Automating Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Methods for Operating with the Sophistication of a Fortune 500 company at the Small Company Level
Entrepreneurs and small business owners face a slew of daily challenges as they build and grow their businesses from scratch and without the help of a large team. One of the major keys to their business's success is executing a slick online marketing plan which ultimately drives business leads and conversions. But without the support of a large marketing department, how can they efficiently go it alone?
The answer lies in automating the online marketing process. Doing so has become possible thanks to ever-advancing technology and tools which include a suite of tools that integrate a business's core online marketing tactics.
But many business owners and entrepreneurs are still unsure what automated marketing looks like in practice, and how to bring those techniques to reality.
In order to succeed, a business's marketing automation plan must be:
● Simple: Easy-to-manage technology must be used in the sales and marketing process.
● Structured: A business must consider structure and discipline when using sales tactics, transforming what was once considered a burden -- like client management or social media -- into tools that work to their advantage.
● Completely integrated: Small businesses must seek a seamless suite of business tools that work with transactions, CRM, financial software, and even calendar tools.
There are three major tactics that can be employed to help businesses automate their online marketing -- and keep the plan simple, structured, and integrated.
1) Customer Relationship Management / Datamining
A business's online platform should incorporate powerful, easy-to-use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. CRM takes contact management a step further, by giving business owners the ability to build and maintain powerful relationships with their clients.
First, CRM allows you to manage contacts, collecting and storing client information such as names, addresses, email, and phone numbers. This wealth of data allows you to easily reach your customers as needed.
But the greatest value of CRM lies in its ability to follow customer interactions on your business website, tracking growth and demand for certain goods, as well as analyzing communications so clients can be better targeted with business offers and special marketing campaigns. With powerful CRM tools, businesses can increase email marketing and send timely customer follow-ups, or take this information and design loyalty programs and low-cost marketing plans.
One of the most valuable ways small businesses owners and entrepreneurs drive traffic to their business is through referrals. The idea of generating referrals online may seem daunting, but in fact, tools do exist which automate the process.
This recommendations engine automatically links the websites of partner businesses, allowing a small business to work with complementary companies. For example, the website of a lawn service company could be linked to the website of a garden center. This is an enormous time and money saver, as it allows for crowdsourcing of marketing efforts and broadens the circle of trust around your business.
3) Marketing Reviews
With review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor growing in popularity, reputation management has never been more important for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Though it may seem intimidating, tackling reputation management online doesn't need to be an overwhelming burden.
Tools exist which automate reputation management. Marketing Reviews is a technology which actually combs the internet for existing reviews of a business, then takes the positive reviews and sends them directly to appear on a business's website. Publishing these good reviews increases your marketing power without you having to lift a finger.
The tool also considers negative reviews, sending them to the business owner via an easy-to-use, private dashboard. Owners can choose to address the negative reviews or even manually decide if they want to exclude or include them on the site.
Marketing reviews, referrals, and CRM are three examples of powerful tools that allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to automate their online marketing. Businesses will find these tools to be most effective when seamlessly incorporated into an online business platform.