5 Things Your Business Should Automate For Better Results

5 Things Your <a href=business Should Automate For Better Results" width="768" height="512" />

Automation has numerous applications and can help in many aspects of your business.

It can help you make routine, repetitive tasks more efficient. If you automate these tasks, your employees will be free to use their skills for more complex jobs. This improves your firm’s resource utilization and cost optimization.

Another benefit of using business automation is that it reduces the probability of errors in manual processes. Automation can optimize processes so that they are completed in less time and with more accuracy.

Here are 5 things your business should automate for better results.

1. Customer support

One of the most popular use cases of automation in business is leveraging chatbots to answer customer questions and provide support. Businesses from different industries around the world have started using chatbots for customer service. And, for the most part, customers prefer interacting with bots as it saves time and provides instant problem resolution.

Here is the level of acceptance of chatbots in customer service by customers worldwide.

Customer Support for <a href=business automation" width="810" height="505" />

Image Source: Statista

Automating customer support provides numerous benefits for your business, without any large investment costs. Here are some of the key benefits of customer service automation:

  • Fast problem resolution for all customer challenges.
  • 24 x 7 customer support to serve your customers around the world.
  • Lower average time per interaction, allowing you to support more customers in less time.
  • Improved customer experience due to instant and better support provided by chatbots.
  • Cost savings in the long run as automation frees up human resources to be better utilized somewhere else.

Overall, customer service automation can provide a lot of benefits to your business. And, it is very easy to set up with the numerous chatbot tools available online.

Aivo is one such platform that can help you create a chatbot to support your customer service team. Their AI-powered, context-aware chatbots can handle even the most complex customer queries to improve customer experiences.

They can also help you cut down your customer service costs. Movistar, a major telecommunications brand, for example, used Aivo’s AgentBot to reduce their customer service costs by more than 30%.

Movistar used Aivo Agent Bot for <a href=business automation" width="810" height="483" />

Image Source: Aivo

2. business processes

Automating day-to-day routine and repetitive tasks is a great way to improve efficiency and productivity. Using business process automation, you can improve resource utilization by leveraging employees for more skilled tasks. business automation can take care of the tedious, routine tasks and employees can use their time to do more complex tasks.

There are several business processes that you can easily automate to make those more efficient. You can, for example, automate your procurement process using automation software like PurchaseControl. You can use it to automate tasks like invoicing, purchase orders, accounts payables, inventory and supply management, etc.

Automating these tasks removes the scope for human error and makes these more efficient, both in terms of accuracy and time. This helps you achieve cost savings in the long run.

3. Sales and lead generation

Another area where automation can help your business is sales. You can automate sales and lead generation processes that do not require much skill and are repetitive.

Here are examples of a few tasks that you can automate:

  • Replying to every lead generated via contact/registration forms on your website to instantly qualify your leads. You can respond to thousands of such actions, which would not be feasible manually.
  • You can leverage chatbots for lead generation for your business. Bots can be used to make product recommendations, cross-sell, and upsell products and services.
  • Automation software can also be used to alert sales representatives to follow-up with new leads.
  • Lead scoring is another area where automation can help your business. You can score every interaction you have with a customer and rank customers. This can help you target each lead differently.

These are just some of the many tasks that you can automate to make your lead generation and conversion process more efficient.

4. Marketing

While marketing is definitely an area that requires manual input, there are some aspects that can be automated. Content marketing and Email marketing are two aspects that can greatly benefit from automation.

Here are some processes where you can use marketing automation:

  • Content Curation. You can’t always create fresh content for your social media profiles and that’s where curation helps. There are several content curation tools that automate the process and provide you with relevant content from around the web.
  • Email Retargeting. You can automate your Email marketing to send emails at strategic moments to retarget customers. You can send an email to retarget people who abandoned their carts, for example. You can also retarget your existing customers after a specific time duration and encourage them to make a purchase by offering them discounts.
  • Content Scheduling and Posting. You can use a tool like Buffer for social media content scheduling and automated posting. This will save you a lot of time spent on these routine tasks. This is time you can spend on other marketing tasks.

5. HR processes

Just like other areas of your business, the HR department can also benefit from business automation.

Here are some of the HR processes that are ripe for automation:

  • Employee time-tracking. This HR process can be easily automated and provides multiple benefits. For one, it makes the process accurate and error-free. Also, it is more convenient and saves time that employees spend on manually making time entries.
  • Employee onboarding processes. AI and chatbots can help automate this process. Chatbots can guide new employees on the steps they need to follow to acclimatize themselves with their new company and work environment.
  • Payroll. This is another area that can benefit from automation and help you make faster, more accurate salary calculations. And, there are payroll automation tools that you can use for this.

Conclusion

Automating your business processes can offer you a number of benefits including cost-savings and resource optimization. Automation can be applied to all areas of your business especially the ones mentioned above.

This post lists just some of the many potential applications of automation in your business. Start automating your business processes and reap the benefits, if you’re not already doing it.

Guest author: Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, Content Marketing, and SEO. He is the co-founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. Find Shane on FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram, and Linkedin

The post 5 Things Your business Should Automate For Better Results appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts? 

Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience.

However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base.

via GIPHY

#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them.

Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening.

We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts. 

Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you.

I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free.

B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages.

How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too.

That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages.

To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive.

Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility.

It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories. 

The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.”

Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that! 

Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest.

Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset. 

Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience.

Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face:

B2B Podcasting Face

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.