Marketing automation is a critical component of every effective lead and investor development workflow. It offers opportunities that no amount of personal, manual attention can provide, and it multiplies the odds of any one prospect becoming a lead and, in turn, becoming an investor in your region. You’ll also generate more prospects and leads overall.
So, what should you automate? And how should you do it? Continue reading below to discover the three main forms of marketing that stand to benefit the most from automation and market-leading software you can use to do it.
Email may be positively ancient compared to the latest forms of social media but it remains one of the most lucrative ways – in terms of sheer return on investment – to nurture and develop potential investors. In fact, according to a report by Ecoconsultancy, 73% of companies rate email marketing’s ROI as either good or excellent:
But you obviously can’t just hand your teams a bunch of investor leads, let them loose on email, and hope for the best. Email marketing automation allows you to segment your audience using advanced psychographics and demographics, create custom and automatic email sequences that build on the content your potential investor has engaged with in the past, and retain and analyze data on what types of content perform well with your audience and which ones fall flat.
Social media automation is a powerful addition to your marketing toolkit. The best tools let you schedule content, repost high-performing content, stay aware of any trending or developing topics your brand or region is involved in, and offer actionable insights into how to create future content. They’ll also integrate with the platforms most useful for B2B marketers, like EDOs:
Note: This stuff should come with a warning label, though: DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED. Social media is meant to be a conversation with your audience, not a monologue delivered by a disembodied voice behind a computer monitor or phone display. It’s not enough to schedule a bunch of tweets and wait for the likes to come rolling in. You need to actively engage with your audience in an authentic way and use your social automation tools as an adjunct to your strategy.
Not all B2B marketing has to be outbound. Your blog, your landing pages, and your web presence are all important touchpoints that impact how potential investors view the region you’re promoting and your own organization. Crucially, this entire audience is made up of people who sought you out. Turning them off or repelling them with ineffective copy, design, or messaging is a surefire way to lose investors.
And the only way to know if you’re doing an acceptable job at inbound is to track, store, and analyze the data left by visitors to your owned media. The best inbound automation software delivers a comprehensive view of your inbound audience’s behavior and provides usable insights into how you can improve your digital properties and the content you offer.
The B2B Distinction
Before you rush out and sign up for Mailchimp or ConstantContact or any of the other mainly B2C solutions on the market, consider whether a more robust B2B solution is actually what you need.
B2B marketing automation tools typically consist of more fleshed out, more flexible – and more expensive – platforms that can better suit the needs of an EDO with an expansive and sophisticated audience.
We don’t mean to say that a B2C solution definitely won’t fit the bill in your organization. We just mean that you should consider your needs before you jump into a commitment with a product that doesn’t include the features you’ll need to take full advantage of your opportunities.
With that in mind, here are two of the tools we’ve tried and found useful for connecting with our own audience.
Hubspot Marketing Hub
Hubspot is the marketing automation platform we wound up choosing at ROI and our sister company, Gazelle.ai. It’s a well-rounded collection of integrated software that includes customer relationship management, marketing automation, and more. If you choose, you can migrate your sales and operations workflows to Hubspot, or make use of their content management system.
In short, Hubspot allows you to automate social, email, and inbound and ensure investors’ experience with your organization is holistic and unified.
It doesn’t come cheap, however. While Hubspot does offer free and inexpensive subscriptions, these are not really ideal for EDOs with sizeable audiences. To reach investors at scale you’ll almost certainly need to shell out at least $800/month (and probably more). We’ve found it’s more than worth it. (And, no, we’re not affiliates.)
Adobe’s Marketo Engage platform is a market-leading B2B marketing automation platform used by tens of thousands of major firms around the world. It’s ideal for EDOs with large audiences looking for AI-driven segmentation and personalization capabilities combined with cross-platform retargeting features that let you speak to your investors in multiple online locations.
Like Hubspot, Marketo Engage syncs with common sales platforms and delivers state-of-the-art descriptive and predictive analytics. Also like Hubspot, it ain’t cheap. Pricing starts at around $900 per month after your free trial ends.
Door #3: Active Campaigns
If you’re not yet ready to shell out hundreds of dollars per month on a comprehensive B2B solution just yet, you can also check out Active Campaign. This is primarily a B2C platform but it’s fairly powerful and offers EDOs a ton of functionality that stands head-and-shoulders above manual processes.
At the end of the day, how you automate your organization’s market will depend on the size and scope of your firm. But we can confidently say that virtually every EDO will benefit from this technology as long as it’s implemented and utilized properly.
And if you’re worried about that “proper implementation and use” bit, ROI Digital Labs can help you select the right marketing automation solution. We also help EDOs who already have an automation suite installed better utilize what they’re already using. Think of us as your friendly neighborhood…ummm…economic development helper-outers. Above all, just be sure you never lose a lead again by automating your marketing process.