When we’re talking about ways to save time, one tactic reigns supreme—automation. Because, when it comes down to it, automation is about doing your future self a favor. And, while we hear wedding pros talk about automation in a couple different ways, today we wanted to discuss the impact it can have on one particular (and important) area of your business—marketing. So, whether you are curious about marketing automation or are ready to start incorporating these tactics today, read on to learn about what it is and where to start.
What is marketing automation?
Short of actually hiring another team member but sometimes just as impactful, marketing automation is essentially technology that completes specific marketing tasks for you. The technology usually comes in the form of a software you install and/or subscribe to and, after you complete the set up, it reduces the need for you to manually do things in the moment. That being said, using these tools does not mean you can ignore your marketing—it really just means you can use it to complete repetitive tasks and free up your time to work on bigger picture things.
In addition to taking tasks off of your plate, using automation usually gives you additional insight into what is working and what is not. That’s because you are utilizing technology to complete certain things and that technology tends to come with built in analytics. And, with your marketing strategy being something you need to continually refine, having additional metrics to make your decisions off of can help you increase the return you get on your investments.
So, how can you automate some of your marketing as a wedding business owner?
Automate parts of your social media marketing
Social media is a popular marketing channel for a lot of wedding pros but we always hear about how much it stresses people out. From needing to constantly create content, engage with your audience, and (everyone’s least favorite thing) write captions that help communicate your value, it often feels like it crushes you rather than you crushing it. Now, there isn’t a way to fully take social media marketing off of your plate (unless you completely outsource it to a social media manager) but what you can do is use a social media scheduler to help lighten the load. Social media schedulers are platforms like Later, Hootsuite or Planoly that automate the publishing of your posts. Yes, you still need to curate the images, write the captions, and find the best hashtags to use but having the ability to batch your work and then schedule it to publish at a later date can be a huge time saver.
Top-takeaway: Use a social media scheduler to reduce the amount of time you actually have to spend in your social media apps.
Automate your email marketing
Email marketing isn’t something every wedding pro includes in their marketing strategy and, if you are thinking about it, read this piece first. After you have a good understanding of what you can do and what it takes, know that this is a channel meant for marketing automation. From automated sequences you can send to inquiring clients to onboarding sequences for new ones, almost every email marketing platform allows you to set up workflows or automated campaigns. Regardless of what they are called in the platform you use, know that you can pre-write your content and set it up to go out after what is typically called a “trigger event” as well as at a specific pace or time intervals.
Top-takeaway: Use an email marketing platform to onboard your new clients at the pace you want to guide them.
Have you heard about chatbot marketing?
This is likely a new concept for you, so let’s start with what exactly it is. Chatbot marketing is a new digital marketing tool that uses artificial intelligence to automate online interactions with potential customers or clients. It is often used as a customer service tool (it is extremely likely you have interacted with one in the past) but chatbots can also be used to help answer marketing or sales questions.
While we don’t recommend turning over all of your online communication to technology, there are ways it can help when used strategically. For example, installing one on your website to answer basic questions someone might have before inquiring can help you earn their trust—without requiring that you exchange a bunch of emails with them.
Marketing automation can help save you time in a lot of ways and the key is to use it in a way that has the most impact for you. Every business is different, so what really works for someone might not work as well for you. But, now you have some ideas to get the wheels turning and automation started.
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