Marketers these days need to innovate to produce powerful campaigns. And one of the modern-day developments in marketing is automation.
Automation is already taking the front seat in many marketing techniques today, helping generate more sales, boost email conversion rates, and successfully cut customer acquisition costs.
Businesses using marketing automation have witnessed a 14.5% boost in sales productivity and a 12% reduction in marketing overheads, ultimately improving their bottom line.
Moreover, the marketing automation market is expected to reach $14,180.6 million in 2030, with a CAGR of 12.3% between 2020 and 2030, as digital marketing and social media continue to grow.
Seeing its importance, let us check out 4 key trends in marketing automation that are redefining marketing automation in 2022 and how you, too, could leverage it.
4 Interesting trends in marketing automation
Below are the are marketing automation trends that can be implemented in your updated marketing strategy.
1. Conversational marketing with sophisticated chatbots
Chatbots are no longer customer service tools as businesses consider them a key ingredient in marketing strategies that are driven by automation.
Automated chatbots are computer systems that can engage in a conversation via text messages and audio notes. To better serve their customers, 58% of B2B companies already use chatbots, while 42% of B2C websites have done so.
This includes integrating chatbots with different landing pages on the website and social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
For example, when a chatbot gets a question from a first-time user, it may link them to the FAQs page. Such an act would help customers learn more about your company and products to resolve their concerns before purchasing.
Conversely, a chatbot can be programmed to offer a free trial or schedule a product demonstration for a returning consumer, making it one of the essential marketing automation trends for 2022.
How to use chatbots for your marketing strategy?
First, you need to define the actions that your chatbots can automate. For instance, relaying a query to a customer service executive, initiating a refund of an order, taking customer feedback, etc.
You need to determine the type of chatbot you want to implement for automation. Primarily, they are divided into two categories:
- Menu chatbot: Users get different choices of buttons as a possible outcome to their query.
- Keyword recognition chatbot: Chatbots automatically react to user input based on terms/keywords they recognize.
Also, you can check out certain chat widgets that enable leads and site visitors to talk to site owners and marketers. Using such powerful technologies would need you to build a conversational marketing strategy that interacts with your audience.
You can either implement a live chat software or get a CRM or marketing automation software that offers a live chat feature.
Below is an example of personalized and contextual conversation using a chatbot
Now that we have understood how AI works for chatbots, let us dig deep into how you can leverage automation beyond that with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Build connections in an instant!
Quickly connect with your visitors with Live Chat and Chat Journeys.Explore Live Chat
2. Keyword research and content optimization
Content optimization strategy via SEO aims to get your website pages on top of the Google search engines.
Using artificial intelligence for SEO is becoming more common since it can evaluate patterns in data quicker, at a far larger scale, and in real-time than humans can.
AI-driven solutions are helping SEO teams to achieve more, improve the content, recommend new ideas, and even automate certain SEO activities.
Here’s a quick overview of SEO and content optimization goals that you can tap into using AI-powered SEO tools.
Keyword research and rank tracking
Get the power of AI with SEO tools to perform competitive keyword research as these tools offer customized keywords based on your business niche.
AI-driven keyword research
SEO teams would typically go through thousands of keywords, phrases, and queries to identify the ones you need to rank and which keywords they are losing out on.
Machine learning algorithms help create an always relevant content strategy and break it down into small clusters.
There is no need to manually go through the competitor’s site and create audit reports.
Instead, leverage SEO tools that provide competition analysis that helps study, investigate, and optimize your content by looking at what your competitors are doing and how they are distributing their content.
It is important to address technical SEO concerns, as without resolving those, you won’t be able to rank high in search results. SEO tools (to be discussed) check whether Google crawls and indexes your site.
Therefore, improving your chances of ranking on the first page of Google would need you to use advanced technical SEO to remain at the top of the rankings.
Check duplicate content and 404
SEO will negatively impact you if you have duplicate content and 404 pages. Automated tools like Siteliner can help you focus on solutions. Also, you get suggestions on how to repair those issues.
