Piece written by Sara Tye, Founder of RedHeadPR.
Whether you like it or not, technology controls almost every facet of our lives. But there is a way for us to use technology to our advantage as entrepreneurs and business-minded people. Here are just some of the reasons why you should all be using tech in your marketing to grow and develop your brand swiftly and successfully.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
The ideal situation for any business entrepreneur is to be able to kick back and relax, engaging in the meatier tasks at hand while the menial jobs are dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. Luckily, there is no longer a need to rely on your own intelligence, let alone others!
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) such as Zapier have been developed in the past few years to fully automate various marketing processes that tended to take a lot of time.
Zapier automatically tracks mentions on social media, sends messages to your list of customers and can even send regular marketing summaries to your email.
With such a powerful tool at your disposal and free plans available, you should not even be thinking about skimming through your social media feed and responding to each of your clients individually to grow your brand.
The dawn of the internet has opened up a whole new avenue for advertising yourself, your products or your services. Yes, digital advertising has been around for quite some time now, but many people don’t realise quite how powerful of a marketing tool it can be.
Perhaps some statistics will entice you. Did you know that more than half of UK businesses increased their digital ad spending in 2021, and a grand total of £15.57 billion was spent in the previous year? Put bluntly, by neglecting this form of advertising and relying solely on posters, brochures and physical events, you are being left behind in a bygone era.
The reason for the fall of non-digital advertising is simply due to the fact that digital ads just work better. Everyone spends countless hours on their phones nowadays, so are much likely to come across a digital advert as opposed to a physical one. The return on investment (ROI) for digital advertising is higher too, and it also takes a lot less time and effort to make a digital ad compared to a brochure, or organising a whole event! Really, the fall of non-digital advertising has already begun.
Now we go onto email marketing. You may be thinking, “But people don’t really use emails as much anymore… social media is a much better way of communicating online these days”. However, emails are one of the most powerful and reliable ways to turn a potential customer into a guaranteed sale.
Conversion rates are the percentage that carried out your desired action from the people that the email was sent to. The higher this is, the more sales you are likely to achieve. The most common technique to increase conversion rates is to create an email marketing funnel.
A succession of emails is sent to a list of potential customers to paint a picture of personal connection. This builds trust and loyalty, and eventually the person will be inclined to go through with a sale.
The average conversion rate of a solid email marketing funnel is between 2% and 5%. Such figures for engagement and subsequent retention is very difficult to manage with regular newsletters.
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Project Management Tools
Project management tools such as Trello and Kajabi have made it a lot easier to assign specific tasks to your workforce.
Whereas before you may have used spreadsheets or simple verbal communication to let employees know what to do next, PM tools speed up the project management process and ensure no one is left with nothing to do and no one forgets what they are meant to be doing.
If it is possible to carry out a certain task automatically, then there is no question that you should implement automation as soon as you can. Even if it costs a little to set up initially, the time and therefore money saved in the long run will likely see amazing returns.
Wufoo for example is an online form builder which allows you to create anything from payment forms to survey sheets by choosing from a variety of templates or dragging and dropping premade textboxes and buttons.
I mean, if you are still making forms by hand you might as well be living in the Victorian era, but Wufoo certainly takes things a further step up by eliminating the need to write code, which used to take days. Not to mention the need to hire a web developer.
You also have the opportunity to use online calendars such as Calendly to automate the appointment scheduling process. Instead of sending emails back and forth between you and the customer, the customer gets to choose when to have their meeting in line with your availability.
How does this relate to marketing I hear you ask? Well, it’s all about making the user experience as simple and straightforward as possible. If even a single customer has a really positive time working with you and using your service, they will be more likely to recommend you to others. And so your audience grows and the cycle continues.
I think the main idea I want you to get from this article is that there are literally no downsides to using tech for your marketing purposes. I realise now looking back that I have basically just listed a bunch of software and sites. But I can assure you that I haven’t been paid by any of the companies, I swear! It’s just that it really is a no-brainer to utilise tech in your marketing strategy.
The greatest advantage is that it significantly reduces time spent on administration and creation, instead allowing you to focus on churning out the highest quality advertising and marketing material.
Thus, the job of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has become integrated with that of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). It is important that the CMO gains a proper grasp of what tech is on offer to gain an upper hand in marketing. Leave it for too long, and it will get progressively more difficult to make the switch from analogue to digital.