5 of the best marketing automation tools
Consumers today are digitally-savvy and seek to satisfy their information needs in many ways. The list of communications channels is as diverse as it is long: social media, web, email, video and apps are just some of options available.
It’s no wonder that for marketers, keeping up with this constantly evolving communications landscape can be daunting. How do you produce quality content on each channel that will maximise your audience reach as well as cut through all the noise?
Marketing automation platforms can help. These cloud-hosted software tools automate repetitive marketing tasks, leading to increased efficiency and reduced human error.
You should bear in mind that a workflow should only be automated if the steps are complex enough to warrant the effort. A small company with relatively simple workflows may not need automation.
On the other hand, if you have complex processes that involve CRM integration and ROI monitoring, automation could reduce the opportunity for human error and free up your time for higher priority lead-nurturing tasks that drive revenue.
There are countless tools to choose from. The platform that is best suited to your business will depend largely on your budget and feature requirements. Some look specifically at social media marketing, others at multi-channel marketing. To assist your decision making, we’ve put together an overview of five of the best platforms in the inbound marketing industry.
Hubspot is the ultimate inbound marketing tool which focuses heavily on the inbound process. It provides tools that will help with your blogging, social media, SEO, landing pages and marketing automation. As it acts as a content management system, there are options to build your company’s entire website in Hubspot, enabling personalised content for your users and sophisticated reporting and analytics.
Oracle Eloqua automates the lead generation process. It comprises a database which stores prospect and customer information, an emailing platform and a website monitoring system which tracks customer behaviour such as responses to emails and web pages visited. You can set up automated email campaigns based on certain triggers such as when a visitor downloads a pdf. It enables you to engage with the right audience at the right time in the buyer’s journey.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that enables the scheduling and posting of updates to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and others from the Hootsuite dashboard. It’s ideal if you are managing several profiles as you can schedule multiple types of content such as text, links, photos, videos and animations directly to your social profiles from the dashboard.
Raven manages SEO, Pay Per Click, social media and content marketing. It integrates competitor and keyword data from various sources including SEOMoz and SEMrush so that you can make informed campaign decisions. With its real-time social stream, you can monitor when consumers are talking about your brand, enabling you to participate in conversations as they happen.
Marketo has a range of small, medium and large business solutions for moving leads through the sales funnel. It is used by both B2B and B2C marketers to prioritise prospects based on demographic and behavioural criteria. You can report on various customisable metrics such as landing page, email and campaign performance.
Depending on your needs, there will be different levels of financial commitment and effort required in getting your chosen system up and running.