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The word automation doesn’t exactly evoke excitement. However, automation doesn’t have to mean mundane and robot-like. In marketing terms, automation can help promote brand consistency, which in turn, can create reliability and trust.
As entrepreneurs, we all know what it’s like to take part in endless back-and-forth email chains with clients. When we talk about efficient client communication, email isn’t necessarily at the top of the list. Client communication shouldn’t have to be so difficult, especially when it comes to content approvals for example.
Fortunately, there are many cases where automation can come in to save the day, as well as your client relationships. Automation can make all the difference; just check out these four ways it can help your startup below.
Automate content approvals
Soliciting your clients for approval can often be as much of an ordeal for you as it is for them. With continuous conversations and the influx of information, it’s important to establish clear and organized funnels of communication. The less work for your clients, the better. If neither side benefits from endless emails, it sounds like a lose-lose, right?
With projects come emails and attachments, along with emails about those attachments and general feedback discussions. What could be a simple email can snowball into a larger, more complicated ordeal. Often, more people who are related to the project get involved just to ensure that everyone is up-to-date. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Though email is consistent and mostly universal, its disparities tend to outweigh the benefits of its transparency. Using a tool that automates the approval process can help your team notify the right people at the right time, gather feedback from clients and stakeholders, and move the process along for you until everything is approved. No excessive emailing necessary.
When email is taken out of the mix, the workflow between your internal team and external clients or approvers can be significantly streamlined. It allows you to communicate with clients via email only when it’s vital, and dedicate more of your time to concentrate on other aspects of your campaigns, like audience engagement and customer analysis. Instead of keeping up with last week’s email chain, your clients can also be involved in other areas of your work, such as the brainstorming stage, rather than simply acting as final approvers.
Automate the feedback process
There never seems to be enough hours in the work day, but you can save a few when you automate the process of gathering feedback. With an automated feedback process, your team can cut down the time it takes to gather client requests for project revisions, as well as content approvals. Instead of bombarding clients for feedback and suggestions, have an automated process notify them at the right time, which helps keep workflows consistent.
With an automated feedback system, your clients can include their input directly on projects when it’s their turn, removing all confusion about whose feedback is needed and at what time. Ultimately, distractions can be greatly reduced through feedback automation, and efficiency can be greatly increased.
Automate learning more about your clients and their industries
Staying up-to-date on the latest news and tools within your client’s industry should always be a top priority. While it’s easy to make a promise to stay informed, it’s vital that you make it a habit. Market knowledge is the best advantage over your competitors. By automating your learning, you can make a solid commitment and impress your clients when you sound like an expert.
You should always be learning and improving your techniques, alongside ever-changing technology. Automating your learning can be as simple as scouring the web for current trends and events. Our team does a weekly news scan, where we search for our favorite buzzwords so we can stay on top of the latest marketing news. When you’re not scouring the web for the latest trends, make sure to enable Google Alerts that will notify your team at any mention of your brand, client, etc.
In addition to Google, there are all sorts of tools out there to assist your automated learning. It can be as simple as subscribing to a news site or downloading a new app to do the work for you. Feedly, for example, is an application that automatically compiles personalized news from multiple channels on one platform. There’s no excuse for being uninformed when there are so many tools to do it for you.
Automate your reporting
For the number crunchers and non-number crunchers alike, data is important. Clients want to know that you’re doing your job and numbers always seem to do the trick. You also know that working out analytics can be a chore unless of course, you automate your reporting. Simply telling your clients that your “numbers are up” isn’t going to cut it.
Tools like Google Analytics are a must. An automated reporting system can help track the traffic to your website and provide the numbers to help you evaluate progress. By consistently evaluating metrics and automating your reporting, you can show your clients positive growth over time.
When you’re representing a brand or a client, consistency is not just important, it’s necessary.
Thankfully, automation and consistency go hand-in-hand. Speaking from experience, when communication is unorganized, the whole work equilibrium can get off balance.
Using automation tools can help you regain that balance and encourage collaboration between your team and your clients, alike. Once you automate normal tasks like getting content approved, gathering client feedback and reporting on your efforts, it’s quite simple to make a habit out of it.