Being a content marketer means you spend the majority of your time juggling multiple content marketing campaigns simultaneously. Even before you know, you start falling short of time to maintain all the initiatives you have added to your pipeline.
Research shows that 92% of businesses and marketers believe the content to be a valuable asset for any business. So, it is obvious you will have new content marketing programs to handle in a limited period of time. Taking on new initiatives is a great step to learning, but you can only do so much. Your best solution to achieve all your goals without compromising on your content quality is to automate your content marketing tasks on a daily basis.
Automating Everyday Content Marketing Tasks
Automation does not do the job for you. It helps you stay on track and organize all your content marketing efforts as a marketer. You still continue to do the core tasks by yourself. But there are several everyday tasks that every content marketer must automate. To work smart, you need to automate your tedious regular tasks [with a set of great automation tools]. Below are a few tasks that you can (and must) automate.
1. Generating New Content Ideas
Forbes, for some time now, uses the Quill™ platform to analyze data from different sources and generate their earnings reports. These reports are automated and usually data-based. You will never notice an error in the reports but they are all about numbers and facts. However, their leadership contents are still written in-house because these contents require the ‘human touch’ that adds an emotional quotient to the piece. For instance, here is one such report that their bot-generated –
Not just Forbes, even Washington Post uses AI technology to generate content, social updates, and small reports on sporting events.
But, when you think of thought leadership content aimed at influencing your target audience, automation cannot be your answer. You need content that has the human touch and is more resourceful and insightful. However, there are parts of it that you can automate. For instance, to ideate your content, you can rely on automation.
Content ideation can be challenging yet the building blocks of your content. You want to create industry-relevant content as well as cater to your ideal audience’s interests. Hunting for relevant topics can be a roadblock but not with tools like BuzzSumo that aids in finding out content pieces against relevant keywords that have performed well in the past. Add to this, you can search for influencers, discover topics, monitor keywords, and more.
You can use Hubspot’s content idea generator as well to get relevant topics against your keywords. You can add up to 5 short or long-tail keywords to search for topics.
You may find out interesting topics but your headline may not be that appealing or may be repetitive. Using tools like Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer, you can find out its scores as well as suggestions to improve your headlines. Your headlines can decide the fate of your content marketing. So balancing your headline with the right kind of words and aligning it with industry data is essential. This means that you spend less time searching for ideas, topics, and catchy headlines.
Another free tool to get your content ideation rolling is looking at Google Trends. Use your keywords to see how it’s performing at specific locations or worldwide. Not just that, you can even compare two keywords to see which one is performing better. You can set up email alerts for relevant keywords so you know about any news or updates against those keywords.
2. Automating Content Creation Workflow
Generating content is not a one day work. There is a lot of planning, designing, outlining, and reviewing before the first draft is even ready. To churn out great content, you need to automate the entire process so that each step happens smoothly. Top companies and content influencers use project management tools to streamline their content. For instance, Neil Patel, one of the top influencers on the web and content marketing genius, generated 195,013 visitors a month by streamlining his content marketing efforts on project management tool Trello. While the number looks huge, it is not impossible if you have your content creation process streamlined and automated.
To create a content, the few basic steps include – ideation, outline, writing, editing, design, formatting, and publishing. The most common way to automate this entire process is to use a project management app like Trello or Asana. We use Trello at Automate.io to streamline our entire content marketing effort. We have multiple boards for each activity we do. Since Trello comes with a host of powerups(including Automate.io), we sync our Trello boards with our internal messenger, Slack.
Personally, I have my Trello connected to Google Calendar so that my content calendar is automatically updated when a new task is assigned to me.
Using Trello is just one of the many ways of organizing your content creation process. You can use any tool to automate your process. For instance, if you are using Asana, you can connect it to your Google Calendar for automated scheduling and reminders. The idea here is to organize the entire process. If you are a freelancer and handle the entire process alone, you can even add your tasks on Google Tasks, one of the simplest task managers that comes free for any Google user. Not just this, as a content marketer you can even automate invoicing and financial stuff for your team of freelancers.
