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How to market like a human in the age of automationDoes marketing automation make you feel like you’re nothing more than a “contact” or “lead” in a company’s CRM? Well, it’s because you are. Marketing automation works on the basis of signals – inputs and outputs. Until you enter enough information for the AI ​​to understand what you want, the output will not reflect your needs and wants.

As a marketer, how can you empathize with your target audience and how marketing automation makes them feel to create better user experiences?

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation uses software to automate marketing activities such as sending emails, posting to social media, moving leads through the marketing stages of your CRM, and serving ads. . Marketing automation helps businesses send the right message to the right audience at the right time and in the right place.

But sometimes things go wrong. Don’t blame the machine, however. He does what we tell him to do.

Marketing automation: good and bad

Let’s start with the bad.

Every January I start the New Year by cleaning up my inbox and unsubscribing from the many lists I have joined over the past 12 months. Many of these subscriptions started with a download or purchase. But what was once useful has turned into an onslaught of messages that I now ignore.

It seems that brands are frantically trying to stay in the foreground with every online interaction. Between pop-ups, emails, and remarketing ads, this creates content fatigue. I want to tell them, “Calm down. I will remember you when I need your products and services. « 

Now the good.

As an inbound marketing agency, we also use marketing automation. However, our mission is to help our clients make real, human connections with their audience. We use AI to understand the interests, needs and behaviors of buyers. Then we use that data and that automation to deliver authentic, buyer-centric messages.

HubSpot explains it best. “Good marketing automation takes into account the changing needs of your prospects, as well as the behaviors and interactions they have with you across all of your marketing channels. Not just emails. Using behavioral inputs from multiple channels such as social media, viewing a pricing page, or consuming particular content gives marketers the context they need to fully understand the challenges of a prospect. « 

Below are a few ways you can use marketing automation to build authentic human connections.

Use data to segment your audience

Your marketing automation will only be as good as the data that triggers it. It takes a combination of explicit and implicit data to ensure that your marketing automation creates a personal connection. Explicit data is collected from forms and surveys, including the contact’s name, address, job title, company, and team size. Implicit data provides information about the interests of your contacts, such as the types of content they download, the number of times they open your emails, the product-related content they click in the emails.

The magic works in both types of data. They both play a critical role in determining where your prospects are in the buying journey, segmenting your prospects, and tailoring your message to their needs.

Email automation

One of the benefits of email automation is that it allows us to maintain a consistent flow of email communication with our contacts. A common abuse of email marketing is sending messages too often or enticing them to make a purchase. Instead, use email marketing to nurture relationships with your audience by regularly communicating with useful information.

Adobe’s Email Usage Study reveals the four things people find boring about business and personal email.

The four things people find boring in business emails:

  • Sent too often by email (38%)
  • Marketing data about me is wrong (25%)
  • Too wordy / poorly written (24%)
  • Invite me to buy a product that I have already bought (21%)

The four things people find boring in personal email:

  • Sent too often by email (43%)
  • Invite me to buy a product that I have already bought (24%)
  • Marketing data about me is wrong (23%)
  • Too wordy / poorly written (23%)

Source: ClickZ: Adobe Email Usage Study 2019

Through segmentation, we can tailor the message to the interests of our audience to build trust over time. We can track our audience’s response and collect data on what they interact with to tailor our message to their interests and needs.

When you send well-written emails that align with your contacts’ main milestones, delivering the right information at the right time, it adds value and helps them along their buying journey. They’ll remember you when they’re ready to buy.

Pop-up forms, cursors and Hello bars

Pop-ups and sliders can be annoying and annoying. Can we use them in a more human way? The answer is « yes » IF you follow some good practices:

  • The content offered in the pop-up or slider is highly relevant to your content and matches the intent of the website visitor.
  • The pop-up improves the user experience.
  • They appear at the right time when visiting the page.
  • Use friendly language and remind them of the value of the content you offer.

The types of pop-ups that reduce friction in the conversion path are on-click pop-ups (forms that appear when a specific CTA is clicked) and slide-out boxes (content offers that slide as visitors scroll. page). These are generally less intrusive than overlay pop-ups because they are triggered by the visitor’s engagement with the page. Use a heat map tool like HotJar to determine how people are interacting with your page to determine where on the page is the right place to trigger a pop-up or cursor.

For more information on how to use pop-ups effectively, check out this HubSpot article.

Chatbots with a human touch

Chatbots have their moment in the sun as the AI ​​behind them has become more and more sophisticated and easily customizable. They are useful in helping your prospects get the information they need quickly, including answering frequently asked questions, directing website visitors to downloadable resources, connecting visitors with sales reps, and putting them in touch. place demos.

It’s helpful to remember that chatbots perform “conversational marketing”. The chatbot has a conversation with a real person who has questions and expects the chatbot to provide quick answers.

The keys to the success of the chatbot are:

  • Give your bot a personality and a name.
  • Use the chatbot to quickly welcome site visitors.
  • Once the chat session has started, ask the user for their name so that the chatbot can personalize the messages.
  • Ask the user qualifying questions.
  • Give the user a selection of options and direct them to the information they want in as few messages as possible.

Social media automation

The saying “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” comes to my mind when I remember the messages I immediately receive when connecting with someone on Twitter or LinkedIn. This type of marketing automation tends to come across as robotic. If someone presents their products or services within seconds of logging in, it’s an alarm signal that they’ve automated their messaging. They don’t know anything about me, my needs and my interests, and they’re not trying to build a relationship with me.

A better way to use social selling automation is to automate manual and repetitive tasks like sending login requests. Don’t automate conversations meant to build trust and engage your prospects.

Scheduling posts is another facet of automating social media marketing. It is common to post the same message on different channels, but this is not the best approach. Users of various social platforms have different expectations about the content of these channels. It is best to tailor the message to the audience and how they consume the content on that channel.

Related article: The danger of cross-posting

Content and SEO

Gaining the top spots in search doesn’t happen by inserting keywords into your content. To rank well in the SERPs, your content needs to match searcher intent better than your competitor’s content. There are technical SEO tactics that help Google figure out what your content is, but these are behind the scenes, in the code on the page.

Good web content flows naturally and is written in a way that humans and bots can understand. As ironic as it sounds, Google bots don’t like content that reads the way a machine wrote it. Incorporating your brand story into your content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO ensures you deliver a cohesive message that helps people and search engines understand your products and services and the issues they are dealing with. they solve.

Related video: Brand story and SEO

How to market like a human

One of the many benefits of marketing automation is that it allows you to communicate consistently with your potential customers at scale. The key to successful automation is segmentation and personalization, making sure you are sharing the right message with the right person at the right time. Continuously assess and test your audience’s engagement with your automated marketing campaigns. When you market like a human, the learning never stops and allows you to reevaluate your funnel, reevaluate your lead score, and refine your brand message to authentically connect with your buyers.

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