How to Scale Your Business With Automation
Scaling requires creating efficiencies in your business that did not previously exist. As your business grows, it needs to not only continue to handle incoming business. As it has before but get better at it over time. After all, a business is only truly scaling if it gets better as it grows. So how do you scale your business without losing the personalization that has resonated with your customers and fueled your current successes?
Leveraging marketing automation tools allows you to send highly targeted messages to leads and shorten the marketing cycle. Automated lead nurturing helps you build relationships with customers through helpful emails, follow-ups, social media engagement, etc. To determine when they’re truly sales-ready.
Simply put, by automating your creative workflows, you streamline repetitive tasks, cut down on errors, and execute faster. And while I’m on the topic, check out our 15 tips for scaling here for more hacks.
It’s the central puzzle of marketing: sending the right message to the right person at just the right time. As you ramp up your marketing machine by launching simultaneous, complex campaigns, it becomes more difficult to do so. To keep up with the complexity and volume of customer and campaign data. You need the right technologies and tools to track, analyze, and optimize your marketing efforts.
Invest in Technology
Technology makes it easier and less-expensive to scale a marketing business. You can gain huge economies of scale and more throughput, with less labor, if you invest wisely in technology.
Systems integration is a prime area for improvement in most businesses. Companies today don’t run on a single system — they may have a dozen or more, but if those systems don’t work together, they create silos, which in turn multiply communication and management problems as your company grows.
In my experience, systems work best when they are integrated with each other. As an example, Dine2Night uses three main tools for the nurturing process.
- A lead scoring tool: This is a playbook that helps you follow up with your customers. It indicates when and what type of contact your customer needs next, whether that’s an email, a phone call, or a LinkedIn message.
- A nurturing tool: Hubspot is helpful for inbound leads via paid social media and website conversion, as well as email marketing.
- An organizing tool: Zapier consolidates all the leads in an Excel spreadsheet so you can organize, categorize, and link your follow-ups. As a bonus, it is linked with the lead-generating tool.
One of the most-effective ways to ensure consistency in business processes is to automate them, because that eliminates most of the human errors that can affect the scaling of operations. It also cuts down on the amount of time that your staff spends on processes that take them away from their core duties, which in turn can affect morale and lead to other issues when you need to scale operations. However, it’s worth paying attention to your marketing infrastructure as well as investing in new software. As you scale your marketing, you will bring in extra staff and ideally attract many more leads, so you have to make sure your processes cover the regular monitoring and upgrading of the infrastructure that supports these areas.
Social media marketing and management tools
Social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic and attention through social media platforms. Your message is different for different audiences and different channels, so you should have accounts on multiple social media platforms. Some of the most popular networks that can be used in both paid and unpaid marketing are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.
SEO is a measurable, repeatable optimization process that is used to send signals to search engines. Notifying them that your site is worth displaying higher up in search results. Thereby increasing the amount of organic traffic that your site receives. Search engines use complex algorithms to assess each site in relation to every search that users perform. To determine which site should rank best for what users are looking for. Some popular tools include Google Keyword Planner, Google Console, and Open Site Explorer. By automating your SEO process, you will receive regularly scheduled updates from Google Console that give you an overview of your ranking, including the top search words and conversion rates.
Image, design, and video tools
People are more likely to engage with posts that contain photos and/or videos because the visual aspect makes posts more-interesting to read. Even when you are on a budget, you can do a lot by yourself. Preferred tools include Visme, Piktochart, SlideShare, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Unsplash, and Lumen. These tools will help you share your message in a uniform and consistent way. Making standardized templates will free up your time, too.
Email marketing isn’t new. As long as you’re using it right, email still one of the most valuable channels for reaching your audience. Understand the open rates, A/B testing, and lead nurturing. Engage the 20% of your customers who will drive 80% of your business. Similarly, instead of creating a design for each and every campaign, your team can agree on a set number of pre-formatted layouts and standard content adaptation rules. Striking a balance between creativity and timely execution can make a huge difference in the number of messages that your limited marketing resources can support.
Another way to scale your campaigns is through dynamic content and program tokens. Tokens are system-referenced data points within an automation solution that adjust contact-presented information based on field values. For example, marketers in a certain industry may need personalized content to capture their audience’s attention to industry-specific trends. Instead of creating multiple emails, you can reference the data values connected to your marketing database. And customize content within the same email, landing page, or any other asset. Popular examples would be MailChimp or Hubspot.
Building a predictable lead-generation machine is challenging. Once you crack this challenge, though, it’s extremely rewarding because it can let you scale up faster. Also, it let you be more selective with who you work with. In the B2B world, most customer relationships begin with content offers, then continue with lead nurturing through the sales funnel. You must understand the full nurturing model and have various types of content (from eBooks to webinars). To serve specific audience needs throughout your funnel. Great tools for this are Hubspot and Marketo.
Automate What You Can, Outsource What You Can’t
According to Forbes, 53% of employees believe they can save up to two work hours a day (240 hours per year) through automation, and 78% of business leaders believe that automation can free up to three work hours a day (360 hours per year). That’s anywhere from six to nine weeks! Automating saves valuable time, but also lets your employees focus their skills on what matters most instead of on repetitive, manual tasks. Activities like employee invoicing, payments, onboarding new clients, responding to new contact requests, and similar routine tasks can be fully automated to help your team focus on critical tasks deserving of their skillsets, without leaving potential customers behind or sacrificing customer service quality.
For what you can’t automate, consider outsourcing. Your team may not be able to design a logo or know the ins and outs of SEO, but that doesn’t mean you need to hire a full-time graphic designer or SEO marketer. Instead, look to colleagues for recommendations and professional organizations to find freelancers. You’ll be able to tap directly into freelancer expertise and skills on an as-needed basis, while saving time and scaling fast.
Similar to outsourcing, more business doesn’t necessarily mean more employees. In his book The Lean Startup, entrepreneur Eric Ries writes, “It’s a really paradoxical thing. We want to think big but start small. And then scale fast. People think about trying to build the next Facebook as trying to start where Facebook is today, as a major global presence.”
“More, more, more” isn’t the automatic answer to business success. After all, Facebook started in a dorm room. Staying “lean” goes hand-in-hand with learning how to scale a business — and it all comes down to doing more with less. Keep costs down, only hire people for the jobs you need done, keep work moving, and constantly listen to your customers.
Become a Successful Scaleur
Scaling is a strategy that can only be mastered by a scaleur who is a dedicated learner and considers real-time business priorities. I hope the article above has helped! Marketing Scaleurs is a scaling company that helps entrepreneurs scale their marketing efforts. We’re experts in growth marketing, product development, and more, creating custom growth plans for startups, entrepreneurs and scaleurs in order to help them gain traffic, generate leads and increase their revenue.
If you want traffic, leads and sales, get in touch and you’ll start getting results in no time!