10 Marketing Automation and Content Marketing Myths

Marketing automation and content marketing are great tools every SMB to start with, especially since they’re budget friendly.

Unfortunately, many SMB’s don’t have a deep understand of how marketing automation and content marketing work within the digital marketing ecosystem and the work required to make these marketing tactics effective.

This usually results in poor execution and SMB’s not achieving their marketing goals. To help you, I’ve complied a list of the myths I’ve heard (and continue to hear) surrounding marketing automating and content marketing that you should ignore.

1. Marketing Automation Doesn’t Work

2. We Pay for Marketing Automation, But We’re Not Getting Leads

3. Marketing Automation Solves All of Your Marketing and Sales Problems

4. Marketing Automation Means You Can Create Less Content

5. Content Marketing is Cheap and Easy

6. Marketing Automation is The Only Type of Marketing Activity You Need

7. Marketing Automation is Expensive

8. The More Tools a Marketing Automation Tools Has, The Better

9. Marketing Tools Are Only for Big Organizations

10. The Main Purpose of Content Marketing Is to Drive Sales


1. Marketing Automation Doesn’t Work

A sample of my Jumplead Analytics dashboard. Image courtesy of    Jumplead   . No copyright infringement is intended.

A sample of my Jumplead Analytics dashboard. Image courtesy of Jumplead. No copyright infringement is intended.

While some marketing automation tools are better than others. It’s usually not the tool that’s the differentiator, but the people using said tools.

I’ve scoured various websites when interviewing companies (to work for them as an employee or consult their organization) and noticed many companies don’t have a clear understanding on how to use these marketing tools. Going through these websites (and speaking with people at these organizations), I noticed that the marketing automation tool is viewed as a holy grail —  the tool that will bring in the leads.

It’s actually the content that brings in leads.

Marketing automation is a vehicle that carries your conversational content and enables you to interact with your website visitors at various stages of their buyer journey.

While automation is a fantastic tool that can help capture leads, it’s also useless if the organization has no marketing strategy.

2. We Pay for Marketing Automation, But We’re Not Getting Leads

Here are a few reasons why you might not be seeing more leads with your marketing automation tool:

- Your website might not have enough traffic

- The website user experience might be lacking (it doesn’t look appealing or it’s not easy to find things)

- The web copy wasn’t written for your personas and is broad

- The copy could be written poorly (grammar errors and lots of typos)

- Your website doesn’t look professional or consistent (or like your company had an internal argument and couldn’t decide on how your company should present itself)

- The marketing automations (conditional rules and/or workflows) might not have been built properly

- Depending on your marketing automation forms, you might be asking too many questions or not enough at the certain points of your personas’ buyer journey

- Your landing pages aren’t optimized

- Your call-to-actions aren’t clear to the reader

- The content you create isn’t valuable to your target audience

- Your website doesn’t have enough quality content

- Your lead nurture campaigns don’t communicate value or do so in clear manner

- Your downloadable marketing assets (or gated content) don’t provide value to your target audience

- Your marketing assets can be downloaded without requesting visitor information

Think of your website like a plant.

There are various ways to grow a plant (in soil, with aeroponics, hydroponics or aquaponics) but a plant has basic needs: nutrients, light and carbon dioxide.

If any of those are missing or if the quantities are lacking, it can affect how the plant grows.

This is similar to the process in which you use your website to obtain leads. Using one of the examples above,  if your content isn’t “delicious” enough for visitors to stay on your website or fill out a form, this can affect the number of leads entering your marketing pipeline.

3. Marketing Automation Solves All of Your Marketing and Sales Problems

Marketing is an iterative process that can involve various marketing channels (depending on your business model, field, brand, among other things).

A marketing automation tool is a virtual vehicle you can use to communicate with your potential customers by providing value. That doesn’t mean it will solve all of your marketing and sales problems.

Reflecting on what issues are occurring within your organization’s marketing and sales departments might be a good place to start. You might be surprised what insights your team has. If you don’t have a team (or even if you do), you should also evaluate your campaigns and overall marketing strategy to see whether anything can be improved.

No one single marketing tool is the be-all and end-all solution, especially since there’s always the possibility of losing market share in any given channel overnight to a competitor.

4. Marketing Automation Means You Can Create Less Content

Marketing automation means you need more content.

Content should be produced (and shared) on a regular basis. If you plan to enable marketing automation on your website, you’ll need to create downloadable assets for each stage of the buyer journey (Awareness, Consideration, Decision) for each persona you have.