Resource: Learn how you can streamline and automate your content creation on Google Tasks.
3. Automating Content Editing and Proof-Reading
You can surely write a great piece of content but if your writing has grammatical errors, it loses its charm. When you are writing long-form articles that go over 2000 words with a lot of use cases and examples, you are bound to make typing mistakes and casual errors. Re-reading your entire article over and over again to detect these errors manually can take up a lot of time. This is why you need to automate this process so that you can speed up your work.
Tools like Grammarly can automatically detect any and every error in a comprehensive way. Add to this, you get to know if any part of your content matches with any other content already published on a different platform. Plagiarism is a strict no-no for any content marketer, and tools like Grammarly helps you detect even the slightest of the match.
Whether you are writing PR news or a social update or a long article, trust your editing tool to make your content error-free.
4. Promoting Content ‘Automatically’
Writing and editing are one part of your content. The next and important part in this content marketing breakdown is promoting. You need to garner as many eyes as you can so your content is read, shared, and ultimately generates business for your brand. Content promotion is not just a social media post or a newsletter campaign. It goes deeper than that.
You need the right kind of people to discover your content. For that, understanding your buyers becomes a crucial part. You can use advanced marketing automation tools to create a buyer persona and categorize your target users accordingly. Tools like Hubspot, Aritic PinPoint, and more help you draw a 360-degree profile of your users and also identify the buying cycle or stage that the user is in. This makes it easier to understand what kind of content a particular user might need.
Then comes SEO. Your content has to be optimized properly so that it aligns with the search queries of your target users. From keyword research to content formatting – all are a part of your SEO strategy. Ideally, Google Analytics is your best guide when it comes to keyword analysis and competitor analysis. If you are using WordPress CMS, using the Yoast SEO plugin automatically helps you in formatting your content to fit all SEO requirements.
Once all of these are in place, you need to draw up a detailed plan for content promotion. As I said, content promotion is not a one-step activity. It involves social shares, content repurposing, email campaigns, and collaborations.
Let’s explore these activities and how to automate them.
(i) Social Media Automation for Content Marketing
There are several tools that facilitate social automation – from social listening to social posting, everything can be automated. For instance, with tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, you can streamline and automate posting on multiple social platforms at one go. Now, when it is about promoting your content, you can easily set up a post with an image and tracking URL in your social automation tool, and schedule it. It is automatically pushed live on the set date and time. While in editing mode, you can edit and modify your post.
Another way to cut short the process is to create a workflow between your CMS and social profile. For instance, if you are using WordPress CMS and want to post a status on Facebook Page when a new post is live, you can simply do it by connecting WordPress to Facebook Page. Whenever you publish a new post, the article is automatically shared on your Facebook Page. You can set up similar workflows for Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
If you are looking to send out new article updates personally, then connecting WordPress with Facebook Messenger may serve the purpose for you. You can actually send out articles to those who have subscribed to your blog over Messenger [by creating a separate segment] for a more personalized promotion.
(ii) Content Repurposing
You need to continuously repurpose your top-performing content. You need to continuously repurpose your top-performing content. The best thing is that you can automate this entire process as well (with a little manual effort). In one of their roundups, Quu had 9 super-qualified content marketers talk about their favorite content repurposing tools. And as it goes, here are a few tools that legitimate marketers swore by when it comes to content repurposing-
- Airtable: Britanny Berger, B2B Content Strategist recommends Airtable to keep a track of breaking down larger pieces of content into smaller repurposed contents; especially when you are doing a lot of repurposing.
- Buffer, MeetEdgar, and Hootsuite: For Shane Barker, Influencer Marketer & Consultant, sharing old blog posts on Social Media is a great tactic to increase engagement and customer base. Her personal favorites are Buffer and MeetEdgar, and she recommends Hootsuite for anyone just starting out with social automation.
