In recent years, marketing automation has become standard practice for many companies, not least B2Bs. But without a good content strategy and good content marketing, success is difficult to obtain.
Automating your marketing sounds appealing. The right message to the right person, through the right channel at the right time. All scheduled, automated and optimised. It sounds like a dream for every marketer. But unfortunately your investment in marketing automation can easily turn into a nightmare if you do not do the right things in the right order.
1. Create a long-term content strategy
Regardless of whether your marketing is automated or not, you need a content strategy. You need to know who you want to reach, what they want and which channels you can use to reach them. You need clear and obtainable goals for your marketing and you need a long-term plan for reaching them. Many are careless with their content strategy, which often leads to failure. They create content that their target group doesn’t want or distribute it through the wrong channels. Soon automated marketing turns into an automated failure.
2. Create a content plan
Before you begin using marketing automation, you need to investigate what content your target group wants, which stage of the purchasing process they want it, and in what format. How your customers make purchasing decisions should be the base for the content that you create, and your content must engage and inspire your audience through all stages of that decision making process.
Making a content plan and producing content takes a lot of resources. Therefore start within a defined area, such as a product category or a specific target group, and test the waters.
3. Do it again and do it right
Working with content marketing and marketing automation is a long-term project. You’re not going to see quick results and over time you will probably see that parts of your content strategy and content plan need to be changed and adjusted. Being agile is crucial. Test, evaluate, do it again and do it right. Again and again. This way you will see what works and what doesn’t work. Do more of what works and stop doing what doesn’t, and slowly you will build up automated marketing that provides clear results and helps you reach your goals.