Content also needs to be created for landing pages and emails. Depending on how many personas you have and how their behaviors differ (and how your organization plans to interact with each said persona), some content might overlap.

Which brings us to the myth surrounding content creation.

5. Content Marketing is Cheap and Easy

So easy, you can do it in your sleep. Photo by    Oskar Malm    on    Unsplash  .  No copyright infringement is intended.

So easy, you can do it in your sleep. Photo by Oskar Malm on Unsplash. No copyright infringement is intended.

Content creation requires planning and time to create. While content is cost effective (you’re not paying for ad space), you’re allocating time and effort to create said content.

While content (blog posts, articles, social media posts, downloadable assets, etc.) can add value to your brand, you should calculate how long it takes to create from start to finish. There are a lot of misconceptions on content marketing with regards to how easy it can be.

Having a marketing plan in place makes it easier in the creation stage. Within your marketing plan, you should have a content marketing strategy and, at the very least, outline your content pillars.

Planning effective content can save you significant time.

6. Marketing Automation is The Only Type of Marketing Activity You Need

I’ve written about the importance of a marketing plan and the misconceptions of relying on one marketing tool to increase your leads/customers.

There’s no one pill solution.

If you decide to include marketing automation in your marketing plan, it’s a great idea as it can help your organization obtain more leads and customers.

7. Marketing Automation is Expensive

I’ve written an article that outlines 12 budget marketing tools that can help you grow your business, which includes affordable marketing tools.

If you’re on an extremely tight budget and already self-hosting your website using WordPress, you can download Mautic to your server. Jumplead is also another affordable marketing automation tool that will set you back USD $49/month.   

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

8. The More Tools a Marketing Automation Tools Has, The Better

More buttons can mean more problems. Photo by    chuttersnap    on    Unsplash   . No copyright infringement is intended.

More buttons can mean more problems. Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash. No copyright infringement is intended.

More features doesn’t mean the marketing automation tool is better.

I’ve been asked by a few companies what marketing automation tool they should use. My reply is usually, “it depends.”

There are many factors that should be considered before purchasing a marketing automation tool:

- What type of workflow logic based automation rules do you need?

- How much does the marketing automation tool cost?

- How much of your budget can be allocated towards a tool per year?

- What features are you receiving for said plan?

- If you want more features, does it cost more?

- How many users would currently need access?

- How many future users need access?

- Is the marketing automation tool easy for you (and the other users) to use?

- Do you need restricted access for select users?

- Does it integration easily with your website?

- How many contacts do you plan to have in your CRM/list?

- What is the average number of website visitors you have each month?

- How many subscribers and contacts do you plan to obtain through your marketing efforts each month?

- Do you have any CRM or marketing automation tool now?

- How many emails do you plan to send monthly?

It’s best to figure out what features you need first, as this will make the process of picking a tool easier. Once you have your buyer personas drawn out, the next step should be writing out the the marketing automation process, as this can help you figure out what type of conditional automations you’d need.

This is important as you can ask this when you are going through company demos. Also note, if you ever decide to move to a different marketing automation tool, the switch will be easy as you already have the process written out.

9. Marketing Automation Tools Are Only for Big Organizations

While major organizations might have more resources (money, manpower, etc.), they tend to lack in agility. As a small organization, you have the ability to fail fast and create processes from the ground up.

Small to medium-sized businesses can use marketing automation and content marketing to take on larger organizations. While content can take a lot of time to create, it’s cost-effective and helps build brand value.

Creating content for your respective personas for each stage of their journey helps you add value at every touchpoint a prospect can potentially have with your organization. When executed properly, this positions your organization to be trustworthy, professional and personal.

10. The Main Purpose of Content Marketing is to Drive Sales

While this is true to a degree, value for the end user should be at the forefront of your content marketing strategy.

It becomes very apparent when it’s not. When content such as articles and blog posts read like they have an agenda, it’s easy to spot. People are searching for things online to solve their pain points, so content should focus on that.

Focus on value, the leads will come.

Conclusion

While I’m not a huge fan of quotes, the following rings true:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Marketing automation and content marketing might seem like daunting at first. Like any big goal or major project you’re trying to accomplish, they become more approachable when they’re broken into smaller tasks. With the right mindset and a marketing plan in place, I know you can grow your SMB using marketing automation and content marketing in your marketing tool belt.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section!  If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with someone you think will find the content useful.

Also, let me know if you see any errors or outdated information!

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