits to your website using cookies, and start to build a collection of information about each visitor as they continue to return to the site or engage with your brand on its various social channels.
What is the value of visitor tracking to a business?
Knowing how frequently a person visits your website, what kind of content they spend time reading or downloading, where they come from and how they engage with your brand offsite, enables a business to start to populate customer personas with real data, and work out if that person is showing indications that they are ready to buy your products or services.
Marketing Automation platforms enable you to “score” each visitor profile, based on whatever factors you consider to be significant, and then pass on information to the sales team to follow up with them if their score is over a certain level.
Effectively, the platform is delivering a means to determine exactly how effective each marketing campaign (the campaigns you are already spending money on)is in delivering highly qualified leads to your website, at a time when they are either actively researching, or very close to being ready to purchase.
Nurturing prospective customers
Nurturing those leads through the process to a conversion/sale is also carried out through the platform, with a series of carefully planned out pieces of content that are highly relevant to each visitor based on their actions on your site and their engagement with your brand to date.
If a prospective customer starts to show they are not actually interested in your content or information, for example by not opening emails from you, eventually they will be dropped to the bottom of the scoring system, so they are not being pursued by your sales team when they are no longer interested.
Lead nurturing with appropriate, relevant, timely content is an art form in itself, and doing this well should now be the pinnacle of aspiration for any digital marketer worth their salt.
This is not a skill set that every digital marketer possesses as yet, but with the explosion of marketing automation options available, it is definitely something that everyone needs to build their understanding of.
Over the last six months, hairyLemon has been rapidly building our own skill set in this field and taking our clients along with us through a series of hands-on seminars.
If you are interested in joining us on the journey, or would simply like to know more about how marketing automation might fit with your business, please get in touch.