Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant who assists startups and big brands to be more successful with their content marketing, SEO and social media efforts. A regular blogger, speaker and writer, Honigman is a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and other major publications as an expert on marketing and business.

Q: What do content marketers stand to gain with marketing automation?

A: In a nutshell, they stand to gain more time to strategize and put forth more effort into creating content that is of actual value to their audience. If you’re using marketing automation robotically, scheduling everything without any thought of who you’re speaking to or who you’re trying to reach, then it’s not going to work; and it’s even going to be detrimental to your campaign. But, if you use marketing automation correctly as a content marketer, it will help streamline some of the repetitive individual processes and allow you to cater messaging to the different segments of your audience, leaving you with more time in your work day to strategize and understand how to create better content, distribute it more effectively, and get your audience to convert from that content. Basically, marketing automation helps streamline some of the more repetitive processes, to give content marketers more time to do what they do best – and that’s to come up with great content.

Q: How can marketing automation be used to improve the performance and ROI of content marketing?

A: Marketing automation gives you the ability to focus more on what’s working and what’s not working with your ongoing content marketing efforts, and allows you to have more time to change topical coverage of your content.

Q: With SMBs in mind, is marketing automation a smart way to expand the impact of content? Why or why not?

A: Absolutely. Let’s say you have three different audience types that you’re trying to reach, and you consistently reach them with blog content, email marketing and through sales outreach over the phone. Through marketing automation, you’re able to automate some of the messaging as part of the overall communication with your customers so that it matches the interests and the needs of each audience segment. Yes, you’ll still use templates for content, but since you’re personalizing it to different segments of your audience, you avoid coming off as disingenuous or robotic. You can personalize the experience, while saving valuable time, effort and resources.

Q: What is social media’s role in marketing automation?

A:  Some of the most impactful automation with social media comes from the paid advertising side of things. You can cater your ad groups to the different segments of your audience, customizing your ad content to their specific behavior, which can help increase conversion rates on your ad groups.

Q: How can CIOs and CMOs best collaborate when it comes to marketing automation?

A: Too often, marketing gets left to just the marketing department. It also leads to duplicate content and inefficient processes. Even broader than how the CIO and the CMO, specifically, can best work together, it’s really important that marketing is not thought of as something that lives within the silo. Marketing automation, like any other areas of the marketing department, should always be owned by marketing as the chief operator. But, that’s not to say that other individuals and departments shouldn’t be collaborating on a regular basis. All stakeholders, including the CIO, should be brought into the conversations around marketing automation to ensure campaigns and investments are executed appropriately.

Thank you, Brian!