The Wall Street Journal recently sounded the alarm on the growing wave of automation hitting the small business landscape. It’s not that the goals of marketing have changed, they announced. It’s just that the ways of making it happen have changed entirely. For instance, back in 2012 when it was becoming clear that native, inbound marketing content was going to dominate, many businesses started prepping themselves to take on more marketing staff and for their marketing departments to expand.
But that didn’t actually happen – at least in the way that they expected. It turned out that marketing departments didn’t have to take on a bunch of extra people. Instead, they simply had to use the people they already had a lot more effectively.
It’s not just marketing that’s affecting small businesses. Here are a bunch of automation tools that promise to make everything from accounting to social media more automated.
Communication technology has moved on a lot since the days out Outlook. To be fair Microsoft has tried to make the platform more streamlined, but other startups have disrupted the communications, bringing entrepreneurs some much-needed tools in the space.
One of those tools is called Slack. Instead of team members communicating through messy emails, Slack promises to allow colleagues to talk to each other in real time in a messaging environment. Slack is based on threaded chat windows where people can talk to each other much like they would over text. The company behind the app says that this helps to improve response times and reduces the overall time spent communicating.
Accounting used to be a labour-intensive process for businesses. There were entire finance departments dedicated to simply processing data and entering information manually. But as www.Dataserv.com describes, a lot of these processes can now be automated. For instance, it’s no longer necessary, using the right software, to manually input data in your accounts receivables. Instead, the money you are owed by firms can be inferred from the invoices you send out and whether the money has been paid into your bank account.
Digital marketing has exploded in recent years as companies have discovered the enormous benefits of generating content users find interesting. But the problem with generating content is that it takes a long time to produce.
Not with applications like Needls. Needls has big ambitions. It wants companies to be able to automatically create and optimize their digital advertising, and so it has developed a platform that allows them to simply upload images and create a basic message. Needls will then do the rest for them, including landing page generation and social media reporting. It’ll also keep companies up to date with analytics about how a particular marketing campaign is performing.
For companies that use WordPress, there are other options too, according to www.entrepreneur.com. For instance, services like Spokal are plugins that have been designed to automatically distribute your content and manage your SEO with the aim being to make your site more high profile. It also integrates with services like MailChimp, allowing businesses to automate content-related email campaigns.