Optimize content for SEO with Deep Learning
Your SEO team may greatly benefit from implementing BERT (Natural Language Processing) to examine your content marketing efforts since Google launched it in 2019.
This is where you leverage a Surfer NLP engine that offers innovative SEO solutions.
Your content team can create SEO-optimized articles written from scratch or edit the existing ones using Surfer’s recommendations.
It adopts AI-powered approaches for SEO, with each top Google search result being monitored and evaluated to enhance your SEO efforts.
It considers the neural networks that allow your teams to determine the user intent that gauges search data like meta tags, search queries, URLs, etc.
SEO tools every marketer can use
If you are looking to benefit from such classification and provide your prospects with content that matches their intent, here are some essential SEO automation tools you can use.
HubSpot’s Marketing Hub comes with a CMS Hub that helps create website pages with reminders to help you optimize each page for search purposes.
Your marketing team can leverage free tools like the HubSpot Website Grader and free SEO classes on HubSpot Academy.
Provide your SEO team with helpful information to make data-backed choices with Ahrefs, a comprehensive digital marketing tool. It has unmatched AI-driven SEO capabilities like:
- Keyword research
- Rank tracking (as discussed earlier)
- Dashboard to keep track of all your data
- Domain health
- Competitor’s backlink
- Issues with your site’s link structure or URL ranking, etc.
One of the best ways to uncover how and where your competitors are succeeding is SEMrush. It is a comprehensive digital marketing research tool that saves time and effort by helping you choose the best path for your marketing objectives.
When you know what your rivals are doing, you may devise a plan to counteract them.
Now that we have awareness regarding content for SEO, it is time to think of leveraging automation for funnel-based content.
3. Funnel-optimized content
Your buyer journey will determine how your business will perform. This means you need to create content for each stage of the funnel and optimize the same with the help of marketing automation tools.
Such practices and marketing campaigns help you in improving your customer engagement.
Typically, there is a sales funnel and a marketing funnel. Sales will have the following touchpoints.
The marketing funnel will need you to convince your potential customers that you have the best solution for their issue and reduce the number of people that drop out at each stage of the funnel. This is where you’d leverage customer lifecycle marketing.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing
Here, you can break the customer journey and pivot resources to craft customized content at each touchpoint within the funnel.
Typically, your Lifecycle Marketing (CLM) should provide an overview of a customer’s journey from discovery to purchase. Different stages will have unique objectives and metrics similar to a sales funnel.
The CLM approach aims to increase lead conversion by prioritizing the customer rather than pivoting resources to improve the bottom line.
High-quality content must be the foundation of any marketing approach. 57% of customers will boost their spending with you, and 76% would purchase from you rather than your competition if they feel connected to you.
All the above KPIs can be gauged by implementing various web analytics tools like Hotjar, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, etc. The inputs will help you create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey.
At each point, there are opportunities to automate better. For example, distributing content is a manual and tedious task. You can automate these tasks with any targeted content distribution tool like Taboola and Outbrain.
It would be best to define your target audience; these tools will take care of the rest.
Consider how a lead enters your marketing automation process, for instance, filling up the form, signing for a free demo, etc. And at each stage, there are certain activities and features to leverage.
Take a quick look at the below image –
For such touchpoint specific-automation, it is best to implement Workflow Automation. If anything needs you to change your automation tactics, it is the audience behavior.
This is where you can leverage behavior automation which involves running A/B tests at each stage of automation. Consider it as an If/Then query that triggers specific actions based on customers’ taking a particular action.
Stay connected at every touchpoint
Level up your marketing efforts with Salesmate's advanced Marketing Automation.Explore Marketing Automation
The marketing automation industry is growing rapidly; hence, many options are available when choosing a marketing automation platform. Here’s a list of the best marketing automation tools and software that you can consider.
