You know you need to market your franchise, but how can you when you’re buried in other important tasks? The answer might surprise you.
Automated marketing isn’t as robotic as it sounds. When done right, it can create the personal connection you want with your customers without sucking hours out of your day. Technology has come a long way to make this possible. The best part is, it’s easy to set up and use - that is, when you know what’s available.
Here are three ways you can automate your marketing and keep your franchise in front of potential customers.
1. Start Your Social Media Advertising Engines
Think advertising takes a lot of time? Think again.
Advertising on social media is as easy as setting up an ad and letting it run in the background to attract new leads. Most platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, let you narrow in on your area so you can attract people only within your target market.
To create your ad, choose a picture, write a few lines of copy and decide on your audience. Then, let the ad run in the background for as long as your budget allows. You don’t have to go to long meetings with a sales team or be bombarded month after month to renew your contract. It’s a “set it and forget it,” effective approach to advertising locally.
2. Schedule Your Social Media
Keeping up with your social media can feel like a time drain. Unfortunately, today’s consumers demand an active social media presence to know your business is alive and kicking.
Instead of relying on yourself to carve time out of every day to update your platforms, automate your social media posts! Using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer, you can schedule your posts weeks in advance. Here are a few of the best types of posts to schedule ahead of time:
Promotions for upcoming specials
Articles you want your audience to read
Events being held at your place of business
Because it’s you who is scheduling these posts, you can still make them sound timely, interesting, and personable. No one will know it’s really being posted by a robot on the day it goes live.
3. Create a Funnel
Do you have something to give away for free to your customers? Be sure to capture their contact information in exchange for a giveaway and then create an automated followup funnel.
Here’s what that looks like:
Create a giveaway, such as a free soda at your restaurant or free guest pass at your fitness club.
To redeem the offer, ask your customer to give you their email address.
Using an email marketing program, such as Mail Chimp, create an automated funnel to touch base with these customers regularly while they’re interested in your business.
You decide how long your funnel continues and how it works. For some businesses, you might only want to touch base a handful of times. Others will want to create a longer follow-up series to nurture the lead. The length depends on how long your sales process is usually.
Ready to Automate?
Don’t spend more time than you need to on marketing. With the tools available today, you can capture and nurture more hot leads with automation.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.