Internet Marketing Automation- How To Do It Right

by Dominique on April 2, 2014

Web Tools

Let’s face it, online marketing takes a lot of time. Keyword research, creating rank-worthy content, getting that content shared through social media, and building links are all tasks that can suck up a huge amount of time. They can easily take up 40 hours/week each. But still, small business owners, bloggers, and marketers consistently leave all these tasks to one person for one reason or another. But how do they do it? One word– automation.

Putting Online Marketing On Autopilot

When I talk about automation, I’m referring to anything you do that’s handled with by software and/or bots. There are tools available to handle almost every aspect of an online marketing campaign. PPC advertising, keyword research, content marketing and other tasks can all be automated in some way.

Automation makes it possible to get more work done in less time. Online marketing naturally lends itself to automation because it requires a lot of small, and somewhat menial tasks that can be extremely boring. Who really wants to go through and manually find hundreds of keywords, sign up for dozens of social bookmarking sites, or post to every individual social media site?

So automation sounds like the perfect solution for marketers. But unfortunately, there is a dark side to it as well.

How NOT to automate

One of the easiest ways to demonstrate how automation can be a bad thing is just by looking at how SEO has changed over the years. Google has been actively working to put an end to automated link building techniques. There’s a long list of reasons why Google is trying to cut out all of the automation involved with SEO, but one of the key reasons is because it started to create a ton of low quality, irrelevant content on the web.

Let’s take an old, and unfortunately still used, technique that Google hates– article spinning. What marketers were doing (and some still are) was writing an article, spinning it a bunch of times to make “unique” articles, and then posting them to Web 2.0’s and as guest posts.

Now as you’re well aware of, spun content generally is extremely low quality and a lot of the times, it’s barely readable. In other words, the content serves no real purpose outside of hopefully getting a backlink using recycled articles.

Google has been systematically targeting websites with a bunch of spun content and devaluing, or even completely removing them from the search results.

The dark side of automation really stems from the fact that it allows you to get results with little effort. Spinning one article 10 times is a lot more convenient than writing 10 unique articles from scratch. But again, Google hates this and it can ruin your search results.

Your entire internet marketing strategy/campaign should not be automated. That’s probably the number one mistake that marketers and bloggers make. It’s so tempting to load up on a bunch of software, click a few buttons and just watch the money come in. But in reality, that’s just not how things work.

How to automate like a pro

I don’t want you to get the impression that all automation is bad, and that you should do everything manually. That’s not what I’m saying at all. If you have unlimited time, then feel free to do everything manually. But for people who enjoy sleeping and don’t want to stare at a computer screen for 20 hours a day, use these tips for internet marketing automation.

  • Choose high quality tools: Free tools are great, but if they’re severely restricted in terms of features, it might be best to purchase a tool with all the features you’ll need.
  • Don’t set it and forget it: You should constantly monitor any tasks that you’re automating. Just like delegating tasks, automation doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility to get the job done right.
  • Be careful what you automate: Some things require a human touch. Try to stay away from automating tasks that require a manual check like retweeting or re-pinning. Your tool could be re-pinning irrelevant images or retweeting links to your competitor.
  • Don’t automate important tasks: For something that could completely make or break your marketing campaign, it might not be such as good idea to leave it completely out of your hands (i.e. content creation).

What Tasks to Automate

There are several different IM tasks you can safely automate. Just keep the dos and don’ts of automation I mentioned in mind when you do it:

  • Social sharing: You can setup all of the content you publish on your site to automatically be sent out to all of your social media channels. If you’re using WordPress, there are plenty of different plugins available to help you do this for free.
  • Generating leads: Start gathering leads by setting up a newsletter to collect emails. Create an autoresponder series to really take your automation to the next level.
  • Keyword research: There are several tools like Long Tail Pro and Market Samurai that can help you perform your keyword research. As long as you have some basic ideas and seed keywords, automation can work wonders.
  • Social media updates: Similar to social sharing, the regular updates you make on Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest can be automated. Tools like Hootsuite and SocialOomph make it possible for you to load up all of your tweets, posts, and pins, and schedule them to be published whenever you’d like.

Those are just a few examples of tasks you can automate. There are plenty of others that you can do as well like market research and tracking your website’s search rankings. Automation can be great. Just realize that it can create issues if done wrong.

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Article by Dominique Jackson

Dominique Jackson is an SEO manager for NOVA MedMarket, a company that specializes in online marketing for medical professionals.

Dominique has written 2 awesome articles for this blog.

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{ 8 comments }

Ryan Biddulph April 3, 2014 at 4:00 am

Dominique, fab points!

Far and away, I agree with your advice to never set it and forget it. You’ll be doomed on the social front. People will think you’re a bot.

I prefer to set it, and hop back in to engage daily. I’m huge on hootsuite pro; I’m even an affiliate and that’s a big deal because I’ve only used a few products long enough and trust them enough to partner in on them.

As for automating, be human too. Make updates interesting, intriguing, and entertaining, but most of all, do what it takes to manually engage, or to at least engage through tools here and there to prove that you are a person, not a bot.

Doing this will do wonders for your brand.

It will also give your fingers a break, and your rep a boost ;)

Thanks! Tweeting.

I found this post and left this comment on Kingged.com, the content curation network.

Dominique April 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Thanks Ryan. Good point. You absolutely have to keep everything human. It’s really easy to get hooked on the whole automation thing and forget that fans, customers, etc want some normal interaction too.

Sunday April 3, 2014 at 6:22 am

To tag along with Ryan, these are fabulous points! Many desire to deal with automation, but for best results, it is important to make the automation get a human face.

The idea of not automating important tasks is very crucial for online success.

I think every marketer needs this guide. Its actionable and could very well improve productivity.

I have shared the above comment in kingged.com – the content syndication and social bookmarking website where this post was “kingged” for Internet marketers.

Sunday – kingged.com contributors

http://kingged.com/internet-marketing-automation/

Dominique April 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Thanks Sunday. Finding the perfect mix between automation and manual work makes for great marketing.

metz April 7, 2014 at 12:36 am

Hello Dominique, you have a good topic here. Google Analytics, Open Site Explorer/SEOMoz and Paid Search Management Tools are three tools that is great, big names in blogging world use these for a much easier job, for insightful and actionable work. A must read post.

I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social bookmarking and networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

Geri Richmond April 14, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Hi Dominique,

My tweets are automated and I do use a tool called the Push Button Marketer, which automates logins, tweets and content.

There just isn’t enough time to do everything you should be doing and then, there is this little thing called traffic! :)

You know what I mean. The successful marketers either have a team of people they rely on to get the job done or they have some kind of automation going on.

Thanks for sharing your views on automation.
Geri Richmond

Dominique April 16, 2014 at 10:36 am

Thanks for reading Geri. Yea, it’s nearly impossible to juggle everything that online marketing involves without some type of automation.

Alizaedward May 21, 2014 at 6:15 am

Hello Dominique Jackson,
The whole article is very constructive but you forget to add video marketing that becomes the latest trend that almost every marketer adopts. It will make the online marketing more strong to engage the leads.

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