There’s no denying a fact that most of marketing tasks we get to perform cannot (or should not) be automated. You cannot automate content creation and link acquisition. You’d better stay away from automating most of relationship building tasks. You cannot fully automate customer service, loyalty building and community nurturing.
However automation can reinforce your marketing efforts and a few powerful automation tools should definitely be on your marketing agenda (especially if you value your time and mind your budget).
1. Automate Your Email Marketing with GetResponse
GetResponse is the prime example of how automation not only saves your time but also discovers new marketing opportunities letting you engage customers exactly when they are ready to act.
It has the most advanced marketing automation features I am aware of allowing you to automate your emails using advanced workflows you can build using a powerful editor:
Here’s how you build the workflows using the visual editor:
That being said, you can send a customized and personalized email to someone who clicked a specific link, skipped your specific email, opted in on a specific date or using a specific landing page.
On top of that, there are more great online marketing features GetResponse offers:
I haven’t had a chance to play with those yet but it would be amazing if those two spoke to their email marketing automation settings too!
In short, it looks like Getresponse is turning into an all-in-one online marketing platform with powerful marketing automation features.
2. Automate Your Social Media Sharing with Viral Content Buzz
ViralContentBuzz.com offers you the most non-intrusive way to bring your content in front of the social media influencers and generate shares: You don’t have to beg for shares, you just add your project for those looking for interesting content to discover and share it.
VCB RSS sharing feature lets you save time on adding projects: You add your RSS feed and whenever you have a new article going live, it will be automatically added to VCB.
This means, as soon as you publish an article, it gets shared by someone outside your immediate following which gives it an immediate social media boost.
Mind that ALL VCB projects go through moderation before appearing on the public dashboards which means two things:
- Automation in no way affects the quality of projects available for sharing
- RSS projects are not immediately added (it takes up to 6 hours to go through the premium review)
3. Automate Your Social Media Updates with DrumUp
There are quite a few tools that allow you somehow automate your own social media sharing. I like and use a few. In this article I am sharing my most recent find which I ended up using more often than the others.
DrumUp has two features I use (which are probably not unique but I like how they are set up):
- RSS to social media: Once you publish a new article, the update goes to your social media streams automatically. I wouldn’t rely too much on this feature though: It’s always best to share a new article manually (So you can make sure your post thumbnail looks nice or you can tag tools and people you mentioned in the article or you can immediately respond to the comments, etc. RSS to social media feature makes perfect sense when:
- You share to branded accounts (Those that do nothing else but broadcast your site updates)
- You plan a long trip and have a bunch of blog posts scheduled and want them to get shared on your social media accounts for more exposure.
- Recurring tweets: Here’s one thing about Tweets you couldn’t help but notice: Their life span is extremely short. An hour after your tweet goes live, no one will ever see it in most cases. You’ve probably seen only a couple of your tweets that lived for a day or two thanks to continuous retweets but that’s extremely rare. That’s why recurring tweets come so in handy. You can automate your tweet to go live a few more times throughout upcoming days and weeks for more of your followers to be able to see it.
4. Automate Your On-Site Advertising Campaigns with Finteza
Finteza is one of the most advanced and independent web analytics suites that comes with a powerful on-site ad management feature. Finteza allows you to create ads, calculate click-through, detect click fraud and even personalize your ads towards specific segments.
Powerful automation features:
- An ability to target your ads to certain demographics (location, device, gender, etc.)
- An ability to schedule ads to avoid having to manually remove them when the pre-paid period is over
Bonus: Automate More with Zapie
Another recent discovery of mine, Zapie offers much more automation opportunities than you could imagine. It works by making any two online apps work together. Some examples of automation opportunities using Zapie:
- Automatically follow new Twitter users that mention search terms
- Automatically create Trello cards from new (starred / labeled) Gmail emails
- Automatically tweet posts from a Facebook page
- Automatically add new Facebook posts to an RSS feed
- Auto-share newsletter campaigns on your LinkedIn profile
A powerful alternative to Zapie is IFTTT (which I know is awesome but I haven’t had a chance to play with it enough).
More marketing automation tools and trends to keep an eye on:
- Automate your customer support with Nextiva’s Auto Attendant
- Automate your social media customer support with Socialbakers
- Automate your social media content creation with Lately
What do you automate in your marketing? What other powerful tools are you aware of? Please share!
Biggest Challenges Facing SEO In 2023
When you’re preparing your strategy for next year, it’s vital to plan for potential upsets and challenges ahead.
