Some elements of marketing will never be replaced by machines. Content creation is something software just can’t do, for example, although it hasn’t stopped programmers from trying. The results typically look about as interesting as binary code, and reading computer-generated or auto-spun text feels like punishment. No automated system can match the sophistication of the human brain when it comes to original ideas and novel content.
Marketing automation can transform how you use, distribute, and monetize your content, however. As the foundation for everything from brand-building to lead generation to customer education to lead nurture programs, content truly is king in the modern marketplace. Marketers need a constant supply of fresh content to engage new prospects and retain customers’ interest. Content that educates, inspires, or entertains will earn lasting customer loyalty and a steady stream of highly engaged new leads. Automation ensures that content gets to the markets that are most receptive to it.
Here’s where content marketing and automation intersect to give prospects the knowledge they want and businesses the revenue they need.
Your landing pages let you speak to a specific audience segment and target your marketing messages with precision. Marketing automation technology gives makes it possible to customize landing pages to a far greater degree, serving up personalized images and calls to action for every lead who visits. Custom contact forms specifically geared to the market segment you’re reaching and the product or service you’re offering have a significant impact on conversion rates, making your audience feel not just acknowledged but catered to individually. Well-designed landing pages also help you pinpoint where a lead is in the buying cycle, which is essential to another element of marketing automation: nurture programs.
Drip Nurture Campaigns
If you’ve been to a beautifully tended garden or plant nursery, you may have noticed systems that deliver water not in a torrent but a trickle. Drip irrigation conserves water by placing it exactly where growing plants need it in precisely the amounts they need to thrive. A drip nurture program follows the same philosophy; instead of expending effort on all your leads regardless of how engaged they are, you deliver the right information at the right time to the right prospect. Marketing automation technology makes drip nurture programs vastly more effective and less time-intensive. Create content that guides leads closer to sales readiness and gives them a reason to progress through your sales funnel, and you’re minimizing effort while maximizing conversions.
To make sure your content marketing nurture flows are fully functional, you’ll need to take advantage of marketing automation’s testing capabilities.
A/B Split Testing
Marketing automation software excels at multivariate testing, also called A/B split testing. With a few clicks, you can create two (or more, if you’re feeling fancy) versions of the same content, then assess how your audience responds to them in real time to determine which produces the best response rate. What used to take marketers weeks using direct mail and days using email can now take place in hours. Because marketing automation lets you customize on multiple levels of interaction, you can run A/B split tests on landing pages, home pages, email, and more.
Marketing automation is one of the easiest ways to reach your audience. When you combine it with compelling content selected for each segment of your audience, your content marketing strategy becomes a lead- and revenue-generating machine.
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