Marketing automation is here, and has made its way into every business and every industry. Using an automation system can help make mundane tasks more manageable and increases your business’s efficiency in the process. No longer will you be a slave to social media or email blasts, as marketing automation can create those posts in advance and develop those drip campaigns that keep customers coming back.

To help you identify ways that automation can make your business more efficient and save you time with your marketing, we asked members from YEC Next this question:

How have you employed some level of automation to improve the efficiency of your marketing?

1. Automate sales and marketing tasks

Working smarter, not harder, can make a huge difference in your business. Keep an eye out for tasks that you do over and over that are similar each time. With marketing automation tools like HubSpot or Active Campaign, you can automate a lot of marketing and sales tasks—all you need to do is think things through. Even if there are some differences, marketing automation can still work; you just need to build a little logic into your automations. —Zack Hanebrink, HookLead

2. Practice what you preach

Being the co-founder of a social media marketing agency, I strive to practice what I preach and implement similar strategies for our internal marketing efforts as we do for our clients. One tool we use to help with automation is called Sprout Social. This helps with scheduling social media content, and I highly recommend it. —Stephanie Cartin, Socialfly

 

3. Automate the right channels to gain traction

Most methods of reaching customers have a way to automate portions of their marketing, such as self-serve tools or specialized marketing agencies. The key is to not focus on channels that don’t have strong returns, since even if you do automate things, you will still need to put in the time to measure results and tweak your formula. We prefer tools like MailChimpClose.io’s CRMHootsuite, and Revealbot. —Paul DavidescuTangoo

4. Use project management tools to organize your automation tasks

I use a project management tool called Swipes, which integrates with Gmail and automatically collects all my tasks in one place. With many things going at once, it helps me stay focused on what is timely, and allows me to share with others what is a priority, so we can continue working on marketing to make the business grow. I also use IFTTT.com to replicate posts and save even more time. —Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

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5. Leverage artificial intelligence to automate content curation

With so much content being produced daily, it should be tailored to your target audience to directly reach your customers. Artificial intelligence (AI) can filter through masses of data in ways that simply aren’t feasible manually. As a result, we believe AI-led content curation is the future for business marketers. —Tom Chalmers, Legend Times Group

6. Plan ahead and learn the curve

There are ways to automate everything, which saves a lot of valuable time. Time savers include automation in social media posts with tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, setting up email auto-replies that integrate with a CRM and/or email marketing platform and/or e-commerce site to trigger activity, pre-planning email marketing and drip campaigns, integrating the Response Assistant on your Facebook business page, pre-posting blogs and articles. —Angela Delmedico, Elev8 Consulting Group

7. Automate to double your sales efforts

For my company, with a very small sales and marketing staff, we heavily rely upon marketing automation to drive our business development efforts. We have built our entire sales process into our automation system. This allows key individuals to be notified and critical tasks to be assigned at the proper point in the sales cycle. —Frank Bravata, Cyber Brigade

 

8. Automate qualification and booking

To save time on having calls with prospects who won’t be a good fit, you should first educate them via automated email sequences on what you do, your philosophy and values, and ballpark pricing. You can also implement an application process that segments based on their answers, and only if they qualify are they are sent a link to book a call in your calendar. —Todd GiannattasioTresnic Media

RELATED: When Automation Does and Doesn’t Work in Social Sales

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