This year, SEO practitioners overcame challenges posed by a lack of resources, issues with strategy, and the ability to scale processes.
Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, our State of SEO report finds practitioners anticipate machine learning and AI, Google updates, and the deprecation of third-party cookies to lead the way as the greatest shifts in SEO.
In this article, we’ll summarize key data points from our report, highlight three major challenges in particular, and look at relevant SEO trends that can aid in your strategy development.
Lastly, we’ll discuss the implications advancements in machine learning and AI has on search marketing. Will this new search technology pose a challenge for you and your business? Continue reading to learn what our experts say.
All of the insights here are driven by our first-party survey data in the annual State Of SEO Report.
Summary Of Report Findings
When asked what were the biggest SEO challenges over the last 12 months, respondents stated:
- Lack of resources (14.9%).
- Strategy issues (12.3%).
- Scaling processes (11.9%).
- Pandemic-related issues (11.2%).
- Alignment with other departments (10.7%).
Budget cuts fell from the number one challenge SEO professionals faced in 2021 to number six this year.
However, the fact that lack of resources and scaling processes were top challenges in 2022 suggests that 2021’s budget cuts had a lasting impact.
Looking ahead to potential threats in 2023, we asked respondents to select up to three “biggest shifts” and industry changes in SEO. Here are their top responses:
- Machine learning and AI (18.7%).
- Google updates (18.0%).
- Third-party cookie deprecation (13.9%).
- Google zero-click pages (12.9%).
- Competition for talent (11.5%).
Factors SEO professionals are watching as emergent factors are:
- Machine learning and AI (11.3%).
- Core Web Vitals (10.8%).
- EAT & trusted sources (10.2%).
- Mobile SEO (9.8%).
- SERP features (8.3%).
SEO Pros Often Work With Limited Resources
Lack of resources came in as the top challenge faced by SEOs in 2022.
There’s little doubt that the industry is feeling the effects of budget cuts incurred in 2021, though another reason for the limited resources is that many SEOs aren’t working with large teams.
Over 40% of respondents report working with a team of 10 or fewer members, while roughly 5% said they work by themselves.
Adding new team members may prove difficult in the next year or two.
The State Of SEO Report goes into deeper detail about the challenges facing SEO professionals and what they’re worried about next year.
Recent And Continuing Growth May Prove Challenging
Several of the SEO shifts predicted for 2023 and beyond are potential impediments to growth.
Recent and continuing growth may prove challenging without the ability to scale as a team, and competition for talent is expected to be a major cause for concern over the next two years.
Deprecation of third-party cookies makes it difficult for SEO pros and marketers to sustain recent growth, as they’ll be expected to deliver the same or better results with fewer data.
Strategy Is A Concern For Many SEO Pros
SEOs listed strategy issues as one of their greatest challenges over the last 12 months.
Strategy issues may indicate that SEO professionals are struggling to prove their ROI (return on investment).
While over half of SEO practitioners (58.0%) we surveyed reported an increase in the ROI for their work, many struggled to prove ROI, and 29% of SEO professionals reported feeling ambivalent about their ROI.
In our chapter on Winning Strategies And Measuring SEO Success, we discuss how ROI problems are often the result of a disconnect between a brand’s target goals and the data being tracked.
SEO Pros Expect Machine Learning And AI To Have A Big Impact
Topping the list of biggest shifts over the next two years, as anticipated by SEO pros, is machine learning and AI.
Additionally, machine learning and AI were the top responses when SEO pros were asked to rank what they think will be the most important emergent factors in 2023.
To understand better why machine learning and AI are at the top of everyone’s minds, we turned to our in-house experts to get more context.
Shelley Walsh, the SEO content strategist at SEJ, doesn’t see AI and machine learning being able to replace human decision-making any time soon. Further, she doesn’t advise relying too heavily on AI-powered tools for creating content:
“As a disruptor, I can’t yet see AI being able to replace critical decisions and choices where there are several routes to take, and you have to make a choice based on expertise. The tool is only as good as the person driving it. At the moment, there is a flood of tools powered by GPT-3.
These are great for low-end volume content, such as product descriptions, but they widen the divide and elevate well-researched thought leadership quality content. As niches online become saturated by AI-spun content, the quality will be the only way to stand out. Ultimately, overuse will only have a detrimental effect.”
To see all of the first-party survey data and read more insights, download the State Of SEO Report.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal