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Marketing Automation for SMB: What Every Small Business Needs to Know

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Posted by John Beveridge on May 7, 2013 6:43:00 AM

small business marketing automationIs your business thinking about marketing automation for lead generation? An increasing number of small businesses are exploring marketing automation as a faster, more effective strategy for generating online sales leads. Small business marketing automation is the complete package, managing all aspects of lead generation including scoring, nurturing and location-based targeting. But is marketing automation software the right choice for your business? Read on for answers to the top four small business marketing automation questions.

What is small business marketing automation?

According to IMedia Connection, 93% of B2B buyers use search engines to begin the buying process. Marketing automation is designed to make the inbound marketing process easier for your business – minimizing the amount of time and resources required for day-to-day marketing activities. Marketing automation software allows small businesses to manage every aspect of the lead generation process. An integrated marketing automation process attracts visitors to your website, converts visitors to leads with premium content offers and nurtures leads with email marketing. If you use the right marketing automation software, you can segment your leads based on factors like their source, which product line they are interested in and where they are in their buying process. This allows you to target your approach to your prospects based on their specific needs.

Is marketing automation right for my business?

If your business is looking for an affordable way to increase online sales – without spending significant time managing inbound marketing campaigns ­– then marketing automation may be right for your business. A successful inbound marketing campaign has three key components: (1) sending targeted traffic to your website; (2) converting visitor into leads and customers; and (3) analyzing and fine-tuning the process through conversion rate optimization. While initially you may have time to perform each step in this process (and create the necessary content to drive your marketing campaigns), in the long-term your company may benefit from the support of dedicated marketing automation software.

Download How To Conduct An Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign


How do I choose the right marketing automation firm for my small business?

Small businesses owners and managers must wear many hats – one minute you may be working on your business’s marketing strategy, and the next you’re running accounting invoices or talking to clients. An inbound marketing consultant can help your small business streamline inbound marketing, leaving you more time to focus on client relations or creating the perfect product – and less time worrying about marketing metrics.

However, not all marketing automation companies are small business friendly. If you are considering a small business marketing firm for automating inbound lead generation, keep the following in mind:

  • Is there clear pricing on their website?
  • Do they offer trials or demos for a short period?
  • Do their websites include a blog, white papers, marketing tips or other free user-education resources?

If you can’t answer “yes” to these questions, there’s a good chance that this firm is not the right fit for your business. Many marketing firms claim they are small business friendly, but in reality they are focused primarily on large companies and are unwilling to assist smaller companies. Successful inbound marketing campaigns do not have to be expensive. Choosing the right company to automate your marketing strategy should make marketing more affordable and successful – not more expensive and less effective.

How can I use existing content in my marketing campaign?

Inbound marketing campaigns are driven by quality content – even with small business marketing automation software, you still need to be producing content that’s worth sharing. From free eBooks to a company blog, this content is critical to bringing traffic to your website in the first place, and then building relationships with these prospective clients. The most effective content is fresh, creative and adds value to your client’s day. Your clients are looking for direction and insight to their problems; even if a topic has been previously discussed, put your own unique spin on the topic. Remember, effective content marketing is two-way communication; don’t talk at your clients, talk with them.

Creating quality content, however, can be time consuming. When creating content for inbound marketing, try to repackage existing content into smaller pieces for easy sharing. For example, if you have already offered your white paper as a free download, you can still use the content inside for other purposes. Pull out the key facts and convert each factoid into its own stand-alone element; uses these facts as separate blog entries or a daily “tip”. Remember, successful content marketing is solving a problem – not pitching a sale.


If you are struggling to keep up with your business’s marketing needs -- or you are not getting the results you want -- then marketing automation software may be your best solution. Choose the right marketing automation software to match your business’s needs, but don't forget– you still need to publish a regular stream of  your own, high-quality original content. If you don't have the internal resources to create content, consider an inbound marketing consultant.


Topics: Inbound Marketing, Business Management

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