Identify content gaps
Analyzing such aforementioned factors for automation leads you to identify content gaps and tailor the content to match customer expectations.
There is a link between the marketing and sales funnel, focusing on all aspects of the customer experience, from awareness-raising to follow-up activities.
Therefore, use marketing automation platforms to build experiences specific to your customers’ needs and objectives. The automation strategy will be more effective if the content is funnel-optimized.
Here, refer to your web analytics and analyze key metrics like average time on page, average session duration, bounce rate, etc. Understand why people came to your site but left without doing anything and look for patterns to fill in the gap.
Once you have that, you need to dive deeper into the content.
Evaluate content effectiveness
Next, evaluate the effectiveness of your content in terms of consumer engagement. This means what did they do after checking out the content.
Here, think of metrics like CTA licks, link followed, etc.
Choose the right media to communicate
If the audience is not engaging enough, consider the media you use on your site. The stats on video engagement showcases that customers highly prefer video-driven marketing.
They’re more likely to engage by watching a short, impactful video about your product than reading a paragraph.
Ultimately, you’d create content that engages your audience without doing a “hard sell” but still conveying that your product or service will add value.
4. Enhanced email marketing automation
Personalization is at the heart of many marketing automation trends that will make an impact if you want your marketing automation strategy to succeed in 2022.
Email automation can help you improve your marketing efforts and optimize future campaigns.
First, automation help creates buyer personas for people interested in engaging with your business and segment the target audience.
This will help you collect customer data, identify things that matter to them and help deliver personalized emails.
Then, you can send emails using automation.
You can measure these metrics with email automation –
- Time spent on an email
- How a particular subscriber interacts with messages
- The sequences they went through
- Their participation throughout, etc.
You need more sophisticated statistics beyond clicks and conversions on individual emails. Instead, opt for email sequence efficiency and effectiveness. This will help you identify communication bottlenecks, providing data on where subscribers tend to lose interest.
To begin, you can collect customer information, organize the same, and use it to send automated emails to the right people at the right time. You can also define actions that trigger such emails.
Typically, an ecommerce business would shoot emails in the following instances:
- Abandoned cart reminders
- Coupons or product discounts
- Information about related and similar products
Ideally, you’d create personalized emails that resonate with your audience’s interests and also share them when the chances of conversions are high.
Emails that make an impact
Send personalized and highly targeted emails with Salesmate's Smart Emails.Learn about Smart Emails
A Gartner report suggests that 63% of marketing leaders struggle with personalization. The same report recommends that marketers overcome personalization bottlenecks by leveraging their existing collection and usage of consumer data.
This is where you can think of machine learning to acquire user data and their behaviors on your website. Moreover, automation empowers you to sort that data.
There is a slew of areas where marketing automation and machine learning may help, which includes the following:
- Provide real-time responses. A marketing automation tool, such as Act-On, may forecast the optimum moments to interact with particular customers based on their prior behaviors and activities in sending an email.
- “Micro-segmenting” your leads and customers. Automation in email marketing comes with the ability to detect patterns quickly and at a large scale, thanks to machine learning. Traditional marketing strategies are sluggish in detecting these groups of customers.
- Testing customer wisdom. When you adopt machine learning, you get prescriptive instructions and access common knowledge and assumptions. This means you may spend more time and effort on creative or strategically essential initiatives.
Here’s an example of an automated email
The example below demonstrates how you can leverage email automation by breaking the form completion process into two parts.
First, capture the user’s name and email address.
But, if a particular user has not completed the form but provided their name and email address — shoot an automated email.
This way, you can use automation to reduce the number of people who leave your forms by collecting their names and e-mail addresses upfront.
Now that you have comprehensive access to four key trends and how to implement those, go on and try some.
Ensure gauging the relevance of these trends as not every trend is meant to meet your business expectations. Consider them when planning your marketing budget and goals.
You may also enjoy these
Automating business processes has long been a luxury for larger organizations, but...6 Min read