Repurposing your evergreen content into other content formats like infographics, webinars, podcasts, videos, and ebooks are an ideal way to go about it. At Automate.io, we often convert our blog posts into beautiful infographics to re-share in our networks. For instance, we converted our blog on building email lists into an infographic and saw a rise in our engagement rate by 11% in a month.
For more expert comments on how to automate content repurposing, follow this Quora thread consisting of real-time tips to repurpose your content.
(iii) Email Campaigns
Emails have been around for over 40 years now yet it continues to be one of the leading channels for lead generation and lead nurturing. Over the years, email marketing has evolved to become extremely personalized and automated. Today, emails are more customized and are designed to engage a lead throughout its buying cycle. Email marketing is behavior-centric and essentially relevant for each customer. There are two types of emails [automated] –
(1) Event-based emails
(2) Drip emails
As a content marketer, you need to send out various emails to nurture your leads throughout the buying process. Doing all of it manually is strenuous and time-consuming. You can use any email marketing tool, but putting it on auto-pilot is the main part.
For instance, when a new visitor or user subscribes to your website, a welcome email is automatically sent to that person. This welcome email is followed by a series of two or three onboarding emails to help the user get started with your product/services. Pipedrive follows this sequence.
1. First, is the welcome email:
2. Then the first onboarding email follows in a few minutes:
3. The third email comes in a day later:
4. Since Pipedrive offers a 7-days trial period, the last email is a reminder about your free trial expiring soon:
5. If you have upgraded, you are now a part of their “paid user” segment. But if you haven’t, you continue to receive regular updates once a month or so, like this containing helpful guides and resources:
This whole sequence from 1 to 5 is an example of a drip sequence where one event triggers another. Each drip sequence requires a trigger and the following action. Based on how users engage in emails, they are segmented automatically and receive relevant emails.
Similarly, there are several event-based emails that content marketers often automate. For instance, a birthday email or a milestone achievement email, or an occasion-based email – these are all event-based emails. For instance, check this email from Elementor on Black Friday giving out a special discount.
Such event-based emails trigger engagement and improve brand-to-user relationships as well.
Other times, the welcome email itself contains an elaborate guide on how to get started, much like the one Microsoft sends upon signing up for Microsoft Teams.
Before we move away from looking into email campaigns, make sure you check out our Email Marketing 101.
5. Generating and Nurturing Leads
Generating leads is one of the targets that content marketers have. And it’s mostly generating organic traffic through websites, landing pages, social pages, and blogs. Content marketers are responsible for filling up the top part of the funnel i.e. to acquire valid leads. This requires several tasks that are done on a repeat-mode [and which can be automated easily].
There are several ways you can automate lead generation from various sources.
For instance, you can set up a pop-up form on your blog to capture new visitors. Many marketers turn their blogs into gated content wherein the visitor needs to fill in details to continue reading the article.
In your pop-up form, you can give out irresistible offers that your target visitors are bound to take. For instance, a free guide or a demo or discount.
Another alternative to using pop-ups is placing a widget right inside your content. much like Neil Patel does in his blogs –
When you click on ‘Book A Call’ you are automatically redirected to the next landing page where you need to submit your details. This is one effective way of capturing new leads from your content.
Talking about paid leads, if you are running Facebook lead ads, you can easily capture Facebook leads right into your Google Sheets or any email marketing tool you are using. For instance, if you are using MailChimp, just connect MailChimp with Facebook lead ads and get all your leads right into your email marketing tool for further campaigns. You can similarly generate leads using LinkedIn.
From hereon, you can set up automated workflows like sending out a welcome email to every new lead in MailChimp. I use Gmail for my emails so I have my Gmail connected with MailChimp so that every time a new lead comes in, a welcome email automatically goes out.
You can set up workflows as per your requirements.
These are some of the day-to-day tasks that I know I need to automate every day as a content marketer. What tasks do you automate on a daily basis? Tell me in the comments below.